Municipality of Prilep
Municipality of Prilep
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The Department of Ethnology exists since the establishment of the National Museum in Prilep in 1955. Its existence and development continues after the transforming of the National Museum into Institute for Protection of the cultural monuments, Natural Rarities and Museum in 1981.


  • Collection and storage of museum material;
  • Field-research for discovering new items and data from the material and spiritual culture;
  • Performs care and professional treatment of the museum material obtained through research, purchase, gift or otherwise;
  • Keeps records and documentation of the museum material;
  • Develops programs and elaborations for organization and placement of permanent and temporary exhibitions;
  • Performs research and publishes professional and scientific papers in the field of ethnology;
  • Performs pedagogical-touring service in its area;




In the Department of Ethnology are stored more than 1700 well-preserved items from XIX and XX century, which testify for the material culture of the population in the Prilep region. The Department contains about 1500 other items tagged with "x", which are used in the exchange with other museum institutions.

Depending on the material of manufacture, the items in the department can be divided in several collections:

- The collection of items from textile consists of a large number of parts and complete folkwear from Prilep and Mariovo region. The folkwear are very few. Several rugs are also included in this collection.



- The collection of jewelry includes items which are, in most part, made by the  Prilep goldsmiths and the rest are imported. In the collection are included: belt buckles, rings, bracelets, belts and other items for decoration, for the rural as well as the urban clothing.



- The collection of ceramics contains items made by masters from Prilep and the wider region. In the collection there are items of domestic and commercial character.



- The collection of metal is the largest and consists of various items made, in the most part, by Prilep craftsmen, while the rest are imported or factory products.

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- The collection of wood has few items. In most cases these are of economic character, and the rest were used in the household. In this collection there are few cassels.



Besides the collectors activity The Department of Ethnology also performs research activity. In the last ten years, more attention is devoted to the study of material culture, with emphasis on the craftsmanship in Prilep and its surroundings.

In the XIX century Prilep becomes an important craftsmanship trading center in the region. The Prilep fair on which handicraft products made by Prilep masters were sold, was widely known. The craftsmen had their own workshops - stores at the very core of the Old Bazaar and were organized into guilds.




Unfortunately today, primarily because of rapid industrial development, crafts are on the verge of extinction. As an example, the coppersmith's craft which in the past counted to 38 stores with approximately 360 employees, today has been reduced to only one store.

Therefore, the Department of Ethnology with great care and diligence conducts surveys on the existence of crafts and their development in Prilep and its surroundings.

So far more thoroughly have been explored: the Bagpiper’s, the Cooperage, the Saddler’s, the Coppersmith's, the Steelyard’s, the Hatchet’s, the Blacksmith’s, Ropecraft's, the Cutler’s, the Patten’s, and part of the Ceramic craft. For all of them the necessary audio, photo and descriptive documentation has been made. For some of these crafts, the research has been done at the last moment, because in the meantime they disappeared from the Prilep Bazaar (such as the Bagpiper’s, the Cooperage etc.), while the rest are represented by one or two active craftsmen.




The Department of Ethnology in 1994 conducted surveys of the spiritual manifestations of the folk culture and the social regulation of non-established structures, which customly or customly-legally exist and live, as all manifestations of the modern life - based on traditional patterns of the population in the Prilep region.
The survey is conducted into three ethnological - anthropological fields:

  • Spiritual culture
  • Social culture
  • Theoretical anthropology with methodology of anthropology;

The work is established in thematic sections called Essays. Each thematic unit represents rounded set of parts of the spiritual and social manifestations of life, which after a formal and structural method are legitimated as a compatible and mutually ethno - explicable, or they play the role of theoretical and methodological basis of the surveys. Some Essays contain solstice sub-division: winter customs, spring, summer and autumn.



Spiritual culture:

  • Ethno medicine: “Crvjarki (extracting worms)”, “Analytical cards of ethno - medical diseases ";
  • Winter rituality "Nekrsteni denovi (Unbaptized days)", "Prochka" (Forgiven Shrovetide), "Vasilica," "Mechkari" (masked parades);
  • Spring rituality "Veligden (Easter)", "Dzurdzovden (St. George)";
  • Funeral customs;

Social culture:

  • Modern research: "Marriage and premarital relations," "A family glory day", "Rites of passing" (Rittes de pasages);
  • Traditional social regulation: "Traditional institutions for protection of the rights of women and children";

Theoretical anthropology:

  • Zoo-anthropomorphic distinctiveness (way of forming groups and survival);
  • "Bastard" (mythical dimension of the  illegitimate origins);
  • “Counting of days” (essence of the calendars);