Widespread throughout the entire Romanian territory, unitary in shape (elongated rectangle) and structure (piece of linen, cotton, raw silk canvas, etc., adorned with flowers or embroidery, finished in purls or hemmed, often with added lace), huckaback towels differ zonary by ornamentation, name and function. Huckaback towels are encountered as household pieces (‘strecătoare’, ‘merindar’, ‘șervet’, ‘zolnic’, ‘leșier’, ‘ștergător’, ‘mânăștergură’), decorative pieces for home embellishment (huckaback towel for hanging on a wooden pole, and huckaback towel for hanging on the wall), pieces used during passage rites - birth, wedding, funeral - (christening huckaback towel – ‘crișmă’; ‘credințer’ or ‘zălog’; bride’s huckaback towel; groom’s huckaback towel; godparents’ huckaback towel; huckaback towel for adorning horses; huckaback towel for adorning trees; priest’s huckaback towel; parish clerk’s huckaback towel; banner huckaback towel; huckaback towel to put over the coffin; huckaback towel which adorns the “spear” of the deceased), and also as an element of traditional costume (head cloth, head ‘tindeu’, ‘proboadă’, ‘cișcăneuț’ to be worn on the hand, on the cingle).
The huckaback towel from the image we propose, having inventory no. N8279, was purchased in 1959 and it is a godfather’s towel. It was loom-woven, in two threads, with hemp netting and woof, with motifs embroidered on the drawing on both ends, in the “írásos” technique (emblematic technique for the Hungarian area of Călata). The decoration with blue cotton thread consists of two narrow borders, disposed in parallel with the edge of the huckaback towel, having a symmetrical, frontly disposed ornament, composed of floral motifs. Perpendicular to the second border/frieze, there is an ample, wide decoration, composed of two phytomorphic motifs based on four inserted stylized flowers.