martes, 9 de noviembre de 2010


Alba tiene 86 años y vive en su campo en Barriga Negra, Lavalleja. Nació , creció y vivió toda su vida en Barriga Negra y, como ella dice, espera poder morir alli mismo donde nació. Eran 11 hermanos, de ellos la mayor y los dos menores nacieron en Minas que queda a unos 60 km. Hoy en día lleva un poco más de una hora de viaje en camioneta, en aquel entonces seguro que eran unas cuantas horas de viaje para llegar al pueblo. Todos los demás hermanos y hermanas nacieron en el campo.

Vive sola en su campito cuidando de sus chanchos, caballos, y ovejas. No hay electricidad ni agua corriente. Fui a visitarla y llevarle el surtido que había encargado a unos vecinos, para eso el celular es fantástico.
Al día siguiente de mi visita era la yerra en mi casa y Alba nos pidió que le trajesemos su caballo del campo para poder unirse a la fiesta. Es que no se siente suficientemente fuerte como para andar correteando por las sierras de Minas pero no tenía ningún problema ensillando, abriendo porteras y cruzando los arroyos. Es increible: el 19 de diciembre cumple sus 87 años.
Al día siguiente la pasamos a buscar en camioneta pero ella se aseguró que fuese solo despues de dar de comer a los chanchos, moler el grano para las gallinas y todas las demas cosas que tenía que hacer antes de ponerse fiestera.
Le pregunté si tenía alguna trapera en casa y me mostró la que está en la foto. Está armada con buzos viejos tejidos por ella misma para sus hijos. Dice que ya no cose porque no le da el tiempo con todo lo que tiene que hacer en el campo.

Alba is 86 years old and lives on her farm in Barriga Negra, Uruguay. She was born and raised in Barriga Negra and, as she put it, she hopes to die there too. She had 10 brothers and sistes only the oldest and the 2 youngest were born in the city that is 60 km away, a one hour drive today, probably more than a couple of hours then. All the others brothers and sisters were born in the farm like her.
She lives by herself with her pigs, cows, horses, the radio and a cell phone. No electricity, no running water. I went to visit her and bring her groceries that a neighbour bought for her... that is where the cell phone is vital. The following day we were having a party at our ranch and she asked if we could bring the horse from the pasture so she could ride it the following day to come visit. She said that she did not feel strong enough to go get the horse because is very hilly terrain but, she would be fine with the saddle, and the fences, and the creek. I think she is amazing!, she is turning 87 on december 19th!.
The following day I came to pick her up on my truck. She had asked to make sure I came only after giving her enough time to do all her morning chores: feeding the pigs, and grinding the corn for the chickens and so many others things that needed to be done before any partying could start.
I asked her if she had any quilts around and she brought the one that is over her tractor wheel. It is made from old jerseys, she had knitted those for her children a long time ago. She does not sew now because she has no time left after all the farm erands!

1 comentario:

  1. Thanks Virginia for sending the link to this blog - how wonderful, and I have signed up to follow it - but, I'm not sure how I got my self an additional pic above the group of followers pics, though!(feel free to edit that out!) I really appreciate the text in both english and spanish - and will draw it to the attention of a particular friend of mine in Australia, Wendy Lugg, who studies these old bed coverings and knows a lot about the Australian ones in particular, we call them 'waggas' but also she is very knowledgeable about similar pieces from other parts of the world, too. If you go to her website, http// you will see how this interest over many years has come out as a major influence in her quilted textile art.

    Coincidentally just a few days ago I posted on my blog (within my website) about a bed cover made here in Montevideo some decades ago, as part of a charity group's effort. Made from pieces of sample wool fabric, I think it comes within the scope of this kind of thing. while having a different character of course, it is still truly making something usefully warm from something (samples)which would have probably been eventually thrown away. Although I have to say people in this country have always seemed to me to be far more dedicated to mending, recycling and putting items to new use and make them last as long as possible.

    Has there ever been a study of mended/repaired thigs, particularly textiles? It is a field of study in some places - perhaps we should email over this - I would love to chat with you some time.