Resort Guides

TefiaWhilst we had some friends staying with us recently, we took the opportunity to re-visit the eco-village at Tefia. This is a collection of traditional buildings spanning both sides of the FV207. We began in one of the buildings near the car park where you pay your entrance fee (a very reasonable 5 euros with a discount on production of your residency document) and are given a laminated pamphlet in the appropriate language to direct you around the area and tell you a little about each building.

The buildings are a selection of preserved houses containing artefacts which reflect the lives of a variety of people from the humble peasant dwelling to the more affluent person. There is a farm with animals such as camels, dogs chickens and donkeys, Traditional crafts are represented and demonstrated by artisans whose work can be bought on site as well as in the various artisan shops around the island including the airport.

The houses begin with the small single storey workers cottage which is made from stone and undecorated. The roof is made from bamboo or similar wood and waterproofed with a mixture of clay mud and straw, not unlike our "wattle and daub" constructions in England.

The rooms are very small and dark and the furniture minimal There are no decorations apart from religious pictures and all the family share one bedroom. The beds are wooden with straw mattresses and home woven blankets. Bathrooms do not exist. Cooking is done outside in one of the traditional ovens. The garden consists of a courtyard with a tree for shade.

The more affluent family house is also built of stone but is rendered on the outside with lime plaster and the roof is made of decorative wooden planks seen from the inside. It may still be covered with mud and straw but the edges are tiled. The bread oven is inserted into a wall of the house rather than separate and there are flowers in the garden.

Inside the furniture is more decorative and the kitchen or living room includes a water filter system in a carved wooden holder. The water is poured into the top porous pottery container and drips through ito a second also porous container and finally into a cup. The kitchen is still functional but is much lighter being white washed and looks much more inviting and may even contain a sink!

The family do not all share the same bedroom, (although the small room off the main bedroom had no natural light and looked less than inviting) There is no wardrobe in the main bedroom, only a rack for clothes and a carved chest for linen. The underwear is displayed attractively on the foot of the bed and sanitation is provided by a pottery container.

The master of the house displays his photograph above the linen chest, but otherwise there are only religious pictures.

More next week!

Sue Brown