Accepted Paper:

Folk culture and cultural heritage in Ribatejo, Central Portugal  


Pedro Sena (Faculty of Social and Human Sciences - New University of Lisbon)

Paper short abstract:

In this poster we will bring to focus the ways through which a set of selected representations and practices drawn from folk culture come to be part of a local cultural heritage.

Paper long abstract:

In Ribatejo, a region in central Portugal, folklore, festivals and other performances drawn from folk culture often involve displays of 'campinos', local bull herdsmen who have an important role in bull raising and fighting as well as in horse breeding. Bull herdsmen are frequently presented as virile, heroic, faithful and unselfish men, and it is difficult to find an opposite image about them on (local and even national) media, literature, travel guides, ethnographic and geographic studies.

'Campinos' were made the firm symbol of the region in the period between 1840 e 1840, as folk culture was objectified, nationalized and regionalized (Handler 1988, Löfgreen 1989). And from mid XXth on they became the centrepiece of festivals and folklore, subject of exhibitions, monuments and memorials as one of the key elements of identity discourses in Ribatejo and, only recently, part of what is considered local cultural heritage. Finally, it can be argued that local policies of identity and agendas of patrimonialization and re-traditionalization are part of undergoing processes of modernization and globalization.

Based in a multi-sited ethnography (2005-2007) and in historical analysis, this poster will bring to focus the ways through which patrimonialisation in Ribatejo, particularly of local bull herding representations and practices, are built and organized as an enactment of the past and collective memory (Candau 1996, Nora 1984-1992).

Panel W121
Poster session