Traditional handcrafts

Folk furniture

Harghita county is the easternmost region of the painted furniture widespread in Europe. Famous painted furniture makers lived along the Homorods, in Odorheiu Secuiesc and its neighbourhood and in Upper Ciuc until the turn of the century.

The bookcases painted with flowers, cupboards, chests painted with tulips, painted headboards of beds, tables, benches with arms, bench-beds, chairs with "buns" can still be met in many houses. Near the Homorods painted furniture is still made today.

These pieces of furniture are somehow related to the Szekler painted coffered ceilings of the churches. They represent a peculiar folk branch of the Transylvanian flowery Renaissance following the Italian model, but they have also preserved the simple stylized forms, the Szekler foliation from before the Renaissance.

In some places we can also find carved hope chests made of oak wood. These are even older than the painted furniture. They are to be found mainly in Siclod, Capalnita, in the Casinu country and in the neighbourhood of Vrabia, as the old chest-making centres were also here. The main characteristic of these chests is their straight-lined decoration. The variety of work-chairs also deserve special attention: the figural elements of the backs of the chairs with their interesting lines and formation prove the richness of the folk fantasy.

The wooden bars and tools used in weaving, washing and cooking etc were also decorated by carving. The tasteful carvings and noble lines bear witness to the very high level of the folk decorative art.