Posted on 2019-09-20    Category Traditions

In this chapter we will study the traditional folk crafts. It will be a synthesis of craftsmanship on stone, pottery, metal and wood processing, plant and animal fibers, leather and fur, occupations that have consisted, besides farming and pastority, the source and way of life of the Romanian peasant.


Craftsmanship was, together with agriculture, animal husbandry and commerce, one of the basic factors that contributed equally to the formation of the material and spiritual culture of the Romanian people.  The craftsman's craft was mainly practiced in mountainous and submontane areas, where the rocks of various structures perpetuate themselves until nowadays as a basic occupation of many inhabitants of the villages on the south-eastern slope of Istria hill, Ciuta-Buzau, Vama-Campulung Moldovenesc, Transylvania, Gura Vaii, Varciorova, Mehedinti, etc

In times of greater economic and political stability, the stone extracted from most of Albesti Muscel quarries in Scheia Negresti was used for the construction of important romanian feudal monuments throughout the country: Domneasca Monastery in Campulung Muscel and Curtea de Arges Monastery, the aristocratic courts of Arges and Targoviste of the Mogosoaia and Potlogi palaces, the Three Hierarchs in Iasi, the Scheia Citadel, and many other civil and religious buildings in Northern Moldova and Transylvania, votive monuments from the Buzau-Mizil_Ploiesti area down to Baraganul Ialomitean and Brailean.

From these handicraft craftsmen and hammer handicrafts have spread the products of their work both in the area and hundreds of miles away, especially to the plain, both carved elements of functional character such as: porch poles, stairs, balustrades with embossed ornaments, poles the fountains, the fountains and the sculpture of the art applied as the crushed lines of grapes, outdoor meals, trots for food and water, religious, votive or funeral art, commemorative monuments.  In the Romans, the development of craftsmanship was favored on the one hand by the powerful avant-garde that took the development of the entire economy, and on the other hand through the passage from urban constructions and to the construction of roads, bridges, etc. the stone worked and shaped was used in almost all of the country.

During this period the small craftsmanship grows from the shapes and sizes of the domestic production to more evolved large forms. As a result, there are specialized villages in various crafts, such as Apuseni Mountains, in Transylvania, specializing in stone processing, woodcutting, sultry, etc., the phenomenon generalized throughout the country, followed by the emergence of specialized areas in one of the peasant crafts .

In Transylvania, we have the characteristic areas for the construction of stone and limestone such as: After Stone, Ciuruleasa, Blajeni, Ardeu where the stone is abundant. An area of ​​stone processing is around Cice, as well as others in the Zarand area.

In Moldova, we mention the area of ​​Bicazului Ardelean, Bicaz Chei, Tepeseni, Bicajel, Darmoxa.

In Mehedinti we have the Iron Gates, Gorj, Baia de Fier, Polovragi, Runcu, Dobrita, Varciorova, Herculane, Rudaria.

The phenomenon of the special development of handicrafts is characteristic of the end of the 18th and early 19th century, when there is a blooming trade and the exchange of all kinds, the development of fairs all over the country.   The craftsmanship specialization becomes so intense at one time that 95% of the families in the village handles handicrafts. The development of stones in specialized centers is due not only to the large quantity of raw material, stone but also to the insufficiency of agricultural products due to the rocky soil, obliging the inhabitants of these villages to supplement those necessary for the daily living needs of different towns outside the agriculture and animal husbandry, which then became specialized villages.

Even from ancient types, according to a document dated 1552, a piece of millstone worth 2 forinti. These products were not the object of a change-over-trot as it used to be in the era, but were sold with ice. Initially, millstones were caratted and capitalized by the stones themselves, after which an intermediate category of the carriages of these mill stones appeared, especially on the new Somes Valley country roads where there were plenty of water mills.

The caravan of these mill stones was also handled by the Romanian merchants from Mihaiesti, Bata, and Targu Beclean or those from the Lower Rus, who in 1750 dismantled the royal mill stones and the shingles purchased from Bargau, which they transported in all areas of the country, to be able to pay the royal tax. This shipment of stone was made by the Salajal cities of Zalau, Simleul Silvania, in Bistrita, in Reghin, Tg. Mures, Dej, Turda, Cluj.

From 1900 to 1918 the Ciceu mill stone suppliers, there were two families, Tarnita Ion and Borodi Gavrila, who concentrated all of the millstone stones at the expense of other centers. The conquest and supply were made in two ways: the discovery of new clients with the help of commercial agents and the establishment of stone warehouses in cities and towns.

In the first decades of our century, in order to reorganize the crafts and in order to increase the exchange of products, the dependence and the strong development of the communication ways, the crafts cooperativization was organized. All this leads to the development of new social relations within these villages. The development of these cities and fairs has positively influenced the evolution of those craftsmen coming into contact with the city, especially in architecture, interior design and others that have definitely contributed to the transformation of handicrafts from their villages and their material culture spiritual abilities, the abandonment of traditional habits and habits that they have practiced in their native villages until then. Thus, many handicraft centers specialized in one or another of the crafts have become, over time, large, economically strong villages, according to the pattern of the fairs. Thus elements of systematization, sidewalks, aqueducts, houses, copying the city architecture, the plan of their division, etc. appeared. In a word, craftsmen's villages or specialized villages have created a specific material culture, or more traditionally, from traditional village to a fully urbanized culture.