Accepted Paper:

The loss of wheeler craft  


Fruzsina Feketene Cseh (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

The final disappearance of the practice of wheeler craft in Hungary can be dated to the 1970s. Even so, it would be a mistake not to think about the masters and craftsmen who are still alive and can recall their experiences in this profession.

Paper long abstract:

Taking into consideration the lives of the craftsmen, as influenced by the changing social and economical conditions, and being aware of their memories are beneficial not only for understanding the technique of wheeler craft but also for following the loss of workmanship in lifestyle and attitude. How they have lost their experience in the craft is different in the case of each master, depending on their circumstances, their level of knowledge and the community they have worked in. Accordingly, the events they attach importance to in retrospect also differs. The process of losing the craft incorporates different memories and experiences, and takes much more time ─ 50 to 90 years ─ than the loss of practice. This process is worth following, as the ways the craftsmen have lost their knowledge also says a lot about wheeler craft, and beyond the changing memories, about the varied range of values and social relations of craftsmen. Studying the loss of knowledge raises new questions regarding the research methodology of disappearing and sometimes incomplete knowledge compared to an active and live craft. How and what should we ask, what kind of aspects are to be researched during the analysis of the life courses? The author of the paper tries to answer these questions with the help of her own new researches and experiences and by using other earlier researches in this subject.

Panel W082
It's gone - an anthropology of loss