Tag Archives: Transylvania

“Vreu” (“I want”) – in search of love in the Călinești village

A short film shot in Maramureș this summer has already met success, with three prizes already won at three short film festivals – so far!  The synopsis  of the film is centred around love: (from the filmmakers:) In a small village in the North of Transilvania, where everyone is expected to have the same life as others, a young girl dares to feel different. Something, deep down herself, will make her choose another path. Continue reading “Vreu” (“I want”) – in search of love in the Călinești village

Easter in Maramureș

To understand Maramureș, one needs to understand the role that religion has played in this region throughout history. Just looking at the magnificent century old wooden churches present in almost every village, one can sense how important faith is for the identity of these people. God is omnipresent in the everyday life. The most common greeting that is heard in the villages is “Salutăm pe Isus! (Jesus be hailed!), to which the answer is “În veci, amin!” (Always and forever!).

Among religious festivities, Easter is perhaps the most important, even more important than Christmas. Continue reading Easter in Maramureș

The People of Maramureș

People of Maramureș - A Journey into the Last Living Museum of Europe
People of Maramureș – A Journey into the Last Living Museum of Europe
click on the photo to access the pdf book

It is more than seven years now since I and my wife Cristina undertook our month-long trip to Maramureș. Ever since, I wanted to publish a book about the region, focusing on its people and its artists. At the time – 2009 – there were very few photography books on the region, albeit some of the very best (“Maramureș”, by a Maramureș loving Japanese who discovered the region by accident, during communist times –  Miya Kosei – which I regard as the most beautiful and sincere photography book about the region, as well as “Maramures: The Land of Wood“, the beautiful black and white photography of Ana Bârcă).
Continue reading The People of Maramureș

A Maramureș legend has left us

2016 started on a sad note. Godja Pătru Pupăză, a fable like character, passed away on 3 January. He was 81 years old.

I met the artist in the summer of 2009, at his home in Valea Stejarului. Those were very happy times. He was surrounded by his family, his son-in-law was carving a Maramureș cross “troiță”, his nephew was strolling around, at times making attempts to help his father chisel the wooden cross, despite the fact that he had yet to learn to speak.

Godja Patru Pupaza, Godja Pătru Pupăză, Sat Valea Stejarului, Village, Maramures, Transylvania, Romania, wood carving, arts, artist, artisan, artizan, living human treasures, artisans, artists, traditional, old, artizanat, traditional, mestesuguri, meșteșuguri
Godja Pătru Pupăză with his daughter, son-in-law and nephew. The artist did not have sons, but his son-in-law is a skilled wood-carver, too, preserving the wood carving tradition in the artist’s family.

Continue reading A Maramureș legend has left us

The Vaser Valley – Passage Back in Time

For the tourist who made it all the way into the historical land of Maramureș, another surprise is discreetly awaiting: the travel back in time in the very heart of nature. This time around, the props are not man but nature made. It is not the old wooden houses in picturesque villages or the people’s garbs like those that the Dacians wore two millennia ago. Instead it is perhaps what may still be the wildest and most beautiful landscape in Romania – and this is not for the lack of competition.

Vaser Valley, Valea Vaserului, Maramures, Romania, Transylvania, mocanita, mocănița, Maramureș, Transilvania, wood, railway, Viseu, Vișeu, Claudiu Moldovan, woods, locomotives,

Continue reading The Vaser Valley – Passage Back in Time

Gavrilă Hotico-Herenta – Church maker, restorer and above all, Man

I thanked Saint Peter for finding Gavrilă Hotico-Herenta at home in his Ieud village – it was 29th June and work across all villages of Maramureş was grounded to a halt in observance of one of the most important religious festivities of the year. Otherwise, it would have been impossible to get hold of him, as it is several decades now that he moves between various sites across Romania, which his wife can attest.

Gavrilă Hotico-Herenta, Gavrila Hotico Herenta, Ieud, Maramures, Romania, traditions, artists, traditional, Transylvania, wood carver, church, wood church, restorer, old, traditions, UNESCO, Living Human Treasure
Wooden cross – troiță – in front of the Greek-Catholic church in the Dragomirești Village, built by Gavrilă Hotico-Herenta

Continue reading Gavrilă Hotico-Herenta – Church maker, restorer and above all, Man