gravyliti

The house from Havrelivţi, Kiţmani district was built in 1960. There are no annexes in the yard. The owner of the house was the so-called „halupnec”- „ragamuffin”, namely the peasant which, besides the house, didn’t have any land, cattle or his own household. In order to be able to support his large family, he was working, together with his wife, as a servant on somebody else’s land. The double-room house includes a living room and hall. The construction is erected on wooden frames. The walls are coated with clay and whitewashed. The stoop and the lower part of the walls are covered with glue. The four sloping roof is thatched. In the living room, the ceiling is made of crossing thick beams. In the hall, the ceiling is absent. The house is heated in the traditional way and the smoke was venting into the hall. The floor was made of trodden earth. Periodically, the woman of the house was covering the floor with clay mixed with manure and soot. Approximately a third of the area was taken by the stove – hearth with hot plate – which included a space for sleeping. Next to the stove, there were the tools used by the woman: the bread peel and the iron stick for embers. On the right of the entrance, there is the shelf with the tableware, then the table with benches and above the table, the icons. Facing the oven – the hottest part of the room, the bed was placed, which was covered with a house-made cloth; next to the bed, there was the cradle hanging from the ceiling. Above the bed there was the wooden rod for the everyday clothes: shirts, underclothes, overcoats, skirts. In the middle of the room, there was the horizontal weaving loom, which was taking up all the empty space left.
In the long winter nights, the woman of the house was spinning and weaving, making thus a little money. She was spinning wool, preparing the threads for the loom. For the distaff, there was a special space left in the window bench. The weaving loom was rented from the rich people of the village, in exchange for some work days. The weaving was the final phase of the long and complex process, with several steps, in order to prepare the cloth. The order of all activities in connection to the weaving was dictated by the calendar of agricultural works. In spring, the flax and hemp were sowed, at the end of summer the flax was collected, threshed, (in order to take out the seed), was kept in the water, then spread on the earth, was washed by the rain and dried by the sun for a long time. When the raw material was ready, it was gathered into bundles and stored in the shed. Further on it was first “broken,” by being repeatedly beaten in a machine with wooden knives, or teeth, called a “break,” until the straw was reduced to small fragments, leaving its external covering, a strong fiber, uninjured. It was then “swingled.” This was done by suspending it beside an upright board fixed in a heavy log, and beating it with a large wooden knife, until the greater portion of the shives and coarser fibers was removed. It was then hackled or combed, by being repeatedly drawn through a machine of strong pointed wires attached to a wooden base. What remained was termed flax; that which had been removed by the special processes, tow, of which there were three kinds–fine tow, coarse tow, and wingle tow. The flax was dyed with vegetal or animal-made painting. Due to the thorough process of flax-making, the peasants preferred to grow hemp and to make products out of its fibre, even if the cloth was much coarser and its quality, lower.