The Department of Ethnology of the National Museum “Zaječar” was established in 1952. Presently, the Department has over 5,000 objects from the period between the end of 18th to 21st century, mostly from the territory of Zaječar, but also from territories of other Municipalities in Eastern Serbia. The objects are classified into collections within groups Town Ethnology, led by ethnologist Suzana Antić, Senior Curator and the Village Ethnology, led by Senior Curator Dejan Krstić, MSc. The collections are characterized by diversity, because the area of the City of Zaječar is a hub of a dozen different ethnical streams from all corners of the World. By the number of objects and their magnificence the following collections should be singled out: jewellery, distaffs, belts and socks and gloves. A part of the permanent exhibition in the Museum building is dedicated to the Department of Ethnology.
The Department of Ethnology has three branches. The first is the Radul-bey’s Konak, an 18th century traditional architecture monument, which is the oldest building in the City, with a permanent exhibition related to the “old” Zaječar on the upper floor and with a gallery used for temporary exhibitions and other cultural events on the ground floor. The Department of Ethnology is also responsible for the traditional architecture monument – the Turkish mill, from the beginning of the 19th century, which is presently used as a restaurant with national cuisine. The third branch is a house in the village of Mali Izvor, some 20 kilometres south of Zaječar, which was received as a present to the Museum in December 2008. This is a monument of traditional architecture from the end of 19th century and it is foreseen to house a permanent ethnological exhibition.
The Town Ethnology contains the following collections:
- Town costumes
- Textile household carpets, tapestries, etc.
- Textile devices and appliances
- Embroideries and laces
- Household inventories
- Parts of town architecture
- Crafts (goldsmiths, tailors, pottery, waxworks)
- Items used in customs
- Cult items
- Folk practices and customs
- Smoking accessories
- Writing accessories
- Children’s toys
The Village Ethnology contains:
- Village traditional costumes and bags
- Village household furniture and village architecture
- Traditional economy and traffic
- Traditional crafts
- Traditional musical instruments and sound reproduction devices
Dejan Krstić, MSc
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