7th BSEC Month of Culture
1-30 November 2023
Customs and Traditions - Republic of Moldova
What about a handmade souvenir from Chisinau? Handwoven carpet would be an alternative idea!
The traditional Moldavian woven carpet is a symbol of Moldavian craftsmanship that has evolved over the years, preserving the authenticity of traditions.
In the past, wall carpets were used not only as decorative features and sources of insulation, but also as part of a bride’s dowry. A variety of techniques were needed to produce the pieces with impressive motifs. Certain patterns also indicated where the weaver was from.
The carpets had additional roles in community practices, such as at funerals where they symbolized a passage for the soul to the hereafter. They were also displayed at international exhibitions as markers of national identity.
Nowadays, wall carpets are mainly appreciated as works of art for public and private spaces and exhibited at city festivals and ceremonies. Techniques have changed from vertical or horizontal looms practised in some parts, to tight picking (thread by thread) and other forms with weavers now able to work from home.
In the cities of the country, there are many craft centers, associations, colleges and museums which provide classes. Viewed as an expression of creativity and identity marker, wall carpet craftsmanship is also considered as a tool to unite groups in society of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Worth noting that, in 2016, the traditional wall-carpet craftsmanship in Romania and the Republic of Moldova was included on UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Watch the following video and learn more.
Sources & photographs taken from: https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/traditional-wall-carpet-craftsmanship-in-romania-and-the-republic-of-moldova-01167
Photograph No 1: © Ministry of Culture of Romania, 2015
Photographs No 2-3: © National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova, 2015
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