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Toy “Lajkonik’s march” by Jan Oprocha (father)

A toy cart, or actually a platform on wheels with holes to thread a pulling cord through and 31 figurines arranged on it, rocking while the toy is pulled. The whole toy, including the platform and the figurines, is made of polychrome wood. The rectangular platform with its bevelled corners and wheels are painted green. The edges are coated with white, yellow and pink paint, and the spokes are marked with yellow, blue and red.

Photograph “Selling palms to be consecrated at St. Mary’s Church in Kraków” by Leopold Węgrzynowicz

Exhibits given to the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków by Leopold Węgrzynowicz include sculptures, paintings on glass, costumes, archival records, items related to rites... However, the Museum owes much more to Węgrzynowicz than shown by inventory sheets, which he even co-created in the first years of the Ethnographic Museum's operation, helping to catalogue and inventorise the Museum's exhibits.

Gypsy wagon

In the extensive exhibition devoted to the history and culture of the Romani/Gypsies, the exhibits particularly attracting the attention of visitors are the colourful wagons presented in the courtyard of the Ethnographic Museum. Preserved in the Polish landscape in the 1st half of the 20th century as well as in Polish pop culture thanks to the song by Maryla Rodowicz, they make an interesting memento of the vagabond, truly “Gypsy life”.

The “snow” type “Ko-omote” mask of the “Nō” theatre

In the classic Japanese theatre, masks are the most important accessories of the leading actor shite. With these masks, an actor is able to impersonate characters of both real and imaginary worlds (e.g. a warrior, a young woman, an old man, as well as a demon, a god or a goddess, etc.). By putting on a mask, the character is transformed and the audience is able to discover their hidden secrets (e.g. the extraterrestrial origin of the character), or fierce feelings tormenting them (sorrow, envy, madness).

Kontusz style outfit

This outfit, comprising the kontusz, żupan, trousers, kalpak, boots and karabela sabre, belonged to the Drohojowski Family from Czorsztyn. A full Polish national costume consists of an external part known as the kontusz and the żupan, the part which is worn underneath the kontusz. The kontusz was made of velvet. The back was cut in a characteristic manner with the so-called pillar, flared with a system of deep pleats highlighted with the sewn-in silk haberdashery.

Device — coffee roaster

Only a few of those who have visited the museum in Kęty are able to determine what the presented object was designed for. It is similar in shape to tea brewers, which were popular until recently, but its considerable size excludes this function. The device dates back to the 2nd half of the 19th century...

The Wilamowice folk costume

Kęty and the town of Wilamowice, which was exceptional as early as in the interwar period, lie 7 kilometres apart. Wilamowice was founded as a settlement around 1250 by a group of newcomers from Frisia and Flanders who took care of their culture throughout the centuries, including their own dress and language, so different from the one in the communities nearby.

Signboard with movable types (the Foltin family)

The signboard promoted services and products offered by Leon Foltin, who was a car mechanic and an enthusiast of motorisation in the pre-war period in Wadowice. He descended from the famous family of printers who, for almost 100 years, formed the publishing and bookselling market in Wadowice. Three members of the Foltin family with the Franciszek name — grandfather, father and grandson — cherished the printing and publishing tradition in the town.

Scapular of Karol Wojtyła

The scapular, whose tradition dates back to the 13th century, is, on the one hand, a privilege, on the other, an obligation. Those who accept it, by exercising the recommended piety (thanks to John XXII, who announced the “Saturday privilege”), are promised that, on the first Saturday after their death, they will be saved from purgatory.

Tadeusz Kościuszko’s sukmana coat

The homespun sukmana coat is traditionally believed to belong to Tadeusz Kościuszko, sewn of ashen cloth, with long sleeves lined at the end with red fabric, widening from the waist down. The upright collar is sewn with a red fabric inset. On the collar, along the hook-and-eye clasp, at the waist and the coat tail cut, there are brown braids of woollen string. At the bottom of the right coat tail there are four horizontal zones of blue and yellow embroidered with wool.

Kiddush goblet

Kiddush translates from Hebrew as “sanctification.” The ceremony is celebrated at the beginning of the Sabbath and other holidays, by saying a special blessing over a cup of red sweet wine (or red grape juice).

Etrog tin

An etrog tin in the shape of a pomegranate with three leaves, oxidised and open in the middle. The exhibit presumably belonged to rich Jews, as only they could afford such a decorated, silver container, used to carry the etrog to a synagogue on the holiday of Sukkot.

Easter egg from Kaunas

This Easter egg might illustrate the roads by which the objects (including Easter eggs) arrived there in the first years of existence of the Ethnographic Museum of Seweryn Udziela in Kraków . Sometimes, entire collections gathered over the years, and sometimes only individual items were donated here—the result of social sacrifice, fascination and exploration of folklore, and sometimes accidental encounters.

Sculpture “Mother of God of Skępe”

Sculptures representing the Mother of God of Skępe were modelled after a Gothic figurine of Mary the Servant from the Bernardine Church in Skępe near Toruń. The legendary beginning of the sanctuary is associated with the year of 1495, when the church was founded and where the unusual glowing person had appeared.

Wooden feretrum

Feretron is a special type of paintings or sculptures with saints' that were used not only during the procession in church celebrations, but also as portable altars during pilgrimages.

Procession float, obverse: “Heart of Our Lady”, reverse: “Heart of Jesus”

Set on a profiled base with bar holes is a picture painted on both sides of a board, presented in a simple frame, flanked with a wavy ribbon on the sides and topped with a decoratively cut peak with a cross. The structure of the procession float is painted with oil based cobalt paint.

“Flower” calligraphy by Chuei Sekiguchi (alias Kyōso)

From the dawn of history, the Japanese have observed nature carefully. The elements of nature, including various flowers with their symbolic meaning, became frequent motifs used in art and ornamentation. To this day, these natural phenomena are reflected in Japanese customs and traditions. An old custom hanami (in Japanese watching flowers) is still hugely popular when, in spring, whole families have picnics under blossoming cherry trees.

“Ima/Now” Calligraphy by Rikō Takahashi

The calligraphy depicts an ideograph Ima今 (Now) written with black ink on white paper. At the bottom of the work, to the right, there is a red seal with the letters Rikoh in the Latin alphabet. This is the artist's name written in one of the versions of the Japanese language transcription. Novices in painting and calligraphy were encouraged to carve their own seals − the art of carving seals was called tenkoku.

Men' tunic for Bronowice Costume

A man's kaftan without a collar and sleeves, sewn by hand and made of deep dark blue factory cloth. On the back, below the waist, there are three slits dividing the kaftan's bottom into four laps, the so-called gills. The lining and trimming are made of red cloth. On the front, the pockets are covered with pentagonal lapels.

“Suiseki” – “Kamogawaishi” type stone on a wooden mahogany base

Are stones precious? How precious can one stone possibly be? As it turns out, one stone can be very precious indeed, particularly if you consider Japanese Suiseki art stones. To quote Matsuura Arishige, whose Kamogawaishi stone on a mahogany base is part of the collection of the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology: The word suiseki refers to a single stone that has as its shape or surface pattern the ability to signify something far greater than the stone in and of itself. It is a tradition that has evolved to its modern form over many centuries.”