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.
"Fiber matters"
Atividades Museu Etnográfico da Madeira
Local: Exhibition hall of the Ethnografic Museum of Madeira
Período: December 13 to january 12
Projeto: Madeira Ethnographic Museum
Texto: Lídia Goes Ferreira
Fotografia: Fernando Libano, Florêncio Pereira, Roberto Pereira e Rui Camacho
In the archipelago of Madeira, the crib is given the name lapel, and its design is one of the most traditional rituals.
The configuration of these cribs has changed over time. If formerly Baby Jesus was enthroned in STAIRS, later the use of the so-called ROCHINHA, later inspired by the island's orography and traditional customs, became widespread, and in the most affluent houses, there were BOX Nativities. With the purpose of safeguarding this ritual of the conception of the crib and valuing and disseminating the traditional Madeiran cribs, the museum annually assembles the two traditional cribs of stairs and rock.
Conteúdos: For over twenty years of our institution's existence, we have also been acquiring interesting crib figures, enriching the museum's collection, which we seek to present annually in temporary exhibitions.
Thus, this year's exhibition, which is divided into two parts, will also show the public collections of Madeiran artisan nativity scenes, which, using the natural resources on the island, used plant fibers as raw material, both in the making of traditional figures, as well as in the design of modern cribs, namely fig core, banana straw, wheat straw and corn straw. We bring to the public not only the plays, but also the “gestures and techniques” that are part of our intangible cultural heritage.
Temporary Exhibition "Recycling at the Christmas - Nativity Show".
Atividades Museu Etnográfico da Madeira
Local: Atrium of Ethographic Museum of Madeira
Período: December 10 to january 12
Projeto:  Educational services of Madeira Ethnographic Museum
Texto: Nélia Reis
Fotografia: Florêncio Pereira
Objetivos: This activity is part of the “SUSTAINABLE MUSEUM” Project, which aims to promote awareness of the effects of human activity on the environment and highlight the role of museums in the development of new methods of thinking and acting that ensure respect for the limits and diversity of nature. Because reuse is a priority and because the museum aims to convey to young people the need to rethink the way we act, protecting the environment and promoting sustainable living, different activities are organized throughout this project throughout the year. using material reuse.
Conteúdos: It is a display of cribs made by the Schools, Nursing Homes, Special Education Institutions, Cultural Centers, Free-time Occupation Centers, People's Houses and Parish Councils.
Traveling exhibition “Journeys with more than a century of history”
Atividades Museu Etnográfico da Madeira
Local:  Monte Parish Center
Período: 5 September to 31 December 2019
Projeto: Madeira Ethnographic Museum
Texto: Fernando Libano, César Ferreira e Lídia Goes Ferreira
Fotografia: Regional Archive and Public Library of Madeira, Fernando Libano and Florêncio Pereira
Objetivos: This exhibition aims to make the public aware of the process of building a “basket cart”.
Conteúdos: With more than a century of history, basket carts or Monte carts are a unique type of transport in the world.
It is a two-person trawler seat made of wicker on a structure of eucalyptus wood, the box, which has at each end two bars of tilted or pine wood which are greased. with “tallow” so they slide easily. In the front are placed the so-called snouts, two ropes or thin straps, which allow the two men, who push the car, to control it.
Men, popularly known as trackers, wear leather field boots with a thick rubber sole that acts as a brake whenever the speed needs to slow down and to stop.
It seems that it was in the parish of Monte, around 1850, that the basket cart appeared, as there is no record prior to this date. It is supposed to have emerged from Russell Manness Gordon's idea of ​​adapting the cargo transport to a more comfortable and safer passenger vehicle so that he could quickly reach Funchal as he resided at Monte on Quinta Gordon. - currently Quinta Emperor's Gardens - and his profession of wine merchant forced him to make constant trips to the city center.
Others would have followed his idea, initially having these transports the utilitarian and leisure functions, since there were cars for private use of transport of their owners and for public use of tourists.
The size of the car varied depending on the number of people it carried, one, two or three. Currently, only cars circulate for two places.
Due to the thrust of cruise lines in the late 19th century, this mode of transport quickly became a tourist attraction of the parish of Monte. Currently the trip has a route of 2 km, lasting about 10 minutes, at a speed of up to 48 km per hour.

Get Adobe Flash player Install latest flash player if you can't see this gallery, or click here to see the html version.


Contents: DRC - Department of Culture

Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture / Department of Culture