We begin our visit through the main house, architecturally dreamlike when mixing stone and traditional wood with a vanguard window on the second floor. In this space is the most pretentious exhibition: objects, tools and mechanisms of all kinds related to the most traditional activities of the Asturian rural environment, both in its domestic aspect, as pre-industrial and artisan, which in the background converge in the same sociology.
As the explanatory panels reflect, cheese and butter they were elaborated to take advantage of the surplus of domestic livestock that could not be consumed during the day. The Asturian ingenuity in the manufacture of dairy products is perfectly collected in a small exclusive room where the tools are ordered and the elaboration processes of some of the varieties in the area are detailed.
They also have their own space the memory of the tejeros. A collective that deserves a tribute apart for the basic role they played and the hardships of their work. From the seventeenth century there is evidence of crews of peasants llaniscos who moved temporarily to make tile and brick to other points of Asturias, Castilla and Vizcaya. Llanes tejanos invented a slang or secret special language to communicate among them called xiriga (jargon).
We continue the visit without hurry and we come across more signs of identity of the Asturian activity of another time. There is the iron, the forges, workshops where objects are made through the forging of the raw iron worked in the ironworks, or where they are repaired tools and pots spent for the use. A shortly after we are ordered the enameled iron utensils that were manufactured for all areas of home life since the nineteenth century. They consist of thin sheets of iron with an enamel bath usually white, but also colored.
How could it be otherwise, too eminently agricultural work has a reserved space. A series of plows aligned allow us to compare the change of technique with the passage of time. The oldest models that we can appreciate are made of wood with a toe or "grate" of wrought iron.
We stop at the spinning machines, in the piles of wool, in the dyes and the typical costumes that resulted from more basic tasks. Beyond is the carpenter's corner. Everything is in the ethnographic museum, little detail of the traditional economy is missing, including the old block, warm, with its country car and its implements; and the llagar for the manufacture of cider, old and almost mystical.
A travel in the time
The creators of the museum were also concerned about the most popular ethnography, the one related to everyday life, which is related by itself in a charming house that does not lack detail: wood stove, dish of fabes perennial, beds and even the black and white photo of parents or grandparents, so old that it is ghostly.
We left and we are surprised by the reality of the 21st century in the midst of what is still an Asturian village. Its present is only betrayed by new cars and some modern buildings. Outside the enclosure, but stuck to it magically, continues to grow a majestic avocado. Its trunk and harmonic branches rise towards the sky. It was planted in 1906 and was brought from Mexico.
Porrúa Ethnographic Museum Hours
From January 17 to March 15
Tuesday to Saturday: from 11:00 a.m. to 13:30 p.m.
From March 16 to June 30 and from September 9 to December 15
Tuesday to Thursday, Sundays and holidays: from 11:00 a.m. to 13:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: from 11:00 a.m. to 13:30 p.m. and from 17:00 p.m. to 19:00 p.m.
From July 1 to September 8
Open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 13:30 p.m. and from 17:00 p.m. to 20:00 p.m.
Days 6, 7 and 8: from 11:00 a.m. to 13:30 p.m. and from 17:00 p.m. to 19:00 p.m.
Thursday to Sunday: from 11:00 a.m. to 13:30 p.m. and from 17:00 p.m. to 20:00 p.m.
Source: Ethnographic Museum of Porrúa
Barriu Llacín s / n. 33509 Porrúa. Llanes.
Contact number: 985 40 25 47
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com