Interesting spot of the settlement is the Csango ethnographic Museum and the Sekler Region house.Visitors can see here local folk traditions, elements of local housing culture, Sekler and Romanian folk costumes and pottery.The Region House was founded by Dr. Pozsony Ferenc in 1974 and on its backyard, in a granary a general exhibition entitled Traditional folk art of Hungarian Csangos was opened in September 2003 by the Kriza Janos Ethnography Society.

In the cavern of the building a large number of photos and maps are displayed showing the structure of the Csango settlements and their traditional building style. On the ground floor there are exhibited some interiors of houses from Gorzafalva, Leszped and Pusztina, some fine pottery from Gorzafalva, which have worldwide fame the original equipment of a pottery workshop and its working devices. On the upper gallery vistors can see every day objects from Gyimes and pieces of clothes from these villages.

 

 

 

The Csángó Museum in Zabola

(Zăbala, Romania)

 

The first collections of the Csángó Ethnographical Museum were born under the initiative of Ferenc Pozsony, at present a university professor at the Department of Hungarian Ethnography and Anthropology of Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, who has been collecting ethnographic material starting with the first part of the 1970s. In 1974 the continuously growing collection was placed into a peasant house built at the beginning of the 20th century. In its first decade of existence the collection was extended by 17th-19th century glazed tiles, painted furniture and objects of everyday use. In the 1980s Transylvanian Saxon and Moldavian Csángó material was added, featuring costumes, textiles and tools. After the system change from 1989 the professional registration, management and description of the collection was carried out by the ethnography students of Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, within summer fieldwork practice. In the country house visitors can become familiar with the monuments of Zăbala, with different historical illustrations, , traditional costumes, glazed tiles and an interwar local  "clean room". Near the Sekler country house, in a barn-like building the permanent exhibion called The Traditional Folk Art of the Moldavian Csángós was opened on September 14. 2003, within a festive event.

In the course of the past seven or eight centuries, Hungarian communities living in the Carpathian Basin have been continuously settling over the territory of Moldavia, where they have to this day preserved several archaic layers of Hungarian, Romanian, and other European cultures. The communities of the Moldavian Csángó-Hungarian villages have undergone especially rapid linguistic and cultural change in recent decades. After the Romanian political changes of 1989 the previously closed frontiers became open for the Moldavian Csángós too, therefore a massive workforce migration to Western Europe speeded up the processes of modernization and globalization in this region as well. While the culture change of modernization turned out to be a longer process for the Hungarian communities of the Carpathian Basin, in Moldavia modernization resulted in a fast process of acculturation within the last one or two decades.

As the international network regarding antiquities has already reached this region the  dealers have been consequently robbing  the Csángó villages. Thus the conscious collection, documentation and museal representation  of Csángó culture has become even more  urgent. The establishment of this new institution at Zăbala was connected  to the already existing rich collection. Since 1991, the Department of Hungarian Ethnography and Anthropology of the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca together with its supporting institution, the Kriza János Ethnographical Society, have carried out regular field work in the Moldavian Hungarian communities. As a result of this research, which now has been going on for nearly one and a half decades, and which has inspired several papers at national and international conferences as well as a number of well-documented publications and exhibitions, scholarly attention has been called to the assimilation and acculturation processes which are taking place in the Csángó villages.

In 2001, the Kriza János Ethnographical Society initiated the process of establishing a Csángó Museum in Zabola, in the Székelyföld. We chose this location because it lies near the Ojtozi Pass at the foot of the Eastern Carpathians, which separate Transylvania from Moldavia. The local county museum has been acquiring a substantial collection of objects from Csángó villages since 1974. Visitors to the Zabola museum can admire pieces reflective of local traditions of interior decoration, folk costumes, pottery, and historical depictions preserved in private homes.

The staff and students of the Department of Hungarian Ethnography and Anthropology organized the first permanent exhibition of this institution in 2003, with the support of the National Cultural Programme (Budapest). In the hall of the new building a collection of photographs and maps introduces the settlement structures of the Moldavian Hungarian villages and their traditional architecture. On the first floor, visitors can see the workshop, living room, and earthenware products of a potter’s family from Gorzafalva (Oituz), the bedroom of an old woman from Pusztina (Pustiana), and the so called “clean room” (representational living room) of a house from Lészped (Lespezi), met by renowned folklorist Zoltán Kallós during his stay in the 1950s. The second-floor Gallery presents the “courses of life” of Csángó-Hungarians of Moldavia, their religious lives from birth to death, their folk religion, printed and hand-written books of prayer and books of songs in the Hungarian language, and their festive costumes and traditional textiles. The exposed photographs are the work of Cova-Print Ltd. from Sfântu Gheorghe, while most of the objects come from the personal collection of Ferenc Pozsony. The material was enriched by the donations of Endre Atzél, Gergely Csoma, Mária Domokos, József Gazda, Imre Harangozó, Attila Hegyeli, Tinka Nyisztor, Mihály and Margit Perka, Vilmos Tánczos, András and Tekla Tötszegi, Bogdan Turlui, Gábor Vargyas and his wife.

The longterm functioning of this new institution, the management of its immovables and collections, the proceedings regarding accreditation are assured by Pro Museum Association (Zăbala), officially registered in 2004. As the representative of the Ministry of Culture exposed already at the opening ceremony that the institution should be included in the national museal system as quickly as possible, the Association signed a contract with the Sekler National Museum (Sfântu Gheorghe), according to which the Csángó Ethnographical Museum functions as an external Department of the prestigious institution. As the contract was accepted by the Covasna County Council, the financial sustainer of the Sekler National Museum, on March 21. 2005 museologist István Kinda, a newly graduated ethnographer, was named head of Department. Since then the local council of Zăbala has been continuously supporting the activity of the Museum. Further support was provided by the Ministry of National Cultural Heritage (Budapest), Communitas Foundation, Illyés Foundation, Kriza János Ethnographical Society, Hungarian Ethnographical Museum, Hungarian National Museum and several individual persons.

The staff and the students of Department of Hungarian Ethnography and Anthropology of Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca have been taking a serious part in the professional organization of the Csángó National Museum since 2003. In 2005-2006 we managed to register, to describe and take photographs of most of the older collections. At the same time we started the processing of the Museum's manuscripts, photographs and library. Also the Csángó Archive was placed into the documentary centre of the institution, an archive that was created at the Kriza János Ethnographical Society in Cluj-Napoca. This includes the most important manuscripts or published documents, photographs, documentaries, audio and visual materials related to the Moldavian Csángós, as well as the materials of the present researches on the Csángós. Our library in continuously growing due to donations and book change.

Our institution in Zăbala hosts special museology practice programmes for the ethnography students from Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, supervised by professional staff, and also the annual conference of young ethnographers. The Museum - attracting  a considerable number of visitors - organizes different lectures, events on the traditional culture, society and history of the Hungarians of Moldavia.