Pajarole are woven straw baskets that were once used by farmers to transport grains and legumes.
The production characterizes the town of Acquaviva Picena and have always been carried by women. To make the baskets, women use an awl and two raw materials: straw, obtained from the wheat harvest, and wicker, obtained from long willow branches, that are left for a long time to soak in water to make them tender and flexible.
The original pajarola is conical, but, over time, different shapes have been developed to meet the various needs of daily life.
This is how nannetta (baby basket), pajarolo (flour storage), sementarola (for sowing), sfarinapesce (to flour the fish before frying it), scaldapanni (for drying baby clothes) and coppetto (a star-shaped container for the table) were born.
The production of pajarole was (and still is) an expression of sociality: women work together in the streets, seated on small benches outside the front door.
Today the Municipality of Acquaviva Picena keeps this activity alive, reactivating the planting of raw materials: the willow, which was disappearing, and some varieties of long-stemmed wheat, the most suitable for supplying straw for weaving.
But the pajarola‘s production survives thanks to the work of Associazione Terraviva, which is responsible for transmitting this expertise to the younger generations and enhancing it through a dedicated museum.
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