Monday, 13 November 2017

Adobe buildings from Stambolovo area

Just 30 - 50 kilometers south from my hometown of Haskovo, you will find a totally different life. The municipality of Stambolovo, located in the northern parts of the Eastern Rhodopi mountains, is a sparsely populated rural area with many artifacts from the past. 

For example, the adobe bricks, which remain as silent monuments of the ancient construction traditions. The technology of using adobe bricks is thousands of years old, and the archaeologists still discover well preserved ancient adobe buildings in Mesopotamia and Egypt. There are villages, where you can see the peasants use adobe buildings dating back several centuries. 

The adobe bricks are made of earth mixed with water and an organic material such as straw or dung. The soil composition typically contains sand, silt and clay. Straw has an important function: it binds the brick, in order to dry evenly, thereby preventing cracking due to uneven shrinkage rates through the brick.

Here, in Stambolovo area, there are people who still remember how to produce adobe. 






Thursday, 6 July 2017

Rugs from Zagrazhden

I am participant in The Balkan Summer School on Religion and Public Life, which takes place in Plodviv and Zargzhden. 
It is part of an international academic initiative to gather together people with diverse religious background and to nudge them to explore their differences and coexistence. 
In Bulgaria BSSRPL is run by the Faculty of philosophy and history at Plovdiv university "Sv. Paisij Hilendarski." 
During our visit in Zagrazhden we did a lot of fieldwork. In one house we found great wool rugs. Here are some photos, with my co-student from BSSRPL - the beautiful Japanese Anna Goto. 







Sunday, 7 February 2016

The aprons collection of Toma Belev

Several years ago I interviewed the Bulgarian environmentalist Toma Belev for one of my projects. During our conversation, and we found out that we are both interested by our people's traditions. But what a surprise: Toma said, that he has a collection of wonderful women's aprons from all around the country.
Come on, man, is it true, I said (unbelieving).
Yes, this is true, he replied.

So, this is true! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the sensational aprons collection of Toma Bevev!















On the left: Apron from Haskovo region, with a stylized two-headed eagle. Southern Bulgaria was under strong Byzantine and Greek influence, and as we know, this eagle was the sign of the Eastern Roman Empire. 
On the right: A holiday apron with floral motifs, also from Haskovo region.


On the left: Apron from Harmanli region, Southern Bulgaria. 
On the right: Apron from Elhovo region, Southern Bulgaria. 















On the left: Apron from Elhovo, Southern Bulgaria. 
On the right: Apron from Elhovo, Southern Bulgaria. 







On the left: apron from Breze village, Rhodope mountains, Southern Bulgaria. 
On the right: apron from Chech region, Southwest Rhodope mountains, Southern Bulgaria.  














On the left: apron from Draka village, Southeast Bulgaria. 
On the right: apron from Gotze Delchev region, Southwest Bulgaria. 











On the left: apron from Razlog region, Pirin mountain, Southwest Bulgaria. 
On the right: apron from Laki region, Middle Rhodope mountains, Southern Bulgaria. 


On the left: apron from Shiroka laka village, Rhodope mountains, Southern Bulgaria. 
On the right: apron from Sliven region, Southeast Bulgaria. 









On the left: apron from Sliven region, Southeast Bulgaria
On the right: apron from Sliven region, Southeast Bulgaria. 


On the left: apron from Chiprovtsi region, Northwestern Bulgaria
On the right: apron from Alfatar region, Northeastern Bulgaria. 




On the left: apron from Alfatar region, Northeastern Bulgaria. 
On the right: apron from Apriltsi region, Central North Bulgaria. 


On the left: apron from Apriltsi region, Central North Bulgaria.  
On the right: apron from Apriltsi region, Central North Bulgaria. 




On the left: apron from Belogradchik region, Northest Bulgaria.  
On the right: apron from Central North Bulgaria. 



On the left: apron from Gabrovo region, Central North Bulgaria.   

On the right: apron from Lovech area, Central North Bulgaria. 




On the left: apron from Lovech area, Central North Bulgaria. 
On the right: apron from Opaka area, Northeast Bulgaria. 















On the left: apron from Pleven or Troyan area, Central North Bulgaria. 
On the right: apron from Pleven area, Central North Bulgaria. 














On the left: apron from Pleven or Troyan area, Central North Bulgaria. 
On the right: apron from Pleven area, Central North Bulgaria. 











On the left: apron from Ruse region area, Northeastern Bulgaria. 
On the right: apron from Troyan area, Central North Bulgaria. 

















On the left: apron from Veliko Tarnovo area, Central North Bulgaria
On the right: apron from Vidin area, Northwestern Bulgaria







On the right: apron from Vidin area, Northwestern Bulgaria
On the left: apron from Vidin area, Northwestern Bulgaria


On the right: apron from Vidin area, Northwestern Bulgaria
On the left: apron from Vidin area, Northwestern Bulgaria



On the right: apron from Vratsa area, Northwestern Bulgaria
On the left: apron from Vratsa area, Northwestern Bulgaria

On the right: apron from Vratsa area, Northwestern Bulgaria
On the left: apron from Vratsa area, Northwestern Bulgaria

















On the right: apron from Vratsa area, Northwestern Bulgaria
On the left: apron from Vratsa area, Northwestern Bulgaria














On the right: apron from Vratsa area, Northwestern Bulgaria

And finally: several aprons which location of origin was not identified: