Redeiras de Galicia, devotion to the sea

Redeiras de Galicia, devotion to the sea


Last spring we went to visit the women behind the Asociación de Redeiras de Malpica, one of the many groups of incredibly strong and hardworking women that have dedicated their lives to the art of mending fishing nets in the Costa da Morte (Death coast).


This craft has been done all around Galicia's coast for centuries; first carried out by the wives, sisters and daughters of fishermen, now by groups of women that have learned this art through longlife redeiras who, eager to maintain this profession alive, kindly passed their knowledge to the new generations.

Ánxeles patiently told us all about the history of the redeiras; they have been working in the background with no professional recognition for years until they decided to create an association from where they could fight for their rights as essential workers of the sea, and get the people know about the importance of their work and the cultural value for this region and for the whole country. They repair and make from scratch several kinds of fishing nets; they usually have to work out in the dock itself under very harsh weather conditions (Galicia weather is a hard one) when a ship arrives from overseas with damaged nets; all their work is made with their two hands and very basic sewing tools.

Since this professional association exists, they have achieved many goals that would have been unconceivable in another time; however there is still so much work to do to get these women's hard work the deserved acknowledgement. Most of the remaining redeiras are over the age of 50 and they regret how hard it is to find generational replacement, how hard it is to get a professional and regulated education to teach this art, or how hard it is to get people understand about the huge impact of their work in everyone's life.

 We spent a delightful morning with these incredible women at Malpica de Bergantiños, rounded off by Marta's brilliant way of depicting the atmosphere of the moment through her lens...




Photography by Marta Rubio (@martarubio._)


Back to blog