. We know that carpets are woven in every region of Romnaia, those from Oltenia being the best known. But you may be surprised by the beauty of those woven worn in
Maramures. "Tolurile", as they are called by the women, have striking colours: warm tints of green, yellow, smooth brown and sometimes red and blue, made from natural dyes.
Stop in Botiza and admire the woven carpets made by women. Yu will see that the traditional motifs are rhomboids with jagged edges; various fir trees and last, but not least ram's horns.
And of you buy such a carpet, you take a part of Maramures' history.
Dragomiresti. "Open the door, Christian", says a nice maramures carol. The peasant from Maramures opens not only his door, but also his heart, inviting you into the house. It is a house
where you can smell fir-tree. Inside you will not see neither aggressive luxury, nor bad taste.
These people have a value system of their own: they love simplicity, calm and silence. The house may have two or three rooms, each with a definite function: one will be the living room and
one is always designated for guests.
Look around and you will see only a few items, those that are necessary for living. The main furniture is arranged against the walls, the bed on the
same side as the fireplace, the benches along the two sides. By the door you will see the high rack for pots and pans and in the middle the table and chairs.
They love sobriety, as shown in the number of woven woollen carpets. The only spots of colour are the pots, the flowered towels and the glass and wooden icons hanging on the walls.
Hoteni. Wander where you will in
Maramures area, and if you get tired, every house will be opened to you. Do not be sueprised if you see people dressed like their ancestors. They preserve their traditional dress with pride and joy.
The women wear blouses with low-cut rectangular neeklines and three quarter length sleeves ending in an embroidered cuff or fill. Over their white petticoats they wear two
rectangular aprons, one at the back and one at the front. The aprons have wide, horizontal stripes, in alternative colours, usually black and red, orange, yellow or green. On their heads you
will see a flowered kerchief, except for older women who wear theirs black. They have special peasant's shoes. Men wear short white shirts with wide wide sleeves and white trousers, thin
material in the summer and thicker in the winter. They have a money belt around their waist.
To really experience their life, come here at the beginning of May when the whole village, dressed
for celebration, gathers together to honour the first householder who ploughed his field. The whole community, from the youngest to the oldest, accompany the householder to the river where they
pour water over him, in the hope of a good, prosperous year. This custom named TANJAUA, gathers people from neighbourhood villages, being an occasion of joy and happiness for all.
Sapanta. In Sapanta, the traveller receives
one of the most beautiful lessons of life, from the people here. Their ancestors considered death as a beginning, and not the end. This faith is still present today.
"The happy cemetery" here is proof of this faith. People welcome death more with joy, rather than sorrow. So the inscriptions of the dead person's life, with satirical verses,
describing the main events of their life.
The life philosophy of the Maramures area is "to laugh about sorrow".
Here, the traveller can also find the fine "carpets of Sapanta". The threads are spun with a big spindle, and then woven manually on a loan. In summer and winter, these carpets can be seen in the
yards of the houses. The women can also be seen apinning or weaving as they prepare the future brides' dowry chest.
Mara. The Maramures villages with their extraordinary yard gates in every street, seem to be original sculpture exhibitions.
When building a house, and especially the gateway in front of it, the builder turns artist.
You will understand this better, if we tell you that the gate has a special significance
from Maramures tries to transform his house into a place protected from evil. Every traveller is welcomed and kept safe. The gates' decorations will have a twisted
rope forming rays of sun and highly styled trees of life. The strength of the beams, the extraordinary relief and xpressiveness of the decoration make these getes genuine triumphal arches for each
So, we make this invitation: open the gate and "BE WELCOME, TRAVELLER".
Rozavlea. Perphaps the real indication of Maramures spiritis demonstrated by its craftwork.
The man is an expert wood carver, the
women always knows how to decorate her home or dress her children nicely.
When you enter the house you cannot fail to see the beautifully embroidered towels hanging on the walls.
The main characteristic of these towels is their unusual decorative spots of red, black or blue on a white background.
. Located in the south western part of the area of Maramures, Sacel is the last village before Salva Nasaudului. This place is known as a pottery centre. It is the only one in Romania where, they make unglazed
red ceramnics. There are also ceramic forms preserved directly from Dacic times. The oldest design pots manufactured here, are: the small pot; the pot and the dish.
Looking at them, you can see how the pot is moulded on the potter's wheel and how it is decorated with a brush made of spindle wool.
The potter is not seeking complex decoration, but
simple lines in russet or red. The pot is polished by using river gravel.