imagen familia Montejicar
The era as a space of sociability
Source: Town hall of Montejícar


In the traditional societies the areas of the agriculture, in addition to being ambiences where to develop the agricultural activities, they had a lot of importance in the social and cultural relations.

The eras (threshing floor) as sociability areas are provided with a series of values integrated to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Seven Towns. These are cultural events that reflect the interaction of the society with the historical, geographical and socioeconomic characteristics of the territory to which it belongs, causing a feeling of identity and continuity and helping to promote this way the respect of the cultural diversity.

The Intangible cultural heritage (Convention for the Safe-conduct of the Intangible cultural heritage, UNESCO, 2003) associated to the eras (threshing floor) can be seen in in the following fields:

 

PatrimoNY ORAL. LINGUISTIC PECULIARITIES

The vehicle of transmission of the oral culture, in all its expressions and forms, are the persons. There is a specific vocabulary, a set of expressions and specialized terms (consult terminological glossary here) that constitute oral declarations linked to the different work phases in the field, among them the tasks carried out in the era. We can emphasize the names given to the different tasks (to fan, to thresh, to transport, to heap), to the implements and tools that were part of them (threshing machine, fingerstall, pitchfork) and to the traditional professions that represent them.

 

El Patrimonio Oral vinculado a las eras se transmitía en ellas cotidianamente Fuente: Ayuntamiento de Montejícar

The Oral Patrimony linked to the eras was transmitted daily
Source: Town hall of Montejícar


As for the literary and musical genres, the Seven Towns have a set of works, sung or not, with an incalculable value.

PROVERBS, SAYINGS AND POPULAR RIDDLES OF COLOMERA

SOURCE: Ethnographique Project. Eras of Colomera (Paula Ramírez López)

- En julio la parva en la era y rogando para que no llueva.
- La buena yunta dios la cría y ella se junta.
- En junio hoz en puño.
- El que en verano no trilla, en invierno no come.
- Nunca es mal año por mucho trigo.
- Tiene mucho aire pero poco que “ablentar”.
- Hay que “ablentar” cuando corre el aire.
- Barrer cada uno para su casa.
- En abril espigado, en mayo granado, en junio segado, en julio trillado y en agosto encamarado.
- Estorbas más que el agua en la parva. 
- Eso es como el que se abriga con un herpil.
- Da oleadas y no es la mar, tiene raspa y no es pescado (el trigo).

FANDANGO

The fandango is very widespread in Andalusia and is part of the everyday life of their inhabitants. Its letters have a lot of topics, being part of them the agricultural tasks. Fandangos were sung in the eras, in moments of celebration and festivals, singing and dancing.

Ya se está poniendo el sol

I
Ya se está poniendo el sol
y la sombra en los terrones,
ya va llegando la hora
de que suelten los peones.

II
Míralo por donde viene,
el de las siete camisas,
su madre está en la cama
y no tiene pelliza.

III
Eché un limón a rodar
y en tu puerta se paró.
Hasta los limones saben
que nos queremos los dos.

INFORMANT: Emilia Nieto Moyano. Moclín, 2007
SOURCE: Notebooks from the Granadian Oral Culture. Nº 1. Region of Alhama and Poniente Granadino. Commission of Culture of the Town hall of Andalusia; County council of Granada, 2009. Project "The Oral Culture in the Province of Granada"

 

SOCIAL USES, RITUAL AND FESTIVE EVENTS. MUSICAL AND DANCING DECLARATIONS, GAMES, STORIES, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, ETC.

In the eras, during summer, took place the agricultural life more than in any other season of the year. The eras were the epicentre of the inhabitants’ life: a place of relationships and work on which farmers, young people, children and women were gathered to complete the annual cycle of the agricultural tasks, which had begun in autumn and that was coming to its end with the threshing. In this activity took place a ritual and a series of events which celebrated the happy attainment of the wished harvest.

 

cosecha labores agricolas

Rest in the era
Source: Town hall of Moclín


As well as in the harvest, almost the whole family took part. Between threshing songs, each one had a task to be fulfilled.

 

mujer trillando

Woman threshing in Tózar (Moclín)
Source: Town hall of Moclín

 

For the youngest people it was, first of all, a playful area where they could enjoy playing with the straw or walking in the threshing machine, an authentic merry-go-round. The new-born babies slept in a half bushel, which sometimes was used as a cot.

 

Juntando paja en Tózar

Collecting straw in Tózar (Moclín)
Source: Town hall of Moclín

 

paseo trilla monte
A walk in the threshing machine
Source: Town hall of Montejícar
 trilla iznalloz
Threshing
Source: Town hall of Iznalloz


There were nights in which the grain remained in the era because the fanning was not finished, and the men slept in them to keep it. It was frequent, at that time, to see a family having dinner there. After the day was finished, it turned out into a magic and calm observatory, in which it was possible to see the sky with its million stars.

vuelta a casa con el burro
 
Back home after finishing the work day
Source: Town hall of Montejícar

 

The agricultural tasks linked to the eras are not exempt from festive connotations, on the contrary. The moment of the harvest, along the history, has always been special.

THE ROMAN FESTIVALS OF THE CEREAL

From April 12th until April 18th it was celebrated the festival of the return of Proserpina, daughter of Ceres, to the earth. The people, walking in procession, surrounded the fields begging the favour of the goddess so that the harvest was abundant, while priestesses dressed with white clothes offered incense, honey and cakes of barley and wheat in the temples. In August thanksgiving took place, and again the first fruits of the harvest were offered. The professions’ tasks were carried out only by women wearing white clothes from the spring festivals, who had practised the fasting nine days earlier. These "first indications" were called "cerealía", and the barley and the wheat took the same name, so the cereal has its current name.

THE SINGINGS OF THRESHING

While everybody was working, everybody was singing. In this way the tasks were carried out easily. Its topics are varied and it is related basically to aspects of the everyday life of these persons. Still today, in certain places, in the festive rituals people sing or the songs are remembered by elderly people.

LA ESPIGADORA

Esta mañana muy tempranito
salí del pueblo con el hatico
Y cuando entonces la aurora salía yo la recibía
cantando como un pajarito.
Esta mañana muy tempranito.

Y cuando suenan las caracolas,
por esos campos van ellas solas.
Y se engalanan con amapolas
porque son guapas como ellas solas.


Estribillo

¡Ay… ay, ay, ay!
¡Qué trabajos nos manda el Señor!
Levantarse y volverse a agachar.
Todo el día a los aires y al sol.

¡Ay.. ay ay!
¡Ten memoria de mi segador
no rebañes los copos de mies,
que detrás de las hoces voy yo!


La espigadora con su esportilla
va tras la sombra de la cuadrilla.
Sufre espigando tras los segadores los mismos sudores
Que el hombre que siega y que trilla.
La espigadora con su esportilla.

Por los carriles y los rastrojos
soy la hormiguita de los despojos.
Y como tiene tan buenos ojos
espigo a veces de los manojos.


Estribillo

THE LULLABIES

They were sung to the babies in the eras, since the whole family moved to them to perform the corresponding agricultural tasks. The babies, frequently, slept in a half bushel, which was used as a cot.

Una Cuna de Coplas

Una cuna de coplas tiene mi niña,
Con la sábana blanca de mi cariño.
Alrreor de la cuna tu mare vela,
Hasta el aire secaría pa´que te duermas.

A la nana, nanita, nanita ea.
A la nana, nanita, nanita ea.

Apaga ese lucero que la despierta,
Apaga ese lucero que la despierta,
Ea, ea, ea, ea, que la despierta.

INFORMANT: Josefa Muro Rueda. Moclín, 2007

SOURCE: Notebooks from the Granadian Oral Culture. Nº 1. Region of Alhama and Poniente Granadino. Commission of Culture of the Town hall of Andalusia; County council of Granada, 2009. Project "The Oral Culture in the Province of Granada"

 

When the tasks in the era were nearly finished, this kept on being an important meeting area. So it has more uses. In the era the children played, some young foal was tamed, the young lads and young girls meet, management holidays, cattle fairs were celebrated, pilgrimages and communions ... in the eras people lived.

 Fiestas patronales candelorias
Festival of Las Candelorias of Colomera. Useless objects are burnt in the eras, causing a big fire
Source: Town hall of Colomera
 
muchachas en la era
Girls in the era
Source: Town hall of Colomera 

feria moclin 
Feria de Moclín
Source: Town hall of Moclín

  Comunión en la era

Communion in the era
Source: Town hall of Montejícar

  feria ganado moclin

Cattle fair of Moclín
Source: Town hall of Moclín
  Feria de Ganado de Guadahortuna
Cattle fair of Guadahortuna
Source: Town hall of Guadahortuna
 
Romería en Montejícar
 
Pilgrimage in Montejícar
Source: Town hall of Montejícar
 
Romería en Montejícar
Pilgrimage in Montejícar
Source: Town hall of Montejícar

THE TRADITIONAL HANDMADE TECHNIQUES. PROFESSIONS AND KNOWLEDGES RELATED TO THE AGRARIAN ACTIVITIES

Specific professions which appeared thanks to the agricultural works related to the cultivation and treatment of the cereals:

Harvester. In the fields of mature cereal, he/she cuts the grain with the sickle.
 

Segadores montefrío
Harvesters of Montefrío. 1958
Source: Custodio Coca Gámez

 

Thresher. Mounted in the threshing machine, he/she runs to the knighthood in a circular form over the pile distributed in the era, shelling this way the ears.

 Trillando el limonero
Thresher in Lawns (Moclín)
Source: Town hall of Moclín

 

Gleaner / to. He/she gathers the ears that the harvesters have made standing in the stubble.

Carrier. Of flour and cereal. For this activity the animals of the equine cattle were real necessary, generally mules, donkeys or horses, which transported the sacks. The transport also could be done by cars, which driving force was the knighthood.

 acarreador moclin
Carrier in Moclín
Source: Town hall of Moclín

 

Stone man. He/she restores the stones of the threshing machine lost during the work, with the help of a special hammer. He/she also arranges the metallic saws of the threshing machines.

 

Professions and knowledges related to the food and agriculture production derived from the cereals:

Miller. He/she is the owner of a mill or he/she is employed, doing all the tasks related to grind the cereal, obtaining this way different types of flour.

Baker or miller. He/she is in charge of doing or selling bread.

Confectioner or pastry chef. He/she prepares or sells pastries and other confectioner's products.

 

Professions and complementary knowledges:

Without being exclusive of these places, the following ones are also part of them.

Bricklayers. Their knowledge and constructive skills were often used in the construction of the eras and other structures linked with them.

Seamstress. Workpeople from the textile sector. They made the clothes that wore the harvesters and threshers, who used them already worn-out: dark pants of velveteen or cotton with patches, cotton long sleeve shirts, and handkerchief knotted to the neck, sandals with thick socks, big hat made of straw, saddle-bag in the shoulder. The women put a handkerchief covering the face and other in the head, above the hat.

Timber merchant and blacksmith. They realized and arranged the necessary tools to redeem the agricultural works.

Cartwright. Builder of cars and wagons, necessary for the transport of cereal and straw. He worked the wood and he needed the collaboration of the blacksmith, who provided him/her the metallic elements of the carriage.

Blacksmith. He/she fixed the semi-circular horseshoes in the helmet of the knighthood.

Esparto man. He/she wove the esparto and did packings, such as the baskets. He/she also made dust covers, panniers, cords or sifters.

 espartero tozar
Esparto man of Tózar (Moclín)
Source: Town hall of Moclín

 

Farming tools. He devoted himself to do packsaddles, tackles of the knighthood of load consisting of a species of fastened stuffed cushion of straw on the loin.

Saddler or harness-maker. He/she did articles of leather of diverse utility, such as collar for the team of horses of knighthood for the dragging of carriages, saddles, etc.

 

herrador montefrio burro
Saddler and blacksmith were preparing the knighthood for the work in the field. Montefrío, 1958
Source: Town hall of Montefrío

 

GASTRONOMY AND CULINARY CULTURE

Daily food in the farm work:

In the meal and the lunch, the bread was always present. Among the cereals used to make bread we can stand out the wheat, although breads with a lot of other secondary cereals are made (rye, barley).

 pan
Bread with different cereals

 

Along with the bread, a porridges, a piece of sausage or bacon, a cold vegetable soup and some stew. And wine.

 

almuerzo era montejicar
Lunch in the era
Source: Town hall of Montejícar

 

 almuerzo era montejicar
Lunch in the era
Source: Town hall of Montejícar
 

PORRIDGES OF GRAPE-JUICE OF ÍLLORA

 

INGREDIENTS (4 PERSONS)

- 750 g of flour
- 250 g of almonds lightly fried
- 2 litres of grape-juice (recently crushed)

 

PREPARATION

- The grape-juice is boiled in a pan and it is skimmed until it takes a clear and homogeneous colour.

- The flour is added, avoiding lumps, up to obtaining a consistent but not too thick porridge.

- The resultant blend is spilled in dinner plates, decorating it with the almonds. It is served cold.

 

Processing ingredients and collective consumption:

Associated with certain festival activities, like the confinement of the cereal, meals in group were done. For these occasions sweets like ring-shaped rolls, cakes or bread of oil were baked.

 comida festiva montejicar
Festival meal in the era
Source: Town hall of Montejícar
 comida festiva montejicar
Festival meal in the era
Source: Town hall of Montejícar
 
preparadas comida campo festiva 
Ready for the festival meal in the era
Source: Town hall of Montejícar.