what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

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gavilan
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what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby gavilan » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:20 pm

I haven't asked any such a question for a long time but here comes one:
and there should be an accent on the last 'a' but my accent facility has disappeared and I don't know how to retrieve it ... sorry
now back to the question ... I was walking up the Rio Higueron yesterday, from Frigiliana, and early in the walk there was the large water deposito called 'Pozo Batan' This deposito is fed water from the acequia there.
When I was researching information for the book, I came across a similar word. I think it referred to some sort of machine for lifting water from the river ... this was at Algarroba Pueblo.
The question is: does anyone know what a batan was? And what the difference was between a batan and a noria ?(which was a wheel used for a similar function)

If I thought of it at the time I should have asked the local people ... but I was tired out at the end of a very demanding but exciting walk, scrambling up through all those waterfalls.

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby julian » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:04 pm

it looks to be a wooden machine, driven by the force of moving water, to beat materials to compact the materials to make them more resistant, and stronger........ make any sense?

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby gavilan » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm

julian: that sounds like what one of my dictionaries describes as a 'fulling mill' which had something to do with the textile industry ... but as far as I know there were no textile mills around the Axarquia ... I think it more likely to be some sort of machine for driving water from the deposito to Frigiliana village ... but am guessing!

I looked in my Real Academia Espanola but did not understand a word ... my Spanish and/or technical knowledge failed me!

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby julian » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:59 pm

it definitely decribes it as a machine driven BY water , not FOR driving water.

It looks to be just be the name of the alberca,nothing to do with the machine.

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby gavilan » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:05 pm

I'd imagined it was just a name but no; it means fulling mill.

yes julian you are right ... a friend of mine has just emailed the following:

It seems it was for a paper mill.

"En Frigiliana se conservan también dos grandes pozos o albercas, la ya mencionada del Molino de Batán y la de Lizar. La primera se encuentra en el cauce del río Higuerón y se construyó en el siglo XIX como parte de una fábrica de papel de estraza (wrapping/brown paper), propiedad de los Condes de Fernán Núñez.

Hoy día se emplea para almacenar el agua de riego y, debido a la mejora de los sistemas de regadío, con la introducción del goteo, mantiene unos niveles más estables de llenado, con una capacidad de entorno a un millón de litros." Taken from: http://servicios.diariosur.es/escapadas ... aje283.htm

This quotation "... Pozo Batán, una alberca construida en el siglo XIX con una capacidad aproximada de un millón de litros." .... is taken from the end of this website: http://grupomonteandax.blogspot.com/201 ... uz-de.html

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby hiker » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:30 pm

Excellent local historical information. :thumbup:
Thanks a million for that because I'm going to use it on my walks.

I put it through Google tranlate for those not fluent....
"In Frigiliana are also kept two large wells or pools, the aforementioned Mill Batan and the Lizard. The first is located in the riverbed Higuerón and was built in the nineteenth century as part of a kraft paper mill (wrapping / brown paper), owned by the Count of Fernán Núñez.

Today it is used to store irrigation water and due to the improvement of irrigation systems, with the introduction of drip, maintains more stable levels of filling, with a capacity of around one million liters. "Taken from : http://servicios.diariosur.es/escapadas ... aje283.htm

This quotation "... Well Batan, a reservoir built in the nineteenth century with an approximate capacity of one million liters." .... is Taken From the end of this website:
putting the "ANDA" into Andalucía..:)

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby gavilan » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:44 am

hiker: I had hoped you would pick up on this thread.
As I said before, I had always thought fulling mills were connected with textile mills but obviously not.

I have been thinking about this batán and its proximity to the old sugar mill in Frigiliana. Then I remembered 'sugar paper' ... and remembered from my childhood similar paper being twisted into cone shapes ... cant remember if that was only for sugar or other things as well.

?so was this 'brown wrapping paper' produced so that the sugar could be dispensed in it?

Maybe you could sit a bar or two in the village and ask if anyone remembers this fulling mill and making of the brown paper?

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby Lyric » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:06 am

The book "100 years of Nerja and Frigiliana in pictures" states that La Molinetta was originally the site of a brown paper mill.

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby markwilding » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:31 am

I've asked a few engineers that I know and none of them knew had heard of the word "batán"
I recognised the word from a underground station in Madrid.It turns out there is a barrio with that name there.
My first thought was the same as Julian's,which was a name of a well.However, looking on the internet, it now seems it is some kind of mill as already mentioned by previous posters

Un batán es una máquina de madera cuyo funcionamiento se hace gracias a la energía hidráulica. Los batanes están situados siempre cerca de los ríos. Funcionaban con la fuerza de unos mazos o porros que servían para producir el golpeteo de las telas.

This is what google threw up for me

http://www.google.es/imgres?imgurl=http ... CCwQ9QEwAw

http://www.google.es/#hl=es&source=hp&q ... 133e55578a
Last edited by markwilding on Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby BENIDORM » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:55 am

Gavilan..an interesting posting...

With the information so far , I would suggest that the paper produced at this mill was probably for use in the sugar industry, however I would suggest that it was more than likely the grade of paper to be used commercially..ie. for paper sacks or to be used in the manufacture of cartons made from K.L.S ( Kraft Lined Strawboard ).
The type of paper used as you suggested for retail use was normally a blue colour and was as you stated often folded into cone shapes or bags similar to flour bags, they did use many different grades of paper and for food use it was usually a more refined smoother finish, produced by mills with fine rolling presses.( Mainly in Madrid and Barcelona I believe).
The local grocer etc. would rubber stamp the sheets of paper with their name etc before rolling into cones.
Coarse Kraft paper was used in just about every industry, commercial and retail , for packing and was folded very neatly and tied with string..the finer the goods ..the finer the quality of the paper.

In Spain up until the Sixties, paper and tin were the main packaging materials in use, not much plastic used until after this period.
I do remember as a child that our local grocer shop used exactly the same type of heavy paper packaging to wrap my mothers shopping, tied with white string..

I also remember when on my ' long walk' in Spain in the early 1960's, I purchased food etc in the local villages that I passed through, everything was packed and wrapped in paper, so I imagine that small paper mills were quite a common sight everywhere.

Many years ago I was involved in a 3 year paper re-cycling project , so obviously took an interest in the subject, and somewhere I still have a collection of paper bags dating from the early 1900's to the 1960's..how sad is that ! :oops:

I hope that my ramblings have been of some help to you...

Regards,
Gordon.

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby gavilan » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:24 am

Many thanks to lyric, markwilding and BENIDORM for fascinating information and reminiscences ...
now we need some local oral history and for hiker to sit in that village bar and chat with people who remember the batán and the brown paper etc
And I should go back to Algarroba pueblo and sit in a similar bar to find out if there was a brown paper mill there too.

It has been a long time since I did anything like this and I am finding it as exciting now as it was when I was working on the book 4/5 years ago. And especially delightful to be mulling over these things again with members of A.com

Thanks again

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby gavilan » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:23 pm

Gordon: to me your memories and experiences of your walk thro' Spain in the 60s are very special. Then one went to a country because it was different. Nowadays people seem to want everywhere to be 'home from home'. And I do not think it sad that you have a collection of paper bags. I love the design, font, logos etc of things like that ... and they are probably collectors' items by now!

mark: I tried to print that article about 'el batan' as it was so interesting but my printer would only do the diagrams, not the text.

lyric: it would be interesting to know if La Molineta was supplied with some sort of sugarcane residue from the sugar mill at Frigiliana to make the paper or whether it was an entirely separate enterprise.

hiker: where are you?!

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby Lyric » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:52 pm

It would.
My book just gives passing reference which I found very interesting at the time of reading. After reading your post I got to thinking and I expect that the dynamics from the deposit ti La Molinetta were just about right for gravity.
I believe, but do not know, that water is now pumped from the river deposit up to the deposit above the village (near the fort remains) and then redistributed. The level in the river bed deposit can vary dramatically on a daily basis, and the "waterfall" is, I believe, overflow from the upper deposit.
Nearly every man in Frigiliana will claim to have learned to swim in the river deposit !
So much to think about when dog walking.

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby frank » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:10 pm

gavilan wrote:
hiker: where are you?!
Frigiliana, all his info here, http://www.hikingwalkingspain.com
Regards, Frank

No soy residente, simplemente un turista, ¿qué sé yo?

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby frank » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:33 pm

gavilan wrote: lyric: it would be interesting to know if La Molineta was supplied with some sort of sugarcane residue from the sugar mill at Frigiliana to make the paper or whether it was an entirely separate enterprise.
According to this the mills were supplied with "bagazo", sugar cane that has been "squeezed", the raw material for their paper, and Molineta was used for sugar, flour and paper. So perhaps after using the caña for sugar, they used the resulting bagazo for paper. :?
la Molineta, situada poco antes de llegar a Frigiliana por el camino de Nerja, que se dedicó al azúcar, la harina y el papel

http://www.frigiliana.info/cana-de-azuc ... tema=3.4.2
Regards, Frank

No soy residente, simplemente un turista, ¿qué sé yo?

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby avellana » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:54 pm

Hilary
I've sent you a PM

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby Retro P » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:22 pm

gavilan wrote:hiker: I had hoped you would pick up on this thread.
As I said before, I had always thought fulling mills were connected with textile mills but obviously not.

I have been thinking about this batán and its proximity to the old sugar mill in Frigiliana. Then I remembered 'sugar paper' ... and remembered from my childhood similar paper being twisted into cone shapes ... cant remember if that was only for sugar or other things as well.

?so was this 'brown wrapping paper' produced so that the sugar could be dispensed in it?

Maybe you could sit a bar or two in the village and ask if anyone remembers this fulling mill and making of the brown paper?
Introduced to the British Isles in the twelvth century (or thereabouts according to various historical scources) Fulling refers to the inflation (by mechanical means of a piece of woven or beaten cloth) so it has everything to do with textiles.
Ah! the full english!!

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby gavilan » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:36 pm

The story to date:
Yes there was a mill called La Molineta at Frigiliana which had 3 functions, flour, sugar and papel estraza. This paper was made from some sort of cellulose residue from the sugarcane refining process, called bagazo. Un batan was a machine powered by water which was used both in textile manufacturing and the papermaking process to beat the linen or sugarpaper to make it stronger.

Picking up on BENIDORM's comments ... this sort of paper was in common use as plastic bags had not been invented. And I cannot believe that la Molineta had a monopoly on this paper production ... so there must have been other mills in local areas which produced similar paper and had batanes.

I called in at my local Venta this morning (usually a source of much information) but no-one there knew anything .... so ... the Green Party in my area of the Axarquia produces a small newsletter 3/4 times a year ... in English and Spanish ... and they have asked me before to write history articles for them ... so I have now asked them if they would put a paragraph in their September edition asking for information about local mills around here which would have made similar paper and whether the process used a batan ...
and whether this paper was brown or blue paper and what the difference was. ... Vamos a ver.

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby hiker » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:28 pm

Sorry guys.
I have asked all around here, mainly the older folks but they don't know why its called that.
"why is it called "Batan" Dolores.
Answer: Because its always been called Batan!"
:!:

Some suggest is an old Arabic word.

One guy mentioned the idea of it being a place for working leather in the past.

There are a couple more people I need to talk to but thats all I can get so far.
putting the "ANDA" into Andalucía..:)

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Re: what was 'un batan'? Rio Higueron

Postby gavilan » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:59 am

hiker:
'Because its always been called Batan!" ' I laughed at that reply you had to your question ... it resonated with me ... so often when I have asked local people when something was built I get the reply 'but it's always been there'!!
'batan' could be an Arabic word as I read that this machine most probably came to Spain with the Muslims ... but maybe the local people called it by another name?.
Many thanks for taking the time to talk with villagers.


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