Accepted Paper:

Painted dowry chests: the most popular containers in folk culture. Artifacts in contemporary everyday life  
Maria Działo (Jagiellonian University)Monika Golonka-Czajkowska (Jagiellonian University)

Paper short abstract:

The article discusses the most popular containers in folk art which are painted dowry chests, also called hope chest or dowry chest in contemporary everyday life

Paper long abstract:

The source of the article are field researches and the author's museum queries regarding chests in eastern Poland. These are dowry chests, richly painted in floral motifs, produced in craft centers in the 19th and first half of the twentieth century. Originally, crate boxes were used to store the dowry of the bride, which she received from her parents. Currently, a large number of these artifacts have survived in eastern Poland in private homes and museums. However, today they have a different function. For example, some antique chests have been converted by their owners for commercial use - such as a meat smokehouse or container for cattle's food. In other houses, the chests are kept with reverence as an element of heritage or grandmothers or great-grandmothers family treasures. These chests do not only store objects, but above all, memories, stories, biographies of people and things. In museums, on the other hand, the same chests are put on display, exhibited as the most valuable works of folk art. The article discusses the semiotics of the crates in the past and in the presence, the relations they have with their owners and the role they play in the community. The dowry chests used as containers are presented in this article with the support of rich photographic material collected during the author's fieldwork.

Panel P085
Containers / Containment