“Any Human civilization, as humble as it is, presents itself under two major aspects: on onehand, it is in the universe, on the other hand, it is a universe”.
Claude Levi Strauss
With the progress of modernization and the mass destruction of modest dwellings built of stones and mud bricks, it has become necessary to find ways to preserve some of these traditional homes to salvage an important part of the culture, the economic, social and familial organization of rural societies of the past. The Museum of Rural Life aims to promote this traditional heritage.
This old structure, located in a 2000 square meter field, is made out of crude bricks and stones, coated with mud and whitewashed, with a roof of earth supported by reeds and branches. All the columns are made of tree trunks. It is an L shaped space divided in the traditional liwan, youk, tabout. Its size and surrounding trees and small shrubs made it ideal for a museum reflecting rural life.
The rehabilitated construction houses collections of ethnographic objects, representing rural life with all kinds of artifacts bearing “the mark of man’s work and ancient models of agricultural production and rural handicrafts”. The restoration of the house was executed by Jacques Liger-Belair, and the museography by Mado Corm-Mellerio.
This project has had a real pedagogic impact namely to immerse city-dwellers into the rural world away from its folkloric aspect.
Furthermore, the Museum of Rural Life aims at stimulating the cultural and economic dynamic of its entire region. Its various activities have boosted the region with the creation of fixed and seasonal job opportunities, making the heritage conservation an efficient contributor to rural development.
The integration of this project in an eco-tourism tour, which includes visits to nearby archeological sites and neighboring vineyard domains, also contributes to the regional development.