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Pottery tradition of Mezőtúr (2009)
In the mid-19th century pottery making rose to fame among the abundance of rich handcraft traditions in Mezőtúr – a town in the southern part of the Great Cumanian region of eastern Hungary. The practical household crockery as well as the exclusively decorative pieces quickly spread throughout the country.
Historically Mezőtúr earned a place of distinction for its country market-fairs and its crockery – a heritage that is still very much alive and continually developing today. The bearers of the knowledge amassed over the years are those local workshops and small-scale ventures where locally trained masters practice and also teach their craft to future generations.
These workshops not only produce articles meeting modern tastes and uses, but are the scenes of significant preservation work as well. The elements of a well-developed, rich culture refined over hundreds of years are preserved in the fired pottery and in the technical knowledge and expertise of masters. The pottery-making tradition in Mezőtúr is not merely a way for local masters to make a living. It is and has been a point of pride for the entire town, providing and reinforcing in Mezőtúr inhabitants a sense of identity over the ages.
The local tourism is also largely based on this culture. Fortunately, Mezőtúr and its citizens recognized the value of this heritage and the need to take steps for its safeguarding in time. Without any outside intervention they managed to establish quality task-oriented institutions (museums, rural heritage houses, art schools, etc.) suited to preserving this cultural heritage and transmitting it to future generations.