Bags and other accessories

Cuffs – mânecări (mânecă = sleeve)

Decorated cuffs

In Oaș and Maramureș men wear a kind of knitted or woven cuffs on festival days which cover their wrists under the broad sleeves of their shirts. These can be made of cloth, velvet or woven in coloured wool, and are decorated with heavy embroidery. Mânecări were introduced into folk costume after the Second World War.

Gloves – mănușă

In some areas cloth mittens or knitted gloves are also worn.

Bags – traistă and desagi

Bârsana, Maramureș

Sângeorz-Bai, Năsăud

Traistă and desagi (or bataciu in Banat) are shoulder bags used to carry food and other items to the fields or market. They are made of flax or wool woven in coloured stripes or checked patterns or decorated with geometric motifs woven in alesãturã technique or more rarely with sewn ornaments and coloured tassels. They are used throughout the country, although nowadays plastic carrier bags advertising local mineral water and fizzy drinks are becoming more common!

There are two types of traistă:

  1. Larger traistă made of a single piece of cloth woven on four heddles for extra strength. The cloth is folded and sewn on two sides with hemstitch. A strap made of plaited coloured wool (baiere) or a woven bete is used for tying the neck or for carrying on the shoulder. The decoration of the cloth varies from zone to zone. Traistă are usually dark in Munții Apuseni, vivid colours in Banat, white and black in Mărginimea Sibiului and in “Hungarian” villages in north Oltenia and Muntenia, or pastel colours in Moldavia.
  2. Smaller traistă are used by men in the north part of the country. In Țara Oașului and Maramureș, those used on festival days are made of cloth and decorated in brightly coloured woollen embroidery in either geometric or floral motifs. Those used for daily use in Maramureș are made of black and white chequered cloth, have large baiere, and are called straițăs. They are used to carry tobacco, money, a knife, or a handkerchief. In north Moldavia and Valea Bistriței the strap is made of a belt.

A desagi is a double traistă, which is either carried on the shoulders or on the back of a horse for transporting different objects. Desagi are cut from a single piece of woven cloth folded at the ends to form two bags with the middle portion used to rest on the shoulders or back of the horse. The wool is woven in four heddles to give the cloth greater strength. Desagi to be carried on the shoulders are either made of cloth with multi-coloured stripes cloth or checked patterns. Those to be used on horses are usually checked but in natural colours. This type is also used to line wicker baskets used for carrying goods. Desagi from Banat, Maramureș, Mărginimea Sibiului or Valea Jiului have the most elaborate decoration.

Bags for hunting – traistă de vânătoare

There are also a number of accessories used by men for particular occupations or on certain occasions such as powder flasks made of deer’s antlers used for hunting. The traistă de vânătoare, a leather shoulder bag which can be decorated with appliquéd metals and leather on the lid is one of such accessories. It is

Men also carry leather pouches for their tobacco, or papers.

Published on 15th December 2017, last modified on 25th February 2018