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The village of flowers

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The secluded village of Zalipie in south-eastern Poland is known for a colorful tradition.

For over a century, women in the village have been painting their homes.

No one knows exactly when or how this tradition began, but it dates back several years, when women painted the markings on lime.

But these were still visible, and in order to make their homes “at the heart” of religious celebrations, they began to paint motifs with flowers.

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To this day women (very few men in the custom) create their own floral patterns on the walls of houses and maintain those of previous years. Indeed, the paintings are no longer confined to the walls of houses, but to any other object they can paint.

When the tradition started, of course, women did not have the tools one can find today. They used brushes made with hair from the cows’ tails and colors made by themselves from natural materials. The contest of the “best painted house” (Malowana Chata) has been holding since 1948. It was established in the context of the psychological support of the people of the country after World War II, which lost 17% of its population.

Felicja Curyłowa (1904 – 1974) was the one who maintained and developed the tradition. She herself was overwhelmed by such a passion for “flower decorations” that she covered almost every surface of her small home, which is now a museum and a prime example of this folk art.

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