The Mojaquera workshop, organised by Mojácar Council and the University of Granada, explains old water management by local women.
Mojácar Council and the MEMOLab Biocultural Archaeological Laboratory are organising a series of workshops related to the Mojácar la Vieja excavations aimed at complementing the investigations and the recovery of the history and customs of the locality through the ages.
A series of workshops have been planned in this 2022 campaign, that have started with the so-called “Mojaquera Workshop”, at which the role of the woman in managing the family’s water is highlighted, their distinctive daily comings and goings between the fountain and the homes, doing the washing, and their typical dress, one of Mojácar’s symbols of identity for decades.
Mojácar women of different ages, including children, were at the workshop explaining to the participants what the typical costume of the locality was made up of, how it was put together and its complexity when it comes to making it due to the number of garments it’s composed of.
The question arises about the origin of the custom of using the scarf, which in the past would cover “half an eye” and was a sign of modesty among females of the time, as was the colour used, which was different depending on whether they were single or married.
Another of the peculiarities in the feminine attire, and an essential piece in the transfer of water, is the so-called “rodete” (round pad), which was placed on top of the head. It was essential so that the heavy pitchers, full of water, stayed balanced on top.
The image of a woman carrying pitchers of water on their head and others resting on their hip represents one of the most typical images of the locality and a Mojácar symbol of identity.
Another of the peculiarities in the water management concerns the washing of clothes and in their fountain. From its outlet from the spring through 13 spouts, the water was distributed through two parallel, but differentiated channels: one in which the laundry was done and another which flowed freely to its storage place.
Mojácar is one of the few places in which the women got into the water to do their washing. With their skirts rolled up, they put their legs in the channel in which the water flowed freely and the other was for doing the washing. The two channels were separated by a series of stones, today of marble, which served for rubbing the washing. Hence the laundry water, which had soap in it, was not mixed with the other.
The workshop was directed by Noelia Aguado, a MEMOLab community archaeology specialist, who is also in charge of the esparto grass workshops, at which master esparto grass weavers teach the almost forgotten technique of making nearly all the items used at the time, both for the home and for agriculture, and the “Mojácar Stories” workshop, which aim to recover the memory concerning Mojácar la Vieja and what perception they had of this place.
The traditional ceramics workshop is maintained and a day of drawing and painting at which the participants can paint at the dig site itself and in Plaza Nueva to capture the image of this emblematic place which inspires them the most.