Pilgrims of Vila Boim / Romeiros de Vila Boim

pilgrims, pilgrimage, Elvas, Vila Boim, São Mateus, carriages, donkeys, horses, Alentejo, Portugal

pilgrims, pilgrimage, Elvas, Vila Boim, São Mateus, carriages, donkeys, horses, Alentejo, Portugal

In celebration of the second edition of what is starting to become the Frontier Sketching Bienalle, AIAR, ADC organized a sketch meeting during the pilgrimage, in partnership with the Vila Boim Pilgrimage Association (ARVB).

Celebrando o segundo ciclo do que se começa a assumir como a Bienal de Desenho da Raia, A AIAR, ADC, organizou, em parceria com a Associação de Romeiros de Vila Boim (ARVB), um encontro de desenhadores em plena romaria.

pilgrims, pilgrimage, Elvas, Vila Boim, São Mateus, carriages, donkeys, horses, Alentejo, Portugal

The lost tradition of this pilgrimage was recovered by the people at ARVB, in an effort to preserve the tradition and the folklore of the region. The trail follows the old pilgrimage route used until the mid-20th century. Starting from Vila Boim, stopping midway for a snack and for the beasts of burden to rest, going through the historical center of Elvas and back to the camping site for the pilgrims in the Feira de São Mateus – or to the sanctuary of Senhor da Piedade in Elvas.

A tradição perdida da romaria tem vindo a ser recuperada pela ARVB por uma questão de folclore e manutenção das tradições. O percurso emula o antigo trilho dos romeiros feito até a meio do século passado. Parte de Vila Boim, parando a meio caminho para farnel e descanso dos animais, passando pelo centro histórico de Elvas e culminando na zona de acampamento dos romeiros da Feira de São Mateus – ou no santuário do Senhor da Piedade – em Elvas.

pilgrims, pilgrimage, Elvas, Vila Boim, São Mateus, carriages, donkeys, horses, Alentejo, Portugal

The carriages, two- or four-wheeled and of different sizes, are driven by their owners, all members of ARVB. Along the path, one mingles with the people next to you in the carriage. At the resting stop, the pilgrims break bread and share their delicacies in their typical cork containers or coolboxes. They even take the opportunity to pitch deals for each other’s beasts of burden.

As carroças – ou churriões – de duas ou quatro rodas e de diferentes tamanhos, são conduzidas pelos seus donos membros da ARVB. No caminho, conversa-se com as pessoas ao lado. Na paragem de descanso, convive-se e come-se com a gente das outras carroças. É boa oportunidade até para fazer negócio com os animais de carga, que até ao final da romaria podem já ter um novo dono.

pilgrims, pilgrimage, Elvas, Vila Boim, São Mateus, carriages, donkeys, horses, Alentejo, Portugal

Some of the pilgrims dress accurately, with wardrobe of the cattlemen of old. Judging from some of the younger girls, one could easily think we were on a filming set of a 50s western.

Alguns dos romeiros vestem-se a rigor, com os trajes das gentes do passado e de criadores de animais. Julgando por algumas das raparigas, poderiamos facilmente pensar que estavamos no set de filmagens de uma cauboiada dos anos 50.

pilgrims, pilgrimage, Elvas, Vila Boim, São Mateus, carriages, donkeys, horses, Alentejo, Portugal

In the end, next to the donkeys, horses and carriages and sheltered by large canopies, pilgrims and sketchers rest from the shaky journey, wallowing in a garlick     y açorda, sausages and beer.

No final, à vista dos animais e das carroças, abrigados por toldos grandes, romeiros e desenhadores descansam da viagem sacudida, refastelando-se com uma açorda a granel, enchidos e cerveja.

pilgrims, pilgrimage, Elvas, Vila Boim, São Mateus, carriages, donkeys, horses, Alentejo, Portugal

Author: Pedro Loureiro

I was born on the southwestern-most tip of Europe, in Lagos, Portugal. A childhood of legos and sandcastles led me to architecture school, but an adolescence of doodling drove me to sketching and later to illustration. I like to sketch, to travel and to chop vegetables into tiny manageable bits. I also like maps. The older the better!

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