Portuguese black pottery

Bisalhães in Portugal is known as ‘the land of pot and pan producers’ or more specifically, where black pottery is made. Designed for decorative and cooking purposes, the traditional practice that features on the village’s coat of arms has been an important part of the community’s identity, with old methods still used today to create pieces resembling those of the past.

Transmitted almost exclusively through kinship ties, the future of the practice appeared in jeopardy due to a diminishing number of bearers, waning interest from younger generations to continue the tradition and popular demand for industrially-made alternatives. We hope that now, with UNESCO’s nomination as World Intangible Cultural Heritage the public and government interest will change.

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