Research on cottage industry in the Carpathian Basin has not paid very much attention to work with straw. In peasant self-sufficiency, in addition to wickerwork and rush weaving, plaits made of wheat and rye straw were among the main materials used for agricultural and household storage containers. In some areas the making of straw hats as an income-supplementing activity carried out together with agricultural work also acquired special importance. In the 19th century with the expansion of trade this cottage industry in places rose to the level of a manufacturing industry. At the turn of the century the movements promoting domestic industry and the trade exhibitions gave special impetus to this activity. It flourished right up to the Trianon decision of 1920. As a consequence of the dictated peace Hungary lost around two-thirds of its territory and economic ties were suddenly severed. In some parts of the Great Plain, e.g. in Hajdúnánás (today Hajdú-Bihar County), and especially in the villages of the Székelyföld region, traditional straw hat making has survived right up to the present as a women's activity, providing a livelihood for many women working at home. This article deals with the industrial history background, with questions affecting cottage industry in general, and with the past of once flourishing trade connections, devoting special attention to a few villages in Hungary and in the Székelyföld region in the territory of today's Romania.
saints acquired a strong following in folklore practices in general, as in the widespread use of the protective straw objects known as cros bride, or St. Bridget’s cross. 4 Columcille in particular acquired a reputation as an effective saint to receive
In this paper I focus on dualistic creation stories, but without an attempt at an all-European overview. The analysis is confined to Swedish, Hungarian and Russian cultures, and references are made to various genres of literary fiction, folk legends, religious folk epic songs and annals. In the background of these examples the religious ideology of medieval bogomilism can be traced. “The Legend of Småland”, a chapter in Selma Lagerlöf’s children’s novel “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils”, draws on a dualistic cosmogonic myth of apocryphal traditions. This myth represents a modified variant of an etiological, dualistic belief. Satan is replaced by Saint Peter, who is believed to have created the mountains, which are symbolic of chaos, in the plain called Småland. In contrast, the plain was created by God. In the mythological view of the world, the plain is symbolic of the world of order, i.e. cosmos. The motif of soil or sand brought up from the bottom of the sea as well as the cooperation of the Creator and his Demiurge in the creation myth may be part of the ancient heritage in Hungarian mythology, or the motifs of the dualistic creation myth may have been borrowed later in the new homeland from nearby or distant neighbours whose tradition had been deeply affected by bogomilism. In the Russian Primary Chronicle, at the year 1071, an apocryphal story can be read in which magicians (‘volchvy’) present their ideas concerning the creation of man in accordance with the dualistic concept of Bogomils. The human body was created by Satan, from a bunch of straw hurled down from Heaven by God, and it was God who placed the soul in the body. Certain textual variants of “The Book of the Depths” (‘Golubinaja kniga’), a Russian religious folk epic, describe the single combat between Truth (‘Pravda’) and Falsehood (‘Krivda’). This combat can be interpreted, although indirectly, as the Bogomil tenet of the fight between Logos (Jesus) and Satan.
Estonians Folk Customs).
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Eisen, Matthias Johann 1931: Jõuluõled. Tartu. In: Eesti Rahva Muuseumi Aastaraamat VI. 67-80. (Christmas Straw. In: Yearbook of the