Living tradition of the Quarters’ profession in Eger

Living tradition of the Quarters’ profession in Eger (2014)

The institution of Corporal/Quarters’ master is a pristine organization of the vernacular administration , and the territorial autonomy’s elemental unit. During the 15th -19th century in different cities of the Carpathian basin the Corporals or - after the German colonization - the Quarters masters (elected by the different parts of the settlement) were mediators between the quarters and the municipal authorities, maintained order, supervised the moral life and in addition protected the disadvantaged people

The Quarters’ profession in Eger is particular because this office, bequeathed from generation to generation and charged with varying tasks, survived only in this city of Hungary till 1950. The Quarters’ profession which was revived in 1996 is an essential part of the local people’s identity.

The Quarter masters of nowadays are functioning as an association in three different levels. The basic organizational unit is the Quarter, where the person lives and where he is elected by the emeritus members. The second group of the Quarter masters is formed by those ones, who are members in the actual year. They have to appear in their official Quarter master costume, in the “hundred-pleated mantle”, the hat as well as with their stick with ribbons, at the celebrations organized by the city and at the church events.  The third level is the whole association, which defines the strategy and the tasks for the future (236 members).

The annual election recreates and broadens the community. They maintain the traditions and they are essential parts of the city’s events. They are spokesmen of their own Quarter’s and are important parts in the cultural, social and historical values’ preservation and acquaintance process as well as they are also connected with charitable activities. Presently in 16 quarters there are 220 emeritus and 16 incumbent Quarter Masters working for the common good.

Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO
Elemér Muharay Folk Art Assosiation
Assosiation of Hungarian Folk Artists
Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Kriza János Ethnographic Society
Hungarian Ethnographic Society
Museum of Ethnography
Hungarian Heritage House
National Cultural Institute