Terrain study in Strandzha 27.08-31.08.2016

At the end of August (27.08 – 31.08.2016) a field study of the intangible heritage in Strandzha was carried out – searching and documenting the activity of craftsmen practicing traditional crafts. This is the first stage of the project “Greetings, Master! How did you build it? “, with the support of the National Culture Fund.

    The focus of our field study was the intangible cultural heritage in Strandzha – familiarization with traditional building techniques, crafts and craftsmen. Our team consisted of 21 people, including 12 volunteers (from different professional circles). Thanks for their dedicated work, discipline and spirits! Our working days were exhausting but beneficial. Separated in three groups we studied the villages of Brashlyan, Stoilovo, Mladejko, Brodilovo, Bulgari, Kosti, Slivarovo, Kondolovo, Zabernovo, Gramatikovo, Malko Tarnovo and Tsarevo.

    On satellite photos of the villages we visited, we identified all the preserved typical Strandzhan houses. We did inventory information about houses and photo documentation. Typical views, details, and assemblies were sketched. We had conversations with the locals who introduced us to their traditions and customs. We were their guests on the day of the Assumption (28.08) in the villages of Brodilovo and Bulgari. They greeted us with curiosity and the famous Strandzha’s hospitality.

   

Of the villages we visited, we found only six masters, and only two were specialists in the field of traditional construction. Master Yovno Yovnov from Bulgari village demonstrates the splitting of boards for the typical planking of the Strandzha house. Master Andon Zagorov from the village of Kosti told us about the traditional stone masonry, knitting with a hazel on the internal partition walls and plastering them with clay, rooftop roofing with “Turkish” tiles.

Grandpa Mihal from Stoilovo is one of the last basket masters. He told us about his craft, showed us the tools he made the baskets and the so-called “bush”. For the second phase of the project next year we promised the locals to return with even more enthusiastic young people ready to roll up their sleeves, to learn and work side by side with the masters for the preserving of the old techniques and the typical Strandzhan houses in this mystical area.

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