Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with the Ethnographic Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Science and the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Science
The exhibition is part of the project "Garden - a place of bicultural diversity and interdisciplinary intersection", in which the research interest aims at the interconnection and influence between the flora and the social world. What is the role of plants in the formation and maintenance of an existential basis, cultural values and symbols?
On the other hand - what is a man’s role in changing the plant life, how his economic and cultural orientation, social relations, gardening and culinary skills and practices affect plant diversity and how they affect the selection, preservation, modification or the erosion of plant genetic resources?
Home gardens are chosen as a terrain for this project as they are characterized by great plant diversity and the proximity to the home makes for more frequent meetings of the farmers with the plants.
The project brings together researchers from the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with the Ethnographic Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Science and the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Science. It is financed by the Bulgarian National Science Fund (contract DN10 / 1).
A strong emphasis within the exhibition, hosted by the Regional Ethnographic Museum – Plovdiv, is placed on local varieties of cultivated plants from the villages of Staro Zhelezare and Kurtovo Konare.
You can see the exhibition in the hall of the Regional Ethnographic Museum from October 12 to 31, 2020.
In the traditional mindset of Bulgarians, male and female roles are clearly differentiated. The exhibition "Men's Times" of the Regional Open-Air Ethnographic Museum "Etar"(Gabrovo) aims to present the different stages of man's life from birth to adulthood, specifically in the period from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century.
The man is a procreator, a provider for the family and a center around which everyone's life revolves. The male child is more desired, the boy is sent to learn reading, writing, and crafts, he is also the main heir. The man represents the family in front of the community, in the house his word is law. In old age he acquires patriarchal functions - he bears the major responsibility to look after the family and the community, advises the young people, restores justice and performs the rituals associated with the well-being of the family.
In the years after the Liberation, gender expectations for men gradually changed. Life in the fast- growing cities forced men to make more appropriate for their time education and career choices. This has led to the abandonment of a number of traditions and after the wars even changed the role and place of women and children in the society as they gained the right to quality education regardless of their gender. These changes reached the villages as well.
As a result of the intellectual and professional development, as well as familiarization with life abroad, men recognized the need for change not only in the society but also in their own lives. The exhibition is immersed in all male territories and way of life such as politics, technology, sports, justice, transferring the visitor even to the typical men's clubs and entertainment venues, barbershops, sports clubs ...
The exhibition "Men's Times" can be seen in the Regional Ethnographic Museum - Plovdiv from September 3 to October 6, 2020.
The exhibition “The mission of the museum as a heritage keeper. 100 years history” tracks the history of the museum since its founding more than 100 years ago until nowadays. It presents the deeds of significant persons like the secretary and curator Stoyu Shishkov, the director Yordan Popgeorgiev, the mayor Bozhidar Zdravkov and many others who bound their lives with the idea of the establishing and nurturing of the Ethnographic Museum. The history of the house of Arghir Kuyumdzhioglu, which in 2017 turned 170 years, its owners, builders and restorers, will also be presented.
Regional Ethnographic Museum – Plovdiv is a time-tested institution with a centennial history and substantial contribution for the preserving, researching and representing the Bulgarian traditions. The museum follows the patriotic ideals of its founders by continuous development and promotion of Bulgarian cultural-historical heritage.
The exhibition is on display from September 3, 2020 to October 10, 2020.
The feast of St. Ilia is celebrated annually on July 20 - a people’s and religious holiday. Hе is honoured as a saint by the Bulgarian Orthodox church. On this day, loaves of bread were given away in front of the churches.
The prophet Ilia lived in the ninth century BC. According to the Bible, he ascended to heaven alive. In Bulgarian folklore, St. Ilia was the chosen one to rule the thunders and lightnings. He rode a fire chariot and flew it in the sky throwing fiery arrows at the dragon (lamia). His anger had the power to provoke drought. This was the reason why people should not work on this day, but since this was the time of threshing, in some places, the sheaves of grain were allowed to be transported.
On this day, all rituals were associated with protecting the harvest from summer thunderstorms, hailstorms and drought. According to the Bulgarian beliefs, a “kurban” (animal sacrifice) was prepared, usually, a male animal (a rooster, a lamb or an ox). The sacrifice was offered for health. Often the sacrificial offerings were made on a mound, consecrated places, near centuries-old oak forests or chapels. There were a number of divination practices together with the Ilinden rituals. In some places even a prayer for rain was made.
The holiday fell in the middle of summer, when "land and sea turn over." It was not advisable to bathe in the sea, because of the belief that on this day the sea was taking its biggest number of victims as a sacrifice to St. Ilia.
On Ilinden, the order in which food was given away was strictly followed and it was believed that if one gave with both hands, he will receive even more from the saint.
St. Ilia is the patron of tanners, furriers, saddlers, tilers.
May all who celebrate their name day today be blessed with good health, a bountiful harvest and prosperity!
An exhibition by association “Meshtra - traditional knowledge and crafts”
The project “Building crafts of Stara Planina” by the “Meshtra - traditional knowledge and crafts” Мещраю, co-financed by National Fund “Culture” of the Ministry of Culture, aims to study the tangible and intangible architectural and construction heritage of the National Revival period in Gabrovo. Thanks to the conducted field research, analysis and documentation of various sites and the connection with local craftsmen, visitors will be able to learn about the architectural and construction achievements of Gabrovo region presented in an interesting way.
This Bulgarian region is extremely rich in historical and cultural accumulations, but due to the depopulation and a number of other factors, knowledge and cultural heritage are threatened with extinction. This is the reason why the documentation and promotion of traditional construction techniques and the study of the relationship between tangible and intangible cultural heritage are important steps towards the preservation of the local traditional architecture. It is a part of a process of creating a sense of responsibility, appreciation and respect for the legacy left by our ancestors.