Men at Work in Madeira

Porto Santo, XI.2002;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
pict. Baeten & De Dier
pict. G. Coghe
The most striking feature of men at work signs in Madeira is the presence of a small third (parasitic ?) heap at the foot of the heap being dug away. It's not present on our samples from Portugal or the Azores and I haven't seen it in any other country. The drawing in general also shows more detail than the mainland's kind.   The heap has a very irregular shape probably only possible when the sand is wet. All workers very wisely wear headgear to protect the head. A hard hat would be more appropriate though (safe examples in Belgium and Denmark). Notice how most colleagues from Portugal and the Azores work bare headed.
VII.2002; pict. L. Scheerlynck II.1993; pict. G. Coghe II.1993; pict. G. Coghe
Not all finds are a nice piece of work. The shovel here is so badly drawn that even the heap seems to back off. Madeira in this case aligns with the many countries (e.g. Italy, Lithuania, France, Germany, etc. ) who don't care in the least if the shovel is realistically depicted.   Loose bodyparts other than the head only, rarely happen. Several designs coming from regions under Sovjet influence (see f.e. Russia) feature seams, but it's rarely more than two. A man composed from seven pieces is exceptional but not unique (e.g. Libya).   A mirrored sign.

Look at his posture, his head-dress. This is a nobleman.
Could it be - well it's just a wild guess of course -, but suppose that the Portuguese in 1910 didn't kill the royal family ? And instead stealthily sent the king to labour camp on Madeira. Wouldn't that fit with this road sign ?
II.1993; pict. G. Coghe

Path: Home / Country list / Men at work in depth / Men at work in Madeira  e-mail:  
More roadsigns from Madeira: Falling rocks - Children's crossing
More signs from Portugal: Men at work - Children's crossing - Falling rocks