We Travel to Meet Traditional Artisans Still Keeping the Ancient Crafts Alive
It is fascinating to meet people who still practice old occupations. In the past two weeks, we’ve been traveling 600 km to find some of them. We are now in Bukovina, in the northern part of Romania, a place where some occupations have been preserved for centuries. Hospitality, strength and dignity are the virtues of these peasants. No wonder you can still find really old items in this area. They created them by hand. Their handcrafted products are durable and can be kept in the family for generations. Moreover, a manually made item stores the energy of it’s maker.
It is, by far, the best and most special experience we ever had. We met a lot of interesting traditional artisans. There are always new things you can learn from each one of them.
10 Old Occupations Still Practiced in Romania
- The Cooper or barrel maker is someone who makes barrels. Even if he is 91 years old, he still makes entirely wooden tankards and butter makers.
- A blacksmith is someone who makes the horseshoes and a farrier puts them on. The blacksmith we found is also a farrier. He is really authentic, using antique tools, nothing modern.
- The cloth weaver is someone who weaves fabric. We learned how traditional blouses, wrap round skirts, handbags can emerge from a loom. I also wove for the first time myself.
- A wheelwright is a person who builds wheels. I never thought that making a wheel could be so complicated!
- A furrier is a person whose occupation is the designing, cleaning or repairing of furs.
- A shoe maker is a person who makes or repairs shoes. Two months ago, we had a hard time looking for a shoemaker, who makes peasant sandals. When we finally found him, we were glad we did find an authentic shoemaker.
- A stone carver is a person that shapes pieces of natural stone, by the controlled removal of stone. He carved figures into a cliff on top of a mountain!
- A wood carver is a person who works the wood with a cutting tool, a chisel or mallet, resulting a wooden figure. He is an inspiring man, living in a cabin in his own wood.
- A trumpeter is someone who plays the trumpet. We found an authentic, archaic man.
- A spinner is someone who draws out plant, animal or synthetic fibers and twist them together to form yarn.