Botas ribatejanas: tradição no campo e na cidade

Almeirim concelho do distrito de Santarém, há muitos anos “inventou” o seu calçado próprio, a “bota ribatejana”  seja ela de trabalho, ou para montar a cavalo. Presente na moda, estas botas, feitas artesanalmente são muitos procuradas, mas já quase não há sapateiros artesãos que as façam. 

Na oficina que resiste numa travessa no centro de Almeirim, Simão Monsanto continua a fazer por medida as tradicionais botas ribatejanas, em diversos modelos e diversos tons. Há 60 anos  continua a dar a alma às botas tradicionais ribatejanas na oficina de sapataria. 

“Fazemos a bota de salto de prateleira (preparada para levar esporas), muito tradicional, muito antiga na região, mas também de salto à espanhola, igualmente muito usada na zona”, disse o artesão, mostrando os diversos tipos de botas expostas em prateleiras na divisão onde atende os clientes. Aí estão desde as “éguas”, uma bota baixa, com elásticos dos lados, “muito antiga, muito tradicional”, às botas de atar à frente ou vários tipos de botas para montar, que os cavaleiros e gente ligada aos cavalos continuam a encomendar. As botas ribatejanas ao longo do tempo acomodam-se ao pé e duram muito tempo. A resistência é uma das características, como também a aparência. É uma bota bonita. Usa-se muito nesta zona e no Alentejo um salto que é tradicional, o salto de prateleira.

Simão Monsanto trabalhando em sua oficina. Créditos: andarilho.pt

“É um salto largo e as pessoas continuam a usá-lo no dia a dia. É muito bonito”, refere Simão Monsanto, pouco depois de o ver a cortar de forma manual um salto de uma bota de mulher. É um trabalho persistente, delicado, que vai aperfeiçoando o corte e a perfeição do resultado final não espelha o esforço e a arte que exigiu.

Na exposição na loja na Praça de Touros de Almeirim temos uma grande variedade de modelos e, aparentemente, fica a ideia que é um calçado dedicado ao Inverno. Errado. Há quem as use as botas ribatejanas o ano inteiro, embora, Simão Monsanto explique que para os dias muito frios é mais adequado outro tipo de calçado. “Mas há quem use esta bota o ano inteiro e no verão usa-a sempre. Não é quente. São botas que as pessoas andam com elas um dia inteiro e sentem-se bem.”

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