Dowry Chest story II

Having changed the social sphere of “higher” to “lower” has increased its rank – with an accessory interior fittings, this wooden chest became the subject of a full reference. It meets the practical function of cubby equipment for storing woman’s wardrobe. Accumulating over the years dowry for marriage, she was socially important role, testifying about family wealth and the girl economy. During the wedding ceremony chest was an element of “performance”. Dowry chest got a magnificent setting. They were taking effort to make the chest heavier , and those who were not able to properly equip it they were loading the box with stones. At the wedding chest wedding she appeared in przyśpiewkach as a female companion, taken away from the family home. Also during wedding ceremony typical songs, the chest was taken as a female companion, taken away from the family home.

The dowry chest it is part of a woman’s story. Each conceals the memory of a particular woman. Each of them is personalized, although today nameless. Boxes received their potential meanings at the beginning of their journey, but only unbreakable bound with a specific person,  their personalization has been sanctioned at the material  and metaphysical level. Each chest box was inextricably linked with one woman, accompanying her from youth, till the grave. Therefore, in the same house was as many chest boxes as many women . The most important was chest of house hostess. Boxes were closed by key, and each owner has their own key and that was the only person with acces to it.

Chest boxes are one of the most filled with content thing,even if  empty and abandoned. They ended their life in barns, attics, in the composition of unnecessary things, were used to store junk or grains,  often ended up as dog kennels. With a Leading Role fell into the background.

Today, they hit the flea markets and online auctions without a trace of history. No one questions the owner, no one remembers to whom they belonged. Looking at them, we can only imagine women, their owner. In most cases, without knowing anything about them,not knowing who they were and what fate they led.We can only try to read fragments of their history. Small chest boxes indicate poverty, while a huge need to have painted huge box, about raising money for the service, in order to possess the mandatory social requirement indicator of a woman’s fate. Owners of stately, richly painted chests didn’t complain about poverty. Boxes were they bought, or specially ordered. We can analyze even what capacity could particular girl collect, how much weave canvas, how many costumes hold, and how much valuable jewelry hidden. We can also analyze  rich or not so rich polychrome, formal solutions, stylistic, used colors, used motives. We can also admire the beauty of the chest boxes, because they no longer their trustee. But let’s look at the boxes as those that store – not colorful costumes, but the memory of women, in their size and individual and collective…

ref>www.ethnomuseum.pl

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Collaborative project part II

The idea was to takfind the same or similar elements of decoration in both culture Polish and Thai. Even if our countries are placed very far from each other we have manage to find peacock as a common decor in folklore culture of Thailand and Poland.

Colorful feathers, and above all beautiful tail contributed to the fact that the peacock was identified with royalty, immortality and glory. Christian tradition has its plume depicted as a aureole or omniscient eyes of the Church, while the Puritans saw peacock as a symbol of pride, haughtiness and vanity. In Poland, for centuries functioning quote saying, “proud as a peacock” or “walks like a peacock,” which refers to conceited people. Feathers of these birds have often been used to decorate knights helmets. Then, the custom of decorating with the heads and feathers of peacock became a part of folklore often presents in paper craft .Peacock motif was also present in the Polish folk songs. It is often combined with elements such as water, garland and a ring, which indicates its relationship with the age-old notions of cosmogony. In Europe peacock is present in medieval artwork – in manuscripts and paintings, often used as a decorative motif on buildings and churches. Peacock appears even among the animals in the stable of the Nativity of Christ.Peacock in Greek culture was the favorite bird of Hera, China peacock feather was proof of the imperial grace, while the leaders of Persia sat on the Peacock Throne.

In Thailand  peacock patterns we can find printed in silk, and peacock there presents as queen of bird  and also the holy creature call “Nak”.

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work in progress. Pattern need to be drawn in illustrator then it is transfer to be cut by laser machine.

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Dowry Chest / ‘Skrzynia wienna

Dowry chest used for storing clothes, food, documents, jewelry, famous in its rectangular block of antiquity. From the ranks of the Mediterranean culture they have travelled to other parts of Europe. From the early Middle Ages they became one of the main furniture in the interior equipment of the upper classes and as such the have survived until the eighteenth century. they  usualy took an important place in the home space so that is why they received an unusually rich setting. Each age style has left its mark on them. After Roman empire remains silhouette and iron fittings, slender boxes have been enriched with Gothic architectural reliefs, then renaissance brought a lot of varieties boxes and wall paintings that changed visage boxes to the end of their “career”, becoming the source of so long their duration. When supplanted by a chest of drawers and cabinets chest, ceased to be part of the interior design of  upper classes, it has been adapted by the village and for a good few centuries has established itself among the people.

In the sixteenth century chests appear commonly in cities butin the country  side are beginning to spread in the eighteenth century. The biggest interest for those chests took place in the nineteenth century. There were also a large number of centers producing them for the needs of rural customers and the huge diversity of typological and stylistic boxes. Chest became part of the canon set of a peasant interior (next to the table, benches, beds, shelves for dishes), being in this case also the most prestigious furniture. In poor, rural ascetic and minimalist interior, those chests stands out strongly compare to other furnitures.

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Slavic beliefs

Plants in folklore culture

Flowers in folk aesthetics occupy a prominent place. They can not be missed at any moments of the year, they are great feasts, being a kind of mythological restore order. Flowers can be used directly in a festive decoration or as an inspiration in the interior objects.

In the time of winter solstice at the end of the old and the beginning of a new cycle of vegetation. To ensure that upcoming year will provide good harvest they were setting in the four corners of the chamber, four sheaves of grain. It was believed that the house is the microcosm and that little ritual could help to affect the macrocosm.

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Also mistletoe known as a universal symbol ,found in many cultures . Important plant for Slaves and part in the beliefs of the Polish people for hundreds of years.  Its importance as a Christmas tree tied to the behavior in time of winter, signs of life ( because of green color). Mistletoe we can find  in the treetops , what is associated with the celestial world. In order not to lose their power, it was necessary to alert it from falling to the ground.

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