Crafts in Brasov County
Crafts in Brasov County
Brasov is a county in which a variety of crafts ranging from woodworking, skinning and tannery to pottery, traditional painting, milling or adorning have been developed and preserved.
The traditional costume
The basic structure of the traditional Romanian costume consists of a shirt made of flax, wool or hemp, which is tied up in the waist. The cut of these shirts is similar for both women and men, generally women's clothes are usually long to the ankle while the men's shirts reach to their knees and are worn over pants or leggings.
Skinning and tanning
Shepherding and cattle raising in the Olt Country contributed to the emergence and development of peasant crafts, each village having its skinners, fellmongers and tanners. Old documents attest to the practice of these crafts from the years 1640-1680 (Lisa, Mândra, Beclean, Porumbacu de Jos). These crafts were practiced as a complementary occupation, while the craftsmen of the villages were also farmers and livestock breeders.
Woodworking has an old tradition in the Fagaras area, being documented in the 17th century at Breaza, Viştea de Sus and Porumbacu de Jos. Woodcrafting was further practiced in other centers of the region to fulfill many household needs, the wood being easy to process and decorate. The tools used in the processing of various wood species (beech, oak, fir, maple) are traditional: sash, ax, chisel, adze, knife chair, drill, compass.
Pottery has old traditions in the area; it is documented in 1632-1648 at Bucium and Breaza, Arpaş, Porumbac and Comăna, and after 1722 at Cuciulata, Toderiţa and Făgăraş. The pottery specialization takes place between the 18th and 19th centuries, when pottery centers appeared in the villages - Cârţa, Şercaia, Noul Român. In Fagaras the specialization took place earlier, already in 1614 a pottery guild is attested in the town.
The egg and glass painting - are still practiced today by just a few people. Painting on glass is the most appreciated genre of folk art in the area, its appearance in Țara Oltului at the end of the 18th century is determined by specific social-historical conditions and well-established cultural traditions (Byzantine and Brancovean influence).
The egg painting is a prominent example of ancient culture. Preserved by tradition, it is situated at the level of the other artistic manifestations in the area through the thematic content of the decorative motifs, the coloring and composition rules; the red color is predominant, the motifs being outlined through white contours made by quill and bee wax.
The extraction of edible oil from pumpkin seeds
Some villages in Făgăraş Land had "pisăluge" (pumpkin seeds presses) to produce edible oil; they worked at full capacity especially during the Nativity Fast and Great Lent.
Jewelery and adornments
Necklaces made of gold, silver, and copper coins have been worn to traditional dresses across many generations. These necklaces could be short and worn at the base of the neck, or longer, to cover the chest.
The jewels were made of copper and brass, using various techniques such as hammering, drilling, melting, engraving, impressing. The metal ornaments arrived in Romania from the south, brought by Macedonian-Romanian craftsmen from Balkans.
The beads were made of glass, coral, stone, amber, bones, shells and were worn in costumes. Glass beads or ceramics imitating the Murano style of Bohemia were introduced in the 18th century by the Czech merchants.
At first, people obtained rye flour (later corn) with the help of two millstones set in motion with their own effort; after a while the man used the river waters to spin the grinding stones; milling appeared, and it was especially developed in the valleys of the Fagaras Country. Today, in Brasov county (in Ohaba, Bucium and Cârţişoara villages) there are water mills from the last century, competing with modern technologies.
Plant and animal fiber processing
The craft of plant and animal fiber processing, known in Țara Oltului since the Bronze Age, has been one of the most intense domestic activities. The tools (splinters, combs, carding combs, distaffs or loom) and technical processes passed from generation to generation. This occupation was advantaged by the possibilities of sheep breeding and cultivation of hemp and flax, ensuring the fabrics for clothing or household use.