Registered with no. 379 in the collections of the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography, the bead cincture from Uricani presented as the artefact of the week is an ornament worn by women from the Jiu Valley area, specific to the period between the 19th – 20th centuries. The local name is “lătițar” and it is made of glass beads usually bought from country fairs that coincided with villatic parties, from Slovak street vendors also called “vengheri”. Such ornaments were worn mainly by the descendants of serfs and are similar to the version found in older pieces, chosen or embroidered. The motifs of the decoration are usually geometric or floral and are made by stringing, the beads having very small dimensions that allow the realization of a refined decoration, amplified by rich colors. The ornamentation of this week’s artifact has, in foreground, a succession of white rhombuses filled with pink, red, green, orange-yellow beads, on a blue background, fixed on a woven cotton cincture. Attached to one of the ends is a fragment of rectangular “lătițar”, decorated with polychrome floral motifs and which, at the lower end, is finished with 11 fringes made of beads ranged on a thread. The piece was fastened around the cincture with the help of a cord that has “cănaci” (tassels) made of beads and wool on both ends. The appearance of “lătițar” highlights a stylistic kinship with the “balț” from the Pădureni Land, which also had laterally attached a rectangular “chici”, but decorated in this case with tin chain links, keys and brass rings.
Text: Sebastian Paic – MET museographer
Photo: George Ciupag – MET museographer, photo-video, digital image processing