The traditional country dwelling included the house, its “will sura” (barn ), its “grajd” (the cow shed and horse stable), a “sopron” (a wood shed for storing wood for heating and cooking), a “cotetz” (a pig sty, usually for 2-3 pigs), a summer kitchen, a well, and a “cosar” (the corn crib). The court yard/barn yard was generally very spacious. Behind the house were the wooden outhouses, a large garden with vegetables and flowers, and also an orchard.
The houses were built out of wood, brick or “carpici” (bricks made with a mixture of mud and straw and corncob) and were always built facing south. The house was in two parts: “casa” (house) and “casa mare” (large house) separated by a “tinda”, a corridor which led towards the “zahata”, and where there was a staircase which led to the attic. The “zahata”, skirted the entire length of the back of the house. In Ukrainian “za hatu” means "behind the house".
The “casa” was inhabited by the entire the family regardless of the number of children. The “soba” (stove/oven) was the principal element of the kitchen (where one cooked, baked bread and even slept) and it occupied a quarter of the room. “Casa mare” did not have heat and it was nicely decorated. Here one kept the things of value of the family including pillows, covers, carpets and other family items handed down through the generations. Children up to 16 years of age were not permitted in "casa mare". This part was saved for special occasions, and was reserved for receiving guests for such events as the festival of Pentecost, baptisms, engagements, weddings or funerals. The house was surrounded by a narrow walkway-type balcony.
The cows and the horses were kept in the "grajd", and in the “sura(shura)" ("barn") -- which was attached to the “grajd” -- one kept straw, hay, the "carutza" horse cart, the sledge, and the plough. There was also a root cellar there where one stored food reserves for the winter -- potatoes, pears and apples were buried at the end of October and well protected so as not to freeze in the winter.
The place where one kept the pigs was "cotez", and ears of corn were kept in “cosar” (cochar). The small summer kitchen was pleasant, and called cuhnia” by the grandmothers. It usually measured about 2 square meters and was built of wood. Inside there was small “soba” with its “plita” (the cast iron plate) and its small oven, also a small table, chair and a bench. Kitchen utensils were fixed on the wall, and there were dishes in the “zamesnec” a wooden dresser. Those families who were lucky enough to be close to a source of water also had a well (fantana) in the courtyard; if not, one had to go far to fill buckets and bring back water to the water reserve at the house.
|Soba||^ Casa||Soba for heating|
Around the House
|Cuhnia||Cuhnia or the summer kitchen||The Weaving loom||Coshar||Shura|
"Fântâna" - The Water Wells
Ipotesti - modern houses
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