In Romanian Villages, Handmade Peasant Bags Are Still in Trend
Each handicraft is made with love, devotion and purpose. It carries with it the culture of a community. There is a village in Northern Romania, Straja, where the main traditional element is the perfect harmony and absolute beauty of black and white contrasts and the traditional crafts are still alive.
The costumes and other textiles and even the houses in sober combination of black and white betray seriousness, which is the true nature of the people from Straja. Traditional loom weaving in the village of Straja still thrives.
The simple black and white peasant bags, organized into logical grids, which originated in Straja, have spread across the whole region. They have been embraced by people all over Bucovina and, lately, identified as “Bucovinean” peasant bags.
The traditional crafts of making traditional bags involves hours spent hand weaving at a loom. When interacting with textile artisans, you realize the amount of time and effort they put into their work. Veronea, a local textile artisan from the village of Vicovu de Jos, Bucovina, explains that every inch of a traditional bag, the square patterned fabric and the straps are handwoven.
Traditional Crafts of Loom Weaving Peasant Bags – A Slow and Laborious Work
She has been weaving traditional textiles since she was a teenager, as the harsh times demanded a self-sufficient lifestyle. In her youth, she learnt traditional textile weaving woolen blankets (cergi), tapestry weaving (scoațe) and rugs (țoale).
Yet, if it had not been for a neighbor, she wouldn’t have started on weaving traditional bags, she recalls. “I asked her for a woven belt and she advised me to do it myself.
With a little help from her, I prepared the warp for a warp faced patterned belt. Then I started on weaving straps for peasant bags.”
Today she draws the pattern from imagination. Even though she has a hard time learning the loom, her daughter, Ana Maria, loves to take some fabric and create miniature bags with woven or plaited straps. She filled the house with lots of small traditional bags displayed on the walls, pinned on pillows or hung on stag horns.