A piece of history that is slowly disappearing
a tradition and a culture that is now completely extinct in Europe.
Maramures, an area so remote that the Romans never conquered it.
Yet, just three decades after the fall of communism, modernity is finally overcoming their centuries-old traditions, with this project I would like to tell and still preserve those memories that have drastically changed in just one generation, the villages shown here have gone from poverty, illiteracy up to having internet and cell phone towers.
Vasile - the "Official" photographer
Vasile, one of the best known characters of Maramures, considered the "official" photographer is subject to many visits from various TV bodies and photographers from all over the world as he has been telling for more than 20 years the uses and customs of this region stopped in time with the his little Fujifilm.
The traditional mask of Maramures
During our trip we came across this gentleman who invites us to see him while working traditional masks of the Romanian culture.
He tells us about all the times he has been called as a guest on various local television stations in northern Italy to talk about the Romanian tradition and the similarities with the Italian one regarding the use of masks (of which he is a great craftsman).
How they were used not only for religious reasons but also for plays, various performances and typical dances.
After visiting his studio and playing a leaf (I will post the video in the promised stories) we said goodbye by raising our glasses and drinking the classic Pálinka.
We are like brother
Georghe 95 years old, during our trip we are lucky enough to meet one of the oldest working artisans in Romania.
It lives near Ion, a little younger than him, with whom he shares a garden in which they cut and carve wood.
Speaking with Georghe we notice that tears fall and our guide tells us that he is sad because today he could not work, he felt tired, perhaps a drop too much perhaps some ailment due to 80 years of life dedicated entirely to this work which is now the his life.
Caldarari - the traditional blacksmiths
The Gipsy communities are about 10% of the population and one of these (almost the most numerous, count that they reach 200,000 inhabitants) is that of the Caldarari, traditional blacksmiths and skilled workers of metals such as copper and iron.
We were welcomed in this majestic house by Nicolae (36 years old) he is the head of the family and through the sale of his creations that he carries out directly outside the house he maintains the family.