Weaving always had been a traditional activity and income source in the state of Minas Gerais where cotton is cultivated since ever. The process of the cotton being planted, harvested, carded, spun, dyed (with natural plant materials) and woven has been taken place in fazendas involving all family members. The final product – threads or cloths were used for proper necessities of the families or exchanged for other items needed.
Dona Cândida Sardinha was one of the pioneers of weaving in Unai. She moved there from Madeira (Portugal) and brought with her broad experiences in weaving – both techniques and design. Her wall carpets gained worldwide reputation.
Along with rural exodus and the experienced women becoming older, the necessity of rescuing the regional tradition and knowledge of weaving was recognized. Finally, in 1966 a chacara was donated to the Associacao Beneficiente Natal Justino da Costa, and in 1999 the project „Tecelagem Artesanal de Unai“ was inaugurated. The project is considered to be a cultural and historical rescue, also maintaining the dignity and knowledge of human kind. It provides work for people of all ages and training and working opportunities for disabled persons (deaf and dumble). Its sustainability is assured by the work of volunteers and sales of the final products in an own shop.
Location: 160 km out of Brasilia
Excursion: bookable for individual groups of min. 8 persons on any day (except Sundays) upon prior reservation at least 1 week before date; transfer by van
Duration: 7 hs (9.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.)
Investment: R$ 110 per person
09.30 – 11.30 transfer from Plano Piloto to Unai
12.00 – 13.00 lunch at a restaurant in Unai (costs are not included in the package price)
13.00 – 14.30 visit of the atelier / shop