Discover the folk craftsmen of MaramureșDescoperă meșterii populari din Maramureș
The traditional crafts of Maramureș
Crafts are not just traditional trades, they require talent, skill, dexterity and a touch of soul. Regardless of their category, crafts have always combined the practical side with the aesthetic side, resulting in objects not only useful, but also worthy of being placed among the pieces of art. Maramureș County has been a hearth of creation since ancient times, so the people here have always used their imagination to ennoble through the work of their skilled hands what nature has to offer.
Weaving has an ancient tradition in the lands of Maramureș. Folk craftsmen still use the loom, and as raw material, cotton and wool. The traditional fabrics from Maramureş have both a decorative and a household role, which is why the weaving techniques are very different.
These woven materials were used as part of the folk costume, as well as everyday objects: shirts, vests, skirts, towels, tablecloths, bed linen, etc. During weaving, various motifs can be created, such as: geometric, vegetal, avimorphic, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic and many others.
Pottery is the most common household craft and was also practiced as a necessity for obtaining food storage containers, and the clay was shaped by hand. It would become a specialized craft with the advent of the potter's wheel and the firing kiln for ceramics.
In the Maramureș community, there were many craftsmen specialized in the art of woodworking. The peasant from long ago would built his house and maintain, by himself, the wooden objects in his household: furniture, household and agricultural tools, storage vessels, cutlery, icons, crosses, toys for the little ones. Today, there are fewer and fewer young people who are willing to learn the secrets of this ancient profession.
Another essential craft found in Maramureș households is the processing of animal skins. The leather products are: clothing, footwear, men's belts, horse saddles, horse harness belts, bags, girdles, knife sheaths, etc. The most sought after items are coats, vests, pants, hats, shoes and boots, all made of tanned leather adorned with metal detail, mirrors or hand-sewn patterns.
In Maramureș County, the craft of creating archaic masks has been preserved. They are made of leather, fur, cloth, horns and decorated with tassels, beads, bells. In the folk belief of Maramureș, the masks are meant to drive away evil spirits and giving courage to those who wear them.
Icons painted on glass
In Maramureș, the icons painted on glass are mainly peasant icons. Over time, they have been transformed from religious images into decorative objects for homes in rural communities.
In the villages of Maramureș, before the Holy Easter Holidays, there is a tradition of egg-painting. During Holy Week, on Holy Thursday, housewives prepare what they need: the whitest eggs in the nest, the wax in which they will be bathed, the colors to be used.
Manufacturing of straw hats
Although straw hats are part of the folk costumes from all the ethnographic areas of Maramureș, the manufacture of this traditional hat called "clop" is not a very common craft.