Today, the swastika has an unequivocal association, its emergence in the public space arouses anxiety and the desire to immediately protest against recalling it even in its historical context. In Asia, the shape of the cross with bent right or left arms is still both a religious symbol (that is, Buddhist temples, among others, are marked with it), as well as a sign used to traditionally evoke happiness and prosperity.
Badge (colloquially known as “korpusówka”) of the Podhale Rifles regiment was introduced in the second half of 1930s . It presents a swastika with shortened bent arms against the background of a stylised fir branch. Embossed from alpaca metal sheet. The swastika is an ancient Indo-European symbol of sun, fire...
A clay pipe shod in a nickel silver sheet with a wooden stem. Decorated with an engraved and stamped geometrical ornament and metal rings (zbyrkadła) attached. The pipe cover is finished with an eight-point, cone-shaped, metal pinnacle (cubka) crowned with the figure of a cock (kohutek) cut out of a metal sheet. The stem is connected with a pipe neck with a double chain.
Podhale bagpipes — known in the local dialect as koza, dudy, dudzicki and gajdy. The Podhale bagpipes are a four-toned instrument from the reed aerophone group. They consist of a leather bag that is the air reservoir necessary to blow into the pipes, the bellows; a mouthpiece with which the piper blows into the instrument (duhac), a drone pipe (bąk), and a short triple melody and drone pipe on which the piper plays (gajdzica), set in a wooden casing resembling a goat’s head.
Shirt buckle – a decoration appearing in a costume of the Podhale region, used to fasten a man's shirt on the chest. It was purchased for the collection of the Tatra Museum by Juliusz Zborowski, a director of this institution, from Ignacy Prokop “Magdziarz” of Ratułów for the price of three million Polish marks in 1924.
White cucha jacket, in local dialect: cucha bioła — a kind of traditional outer clothing worn by men in Podhale. The cucha jacket on display constituted an element of the Sunday best outfit. It was sewn and most likely decorated in 1966 by Czesław Styrczula-Maśniak, a well-known folk tailor from Dzianisz. A year later it was purchased for the collections of the Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane.
Highlanders kept tobacco (habryka) in leather pouches, the so-called miechóry, which were made of cat skin, sheepskin or rabbit skin. They also kept tobacco in pouches made from specially prepared pigs’ bladders, the so-called maharzyny, which were tied up with a leather strap. The tobacco stored in them did not lose its natural moisture and did not get mouldy.
“Inside of this cottage everything bears the imprint of artistic preferences (...)”, wrote Stanisław Witkiewicz with regard to a highlander’s house. Applied arts, inspired by the region of Podhale, developed simultaneously with Zakopane style architecture. From the very beginning, Witkiewicz’s concept assumed the principle of completeness, i.e. creating architecture along with interior design, ranging from furniture equipment to the finest decorative details. Just as much as a highlander’s cottage was a model for architecture, its furnishing with particular items of equipment inspired stylish designs for furniture and applied art, because “all this had to be made of the material found in the forms existing in folk art”.
Full wooden sculpture depicting a man’s figure dressed in a folk outfit similar to outfits worn by Podhale highlanders in the 2nd half of the 19th century. It was purchased for the Tatra Museum’s collection in the 1990s. There is no information about its author, place, or time of completion.
Seasonal high-mountain herding was a traditional form of breeding in Podhale. For several months in a year people used pastures for sheep, and also for cows, oxen, goats and horses in the past. In pastures situated in the Tatra Mountains they had shelters where sheep milk was processed to make cheese. The dishes that were present in every shepherd’s shelter included, for example, scoops (cerpoki), wooden cups with a decorated handle that were used by shepherds to drink żentyca — sheep milk whey.
Highlander’s belt (in local dialect: oposek) Opasek — a highlander’s decorative broad leather money belt tied with several metal buckles. This object comes from the Podhale village of Ząb (named Zubsuche until 1965). It was probably made in the 19th century but its manufacturer, place of completion, and time of last usage, are unknown. In 1961 it was purchased for the ethnographic collections at the Dr Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane.
The folk sculpture Madonna and Child was made in the 19th century by a village woodcarver Jan Kluś of Olcza (originally, Olcza was an independent settlement, now it is a district of Zakopane). It belongs to the most outstanding sculptures in the collection of the Tatra Museum.
Kierpce (kyrpce in the local dialect) – traditional footwear of inhabitants of the Podhale region made of cowhide, with long leather straps used to fasten them. They come from the village of Bukowina Tatrzańska in Podhale, where they were made in the early 20th century. We do not know who they were manufactured by and when they were used for the last time.
Although bagpipes are usually associated with Scotland, one must not forget that they were one of the most popular folk instruments used in old Poland! They were also known in Podhale, where nearly every village had its piper who earned his living by playing this instrument...
The workshop of a pipe-maker, as well as a stud-maker, consisted of a small table on four wide spread legs, with a rather shallow drawer, bordered on three sides with low slats preventing tools and items lying on the table from sliding down. A small iron anvil was attached to the table; on top of the table, there were tools, scraps of metal, and rivets, as well as various bits and pieces which could be of use. The drawer was used to keep larger pieces of sheet metal, as well as unfinished and finished goods. The workshop was usually placed by the window in a dark room in the cottage, or it was taken outside on warm and sunny days.
Pipers usually made their own instruments, but sometimes they bought elements that were harder to make (e.g., drone or head) from the Slovakian Liptov. Bagpipes could also be ordered from specialised manufacturers. These instruments were made of easily accessible materials. The bellows were usually made of uncut ram or goat skin in full that was not tanned, but only...
The spoon rack was one of the elements of the traditional furnishing of a Podhale cottage. It usually hung between the entrance door from the hall and the dish shelf in the black room, which was called thus because of the colour of the smoked walls. This room catered to the everyday life of a highlanders’ family; it served as a bedroom, kitchen, workshop and storage for all kinds of farm equipment and tools. A spoon rack, or several spoon racks in wealthier households, was also hung in the white room, which served as a place for meetings and family celebrations...
The skirt, known as a farbanica or farbonica, is an element of the historical Podhale outfit. It was sewn from linen fabric, woven in a home weaving workshop, and printed manually with the batik technique and dyed indigo in the village dye-works in Chochołów, which was owned by Ferdynand König, Jan Krzeptowski Sabała’s son-in-law. In Podhale women wore such skirts in the second half of the 19th century.
Skirt of silk taffeta brocaded with a silk thread – an element of a woman's festive dress from the Podhale region. The skirt comes from Zakopane or its vicinity. Its fabric dates back to the second half of the 18th century. The time when the skirt was made and the period of its use are unknown.
The Our Lady of Ludźmierz painting on glass was painted in 1970 by Władysław Walczak-Baniecki (1930–2011), folk artist from Zakopane. It is one of three paintings of his on this theme included in the collections at the Tatra Museum. The other two were completed in 1967 and 1973. They were all painted according to one scheme developed by the artist and repeated in every painting, and they differ only in the colour scheme.