Traditional handcrafts


The gate is the ornament of the plot. In this country gates have a special magic, fact that gives account of their vast variety. Generally there is a separate part of the gate for vehicles and another part with sreet door for the passers-by. These two are integrated by the gate that can also be roofed. The Sekler gate with dove-cots represents a particular form of the gates; three typical forms of it can be found in our county. The 'dove-cotted' gate of Odorheiu-Secuiesc has a completely closed plane above the postern and the whole surface of the gate is adorned with flower-like carvings. Most of the Ciuc gates have more modest decorations, the part above the postern being grated. Around Cristuru Secuiesc, in the valley of the Homorod we can find 'dove-cotted' gates of which parts above the postern are ornamented with one or more pierced circle decorations.

In Ciuc, especially in the Casinu Basin, different types of the roofed posterns are widespread. Their openings have mostly the sun as the main decorative element in their inlaid-work. Their decoration is more modest, the tree of life-motive appears in the deepened carving. The columns of the uncovered gates, the spearlike upper decoration of the 'gate-idols' often take figural forms, primitive sculpure forms onto which they also place a 'hat' of circular tiling. The covered gates in the neighbourhood of Toplita are slim straight-lined constructions, their roof consisting of decoratively arranged small tiles. The covered stone gates of the Tusnads also deserve special attention, with their tall columns made of carved stone which rise as real triumphal arcs. Here we can also find several covered twin gates: among five columns there are two large and two small openings for brothers and good neighbours.

The rhyming inscriptions of the Sekler gates inviting people are of special interest as well. Some of these inscriptions:

"Peace on that who comes, Blessing on that who parts.",

"If good intention brings you here, enter; otherwise you can go in whichever direction you dare.",

"Generous host is the owner of this gate; he receives with open arms the tired wayfarer".