CULTURE
 

The history of the region had considerable influence on shaping an ethnographic group of Puszczak and its culture. Elements of the culture brought to the Primeval Forest by settlers from Mazovia, Masuria, Podlasie and the area on the Narew River created the characteristic, known up till now, picture of Kurpie culture. Desire to be different than neighbouring villein people and laying emphasis on their freedom and dignity were very important moment. On the other hand, economy had an influence on inhabitants of the Green Primeval Forest. Local agriculture couldn't maintain families because of low quality of the soil and primitive tools. Therefore they looked for additional sources of income expecting to find one in handicraft. That is why carpentering, plaiting, weaving (linen and woollen) and ambering developed in Kurpie. Trade requirements forced to make high quality products and commune with nature created sense of aesthetics and susceptibility to beauty. Artistic values are met in the entire cultural creation of the region. It relates to houses where front tops, entering doors and heads of windows were decorated as well as utensils, boxes and banisters with wood-carving and sculpture decorations. Carpentering is connected with country sculpture. There were "Pasja"- Christ on the cross in each house and numerous wayside shrines in the villages.

The most interesting are goods which are manufactures nowadays and connected with traditional customs. They relate to paper cut-outs, bouquets adoring walls of peasant cottage , Christmas tree decorations. New Year's cakes, Easter eggs and palms. Self-sufficiency of Kurpie economy made farm-mistress we-aved and sewed clothes for family by her own. Even today embroidering and lace-making are the most popular regional han-flcrafts. Above mentioned handicrafts are still alive. It is possible thanks to attachment of local people to tradition and culture which must be preserved regardless of economic conditions and living standards. Continuation of traditions is expressed in intellectual culture (music, songs, dances) and traditional customs. Rustic arts, customs regarding annual holidays and connecting religion with experiences and activities of passed generations are the wealth of the region.

 
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kultura kurpiowska