Doina Dobreanu, former teacher in Subcetate commune, Harghita county has gathered over a hundred unique traditional shirts in her lifetime. She mainly collects shirts from the area of Superior Mures. Some of these shirts have their own history, as they have been created by hand in the beginning of the 20th century.
The commune where she lives also has its unique history. Subcetate commune, even though it has only 2000 residents, is one of the oldest settlements in the north of Harghita county. According to mediafax.ro the settlement has been first mentioned in the year of 1773 when 32 families of peasants lived in the area. Doina Dobreanu says that women have always woven in their houses beautiful clothes, carpets, covers and curtains. She says that the traditional clothes that people still wear is the same style that Dacians used to wear.
Doina Dobreanu became interested in these clothes when she retired and wanted to find a hobby. She wanted to research them and publish them in a book.So she went around the village to ask women if they could offer some of their shirts. The first shirts she collected came from her parents, grandparents and her teacher. Some people were reluctant to give their clothes away as they had an emotional value or they did not want to give up their traditions.
Doina had to pay a very steep price for some of the shirts and some of them were of really bad condition, as people forgot them in their attics and they were eaten by mice. Nevertheless, she restored them to their glory. Some of the shirts are made specifically for the summer season, some for winter, some to just wear inside the house and some to wear at special celebrations.
According to mediafax she said” Not only stupid people lived in the countryside, yes they had less knowledge, but they had tradition, they had a spiritual life, and last but not least, a more peaceful life. Those people were free in their own way, their mind, their way of thinking was free, maybe there, on the field, while reaping, women were imagining how to weave a shirt or how to prepare for a wedding. They had the sense of colours, of proportions and sometimes, I also could say that it seems (the shirts) are not made by a peasant. They are too beautiful”
source photos : Asociatia Culturala Dobreanu