Seminar on Serbian towel

Ethno Network in collaboration with the Ethnography museum in Belgrade, organized a seminar on traditional Serbian towel. Curator of the museum, Irena Fileki, supported by her colleagues, introduced seminar participants to the background and symbolism of the towel within Serbian tradition, emphasizing the roles that the towel has in ceremonies that mark the milestones in a human living (birth, baptizing, marriage, child birth, etc.). Ethnographic museum opened its funds and presented Ethno Network members as highly skilled handicrafts producers, with some of its most representative exhibits, i.e. old towels that are in this way best preserved from oblivion.

Ethno Network continuously emphasizes the valuable role of museums in preservation of cultural heritage, as active keepers of traditional skills, which can significantly contribute to the quality reproduction as the first step towards preservation of old motifs and techniques. Thus, Ethno Network nurtures cooperation with Ethnographic museum and regional museums in Serbia that is of paramount importance for improvement of skills and knowledge base among producers as well as the quality of handicrafts within Ethno Network.

Discussion at the seminar focused on the need for concentrated, synergetic effort of institutions, donors, business community and NGOs, relying on the best practices in the region, to educate general public in Serbia on the importance of preservation of traditional motifs and improvement of quality and design, and ultimately the recreation of a national market for handicrafts.

During the seminar, female handicrafts producers from all over the country had the opportunity to see the standing exhibition of the Ethnographic museum as well as the unique exposition of zubun jackets, a traditional ethnic outfit in Serbian folklore.

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