The permanent exhibition

The permanent exhibition of the Ethnographic Museum of La Gomera explains to the visitor the way in which the island’s population has developed economically, culturally and socially, using different adaptation strategies.

It is explained that the construction of the landscape that identifies us so much today is the product of the dialectic relationship of human beings with the environment over time; but also of unequal social relations, determined by economic periods of boom and crisis, emigration and the tendency towards self-sufficiency.

For this reason, we use the Gomeran landscape itself as the central theme of the exhibition, the geographical conditions of which can be described as staggered.

Thus, on the ground floor we have defined three large geographical areas and sectors of production according to altitude. Fishing (coast), agriculture (midlands) and forestry (mountains). On the other hand, we consider shepherding as the activity that takes witness of our most ancestral cultures and whose practice crosses all the altitudinal levels of La Gomera. The objects on display materialise the link between the words and the reality of the past.

The first floor is linked to the ground floor because it corresponds to domestic work, and the people who used and made these objects were the same people who participated in the productive sectors exhibited on the ground floor. The textile industry, basketry and pottery are the three exhibition spaces located on this floor, accompanied by the reproduction of a wine cellar and a loom from La Gomera. The use of these tools, which are as common as they are of daily use, makes the traditional world of La Gomera a sphere of continuous recycling, searching for creative resources that allow for survival.

It is in this context that the world of drums and festivities, folklore, is introduced, because we understand these cultural manifestations as a realm that synthesises the social space of all the daily tasks.

Lastly, our Silbogomero (Gomeran Whistling), Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2009, has been introduced in the classroom as part of the school curriculum since 1999. This method of communication underlines the importance of the tools that the Gomeran people have used to adapt to such a rugged environment, so much our own, as is the island.

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