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Have you ever been in Trás-os-Montes (Portugal)?

No?! It’s a pity. Because there's where our history starts.



My mother always spoke in a funny weird way!

And we always made fun of her and her very characteristic accent! All words that I constantly heard from her are part of my teenager memories and from the long summer vacations on that region, where people say there is “9 winter months and 3 hell ones”. These are not lands for anyone; they are for real, strong, wise and cheerful people that always have their doors open for you.

It was in Trás-os-Montes that I soaked in my very first inspiration for all that I am in life; in scents, colours, textures, from the way to speak, to the music, to the way to be!!!

It was in Trás-os-Montes that I invariably defended myself as woman of the earth, just as a pure raw person. I milked cows, removed manure, drank water directly from the rocks’ spring, ate berries from mulberry trees and felt the wave of pungent scents that intoxicate us in each corner.

I cross the Douro river and I am another person; I’m more me, more lively, more cheerful! I wasn’t born there, but that is my place.



I needed to grow to fully understand that my mother’s accent was so much more than solely that! It was the heritage of a nation, made out of many other folks! The leonese heritage that we have in this country and that so little is known of.

My mother always spoke in a funny weird way!

And in that funny weird way it made me discover that there is the place where my origins lay. Strong, wild and intense scents land, filled with summer thunderstorms and the smell of muddy soil, land of cold ice winters and an ember fragrance in the air.

It was also my mother the first one to tease me when I tried to do a back carry with my son, only for her to then show me how, with the greatest gracefulness and easiness that I ever witnessed (and I admit, also to my greatest astonishment)!


I decided to take the kids there, one summer, and show them the heart of this folk. We were received only as they know how: "Bô! Look at the little guy in your back?! Bô! Look at this!! It was like we used to do back in “da” day!

My heart swelled! My soul filled! After all, we also have this tradition!"Bô! Take a look then, if you want to see!

I swore to myself; if one day I make woven wraps, they will be like these folks: strong, warm, rustic, earthy, with the hearts on their hands, on their mouths and gestures.

And they were born just like them, in the middle of the mountain, of the purest that I could find. It’s with great pleasure that I present to you the one that is going to be my brand; more than that, OUR brand, more than that, a Portuguese brand that was born in the heart of Portugal.

 

I want my wraps to have in them the scent of the wet dirt, of the growing grass, from the stone sierras, from the dew on the ends of the wheat’s ears. I want you to feel the texture of granite and oak in every wrap. The softness of the moss. These wraps are “earth wraps”, made of many lands and many memories in each look, in each touch. Therefore, our first collection will be inspired by this north eastern region. By that Portugal that hides behind the hills, between curves and counter curves going up the hill, between the heather and the white brooms; between the rock roses and the lavender. This first collection is all about the earth scent, the clay, the water that is born from the mountain rocks.

And as my mother would say, full of popular wisdom: “Consciousness is like the lavender flower: a donkey came and ate it”.

 

by elisabete muga

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