Le statuaire des Moulières

Le statuaire des Moulières (HM1M91)

Location: Honfleur, Basse-Normandie 14600 Calvados
Country: France
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N 49° 25.129', E 0° 14.04'

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The Mussel Gatherers Statue

A l'occasion de la réfection totale du secteur de la place de la Porte de Rouen, le Maire de Honfleur, Michel LAMARRE, a souhaité rendre hommage aux moulières, ces femmes qui, pendant des décennies, ont travaillé dur dans l'estuaire et sur le banc du ratier, pour nourrir leurs familles. Elles ont ramassé des moules par kilos, souvent au péril de leur vie.
Ce groupe de moulières évoque à travers trois générations, ce difficile labeur.
Habillées, été comme hiver, de longues robes à plis, en drap, coiff ées d'un fichu qui les prot égeait du vent ou du soleil, ou revêtues d'habits d'hommes, ces femmes, souvent mères de familles nombreuses, cueillaient les moules, courbé en deux, pendant de longues journées harassantes, à l'aide d'une étique - couteau avec un manche en bois rond et une lame en feuille de lierre, affûté d'un seul côté - tous les jours, puis les chargeaient dans des boyaux en toile de jute de dix kilos, cousus à gros points pour les fermer, eux-mêmes enfermés dans des sacs en toile de jute de trente kilos, et les montaient à bord de barques à fond plat. Certaines enveloppaient chacun de leurs doigts dans du chiffon en coton acheté au mètre pour les protéger.
Ce métier ô combien difficile et périlleux a disparu progressivement avec le temps, compte tenu de l'évolution économique et des réglementations. C'est dans les années 1977 que les dernières moulières se sont arrêtées.
Honfleur, ville de pêcheurs, se devait de ne pas les oublier. Ce statuaire, œuvre du sculpteur Haut-Normand, Jean-Marc de PAS, est un formidable hommage à cette époque, à ce travail et surtout à ces femmes.
At the bottom of the marker is the English translation:
During the refurbishment of the area of the Square of the Porte de Rouen the mayor of Honfleur, Michel Lamarre, wished to pay homage to the mussel gatherers, those women who, for decades, toiled the estuary and on the mussel-beds of the Ratier, to provide for their families. They gathered mussel, kilo by kilo, often putting their own lives into great danger.
This group of mussel gatherers spans three generations of women involved in that hard labor.
Wearing long pleated skirts of coarse cloth, all year long, with small kerchiefs on their heads to get some protection from the wind or the sunshine, or dressed in mens' clothes, those women, who often had many children, would gather mussels, day in, day out, stooping during those long exhausting days, handling their mussel picks (long knives with round wooden handles and ivy leaf blades, sharpened on a single side), then would fill ten kilo heavy duty sacks, roughly stitched shut, which would then be put into other thirty kilo heavy duty sacks, to be heaved up by those same women onto a sort of barge. Some of them would wrap each finger in protective cotton rags from cloth bought by the meter. Such hard and hazardous work has progressively become obsolete with the passing of time, thanks to economic changes and new regulations. It was only in the late seventies, in 1977, that the last mussel gatherers stopped plying their trade. Honfleur, a fishermen's town, ought to remember. This statue, the work of Jean-Marc de Pas, a sculptor from Upper Normandy, is an astounding homage to that period, to that work and most of all to those women mussel gatherers.
Details
HM NumberHM1M91
Tags
Year Placed2004
Placed ByVille de Honfleur
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, July 27th, 2015 at 6:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)30U E 700598 N 5477694
Decimal Degrees49.41881667, 0.23400000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 49° 25.129', E 0° 14.04'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds49° 25' 7.7400" N, 0° 14' 2.4000" E
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 15 Cours des Fossés, Honfleur Basse-Normandie 14600, FR
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