12 July 2018

Tatar household, 20th century, Independenţa, Constanţa County – under construction

Independenţa Commune (made of the villages of Independenţa, Fântâna Mare, Movila Verde, Olteni and Tufani), placed in the south of the county, at only 12 km from the Bulgaria border, is documentary attested with this name since the 15th of February 1930. Relatively new, formed during the 1854–1894 period, the commune was initially mentioned under the name of „Bairamdede”, which in Tatar language means: „grandfather/old man Bairam”; Bairam being the name of the first families which founded the settlement. The village of Fântâna Mare was and is currently inhabited only by families of Moslem religion.

After the Independence War in 1877, the commune was inhabited also by Romanians (shepherds from Oltenia and Ardeal, and people from Brăila), came following the land reform, most of them as war veterans.

The settlement is found in a steppe area, with specific vegetation (couch grass, fescue and thorn apple), without any running water near; the underground water can be found at a depth starting with 3–4 m. From the petrographic point of view, it has mostly calcareous rocks, clays and loess.

The main occupations of the inhabitants are agriculture and weaving (of wool carpets and rugs – kilims), and each ethnic group has preserved their original specifics.

The type of settlement is that of the Dobrudja villages, with sinuous, irregular roads and households placed according to access routes.

The museum presents a replica of a Tatar households composed of several constructions: house and annex, facing up front each other, and an oven sheltered by a shed on the long side of the rectangular court surrounded by a stone fence. The access to the yard is through a loft.

The house, built in the same way as the annex, made of adobe, with the floors coated with clay, while the planimetry consists of three rooms, an entrance hall and an open porch with six pillars made of softwood. The access to two of the rooms is made through the entrance hall between them, and to the third, directly from the porch. The rooms are heated with blind “stoves” and stoves with hotplates. Natural lighting is provided in the rooms through a single window, reduced in size, and the entrance hall has two small windows that fit the access door.

The roofs of the buildings have two slopes, with the old type of pantile roofing (currently the village is dominated by tile and sheet roofing).

The household annex is composed of two cohesive bodies (a summer kitchen and a hen coop) having two-sloped roofs with different heights.