Matilde’s cultural morning in Finestrat

The Museo de Finestrat is where I take my school trips every year, and we are going there this Friday with a Year 10 Geography trip.  It consists of an old village farmhouse, the Casa de la Font de Carré, and a modern purpose built ethnographic museum attached.  The old farmhouse has a stable on the ground floor filled with antique donkey tack from the agricultural era now sadly vanished from these parts.

For some time I have been suggesting to the museum’s curator that we should arrange for Matilde – my biggest donkey who looks the part! – to model the donkey tack and take photos for the museum.  Today this idea materialised.  Matilde walked up to Finestrat with me and entered into a donkey conversation with the local history, wearing all the ancient donkey tack once worn by working animals. The curator and I took photos for the museum and for school use.  I have rendered some of them in sepia here, as it somehow seems to work well with the history.

Stable in the Casa de la Font de Carré

Stable in the Casa de la Font de Carré

Matilde wearing an elaborate antique "mosquero" - a fly guard

Matilde wearing an elaborate antique “mosquero” – a fly guard; a yoke for drawing agricultural implements, and a spine guard for carrying loads

Pack saddle for short-distance agricultural transport

Pack saddle for short-distance agricultural transport

Matilde wearing the pack saddle. It was made for a smaller animal, maybe more Morris size?

Matilde wearing the pack saddle. It was made for a smaller animal, maybe more Morris size?

 

Museum of Finestrat: esparto carrier for four water jars

Museum of Finestrat: esparto carrier for four water jars

This beautifully crafted piece of esparto work was the piece de resistance!

This beautifully crafted piece of esparto work was the piece de resistance!

The real danger was that Matilde might fling off the whole arrangement: there was no girth strap!

The real danger was that Matilde might fling off the whole arrangement: there was no girth strap!

We cut the session short after three minutes, in case the ceramic bottle got damaged.

We cut the session short after three minutes, in case the ceramic bottle got damaged.

Matilde's cultural morning in Finestrat

Matilde’s cultural morning in Finestrat

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Thanks to José and the Museum of Finestrat.  The museum is open weekdays until 2 pm and from 5pm till 7 pm.  See the Finestrat town hall website for further details.

 

 

 

 

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About Gareth Thomas

A fairly mixed career starting as an aircraft technician and later Franciscan friar eventually led into secondary school teaching. I settled in Spain where I teach Geography part-time and spend the rest of my time looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I have two blogs: a geography blog and a donkey blog.
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One Response to Matilde’s cultural morning in Finestrat

  1. Alys says:

    A gold star for Matilde, a very learned donkey! She looks very pretty in her mosquero! It must have felt very special to see her all dressed up and bringing to life the museum pieces. The photos are also interesting seen alongside the EAFA films. Matilde deserves a chunk of chocolate like John Bone’s donkey!

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