There are moments in our childhood that we remember with immense affection: The times when our grandparents or parents, at the fireplace or at the table, would tell us incredible stories of honorable knights, kings, and queens, extraordinary tales, and adventures of our country or our land, that would make us feel proud to belong to a people who gave birth to such heroes.
That’s how it is, sharing myths and legends from generation to generation that conserves the stories and the History of a country, a place or a village, keeping alive the characters that we dream about since we were little. At Historical Villages of Portugal, hidden paradises in the Beira Interior and Centro Regions of our country, preserving the History or our origins and its imaginary is one of the priorities (which make each one unique and mystic in their own way).
In thinking about the magic of these places, the project “Histórias Criativas” (Creative Histories), a social, culture, and educational initiative that aims to involve children from the municipalities of the Historical Villages of Portugal network in the stories of the places where they live.
Developed by the Historical Villages of Portugal, in partnership with the municipalities of the network and respective school groups, the “Histórias Criativas” project constitutes a challenge proposed to children in the 1st school cycle: Based on their knowledge of the villages and surrounding areas, they reinvented their legends and stories. An idea that materialized in the “Histórias Criativas – Eu Conheço a Minha Aldeia” (Creative Histories – I Know My Village) contest and in a Creative Writing workshop where texts that served as a basis for the book Lendas da tua História (Legends from Your History) by the author Rosário Alçada Araújo.
The initiative even inspired the artist Ana Almeida, who designed and created a line of dolls “Histórias Criativas” (Creative Histories). Combining techniques of more traditional know-how to contemporary design, Ana Almeida conceived 12 doll models considering the details: six girls and six boys who represent the protagonists of the myths and legends of the Historical Villages of Portugal. All of them were created from wool, a transversal resource throughout the whole region – a way to demonstrate that everything continues to be done based on customs and traditions in these places, giving priority to the resources available in the villages.
The “Histórias Criativas” dolls can be found at the Atelier Histórias Criativas and Casa da Lagariça, both located in the Historical Village of Castelo Novo, as well as in the Tourist Centers at the Historical Villages of Sortelha and Linhares da Beira.
A History with a happy ending, where the children of the municipalities of the networked villages may give their imagination wings – and inspire other generations of visionary…and creative children.