Wool Processing Pastoral Homestead and Workshop, Poiana Sibiului, Sibiu County


Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA
Sibiu, Romania

Particular of this type of homestead is the encircling of the yard by the perimetric placement of the living quarters - the house and the „casoaia” - and the outbuildings - the barn, the stables and the loft. The spaces among them are enclosed in the front by massive stone poles that sustain the gate and the little gate and towards the garden is another little gate that is covered with „şiţa” and serves as secondary exit. The house has two floors. The basement follows the slope of the village terrain and the living quarters stand on a stone masonry base with access via the stairs from the front of the proch. The layout respects the old type of Poiana houses with two rooms and a median hall without a ceiling and an open porch, or „privar”, that is covered with a prolongation of the roof. The „palimar”, or „privar”, is enclosed in the back by a wall of boards and delineated by a rail that was used as a resting area in the summer. For furniture it has a sofa, above which are shelves to hold the weekly clothes (garments and textiles used and washed during the week).
In the hall is the bread oven that occupies almost a third of the surface area of the room and its side is used as an open hearth. From the hall one can enter the two rooms: the living room and the big room. The placement of the two rooms varies depending on the slope of the terrain underneath the construction. Usually the unheated big room is placed above the basement. The living room faces the street in this case and it is the room for daily activities, among which is weaving.
The loom dates back to the first part of the 20th century and is of the more recent, shorter type with a pedal and two mobile rolls that occupy less space. The big room is a holiday room and provides storage for valuable household items that are carefully displayed on shelves over the bed. The room is richly furnished with the most important types of peasant furniture items worked in fir wood. The walls are richly decorated with pictures, litographs and photos, typical for Poiana Sibiului at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
The life of these villagers was characterized by transhumant activities as well as social ones, which brought modern elements such as the enameled „cahle” stove with blue and white ornaments, the painted clothes chest, lithographs and faience plates to the village much earlier than in any other mountain settlement, and on a larger scale.
The barn with stables forms one construction and stands on a stone base with oak soles and walls of round fir logs. The two-sloped roof is covered with fir „şiţa”. The construction has three compartments: the barn with attic and two access ways to the attic (one external for unloading and storing the hay and the other internal one for easier loading of the mangers in the two stables). Of all the weaving installations used here the following are exposed: the trestle for sustaining the bobbins and the brewing basket. The stables are located at the two ends of the construction, with one of them having a subdivision for pigs.
The „sop” is a multifunctional shelter with an external wall of fir logs and towards the inside is an open gallery facing the yard, a segment of the old stall with a few poles that sustain the beam on which the rafters of the roof stand. The attic of the „sop” is used for storing hay. Under the „sop”, the sheep that remained behind for the winter were kept, along with the cut and piled up firewood and the hanging, drying pelts. In summer there were operations of the domestic textile industry such as uncoiling, spinning etc. The „casoaia” is a small construction built using the same technique as the barn with one compartment, which served initially as living space for older women who took care of the household while the owners were out tending the sheep. Here also are exposed tools for wool shearing and obtaining wool thread - the waist distaff with horns and the stool distaff - the spindle, hook, and „tocalia”, which served for spinning the thread.


  • Title: Wool Processing Pastoral Homestead and Workshop, Poiana Sibiului, Sibiu County
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1854/1980
  • Physical Dimensions: w6.95 x h8.93 x d12.75 m
  • Provenance: ASTRA Museum
  • Type: Reconstruction
  • External Link: ASTRA Museum

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