150 years of tradition
In 2018 Minister of Culture and National Heritage included Weaving in Poland on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The list, kept by the National Heritage Institute in October 2021, included 49 customs, traditions and rituals from Poland.
Weaving, otherwise known as basketry, in the case of wicker weaving also as wickerwork, is a very old tradition cultivated in various places in the country. As we read in the description on the National Heritage Institute’s website dedicated to the ICH List, for centuries it was performed on the margins of other farm work, and in regions with underdeveloped industry it was for a long time the main occupation of the inhabitants. The way in which knowledge of braiding techniques is passed on has changed little over the centuries. This is done through the pupil watching and imitating the master, and through direct transmission and practical exercises under the supervision of parents.
The tradition has been passed on from generation to generation for 150 years. The origins are due to Count Ferdinand Hompesch, owner of the estates of Rudnik, who founded a basketball school here. Since then, Rudnik nad Sanem has been inextricably linked with the tradition of wickerwork.
What is intangible heritage? It is customs, oral transmission, knowledge and skills, and the objects and cultural space associated with them, that are recognised as part of one’s heritage by a community, group or individuals. This type of heritage is passed on from generation to generation and continuously reproduced by communities and groups in relation to their environment, history and relationship with nature. For a community, intangible heritage is a source of a sense of identity and continuity. By ratifying in 2011 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage Poland undertook to inventory manifestations of this heritage.
In Rudnik nad Sanem wickerwork tradition is safeguarded and developed. In 2006 Municipality built with the support of European funds, a unique in the country cultural institution – Centre for Wickerwork. Apart from educational and exhibition activities, the Centre inspires local artists to develop their passions.