Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Moldovei – XX / 2020


The second part of the analysis of the handicraft heritage from the collections of The Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia is dedicated to wood working. The research focused on the wood working proper (joinery; carpentry; spoons or troughs making, etc.), cooperage (“butnărit” or “dogărit”) and wheelwrighting (“rotărit” or “obădărit”). The analysis starts with a few historical and ethnological introductory considerations on the statute of the old and numerous occupations related to wood, but also on the deep connection that our forerunners have had with “the wood civilization” (Vasile Pârvan). Next the analyses surveys ca. 400 items distributed as follows: wood working proper – ca. 250, cooperage – ca. 100, and wheelwrighting – ca. 50. The ample scientific approach focused mainly on the identification of the primary categories of tools and installations to which these 400 items correspond. A novelty would be the “dialogue” between the tools owned by the museum of Iaşi and their elder “sisters”, found in Tudor Pamfile’s publication from 1910. In the cases in which this “dialogue” was not possible, we used mainly the recent studies of Ion Chelcea, the founder of the Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia, but also some published and unpublished articles signed by former museum specialists of Iaşi (out of which special mention should be made on Melania Ostap’s articles). We discovered more than 50 types and subtypes of tools and installations, many of them belonging to all three fields, and others being, of course, specific only to cooperage or wheelwrighting. Systemizing this remarkable heritage is an effort that exceeds the power and skills of a single specialist, no matter how trained. The research and turning to account of our old handicrafts is a time-consuming and very laborious task, whose complex horizons were magisterially revealed by the great Romanian scholar Petru Caraman. Therefore, our research, conceived also as a humble homage paid to those who founded this heritage, constitute merely a beginning and a motivation for knowing the handicrafts that, according to Tudor Pamfile, had been, until not so far ago, “the basis for the entire vitality of our people”.

Keywords: museum, Iaşi, Moldavia, heritage, handicrafts, occupations, craftsmen, tools, wood working, cooperage, wheelwrighting.

Cuvinte-cheie: muzeu, Iaşi, Moldova, patrimoniu, meşteşuguri, meserii, meşteri, unelte, prelucrarea lemnului, dogărit, rotărit.