The folk art from the Hațeg - Pădureni microregion - Hațeg Country - Pădureni Land

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The folk art from the Hațeg - Pădureni microregion

Rural life
I. Traditional costume
The beauty and magnificence of the places of the Pădureni and the Haţeg Basin are gaining even more value through the inhabitants  dressed in archaic garbs,  as if they just descended from Trajan's Column: men with sheepskin hats, with white shirts and trousers, wearing on their shoulders the  Dacian hooded cloack, and holding a bat in their hands. Or the women, in their long, to the heels, white shirts, seem to be moving statues.
Spectacular through its complexity and craftsmanship, it can be admired today by the locals on the occasion of the feast day, with each family still proudly preserving an impressive collection of pieces. Local museums also exhibit old, popular items of great value.
In the last decades, it is to be remarked the revaluation of the traditional costume in the mentality of the population. Pădureni people are proud of their costume, they are happy to wear it on every occasion and almost every family keeps the old costumes and makes new ones. To this revival contributed the festivals organized in memory of the  local bard Drăgan Muntean, but also the development of tourism, as the local people observe the great interest of visitors towards their traditional costume.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, the clothing of the inhabitants of these lands was made entirely in the peasant household. Every year, at Easter, Nedeie (local celebration), and at Christmas, the whole family was dressed in new clothes, the decoration of which complied with the strict rules of the place, so that they acquired a zonal mark.

Time has added to the ancestral dowry, the cultural dialogue with neighboring lands from which people have taken over new elements, or to whom they have offered their own models.
Some garments are just before Daco-Roman civilization. Among them, the tassel apron, only worn in Pădureni, Haţeg and Banat, is of the Ilyro-Thracian origin, as well as the head decorative piece that covers the wife's bun at the back.

The shepherd's hood, called cășiulă, is of  Dacian origin, and peasant sandals with a peak and the foot wraps have always been the footwear of our ancestors.

Even if, morphologically, the folk costume from Pădureni and Haţeg includes the same parts, it differs through a lot of its own characteristics. The women's costume in Haţeg County is distinguished by chromatic sobriety, unlike the one from Pădureni, with exuberant colors, the dominating one being red.  

Through its basic pieces, the folk costume is included in the general typology of the Romanian costume. At the same time, it contains a number of defining features, some of them of ancient tradition, expressing its own individuality.
Some specific features of the costume of Pădureni are found only in this area and in neighboring territories: Hațeg Country, Bistria Valley or Banat's higher course of  Bega river.
Even though these components are rare today, their specific features must be mentioned, due to their value as signs of age, civil and social status, and functions performed during the wearing: a working outfit, and a festive, ceremonial or ritual one. All of these together are the identity marks of the traditional costume.

From the decorative point of view, we mention the compact organization of the ornamental fields on the sleeves of the women's shirts, the compact decoration of the women's fur coat so that in the middle of the back there remains only a small half-moonless surface (sometimes even four moons).  

Women wearing metal belts with keys are specific to the Pădureni area, and it not met can not be found in any other region of the country. Such metal adornments are related to the cult of female fertility. According to an ancient custom, the women who gave birth wore metal keys at their waist, while the padlock was buried  with the placenta in the ground to bind the fertility. Rusalin Işfănoni believes that this habit lies at the origin of the metal belts with keys worn by the young wives, but the increase in the number of keys has gradually led to the loss of the original magical significance, so that the keys acquire nowadays an exclusively artistic value (Pădurenii Hunedoarei, p. 189 - 190).

Some magical rituals practiced by the Pădureni people also used traditional costume items. Thus, the plague shirt was a magical ritual for disease removal and birth rate stimulation. At Runcu Mare, near Ghelari, the married women participated in a special gathering, and in one night only they made the plague shirt, carrying out all the stages of the work, from the hemp processing, to the weaving of the cloth. From this cloth, a shirt was sewn and decorated with embroidery. The shirt was then put on a cross-shaped wooden support, and taken to a crossroad outside the village. Three days later, the shirt was thrown on the water. In some localities, these shirts were also made when there were sick cattle in the community. This shows the strong apotropaic value of the shirt, able to protect the human body and animals from illness and cold.

In Hațeg, an exceptionally valuable item of the traditional costume is the Dacic hooded cloack, a pastoral piece, used both as a head and body cover, as well as a rucksack, and a pillow. At the lower part, the item has a decorative registry with magical protection signs.
1. Traditional costume in Hațeg Country

2. Traditional costume in Pădureni Land
An interesting TV show about popular costumes, here >
II. Artistic crafts
The shepherds always wore the sânceaua with which they were incrusting wooden objects: hooks that were hanged on the fountains for travelers, whistles, shepherd’s crooks and distaff. Distaffs were true jewels that the sheep-men used to give to their beloved girls. This gesture meant marriage demand. Some distaffs were decorated with small mirrors, a sign of love from the giver.

The Pădureni people were famous in all the Romanian regions by the beauty of the non-ferrous metal ornaments carried by women around the waist, crafted by the craftsmen of Ghelari and other localities:  balţii, cheile pe chici, lănțișoare cu chei sau inele și zale. Skilled craftsmen made the patterns of earth or stone in which the ornaments were cast.

Another craftsmanship for which Padureni was famous was the ornamentation of wood by binding it with tin, a procedure called ferecare. On the cylindrical surface of the wood were made geometrical notches with a knife (sâncea) worn by men on the belt.
Such objects were whip handles, bobbins for cotton threads, handles, and sleeves for the breasts, distaff, whistles, and the wooden parts of the bagpipe. Among the ceremonial pieces made by this technique were: a wedding hammer, a wooden stick with a bronze handle, worn by a groom, a village chief and a godfather; midwife’s stick and stick of the godmother.

Such objects are made by some craftsmen (Muntean Ionel from Socet, Cerbal village) and can be seen in the ethnographic museums in the area and in many Pădureni houses, see the section of craftsmen>
Other crafts: joinery, wheelwright's work, blacksmithing.
III. Fabrics
Unlike other Romanian ethnographic areas, the art of fabrics in Hațeg Country and Pădureni Land is less diverse in the area.Both regions share the same product categories with identical functionality. Most indoor textiles were hand-crafted in the loom in specific techniques for each category. The most used material to make indoor fabrics was of vegetable origin: hemp, or cotton and of animal origin: sheep wool. Many of the fabrics were made of combined fibers: hemp warp and wool threads.

Depending on the destination they have in the household, textile pieces are classified as follows:
- household woven fabrics: tea towels, sacks, bags and wallets, seats, mattresses, sheets and so on.
- Decorative interior fabrics: decorative tea towels called chingee, tablecloths, pillowcases, carpets and rugs.
- fabrics used for transport: bags made of wool and plotog (sheepskin), knapsacks and hoods.

Depending on the techniques of production and decoration there are:
- țesături în două ițe
Double-woven fabrics. The earliest fabrics in this category were decorated in simple verges placed on the width of the fabric. It is the case of household wipes, decorative wipes that were placed around the wall tiles that adorned the walls, the inlets, the stools and the vases. By using the wings and on the width and length of the fabric, coats are produced on canvases and objects as well as on some bed mats. Also in two rows, hand- picked are the  cilimurile found in the Hungarian interior of Crisur.
- țesături în patru ițe
Four-woven fabrics. The technique was used to make lepedee, strujace, straițe,and măsaie.
- țesături  alese în năvăditură
Most textiles made in this technique are carpets and some parts of the costume like brâiele, opregele or catrințele.
- țesături decorate prin cusături artistice și broderii: cingeie, măsaie și unele fete de pernă.
They also had the advantage of being able to be made on industrial fabrics such as linen, silk or cloth.

Artistic stitches are made on colored cotton cloth or silk thread are made either on thread, as in gobelin or on yarn.

Brodery. Dantela (şipta, cipta)  
Is applied to the edge or to the joining of some sheets of fabric, but also to some popular folk pieces such as shirts, legs, skirts. The lace is crafted with paper-based patterns.

Decorative textiles are the essential parts in defining the artistic style of the rooms.

Ștergarele - Wipes are made exclusively of vegetable textile yarns: hemp, in cotton. They are decorated only at the ends, in most transversal registers with geometric decoration in red and black, but they also come with polychrome decorated wipes. After the role performed in decorating the interior, they are divided into: blid wiping and wiping, which have a single decorated head.

Feţele de pernă (căpătânie) - Pillow faces. (Headgear) were made into two or four strands of vegetable yarn. The décor, consisting of transversal registers of pickets in the technique over wires, was arranged either at one end or across the face and the end of the back where the fabric was bent. These pillows had a length of approx. 6 cm and 30 cm wide and filled with straw or corn cobs. Over time, they were replaced with pillows made of industrial cloth of much larger size, 70-80 x 40-50 cm, decorated with seams and polychrome embroidery.

Pricoiţa . From two fabric widths, the pieces are used as bed, wall and table coverings, some of which are made of vegetable wool and others made of wool with a vegetable warp.
Vegetable fibers were made: hemp and tablecloth (olive).

Lepedeul  - Hemp rasp serves as a sheet. This was the bed cover above. Some pieces are white, hemped with lemon, and others are decorated in simple black verges, or in groups of rundles.
Măsaiul. It is used to cover the table. They were woven from finer cotton cloth, in transversal blue, red, and sometimes polychrome

Bed covers of two fabric widths made of wool are: carpet, and cushion.

Carpet. In this category is the fabric embroidered in crosswise or cross-stitch (cochche) with the warp and the wool of red and black wool hair used as bedding that was placed over the ramp.
Another type of rug is the cotton warp weft and the cannon wool that sits above all the pieces on. It is made of two widths of fabric bound together. The decor is arranged in polyclrometic transverse registers or organized in the border and the central field.

The pricoița was made of two widths of woolen fabric in four strands, teased and flaucked. The predominant color is white. Some pieces were also woven, in white and black wool, without being painted. It is used both in the house, as a sleeping cover, but also in the sheepfolds.
The dignity of the tissue and artistic sewing is still practiced today by the women of the two countries (see the Popular Crafts section).
1. Fabrics in Țara Hațegului - Hațeg Country
2. Fabrics from Ținutul Pădurenilor - Pădureni Land
Sources of information / documentation:

Interviewees we thank this way for the information we provide:
1. Oprea Kiss Alexandru, Cristur commune, Hunedoara County, the owner of a moth and a functional darac de lână.
2. Achim Ciprian, Mayor of Lelese commune, interview on the tradition of agriculture and shepherd in the area. Village holidays and community traditions and customs.
3. Maria Poanta, retired, domiciled in Lelese, no. 13, about popular costume and interior fabrics.
4. Viorica Costa, pensioner, domiciled in Lelese, no. 22, about popular costume and popular fabrics.
5. Oprea Anişoara, pensioner, priestess, about the construction of the Orthodox Church in Cinciş, traditional Christmas customs, seating, buildings etc.
6. Nelu Vaida, retired, domiciled in Cinciş, over the carols
7. Lujerdean Mihaela, 53 years old, librarian, Peştişu Mic, about the folk Padureni costume
8. Popa Viorel Anton, a retired teacher from Ghelar born in Alun, Bunila com., About the traditional architecture of Pădureni, the architecture of the peasant interior, customs and popular beliefs.
9. Frenz Armina, 79, retired, creators of folk costumes and interior textiles, about the popular costume
10. Nobel, Liviu, a retired 69-year-old former master of General Berthelort, on keeping traditional traditions and habits; Proposals for making tourism more efficient in the area.
11. Gavriloni Petru, retired, residing in General Bertehelot, no. 79 about the forgotten customs of the village. Sinks, rain mummy, plowing out of plowing, beliefs and customs.
12. Scorobete Miron, teacher, 62, domiciled in Meria, no. 10, Lunca Cernii Commune, about traditional architecture, traditional occupations; The contemporary situation of the village community,
13. Grecu Anastasia, pensioner, Sarmisegetusa, no. 41, popular creature, weave and sew popular shirts, ponievi and pricoiţe for family,
14. Grecu Ionel, pensioner, Sarmisegetusa, no. 42, a former wedding fiancée, about family life habits
15. Socaiu Anton, the owner of the museum museum Ethnographic Museum of Hațeg Country, from Peșteana, who made the presentation of the collection organized in a traditional house from the beginning of the 20th century
16. Ştefănescu Anita, a 88-year-old pensioner, residing in Sarmisegetusa, about the village games once organized in the village, the habit of Sântoaderului, the spring fires, the Christmas and Easter customs, the rulers and the Nedei; About the fabrics and the Haţegan folk port
17. Socaci Mikes Silvia, Professor of History and Geography, at the school in Sînămăria Orlea, about the cultural projects of the commune; About customs and traditions in Hateg Country
18. Ardelean Nicolae, 65 years old, domiciled in Ciopeia village, Sânamarie Orlea, carpenter, carpenter's trade, his products: doors, windows, wood furniture, which they execute on order.
19. Ion Eugen, tinichigiu, 59 years old, domiciled in Sânămarie Orlea. Executes galvanized sheets and gutters on request.
20. Grec Simion, the custodian of the Ethnography Museum of Haţeg Country, a popular craftsman. Performs wooden decorative pieces of art: crosses, hooks, cassettes, statuettes decorated with notches in traditional technique.
21. Iancu Rodica, retired, Romanian language teacher, domiciled at Sălaşu de Sus, no. 69, about the religious and yearly holidays in Sălaşu de Sus, occupations, traditional, seating and the popular costume in the area.

Consulted bibliography:
1. Ionel Popescu, Hobiţa-Grădişte. Monograph and Ethnography File, Cosmopolitanart Publishing House, Timişoara, 2013.
2. Rusalin Işfănoni, Hunedoara's Forests, Bucharest, 2013
3. Traian Herseni, Anthropological Research in the Forests Region. The village of Bătrâna, Buc., 1961,
4. Grigore Ionescu, The History of Architecture in Romania, I, Buc., 1963
5. Nicolae Popa, Land of Haţeg - Human Development Development Potential, Ed. Brumar, Timişoara, 1999
6. Radu Popa, At the Beginning of the Middle Ages Romanian, Hateg Country, Ed. And Enc., Buc., 1988
7. P. Stahl; P. Petrescu, Peasant Constructions in Haţeg, AMET, 1961-1964, Cluj, 1968, p. 95-136
8. R. Vuia, Popular Port of Hateg Country, Ed. Meridiane, Buc., 1962
9. R. Vuia, The Popular Pot of the Woods in the Hunedoara Region, Ed. Meridiane, Buc., 1960
10. Ion Conea, A Gem of Romanian Land: The Land of Haţeg, vol., Plaiuri Carpatice, Ed. Sport Tourism, Buc., 1984
11. Alexandru Vlad, Monograph of Ghelari commune, Ed. Emia, Deva, 2003
12. Ion Conea, Clopotiva, a village in Haţeg, 2nd edition, Bucharest, Ed. Acad. Rom. 2010.
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