Feb. 27 – May 1, 2020
Heritage Caretakers of Moravia will tell the story of the incredible women who wear and use folk art practices in their daily life. The exhibition is presented through the eyes of Czech-American artist, Sonya Darrow, who worked with the women in south Moravia in order to preserve cultural heritage for future generations, and to use their stories to inspire Czech settlements in the USA. The exhibit also explores the current state of the folk art movement to keep the ‘everyday’ folk dress (všední kroj) along with the working folk dress (pracovní kroj) from disappearing, and to discuss the topic of sustainable folk art practices.
The exhibition is in connection with the book “Víchernice” created by Jihomoravská komunitní nadace (Moravia, CZ) with photography by Líba Taylor. So, what does víchernice mean? It used to describe a woman who proudly cares about her looks, but who is also industrious and a hard worker. Allegedly, the word víchera is an expression for rural pride. And as we know now, these women have a good reason to be proud; they kept the heritage of their ancestors alive for us.
I am first generation from Moravia. I have Redwork that my grandmother made.
When our Czech goddaughter, Sarka Prchalova, of Prerov (Near Olomouc) was getting married in the Czech Republic, I purchased a traditional kitchen cloth with a saying on it for her. I purchased the cloth at the NCSML store but it was made in Olomouc, Czech Republic. She really had not seen one before that she remembered. Sarka was invited to attend her senior year of high school in
Waverly, IA, 1993-1994, by a friend and member of St. John Lutheran Church, where Rev. Gary M. Arp was Pastor at that time. Phyllis Schmitt, was a retired Professor at Wartburg College in Waverly. She volunteered with the Soros Foundation to go to the Czech, Republic to teach English as a second language. She was assigned to a High School in Prerov where Martin Prchal was a student in her class. Martin invited Phyllis home to meet his family, his Mother & Father and sister, Sarka Prchal. Phyllis was a frequent guest in the Prchal home during the year she lived in Prerov. At the end of the school year Sarka accepted the invitation to spend a year in Waverly. Pastor and Marjorie Arp invited Sarka to our home often. He baptized her at St. John before she returned home to the Czech Republic. Pastor Arp was invited to give a Christian Blessing for her wedding to Pavel Holubar following the prescribed State marriage. In 2007 Pastor Arp baptized Sarka & Pavel’s two sons, Vaclav & Simon in Olomouc. They taught us much about growing up in the Czech Republic during the Soviet occupation and then how they enjoyed the freedom to travel after its downfall. In July 2019 Sarka, Pavel, Vaclav and Simon visited Rev. Gary & Marjorie Arp at their home in Marion, IA.
Thank you for sharing these memories, Marjorie!
Sarka’s last name should have been spelled Prchalova.
My grandfather was born in 1888 which was Moravia at the time. He and his sister came to U. S. When they were 9 and 7 yrs. What is the best way for me to learn more? I’ve done as much research as I can on Ancestry.com.
Our Library may be able to point you towards some additional resources. Please send an email with your information to firstname.lastname@example.org.