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Sołtys Croft in Jurgów


The farm buildings comprise a woodshed, a sheepfold, a threshing-floor and a stable. All are built of spruce logs, with the roof covered with lathing. The woodshed was used for storing wood and keeping a sledge, and often also weaving implements not used in the summer. The sheepfold could house almost thirty sheep. The tool used for threshing was the flail; certain stages of flax processing also took place on the threshing-floor.

In the chamber, Jurgów costume of the late 19th/early 20th century, now unique, is on display. The clothes assembled inside the poor croft illustrate how the villagers, both the richer and the poorer, dressed.

There are several varieties of Spisz costumes; each in itself quite varied. The villagers of Jurgów, Czarna Góra and Rzepiska wore what ethnographers describe as the Jurgów variety. The traditional outfit largely depended on natural, home-manufactured materials, wool, linen and leather. With two fulling-mills in the past, Jurgów was well known as a weaving centre where woollen fabric was made of worsted yarn, and canvas and thin tulle-like fabrics of very thin linen yarn. Some elements of the costume, especially those intended for women, were factory-made. Of these, the red woollen cloth, of which the rich highlanders’ wives made their skirts and bodices, was very popular. Mass-produced cotton fabric and silk were also bought, as well as brocade for caps and bodices. With its well-developed textile industry, Kieżmark was the place for buying decorative accessories and haberdashery.

The typical male outfit, initially rather modest, consisted of a home-spun linen shirt, white woollen cloth pants, a russet cloth overcoat, a sheepskin coat, a sleeveless jacket and a wide leather belt. As time went on, the outfit grew richer in embroidery and other decorations. The best men wore interesting embellishments on their hats made by bridesmaids of pieces of straw, red woollen cloth and goose feathers.

The Jurgów costume collection illustrates how the local costume changed with the changing circumstances. Today, on the occasion of church holidays and family celebrations, the villagers more and more often put on Spisz costumes made according to traditional patterns.


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Translated & edited by: Joanna Holzman, Adrian Smith, Anna Wende-Surmiak