In Mandra commune, Brasov County, the customs and traditions are promoted in a unique/authentic manner: by gatherings, meetings with the women from nearby villages, by telling stories heard from grandparents and great-grandparents in nearby villages, generally from villages in Țara Făgărașului region. This material will promote a custom taken over by Gabriela Bularca, craftsman in the traditional art of knitting, who listened to an impressive story about the wool yarn story, heard from her cousin, Elena Bularca.
The wool yarn story
‘One night, there remained no wool yarn in the shuttle. The old woman got up from the loom, told her prayer and went to sleep. She never woke up. Her friends mourned her for a few days, then one of them had suddenly figured it out: Girls, Maria went to dress the people in Heaven with our nettings. A few weeks later, another one was ready to go. Her friends were crying at her head: Stop crying, you! I go to bring Maria some rouged towels (traditional towels), to dress out the Heaven. Veta, when you come, please bring some lacy napkins with you, since you keep them in mothballs in the chest for nothing, here no one cherishes them and the moths will eat them! Veta smiles at her between the tears: Hurry up, sister, because if you stay longer, your daughter-in-law will catch up and will fill up the heaven with plastics, says Veta.’
The museum in the sky
The story is impressive, all the more so as the women in the village died, but their love for the wool yarn and the folkloric art they made with it continued beyond the sky. It seems they made a museum in the sky, where the wool yarn is honoured. Elena Bularca also says: ‘They were all gone, one by one. They filled the afterlife with unique beauties, while this world, on earth, is almost free of them. The craftsmen in the sky send us a model once in a while to turn in into an icon’.
The Museum of Fabrics and Stories
All these stories are told in the Museum of Fabrics and Stories from Mandra commune, where outdoor gatherings are organized, and the said museum is located, hosting thousands of pieces of the folkloric heritage of Țara Făgărașului, including old pictures, furniture that used to be in the villages at the bottom of Fagaras Mountains, the Romanian traditional costume, the glass icons that used to adorn the houses and last, but not least, the tools used in the households.