The Portrait Of A Little Man From Prekmurje


The purpose of the project was to collect cycle of photos and stories documented in the ethnological record. The material collected in the research process presents vanishing cottage industries, which have significantly contributed to the development of the home environment. With the disappearance of this knowledge also the national identity of the region is getting lost. Result of the research is ethnological record, presented in a book, of the images and stories of the Prekmurje little man representing the last glimpses of traditional lifestyle from Prekmurje (Northeast region of Slovenia).

The Portrait Of A Little Man From Prekmurje introduces us through portraits with locals of Prekmurje. Portraits show ordinary people in their homes presenting different crafts. Collection of portraits accompanied by stories from the lives of these otherwise ordinary people who, with their incredible ingenuity defied the difficult and harsh conditions. Thus the treasure of their life experience which is slowly fading into oblivion.


Short passages from the book:

Blacksmith: “At the beginning we had bellows to heat the furnace, which were run by apprentices and later by a fan. At present, the blacksmith workshops are more modern. Iron is heated in a furnace and then formed with a hammer. The iron must be cooled with water in this process. I had to sharpen everything by hand, but today my son uses an electrical hammer which makes the work easier.”

Potter: “It is very important that you are creative, everything I imagined from clay, I also shaped. We were selling dishes on the fairs. In those times we had only pottery dishes. There was a big demand and I always sold everything.”

Local musician: “Elderly musicians are gone and modern musicians are playing different genres of popular music. On our shows we were playing old-fashioned songs like: cepelka, šamarjanka, sotiš, valček (waltz), tkalečka, pajeriš.”

Poultry and eggs Merchant: “I was poultry merchant from year 1937 to 1956. We began with this business because of the poverty and that was our only income. We were buying eggs, chickens, geese and rabbits around villages and then we were selling everything to main poultry merchant. When, on our bicycles, we went through the village, we were yelling »Uaaa, uaaa, uaaa« and women were bringing us eggs and chickens.”

Indigenous Carpenter: “Because of large demand (great interest) I had produced lots of skis from acacia wood. They were 1,10 m long. First I had to cook the wood for an hour, then I bend it and left it tight tied until it was dry. I designed the shape and structure of the skis myself.”

Büjraš (a man who dams a river-bed or riverbank): “We were from villages: Ižakovci, Melinci and Bistrica. We were making “pavše” (bundle) and “tonjače”. “Pavše” where 7 metres long and 90 cm wide. We connect them and put inside two cubical metres of gravel. Then we lowered them at the riverbank until they reached the bottom of the river bed and with that we strengthened the river channel.”

Volunteer Firefighter: “Firefighter games began to be organized after the Word War II with the purpose of checking the abilities of units. With firefighter’s parties we were making income and with that money we bought new equipment and tools. Those parties were the only entertainment for the young people. We had three to four parties per year.”