Saturday, April 20, 2013

Painted village

Now a bit of off-topic - I would like to tell you about beautiful village on the outskirts of the Carpathians where the land already flattens. The name of the village is Zalipie. Why is it so unusual? Let's see...

Painting on the old house
In the old times... Imagine the simple rural cottages with a stove in the room where the everyday life went on. The wood-burning stove smoked and the walls were becoming dark. The housekeepers in order to slightly brighten up the room decided to paint white spots on black soot. Over time they started to transform simple spots into the floral patterns and then the colorful paintings. Women began to cover not only the stoves, walls and ceilings of the houses, but also the outbuildings. The rivalry between the painters has began and lasts till now as a painting competition. 

One of the famous painters from Zalipie was Felicja Curyłowa (1904-1974). Houses painted by her in her own yard have become even during her lifetime an ethnographic attraction massively visited by tourists. Curyłowa was also an active member of the community. She helped to glorify the village and sustain the local traditions.

Zalipie nowadays still is a simple village whose inhabitants largely depend on agriculture. Time passes slowly here. The impression of tranquility intensify sparse buildings. At first glance, the village looks like many others in southern Poland. But a careful observer after a short moment will notice unusual details: painted curbs, a well with a bucket, a barn in the floral patterns, walls of houses covered with flowers ... even the doghouse is painted!
Visiting the village we met a young artist, a girl named Joanna. She is one of the youngest painters in the area. As a passionate  the local culture and the student of cultural studies she told us a bit about the local customs. She is a treasure trove of knowledge about the culture of Zalipie. Her subtle paintings captivated me:

Painting by Joanna Krok
Painting by Joanna Krok

Each year, a week after Corpus Christi takes place a competition for the best painted cottage. It is the perfect time to visit the village - you can see the newly painted houses in the clear colours. But don't imagine you will find a standard tourist attraction. In Zalipie you can visit the Museum of Felicja Curyłowa but this is only a foretaste of folklore, which you can get to know only when you meet the people who create this culture.

Painted tombstone of Felicja Curyłowa
More photos you will find here
If you want to spend some time in Zalipie or neighbourhood ask here.

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