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Maramureş, The Land of Lands, is also known as the keeper and bearer of an inexhaustible thesaurus of folk art, traditions, customs and habits. The region is also a gigantic open air museum. With its strong rural character it attracts people to its villages, traditions and wonderful costumes, maintained here as nowhere else in the country. It is especially famous for the humorous, poetic grave markers of the Cemetery in Sapinta, and for its wooden churches. In Maramureş we can really talk about a civilization of wood that has been cultivated by generations. Since we really are in the land of the wood, we are not surprised by the fact that the first and most important trade is that of wood-carving. Beyond just its practical functionality, wood in Maramureş is a way of expressing beauty. All over there are wooden carvings decorating the beams of houses, the frameworks of the doors, the balconies and the pillars of the gates.
As far as weaving is concerned, wool seems to be a partner to wood in the villages of Maramureş, since women from here know how to make costumes, carpets, coverlets, rugs and purses.The folk costumes of Maramures are wonderfully decorated thanks to the talent and inventiveness of the inhabitants. The women wear collars on their necks, made of coloured pearls, knitted on threads. The men decorate their costumes with tassels.
There are different habits related to food. For example, on Palm Saturday, people make a little bread of blessed wheat for each member of the family. People say that those who eat it the same day will see each other in the next world. Or, on Christmas Eve and on New Year's Eve, each member of the family has to eat a piece of pig's trotters from a common plate, and there is also the snout of the pig, about which people say that eating it brings luck. ("All troubles are rooted out and removed"). None of these are eaten without a deţ (swallow, draught) of horincă (brandy). Horinca is an omnipresent drink in the region of Maramureş. In this region there are four ethnographical regions known under the following names:

Land of Maramureş
Land of Lăpuş
Land of Chioar
Land of Codru

The Land of Maramureş is one of the largest basins of the Carpathian chain, covering a surface of approximately 10,000 km² between the Oaş, Gutâi and Ţibleş Mountains. It is divided into two regions by the upper basin of the Tisa river: the southern part belongs to Romania, and the northern part to Ukraine. The mountains, even nowadays, cover more than the half of the region's surface. They are covered by woods of oak, beech and spruce fir; the omnipresent forest has left its fingerprint almost everywhere, starting from the traditional wooden architecture of the houses and churches, to the famous wooden gates and household tools.
The historical Maramureş is still a giant natural museum of a civilization built around wood, in its utilitarian and spiritual expression, taken to perfection; a place where the forms, starting with those infinite and those monumental, are of the same material and spirit. This peasant-type civilization is in fact a thoroughly structured system of useful or symbolic tools, with different material and/or spiritual functions. The people populate the folkloric universe with customs related to the calendar and are intensified in the passing rituals. This world of wood, useful and miraculous at the same time, has a diverse iconography, filled with forms having profound general-human meanings. All forms expressed in wood are distributed in an intuitive harmony very close to perfection, representing a formal tale, in which there are abstract forms (geometrical or geometrized) and figurative as well as different kinds of motifs: Phytomorphic, zoomorphic, cosmomorphic, schemomorphic and religious.

The Land of Lăpuş is situated south of the town of Cavnic. The geographical frontiers of the region are not very distinct, but they follow the volcanic chain of the Gutâi-Lăpuş-Ţibleş Mountains in north-north-east, the Breaza peak in south-south-east and the Şatra peak and the Preluca hills in the west.
The traditional occupations of people living here are agriculture, animal breeding, woodworking, bee keeping, hunting, pottery, and egg decoration. The calendar of holidays is based on the Christian calendar (orthodox), but also the calendar of "old women". The holidays follow each other in a circular rhythm, marking the bipolar peasant spirituality, oriented towards transcendence and transience. The days have specific meanings, the nights have specific prohibitions. The peasants know the zodiac and they fast, pondering what will be the fates of their children. The girls go to spinning gatherings, and they call the boys by practicing different magics. The life of the individual is here a segment of a cosmic existence. People from here like dancing the hora and playing. On holidays they wear their traditional, very colourful costumes; the women's dresses are a special lesson in aesthetics. In the region there are many monasteries and churches, one older than the other.

The Chioar region or The Land of Chioar is situated south from the towns of Baia Mare and Baia Sprie, west from Lăpuş and east from Codru, on the Someş river. The land is full of hills here, with numerous winding rivers, the most important of which is the Lăpuş.
The diversity of the relief - from meadows to high hills and mountains- has put its marks on the structure of the towns, varying from villages with few households to very crowded ones.
As in the other regions, in Chioar there are specific costumes and traditions, as well as distinctive architectural characteristics, like the walls covered with light-coloured plaster. Especially rich and interesting is the musical folklore, literarily and choreographically related to habits of birth, wedding, burials, group work, social evenings. Two of the eight churches from Maramureş included in the List of world inheritance of the UNESCO are in Chioar, being the churches from Şurdeşti and Plopiş.

Being situated at the intersection of three regions, at the foot of the Codru hills, The Land of Codru is a region with an old history, related by its material and spiritual creation to the land and the being of the Romanian nation. It is a region with people who are proud of their working of the land, and also of their keeping of traditions. It has lately registered profound economical-social transformation, which offered it a leading position among the towns Maramureş county. In the past, peasants provided for the whole society by the products of their work. Traditional trades that developed in this region were agriculture, construction with wattle, pottery, fishing etc. The whole land of Codru is identified by the customs and traditions specific for the place, which strongly marked the whole region. In all towns there were different craftsmen with their products, representing cultural values, like folk costumes with special ornaments and colour, embroidery, popular arts (textiles on the loom and tambours) etc.
The Land of Codru presents different touristical opportunities and multiple development possibilities for tourism, taking into consideration the geographical location and the diverse vegetation regions. At Buzeşti there is a wooden church, an architectural monument, dating from the 17th century. This church is still maintained today, and is considered a historical monument. It was made of oak wood with stone fundation. It is pedimented with oak balls.


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