Traditional Souvenirs from Romania

Folk Artistry in Romania

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Traditional Romanian Eggs
Traditional Romanian Eggs

Although there are talented fine artists from Romania, the real interest is in folk art created by Romanian peasants. This folk art reveals optimism about the world and a zest for life that is even apparent in their grave markers that are both colorful and unique. This is no more evident than in Sapanta “Merry Cemetery”, situated in Northern Romania. Here you will find beautifully embellished wooden crosses marking the graves. These crosses are traditionally painted blue and some of the embellishments include sentiments about the deceased and tales of their lives.

Artisan villages

This is not an uncommon occurrence all over the world and it can be found in Romania too. Artists and artisans congregate, forming artist communities, in areas that offer aesthetic inspiration as well as economical viability. A few of the larger towns, including Bucharest, offer galleries where this folk artistry can be viewed and purchased. Select examples of the work of local artists can be found in a few smaller town museums. However, it is in the street markets near large tourist attractions that most of these artists can be found pedaling their wares.

Ceramic Artistry

Pottery has indeed been an integral part of the history of the entire world and still forms a large part of the everyday lives of Romanian artisans. Many of these artisans still make use of the old traditional method of using a kick-wheel to create their ceramic artworks. The various shapes, sizes and patterning of the ceramic pottery reflect the cultural diversity in some areas where they are made. There are as many as 30 pottery centers across Romania; each one has its own distinctive style.

Painting eggs

Painted eggs are a cheerful Romanian tradition that is especially prevalent around Easter time. This is one of the most well-known and easily recognizable examples of Romanian folk artistry and makes fantastic souvenirs. Romanians paint real, hollowed out eggs and these eggs played a vital role in their festival of renewal.

Woodworking artisans

If it is Romanian woodwork that you want to see, then Maramures is the place to go. Here you will find the Spatana “Merry Cemetery” with its beautiful grave markers. You will also find homes in this area trimmed with elaborately carved wood, and carved wooden fences and gates. Historically, the carved wooden gates in the area depicted a family’s status. The more elaborately the gate was carved, the more important the family was.

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Painted Easter Eggs
Painted Easter Eggs