Our guest blogger and long time Anorak contributor, Rob Flowers takes us to Romania where he fell in love with its rich history of arts and crafts.
"When I heard that the fantastic Horniman Museum was hosting a Romanian Folk Tradition exhibition, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to talk about my trip to that wonderful country & some of the awesome stuff I brought back with me. The exhibition is a great insight into Tradional Romanian crafts & I highly recommend you go and check it out.
We spent nearly two weeks travelling to various places in Transylvania & Bucharest, and once you get past the Vlad 'The Impaler' Țepeș memorabilia (which is also ace) you can find a flourishing appreciation of traditional art and crafts of the Romanian peasant.
I just about found room in my suitcase for these amazing handmade masks, they're used in many local ceremonies - from rain, hunting & fertility rituals to seasonal festivals. The masks are made from the hides of sheep, goats or cows, then adorned with fabric, hats, pompoms, pieces of metal, feathers, beans, straw and animal horns.
They represent characters from Romanian mythology, bears, goats & other animals. Only men are allowed to wear the masks & it is forbidden to say the name of the person under the mask.
It was an amazing experience, discovering more about this ancient culture & if you get the chance I cannot recommend a trip to Transylvania highly enough."
Revisiting Romania: Dress and Identity runs from the 4th October 2014 until the 06 September 2015 at Horniman Museum (London). Also if you happen to find yourself in Bucharest, make sure you visit the fantastic Museum of the Peasant.