Museums » Madeira Ethnographic Museum
Useful Information
Institution in charge:
Department of Culture

Rua de São Francisco n.º 24
9350-211 Ribeira Brava
(351)291 952 598
(351)291 957 313

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 9.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am - 12:30pm; 1:30pm – 5:30pm
Closed on Sundays, Mondays and Bank-holidays.

Regular ticket: 3,00 €
Pensioners: 1,50 €
Youngsters-card: 1,50 €
Groups (+ 6): 2,50 € (per person)

4, 6, 7, 80, 107, 115, 127, 139, 146
Itinerary Funchal – Ribeira Brava.
   Museu Etnográfico
Fachada do solar de S. José, antes da recuperação Foto: arquivo DRC, início dos anos 80

In the early seventeenth century, the Convent of Santa Clara in Funchal, had the direct control of several properties in Ribeira Brava, one-story house in the old Rua da Bagaceira, a seventeenth century artery where is now the Ethnographic Museum of Madeira. The house outside of Funchal, was acquired by Gonçalves da Silva, captain of the ordinances of Ribeira Brava, who married in 1682, with D. Antonia Meneses. 
Captain Gonçalves da Silva, then expanded his housing, and added a floor in the southern flank of the building, ordered the construction in 1710, of a chapel dedicated to the patriarch St. Joseph, where he would be buried. Although modified we still can see, implemented in the building where the Ethnographic Museum is installed, the chapel ´s doorway. 
Gonçalves da Silva and his wife by testamentary disposition made in 1716, established a perpetual bond imposed in the house where they lived, in several farms and in their own chapel of St. Joseph, which was only abolished in 1860. In 1853, José Maria Barreto, administrator of the last bond of St. Joseph, converted the ruined property into a solar plant, and to this end established a partnership with Jorge de Oliveira. 
Then there was mounted an animal traction mill for grinding sugar cane, and a brandy distillery. In 1862 the manufacturing company, with a new partner, Father João António de Macedo Correia and Freitas, now using hydraulic power, settling in that year, a driving wheel of wood, served by a levada ( a typical Madeiran route of water), and a mill for grinding cane with three horizontal iron cylinders. In 1868, also worked at that factory two grain mills. 
Over the years successive transactions of shares of the company occurred and finally in 1974, the heirs of João Teixeira, the building owners, sold it to the General Board of Autonomous District of Funchal. 
The Madeira Regional Government decided to install the Ribeira Brava Madeira Ethnographic Museum in the old mill, designed by the architect João Francisco Caires and inaugurated on 15th June 1996. 
The Museum has the vocation to research, persevere and disseminate the evidence of the traditional Madeiran culture. The Museum includes collections covering various aspects of social, economic and cultural life in Madeira archipelago, being ethnography the vocation area. 
The area of the permanent exhibition is organized by themes: production activities (fishing, production cycles of the wine, grain and flax), transport, households (kitchen and bedroom) and traditional shops (grocery store).

Concerning the educational level , the institution seeks to raise awareness of a participatory regional ethnographic heritage, promoting the link between school / museum / community, awareness of the importance of knowledge and preservation of cultural heritage, to awaken a critical sense and aesthetic sensibility and foster a taste for the discovery.

Planned Activities
Guided tours for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd cycles of primary and secondary education.
Guide quizzes, games and other fun activities taking into account different levels of education and to address thematic interests from the perspective of non-formal education.

Information and Registration
The guided tours must be pre-marked and should still be confirmed by phone, fax or email.
The groups must be accompanied by a teacher or other responsible member. Each group should not exceed the maximum number of 25 students.
The museum has a shop with the same opening hours.
In this space there are museum editions and other cultural issues and genuine handicrafts from Madeira, available to the public.
Exhibition "Festivals and Pilgrimages of Madeira"
Atividades Museu Etnográfico da Madeira
Local: Museum atrium
Período: June 27 to November 24, 2019
Projeto: Temporary exhibition room
Texto: César Ferreira
Fotografia: Hélder Ferreira
Objetivos: This exhibition, with a photograph by Hélder Ferreira and texts by the anthropologist of the Ethnographic Museum of Madeira, César Ferreira, resulted from the study and registration of these rituals, testimonies of one of the richest manifestations of our popular culture, which began in 2003.
The main objective of this project was the collection, safeguarding and dissemination of this intangible cultural heritage of the Region, contributing to the affirmation of Madeiran cultural identity.
The intention is to provide the public with a space of visibility of the circumstances in which the Festivals take place, marked by the dynamics developed around these cyclical events.
Conteúdos: Some of the most significant festivals of the Madeira Archipelago were selected, using the criterion of selecting one party per municipality, with the exception of one, in which two parties were selected, due to their specificity and relevance.
The project also includes the publication of a work that can contribute to the dissemination of this patrimony of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, which will be published at the end of the year and will be No. 3, from the Collection of the Ethnographic Museum of Madeira, "Cadernos of Field ".
In the archipelago of Madeira, in all the parishes religious celebrations or pilgrimages are celebrated. The roughage is a popular pilgrimage to the place where the saint is celebrated. Usually the religious feasts originate in a legend, or the early settlers, for they brought with them their saints of devotion, who became the patron saints of a certain locality. These feasts are consecrated to God, to the Holy Spirit, to Our Lady and to the Saints. These are represented by a relic or by an image.
It is at these times that the faithful fulfill and make promises. Masses, novenas, confessions are also celebrated and a procession is held.
After paying the pledge, the pamphleteer gives himself to the fun, the camp, the space where one dances and sings, one eats, one realizes commercial exchanges, one becomes acquainted and one reinforces the social bonds.
"The Space and the Party"
Atividades Museu Etnográfico da Madeira
Local:  Museum atrium
Período: June 27 to November 24, 2019
Projeto: Madeira Ethographic Museum
Texto: Lídia Goes Ferreira
Fotografia: Florêncio Pereira
Objetivos: With the aim of providing a greater turnover of the collections that are in the reserves, the museum continues the project called "Access to Collections in Reserve", being presented, every six months, a new theme in the institution's lobby.
The exhibition of artifacts and preparation rituals that precede the "feast" is the exhibition presented this semester, within the scope of this project, in order to contextualize the exhibition "Festas e Romarias", which is publicly visible in the temporary exhibitions hall of the during the same period.
Conteúdos: The ornamentation of the churchyard and public roads with flags, arches of vegetables, flowers and multicolored lighting strings, are a constant of the arraial, in all the localities of Madeira.
Formerly there was a whole ritual of preparation of the feasts and pilgrimages, which began long before its implementation and which involved the entire population. It was the ornamentation of the space around the "sanctuary", which was "appropriate" by the population, to celebrate the feast.
Over time, these habits were lost and, gradually, this work was delivered to private companies, responsible for lighting.
The old lighting fixtures and sound equipment publicly known in this exhibition belong to "Eletrosom", a company based in Ribeira Brava county, created in the 60s of last century, which has a long tradition in the preparation of the feasts and pilgrimages of our island and who gave away the pieces and supported the design of our museographic project.

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Contents: DRC - Department of Culture

Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture / Department of Culture