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Ponta Delgada ,  January 21, 2019

Viola da Terra certified as "Azores Handicrafts" brand product

The Vice-Presidency of the Government has approved the certification of Viola da Terra (traditional Azorean guitar) as "Azores Handicrafts" brand product. Currently, there are 21 certified products and over 90 handicraft production units (UPA) distinguished with the "Azores Handicraft" certification seal.
An ordinance published today in the Official Journal recognises the Viola da Terra, also known as wire guitar, two-hearted guitar or 12-string guitar, as a handicraft product in the area of woodworking, more specifically in the manufacture of stringed musical instruments, being distinguished with the "Azores Handicrafts" brand.
Upon arriving in the Azores in the 15th century, the 12-string guitar acquired a set of common characteristics on all islands, while maintain its primitive features, but acquiring different pitches and peculiarities.
It has become the most typical musical instrument of the Azorean archipelago. Throughout the ages, it has played an important role in festive songs, traditional dances and traditional challenge singing, among others, thus acquiring a significant social and cultural importance in the life of the Azorean population.
Viola da Terra is an instrument built using traditional handmade techniques and, in this context, Azorean guitar makers have become highly-skilled artists in combining local and exotic woods. Hence, it is considered an emblematic local handicraft product.
With this certification, now official, the Regional Government reinforces the measure for the creation of the "Azores" brand, which is expected to widen the range of covered products. In addition to handicrafts, it also certifies products related to agricultural production, manufacturing industry and tourism, recognising the quality and excellence of regional products.
Created in 1998, the collective brand of origin "Azores Handicrafts" aims to acknowledge their value and distinctive features as well as to promote the external projection of these products, especially in foreign markets.
The projection of the "Azores Handicrafts" brand is also based on the accountability of artisans, who are the main interested parties in the distinction of their products with the brand seal awarded by the Regional Centre for Handicrafts.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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