Filigree of Gondomar in public consultation for registration as cultural heritage

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The Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) wants to classify the filigree of Gondomar as intangible heritage, having opened today a public consultation period of 30 days, according to publication in Diário da República (DR).

Filigree of Gondomar in public consultation for registration as cultural heritage

The announcement published in the Official Gazette gives notice of the start of the public consultation period and provides the elements of the inventory process of Gondomar filigree, which is a technique of ancestral root that, etymologically, means “bead thread” and which results from the twisting of two very thin metal wires.

The announcement, signed by the Deputy Director-General for Cultural Heritage, Rita Jerónimo, states that “comments on this public consultation may be submitted, in a dematerialized form, through that system, and may also, alternatively, be addressed, by registered mail, to the DGPC”.

After the conclusion of the public consultation period, the DGPC will take a decision within 120 days.

The proposal to register filigree as intangible heritage was made by the Municipality of Gondomar, in the district of Porto.

In this municipality there are workshops spread over several parishes, with the highest concentration in São Cosme. It is followed by Valbom, Jovim, Fânzeres, São Pedro da Cova, Rio Tinto and Foz do Sousa.

“The elaborate gold and silver lace [is generated] from the workshop-house-workshop production cycle. Filigree involves a large number of individuals, from this and other trades, strengthening economic, social and cultural ties that give this community a very specific identity. A large number of grandparents, parents, husbands, wives, children, siblings, cousins and neighbors are umbilically united through this goldsmithing technique”, can be read in the description on the MatrizPCI.

This material can be used to decorate smooth surfaces (filigree application) or to fill hollow structures, giving rise to the so-called filigree integration, which best characterizes the production of Gondomar.

It is in these workshops that the goldsmiths make the frames of the pieces.

This art also involves the “enchedeiras”, a traditional term used to designate the women, also known as “feitoras”, who work the filigree wire in a domestic environment before the piece returns to the workshops to receive the final finishes.

Filigree of Gondomar in public consultation for registration as cultural heritage

The craft developed from the 18th century onwards, becoming the identity activity of the municipality in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The description of MatrizPCI reads that “Gondomar is currently the largest goldsmithing production center in the country” and that 12 of the family-owned production units are on the list of workshops certified with the National Brand “Filigree of Portugal”.

The active “enchedeiras” are mainly distributed in the localities of Jovim, Fânzeres, São Pedro da Cova and Foz do Sousa, with an average age of over 50 years.

The older goldsmiths and “enchedeiras” learned the trade through intergenerational transmission in a workshop context, while most of the younger ones went through professional training, especially at the Goldsmiths and Watchmakers Professional Training Center (CINDOR), the only goldsmith training center in the country.

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