THE PASSION FOR
PALM LEAVES INTERTWINING
Margarida Cortez highlights the “irony of fate” in the story of her life. She was born in Loulé, in its historic centre, on the street to which she returned 50 years later, having spent 30 years in France, attracted by intertwining palm leaves, an art she had learned as a girl. Her stepmother had only taught her how to make “malha de palma” (where the leaves are intertwined to form a mesh) because she thought it was more appealing work for a young girl. Using this technique she made many kinds of bags, inspired by models brought to her by an emigrant in Venezuela, for whom she worked. At the age of 19 she got married and left for France, where she remained for 30 years, working in factory making records and cassettes. From this experience she recalls memories of the many record releases she attended of different artists. Once back in her homeland, she took up intertwining palm leaves again, as a means to keep busy and in contact with people.