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- Author Franciszek Zięba
- Date of production 1935
- Place of creation Chrzanów, Poland
- Dimensions height: 127 cm, width: 128 cm, depth: 50 cm
- ID no. MNPE/E/1
- Object copyright Museum – Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów and Lipowiec Castle
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska’s Virtual Museums project
This puppet nativity scene made by the carpenter Franciszek Zięba in 1935 is the first exhibit donated to the Museum – the Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów and the Lipowiec Castle. The base of the nativity scene is adapted to the needs of puppet theatre.more
This puppet nativity scene made by the carpenter Franciszek Zięba in 1935 is the first exhibit donated to the Museum – the Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów and the Lipowiec Castle. The base of the nativity scene is adapted to the needs of puppet theatre. The central part is a scene referring to the Bethlehem stable. Above it there is a silver dome topped with a six-pointed star. The outer frames are formed by two tall towers with clocks, stained glass and windows. Their façade is covered with a relief decoration, painted on a brick-red colour to imitate bricks. The nativity scene is fitted with electric lighting inside.
It was constructed for the needs of the staging entitled Nativity Scene from Libiąż for the Amateur Section Team of the Rifle Association in Libiąż. The section operated under the supervision of primary school teachers from Libiąż Mały: Kazimiera, Fryderyk and Adolf Balony. The premiere “carol singing” took place on the second day of Christmas in 1935 in the “Sagittarius” community room in the presence of the head of the commune, Mr Harat, the parson of the local parish, Rev. Flasiński, the entire pedagogical team and Libiąż residents. The script was based on texts from a book written by Oskar Kolberg: Common people. Their habits, way of life, speech, lore, proverbs, rituals, witchcraft, games, songs, music and dances were developed by a school headmaster, Mr Balon, in the Krakowskie volume. 52 puppets for the nativity scene were designed by Kazimiera Balon while the team members crafted them. Over the next few years, carol singers from the nativity scene visited nearby homes during Christmastime. They were also invited to specially organized performances in the nearby towns. They performed to packed houses, sometimes with all standing places taken too.
In September 1939, the nativity scene was hidden in the Kobylecki family's place, where it survived the occupation and the first years after the war. Afterwards, it became part of the museum collection. The full set of original figurines has not been preserved. The puppet (14 items: Devil, Miller, Witch, Herod's servant, Gypsy, King Balthasar, Herod, King Melchior, Grandfather, Hetman (Marshal), Officer, Woman, King Caspar, Death) were partially reconstructed and preserved in 1996 by a designer and maker of nativity scenes, Adam Waluszkiewicz from Kościelec.
Elaborated by Piotr Bujakiewicz (Museum — Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów and Lipowiec Castle), © all rights reserved