Ethnographic Museum

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The first collections of the Csángó Ethnographical Museum were born under the initiative of Ferenc Pozsony. In 1974 the continuously growing collection was placed into a peasant house built at the beginning of the 20th century. In the next decade the collection was extended with objects from different ethnographic regions of Transylvania and Moldavia. The first exhibition was organized in 1993 with the title: "Traditional Folk Art of Zăbala". The first the permanent exhibion called "The Traditional Folk Art of the Moldavian Csángós" was opened on September 14. 2003, within a festive event. the professional inventory, administration and description... of the collection was carried out step by step by the ethnography students of Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca. In 2004 Pro Museum Association was founded, the owner of the collections and the immovables. From 2005 the Museum is an external Department of the Sekler National Museum of Sfântu Gheorghe, Covasna County. In 2007 we started the accreditation process of the Museum and its inclusion into the national museal circuit of Romania. The exhibitions can be visited since 2003. The Csángó Ethnographical Museum – as a Department of the Sekler National Museum – received a preliminary notification of functioning in December 2007 from the Ministry of Culture, Cults and National Patrimony. The institution is supported by the Local Council of Zăbala, by Covasna County Council as well as by different cultural foundations. The most valuable part of this collection is represented by ceramic tiles. Among the 200 pieces we can find some from the 15th–19th century, manufactured under the influence of Rennaisance, Rococo and Classicism. The scientific research on the tiles found at Zăbala and deposited in the Museum produced several papers published in specific volumes. From the 200 pieces we managed to take stock and describe different bowls, jugs and other ceramics collected from the village and its surroundings. A part of these are the works of local craftsmen from the 18th–19th centuries, but we also have products from Corund, Mădăraş, Bârsăneşti, Satul Nou, Iara, Vadul Crişului, Rădăuţi, Vama, Turda and Zalău. The Saxon collection of our museum was realized at the end of the 20th century, and it was exhibited in Tg. Mureş, Cluj-Napoca, Sf. Gheorghe, Sighişoara and Zăbala. It includes first of all traditional festive costumes, interior textiles, different pieces of furniture and ceramics, coming from the regions of Sibiu, Sighişoara, Ţara Bârsei. With the help of these items we are able to represent the change within the Transylvanian Saxon culture and lifestyle during the 19th and 20th century. In addition to the collection of objects there is a rich photo and documentary material available. This collection of furniture represents the culture of peasant interiors from the 18th–19th–20th centuries. The most valuable items of this collection were manufactured in the 18th century. The most valuable dowry chests were painted in the 19th century. The collection hosts several pieces of furniture from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, showing a strong influence of Secession. The interiors from the first part of the 20th century are the best documented ones, the collection containing complete pieces of furniture from several peasant houses. This collection consists of textiles related to family life, to interiors, to everyday and economic life. In the last few years we managed to collect several complete dowries from the interwar period. The Sekler costumes collected in the settlement expose a changing process from the beginning of the 20th century to our present days. Thus we can trace the evolution of the modernizing region's popular costume. The ethnographic collection of Zăbala contains numerous articles of personal and everyday use: containers, water jugs, salt cellars, hand mills, grain mortars, wood skates, hammer, grain shovel, umbrella, fire tong etc. The historic collection consists of objects related to the historic memory of the locals, different historic representations kept in private interiors. There are also objects related to WWI and WWII. We also have numerous objects, representations on the members of family Count Mikes, who had an important role in the social, economic, confessional, social and educational life of the village. The Romanian Collection of Zăbala presents first of all local interiors, different pieces of furniture, interior textiles, popular costumes from the beginning of the 20th century. We have documented the life style of a Romanian family from Zăbala through interviews, documentaries, photographs starting with 1974. This way we inherited the interiors of this family consisting of furniture, textiles, articles of personal use and festive costumes. As the major occupation of the local Romanians used to be sheperding, the present collection presents different objects related to animal keeping and milk processing in the Vrancea Mountains. The Romanian collection also contains interior textiles and traditional local costumes. We can enumerate popular costumes for men and women from the first part of the 20th century, shirts, cloaks, mantles etc. The interior textiles are represented by kerchiefs, pillowcases, bedspreads, carpets, curtains etc.Along with pieces of furniture, articles of everyday use, costumes and textiles, the Romanian collection includes objects of a memorial character: photographs, diplomas, icons etc. This collection also includes costumes, textiles, ceramics from other Romanian regions: Oaş, Făgăraş, Bistriţa, Crişuri region, Banat, Sibiu, Vrancea, Bucovina. Csángó Collection was brought together by the founder of the Museum and by the results of the fieldwork carried out since 1991 by the researchers of Kriza János Ethnographical Society and the staff of the Department of Hungarian Ethnography and Anthropology of Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. The collection presents mainly 20th century Csángó textiles, traditional interiors from Lespezi, Oituz Bacău, Pustiana, as well as the shop of potter Gabor Raymund. There are also everyday and festive costumes, furniture, musical instruments, objects and printings related to their religious life and articles of personal use, pottery from Oituz and Frumoasa. Most of the objects represent the essential moments in the sacred and the profane life of the Moldavian Csángós, from birth to death: for example there are objects related to customs, everyday life, religious life, costumes related to the rites of passage, the art of sewing, sacred objects (books, rosaries etc.), musical instruments, symbols of christening, wedding and funeral. The collection is documented with the help of an outstanding visual material. In the villages of Covasna County Gypsies are dealing with different traditional craftsmanship: burning of bricks, manufacturing of baskets and brooms, while in other settlements they are making bins of wood for grains or flower. We would like this crafstmanship diversity to be presented within our Museum especially by the products of the craftsmen from this region: tiles, brooms, baskets as well as the tools in use for the manufacturing of these.

Strada Gării nr. 789
Postal code:
Zăbala is situated in Covasna County, between Covasna resort and the Târgu Secuiesc, it can be reached both by rail and by road.
Time table:
10:00 - 18:00
Phone :
Administrative subordination:
Covasna County Council
Museum code:
Contact person:
Dr. Kinda István
Muzeograf-etnograf, responsabil secţie
Classified :