Kalotaszeg Region of Transylvania

Arts and Crafts


Kalotaszeg is a region in Transylvania comprising around 40 villages with Hungarian and Hungarian-Romanian mixed population, in the mountains that separate the Transylvanian Basin from the Hungarian Great Plain.

In the second half of the 1800s it was in the villages of Kalotaszeg that folk art flourished in some of the richest and most varied forms such as costume, painted furniture, woodcarving, embroidery, and weaving. They also produced many minor objects, vocal and instrumental music, dance, and festive customs which were all inter-related.

In spite of  flourishing folk arts, the people of Kalotaszeg (especially those in the villages high up in the mountains) were very poor. Both men and women were forced to seek work elsewhere such as seasonal harvest workers on the Hungarian Great Plain. This is why  embroidery and carving done for sale became a way of earning an extra living first in Kalotszeg. These types of arts and crafts are still done for resale outside the region and many people in the region keep a room in the upstairs of their house full of embroidered and other decorated items to be shown and sold to anyone who might be interested. (such as tourists passing through)