Reeds, wicker and bulrushes: the art of weaving

the ancient art of weaving through the reed beds in the Po Delta

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Roofs, bags, mats, hats, baskets and even furniture, in the hands of a skilled craftsman the bulrushes and marsh reeds that grow naturally in areas around the Po Delta can be used to create any number of everyday objects.

A tradition of craftsmanship whose origins are not entirely clear but one which has always guaranteed that the people who live in the Po Delta area (Ravenna, Argenta, Comacchio and Ostellato) could cope with the lack of economic resources available to them, by making use of a local product that cost nothing.

According to tradition, this form of craftsmanship first started in Emilia-Romagna in the area of Villanova di Bagnacavallo, a small town not far from Ravenna, where the local inhabitants developed great skill over the centuries in the art of weaving. Their capable hands created mats of different sizes and qualities, trellises, string, brooms of various kinds, even entire huts, as evidenced today by the collections in the Ecomuseum of Marshland Grasses and the traditional Festival of Marshland Grasses, which takes place every year In September.

Over time, production has progressively shifted from the Po Delta towards the inland areas of the region, especially towards Parma and Reggio Emilia, where, in the Canossa area, in particular, there are still many workshops dedicated to working with wicker willow.

Last update 09/03/2021

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