LEATHER PROCESSING

prelucrarea-pieilor-beius

Of course, animal husbandry as occupation of the inhabitants in the depression of Beiuş, and hunting as a secondary occupation, were rich sources of raw materials not only in the diet (by selling meat, milk), but, among others, in leather processing and the use of the leather for making their major components of the folk costume or for covering other household utilities.

For the traditional costume, shingles, coats, boots, sandals, belts, bags, were indispensable as well as for the harnesses, reins, leather bottom sieves etc. in other uses. It should be stressed that the official use in the manufacture of leather clothing comes from ancient times with a history of using infinitely greater than that of usual fibers. In this perspective, even if we lack archaeological data or documentation we must ascribe this craft a similar certification in the Country of Beiuş with the old human habitat in the area. This multimillenary time was enough to build specific types of dress, some functionalities exceeding strictly practical ones, climate protection notices, valuing the symbolic functions, bonding relations with the social or natural aspect, expressing age, sex, dignities, containing apotropaic virtues etc. The age of leather use here come of course in much later documents. First mentions can be found in land records of Beiuşului feudal domain, in the XVI-XVIIth centuries, as evidenced by the obligations of the serfs to give as a tax, sheepskins or goat, and fox, bear, mink, marten, wolf, etc. A reality that shows the local use as a source of income, because they were the only sources of income taxes imposed. In this idea, the land record of 1600 includes, among others, the existence in Beiuş of 9 furriers. In 1733 Beiuş is recorded with 20 shoemakers and many leather tanners and Vărzarii de Jos with 2 shoemakers. In 1735 in Beiuş there were 33 shoemakers and 4 furriers. In 1770 in Beiuş worked 88 shoemakers, 5 furriers, one saddler, 5 tanners; 2 leather tanners in Curăţele, one in Nimăieşti, another in Dumbrăvani. The fact is that around 1900, about 40 furriers worked for Beiuş and about the same in Vascau, 17 in Poienii de Jos, and many others in Delani, Nimăieşti, Cîmpanii de Jos, Roșia, Finis etc. Today only 2 bituşeri work sporadically, in Delani.