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17/50.- Sighetul Marmatiei, Celtic cross with twisted rope motif in the Museum of Ethnography

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Located in the Sighetu Marmatiei the capital city of Maramures at the time, the museum of Ethnography was inaugurated in 1926. The museum containing four sections (shepherd life, home customs, cottage industry, religious art) aimed to be a preserver of the spiritual heritage of the Romanians from Maramures. In 1940, after the Vienna Dictate, Maramures was annexed to Hungary so that most of its collections were lost. After the war the museum was reborn and enriched with new collections; it opened for the public in 1957 with a heterogeneous exhibition including archaeological, ethnographic, and natural sciences collections which were displayed until 1967. In 1971 was reorganized in sections and was opened for the public in its present ethnographic exhibition. The exhibition was arranged in permanently opened halls and was structured on the main categories of the folk culture. The first hall displayed the primary occupations such as hunting, fishing, wild honey harvesting, further the occupations belonging to agricultural and shepherd life. What one can see today in the museum are inventories of agricultural tools dating from the Bronze Age, inventory of a sheep pen, a hall displaying tools used by women in the textile cottage industry, peasant furniture typical for the region. As at the time of the basic exhibition there was no certainty of an open air museum, a large area was designed for the folk architecture elements, door and window frames, poles for porches, main beams, stove shelves, shed doors, gates of Maramures. Two halls display indoor textile materials, towels, tablecloths, pillow cases, carpets and rugs, the folk costumes, the jewelry and ornaments for brides, etc. There is a hall dedicated to pottery, a special exhibition of masks used in the celebrating of the religious holiday of "Viflaim" at Christmas. So in 1981 the Maramures Village Museum was inaugurated based on a survey of the region; it is designed like a typical village with church, houses and their annexes and deserves a separate visit.

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