“Siete Villas, Granada´s breadbasket” is an Ethnographic Project as a result of the work of the Delegation of Culture and Historical and Democratic Memory of the Delegation of Granada and the Town halls of Colomera, Guadahortuna, Íllora, Iznalloz, Moclín, Montefrío and Montejicar.
The goal pursued with this initiative is to encourage measures that help to preserve and spread the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Province.
These seven municipalities, that were once the border of the Nasrid kingdom and later larder of the city of Granada, are an excellent geographical and cultural framework to penetrate into the Agrarian Patrimony of the Region.
During the early Middle Age until the 17th century, the populations of the localities of Las Siete Villas (The Seven Villages) turned, by royal mandate, into the purveyors of the City of the Alhambra.
Over the years, the fields of cereal in these villages have made way to cultivation more institutionally supported, with a better commercial agreement and more profitable economically.
The olive grove has turned practically into the monoculture of this Region, symbol of the cereal and the Grenadian dry land in the past.
Although the agriculture is still the main sector of development of the area, the transformation of the scenery and the life and traditions of these peoples has been significant, among other reasons, for these that we have spoken about.
This change in the agrarian sector of the Comarca de los Montes has caused at the same time the disappearance of traditions, work techniques, tools, implements, structures and architectural elements that supported to the world of the cereal. With that has disappeared, or it is about disappear, an Intangible Cultural Heritage that we consider that it deserves to be investigated, documented and spread.
Our main resource, when it comes to implement the Project, has been the Era Agrícola (threshing floor). A singular work space and sociability, representative of a period not very distant but that cities and villages of the Province have suffered this transformation has become part, at best, of the collective memory of many rural areas.
At that time in which the cereal dominated the fields of Las Siete Villas (The Seven Villages), the Era (threshing floor) represented a priority hereditary element, both due to its socio-economic and labour function and its contribution to recreational and context area and sociability.
Many of the agricultural tasks related to the grain and the daily work took place in the Era (threshing floor) and a large part of the recreational and cultural activities of the villages have been developed there.
Along with the Era (threshing floor), the identifying milestones of the ten chosen and the content of the web page, as an ethno-historical documentary support, are other elements that give consistency to the program and that will help us to understand much better how was life in these villages until the middle of the 20th century.
Thanks to the institutional collaboration and the generosity of some individuals, has been possible to design a Cultural Route through the localities of Las Siete Villas (The Seven Villages), having as reference points some of the most significant eras (threshing floor) of these villages.
The tour through the Eras (threshing floors) is an invitation to discover Las Siete Villas (The Seven Villages), as a whole and to go back in time to a period of the history of these towns in which the cereal, with its chromatic range, dominated the scenery and the life of its inhabitants.