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CANEPAL exhibition on Transhumances' routes opened its doors in Sabres on the 14th of June.

"Transhumances between the Pyrenees and the plains of Gascony"



Ecomuseum of Marquèze

The exhibition Shepherds' routes. Transhumance between the Pyrenees and plains of Gascony tells a story coming from the beginning of time but still very topical, the "race" for grass... Indeed, transhumance is based on the seasonal migration of livestock (cattle, sheep, horses or bees) to ensure their survival.

In our region, at the end of summer, the Béarn shepherds, had to leave the mountains due to snow, used to go down to the plains in search of pastures for the winter. They sometimes had to travel hundreds of miles on foot, by train, and in recent decades in cattle trucks. Traces of their passage can still be found in the Landes, the Gers, the Gironde and the Dordogne, and even further afield, stopping here for a while or settling there, in search of a better life.

Today, only a few carry out this great seasonal migration in the opposite direction, between plains and the Ossau, Aspe and Barétous valleys.

The exhibition will take you on a trip in space and time, going from the plains to the mountains, taking todays' livestock trucks to get there and coming back on foot or by train, in a more historical journey. The objective of transhumance remains basically the same: to find enough feed for the flock. And the job, despite profound technological changes, also remains the same: shepherding dairy ewes means also making cheese.

Clich here to see some photos

The CANEPAL program

The Federation of Agriculture Museums and Rural Heritage (AFMA) is responsible for the French section, in collaboration with the Regional Natural Park of the Landes of Gascogne, responsible for the scientific side. Throughout the duration of the CANEPAL programme, various media will illustrate this work: exhibitions, publications, DVDs (transhumance, oral traditions), virtual museums or educational programmes.

The inauguration of the Exhibition was attended by:

Vincent Nuchy-President of the regional Park of the Landes of Gascony

Pierre Del Porto-President of the French Association of Museums of Agriculture

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With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union
With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

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