20 November 2016

ȘURDEȘTI, Maramureș County, the 18th Century

The household from Șurdești, brought to the Museum in 1947, dates back to the second half of the 18th century. The house originates from Țara Chioarului (English: „Chioarului Country”), a region which, among other Romanian „countries” (Maramureș, Făgăraș, Hațeg etc.) holds records to the old political organizations of Romanian populations long before the constitution of the first statal formations.

In concordance with the geographic surroundings, historical events and socio-economic conditions, the village of Șurdești developed as a scattered village, representative for Romanian settlements of the hill regions. Traditional occupations range from agriculture, pomiculture, livestock breeding, mining and lumberjacking. The way the constructions are arranged – the barn with fencework, at the entrance of the grange, towards the house, and the house itself, situated in the second parte of the yard – are typical to „double yard” household in pastoral and agricultural villages.

The plan of the house features three rooms: the „cold” vestibule, the living area or the „casa”, also the pantry. The roof on top of the living room is constructed with visible beams perpendicular to the longitudinal walls and supported on the main girder, which supports the ceiling, called a „master beam”, given to the fact that the master carpenter would carve his name and year of construction.

On the exterior, the spaces between beams have been glued then painted with whitewash to give the façade a particular appeal. On the interior, the walls are glued and painted, the flooring made from beaten land („terre batu”). Rightside of the room sits an oven, a resting and sleeping bench, a wooden chest and a hanger to display pottery jugs and painted religious icons. Bowls with towels rest on the opposite side of the entrance, a table with two tall chairs sits right near the window.

Most furniture pieces originate from the specialized market from Plopiș, the neighbouring village of Șurdești. Towels, bedsheets (Romanian: „lepedeie”), tablespreads, pillowcases, fabrics of wool and cotton adorn the interior with a squint to the gentlefolk that made them.