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Mottec- Post 5. Mayens du Prabé

The mayen of Prabe, consisting of a house and several farm buildings is virtually intact, and remains a remarkable witness to the mayens of the past. In the early 1900’s, the children went to school in Zinal on foot and went down to Mottec on sleighs, and then back up to Prabe. In January 1897, there were 114 children from the mayens of the valley in the school of Zinal.

Map of Mottec

Rémy Massy bought the mayen of his uncle Oscar Theytaz in 1978. Previously, the Massy family had a mayen at the entrance to Mottec near the current location of the cable car that goes up to Barneuze, but it was destroyed by fire in the 1960’s. Themayen of Prabe was built in several stages, but the main buildings date back to the early eighteenth century-three stables, one for mules and another for pigs, a grange-écurie and a raccard that date back to 1730. The raccard was dismantled in the late 1940s, leaving an intact cellar.

The house consists of several parts, built at different times. The small room, for example, dates from 1908. The main room has not been modified since the early eighteenth century. The beams of the walls and ceiling, carved with an axe, are also original. Low ceilings and small windows were used to keep heat in the room, which is still heated with a soapstone stove dating from 1900.

The date of 1716 is indicated on the door of the cellar. The two small windows of the south facade, are apparently original. The windows even have air bubbles which is an indication of their age.

Rémy Massy, born in 1938, remembers that between the age of 8 and 13, he would spend three weeks in Prabe in the spring and autumn, before and after the Alpine pasture. “We ascended on foot from Mission, with my aunt Crésence, my uncle Oscar, four cows, two heifers, a calf and three goats. In Prabe, I kept the cows, heifers and goats and picked up the litter (bedding) in the stable. While my aunt milked, I was busy cutting wood. With the milk, my aunt made tomme cheese. My uncle went down to the valley of the Rhone for the work of the vineyards, for haymaking, etc ... For the vigils however, we were all together in Mottec; the big ones playing cards in the kitchen and small ones playing zapafau dans la chambre (blind man’s buff).“

Today, his son Yannick and his family ensure the continuity of Prabe, using it as a second home, in the greatest respect of the traditions of their ancestors.

 

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Follow the road down to the main road to the Saint-Laurent chapel.