As referring to the material civilization, even if the village today does not resemble with the one that existed a century ago, there is a constant concern for protecting its values.
The existence of numerous ethnographic museums explains a lot regarding this.
Village Museum in Bucharest (placed on one side of Herastrau Lake) is among them the earliest and biggest museum in open air from Europe. It was established 70 years ago by Dimitrie Gusti, the founder of Romanian school of sociology, which wanted to re-create the Romanian village environment, to illustrate the inventiveness and the artistic sense of the peasants.
Romanian Popular Traditions Pottery art Popular craftsman Countryside landscape in Rucar – Bran area
Today, on an area of 15 ha, it can be visited over 300 buildings – whole farms, collected from all parts of the country, offer the possibility of seeing and understanding the people’s way of life. The interiors are true exhibitions of embroidery, tissues, costumes, pottery, furniture and tools as well as kitchen utensils. The most ancient house is from XVII century (Zapodeni, Botoani). The local craftsmen with their traditional tools contributed to creating this special museum.
Romanian Peasant Museum (Bucharest), founded in 1990, it is a vigorous institution, one of the most modem and dynamics museums in Romania.
The creator leaves his/her mark upon the way in which the tradition, the art and the culture are approached: the life of the Romanian peasant is found under the sign of cross, of Christianity. The cross and the icon are the two omnipresent elements in Romanians houses and lives.
For the way in which it managed to put in evidence the character of Romanian spirituality, UNESCO declared it “The European Museum of 1990”.
The Universal Ethnography Museum “Franz Bitner” (Sibiu) – this complex demonstrates the opening to the ethnical identity approach in all its aspects which gives it a high European dimension. The Popular Traditional Civilization Museum situates near the wood modem sculpture exhibition. The modem, innovating, interdisciplinary conception makes this institution a place in which the education in the spirit of national identity is primordial preoccupation.
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The Ethnographic and Popular Art Museum in Baia Mare reevaluates a fabulous treasure in an area where one can encounter civilizations that reach prehistory – Maramure? County, Chioaru County, Lapus County, Codru County, Oas County are alive dwellings, still active, in which the wood civilization raised beautiful steeples of the Maramures churches; icons on wood as well as on glass, are the expression of the high spirituality that blossomed in this unique space. At Baia Mare there are two structures that complete each other: the village museum – in open space – and the pavilion exhibition.
Bucovina with its chromatic and architectural refinement collects its treasures in Ethnographic Museum in Gura Humorului, focused on Bucovina popular techniques. The traditional occupations (pottery, wood work and weaving) in Humor region, from Domelor to Cimpulung, reflect in over 2.000 objects that can be encounter in this museum.
Popular Traditional Civilization Astra Museum in Dumbrava Sibiului is an impressive space (over 42 ha), dedicated to Romanians material and spiritual culture; it is part of a unique complex of museums, focused on ethnical identity issue. But the authentic traditional values are not to be found only in the museum. Blessed areas as villages on Olt Vally, on the heart of Transylvania, on Dobrogea are true examples that these communities form cultural identities in continuous evolution. One can note that, in the present, the consciousness of this identity revives as well as the desire to integrate in national and European patrimony.
In order to understand the history, the present and the evolution of a community one has to understand its traditions. From this point of view, the Romanian village represents an open book to be read also in the future.