20 November 2016

Poienile Izei, Maramureş

Jewish house, 1860
Poienile Izei Village (currently Commune) is found in the heart of Maramureş, on the western side of the Maramureş depression, next to the Oaş-Gutâi-Ţibleş ridge. The village is documentary attested in 1430 and in time it had several names: Poienile lui Ilieş, Poienile Şieului, Poienile Glodului. The main occupations of its inhabitants were raising livestock and pomiculture, and much less agriculture, especially corn growing. The village population comprises of Romanians and other ethnical groups, the Jews among them. The house from Poienile Izei, built in 1860 and transferred in the museum in 2011, belonged to a member of the Jewish community in this village, community that included 185 persons at the census in 1910, and 159 at the census in 1930, respectively. The Jewish household in the museum is made of a house and a barn with stable. The house is placed on a stone base, being entirely built of fir beams, plastered with clay and whitewashed on the interior. Under the main room there is the vaulted basement. The squared hip roof of the dwelling has a shingle covering. The house comprises of five rooms, an L-shaped entrance hall, two living rooms, a pantry and a small space, with a separate entrance, called “miserniţă”, destined for animal butchering and meat portioning, for selling. In the two rooms, next to several Judaic religious objects, one can observe furniture from the inter-war period or even older, the two heating and cooking systems (a cylindrical iron stove and a oven), as well as household items, including in the pantry where, next to them, the owner kept the alcoholic beverages that he sold to the peasants. The family of the last owner of the house had, during the inter-war period, four members: Strul Wiesel, the head of the family, his wife and their two daughters. Besides making and selling apple or plum brandy, the family also had 150 sheep and from their wool they made headpieces, the two daughters of the family working at the sewing machine for the villagers.