20 November 2016

ŞUICI, Argeș County, the 20th Century

Up the Topolog Valley, the road leading from Curtea de Argeș towards Țara Loviștei will lead right through Șuici commune with the villages of Rudeni, Podeni, Văleni, Șuici. This very road was once travelled back in the year 1330 by the Hungarian army of Charles Robert*, on his way to the commemorated battle of Posada. First recorded in year 1514 on a land administration enforcement act, the commune of Șuici is known to be much older.

Apart from agriculture, sheepherding has constituted one of the main occupations of the inhabitants, a proof to that can be still be found considering the local toponyms: The Sheep Deck (Romanian: „Puntea Oii”), The Sheep Field (Romanian: „Plaiul Oii”) etc.

The Șuici household, built on the premises of Village Museum in 1936, modelled after the original house in Șuici, is characteristic for an architectonic style popular late 19th century to the turn of the 20th century.

The L-shaped house, which reunites two constructions in a right-angle under a single roof, was intended to serve as a distinct residence for the younger family, constituted after the marriage of the youngest lad. In other situations (when two families were not living in the same ensemble), one part of the house was used for show and the accommodation of guests, and the other destined for daily affairs. Subsequently, the house was later added the stable, the tool shed and the corn barn.

Built on top of a stone base, which house the cellar and the henhouses, the house from Șuici is constructed with hand-hewn fir wood logs painted with whitewash. Over both buildings, the hipped-roof is covered with six to seven rows of small overlapping wooden slates (Romanian: „șițe”) to create a remarkable decorative impression.

The plan of the house features two rooms for each construction, with separate entrances from the porch. The interior design styles of the two buildings are both functional and aestethic. The first type of interior features decorative pieces: furniture crafted at Sălătruc center, carpets, towels, embroidered kerchiefs and a series of period feminine folk costumes (late 19th century): wrap round skirts (Romanian: „fote”) and straight aprons (Romanian: „catrințe”) exhibited on the walls and throughout.

The second construction houses a veranda used as a kitchen (the open fireplace was replaced with a brick stove), also a living room to store different tools and domestic installations like the weaving loom, indicative of the lasting occupations engaged by the women. Simple and functional furnishing and ceramic pottery from the center of Curtea de Argeș accompany the living spaces.

*Charles I Robert of Hungary, the first King of Hungary and Croatia (1308 – 1342) of the House of Anjou.