A botijo donated by the ‘Los Puntas’ pottery in Albox, piece of the month in the Museum of Almeria.
The Archaeological Museum of Almeria dedicates this September’s piece to the botijo, specifically to an example donated to the Museum by the ‘Los Puntas’ pottery workshop in Albox, dating from the 1980s. From the territorial Delegation of Culture and Historical Heritage the aim is to highlight a “very characteristic” element of the Andalusian popular pottery, also called in Almeria ‘pipo’ or ‘pipote’ although depending on the area of Andalusia it receives other names such as ‘búcaro’, ‘cachucho’, ‘piporro’ and it is a container used for drinking and keeping it cool.
The Delegate for Culture and Historical Heritage, Eloísa Cabrera, stressed that “we wanted to pay tribute to the pottery tradition of our province with this recognition in the Museum”. In this sense, she assured that “the botijo forms part of our popular culture and has been an important part of the homes of Almeria’s families during the summers, which is why we wanted to highlight the work of the province’s potters”.
Popular pottery in Andalusia was the result of extensive ethnographic field research in the early 1980s, carried out under the direction of Antonio Limón (director of the Museum of Popular Arts and Customs in Seville). In the case of Almería, the study was carried out by Celsa Paoletti Duarte and Ángel Pérez Casas (then director of the Museum of Almería), who located the pottery centres in the province, studied the typologies of buildings, the varieties of traditional pieces and their classification. This fieldwork involved the systematic collection of documentation and the acquisition of representative pieces of the traditional production of the potteries of Almería, which became part of the Museum’s collection.
Albox was one of the pottery-producing centres studied by Paoletti and Pérez Casas. At the time of the ethnographic research, five potteries remained in the municipality, among them those of ‘Los Puntas’, who donated this botijo, along with other pieces. The pottery of Luis Alfonso Salas and sons was, and still is, one of the strongest in production in the province and had four potters, Luis Alfonso Salas and his three sons. It was a pottery with a family tradition that began with a brother of his grandfather and had continued until then.
By the 1980s, the botijos had lost their functional purpose due to the introduction of modern habits in the rural world, such as the installation of water in houses, refrigerators, etc., and had become mere decorative elements. However, at the time of the study, at the ‘Los Puntas’ pottery, the production of traditional pieces of our pottery such as the pitcher, the daggerboard, the basin, the animal troughs or the botijo itself had been maintained, albeit sporadically.
Piece of the month of September from the Archaeological Museum of Almería:
Height 28 cm; diameter of the base 10 cm.
Pottery of Luis Alfonso Salas and sons “Los Puntas” (Albox, Almería).