|"The methods which served the production of goods followed the rhythm of Nature. Nature did not only provide the raw material, but also the principles of measurement and proportion, the structural and formal criteria were driven from it."
(8, Tarján Gábor: Mindennapi hagyomány, 1993, p. 124)
The various objects made from the raw material given by the flora and the fauna, the minerals and the rocks were easy to produce. The first phase of fabrication was the sorting out of the basic material and the estimation of the adequate proportions. For a long time these were the parts of the body which provided the models for measurement.
Several ancient techniques of lighting of fire, which forms the basis of the human culture, still live on in the traditional culture.
Standards of lenght:
mauley (the width of clenched fist);
span (the short span: the distance between the streched thumb and index fingers);
long span (the distance between the streched thumb and little fingers);
fistmele (the distance of the two fists with thier thumbs streched);
ulna (the lenght of the lower arm: 62 cm);
ell (from the middle of the chest and to the ends of the fingers: 77,8 cm);
step (75 cm);
fathom (190 cm).
Measure of weight and volume:
cup (1,5 liters);
width of finger, arm, thigh.
The tooling of basic materials found in Nature resulted in the various branches of craftsmanship. First the gifts of Nature were used as tools. The rock as the hardest material found in Nature can be easily used as a tool without any modification. Later on these were treated and formed by knapping and grinding. Some of the procedures dealing with stones turned into an individual craftsmanship (grinding of stones, cutting of millstones), though, the most ancient techniques of stone manufacturing also endured. The stone age was followed by the bronze age and after that the iron age.
The iron is formed by hammering, softened by heating, then weathered and solidified. Later alloys are made. Several workmanships can thank their birth to the metal instruments. The intensification of agriculture and the development of transportation became possible through the new metal instruments. The production of iron is the result of a complex procedure. Magical power was attributed to the iron by the blacksmiths.
The remote nations and the Hungarians likewise made use of almost all parts of the dead animals. Besides the leather, a lot of articles were made from the horns, the tusks, the teeth and several other bones of the animals. For example, awls, sandal piercing tools, pipes, skates, toys, buttons etc. were made from bones.
The use of wood and the birth of woodworking trace their origins back to the most ancient times. With much likelihodd it was the stick which was the man's the first tool. First he used it the way ha found it, later on he weathered it in fire, and formed it.
The simplest wooden tools were offered by Nature with their suitable shape and useful curves. For example, stools with legs made of branch, coat-racks.
Men made use of the trees as well, for example, as stands for sweep-pole wells. Hollow trunks were easy to use as granaries. If the trunk was not hollow then it was deepened by burning or by scooping. The same technique was used for the making of scooped boats, basins, and instruments likewise.
By the appearance of metal tools and those of the carpenters', the number of articles made of only one piece decreased since there was a possibility to make works consisiting of several smaller pieces.
A frequently used joining thecnique was the gluing, for which the glue was made from bones, horns, remains of dead fish, but resin and mistletoe was also used.
With the appearance of the axe a new possibility rose to use the carpenters' bindings.
The carpeneters' technique made possible to use the manufacturing of wooden structures, houses with beam structures, carpentered chests, and stilted chairs.
The history of the lathe reaches back to the antique civilisations.
Cortex is the basic material for several articles. It was used to make glasses, dishes, boxes, saltcellars, sandals. The inner bark from beneath the cortex was also employed, mainly for binding but also for making boxes, sandals, woven fabrics of chairs and beds and hammocks. Besides the inner bark, the bine of clematis also serves as a wonderful fastening material.
Bulrush and reed were also often utilized. Huts, fences, roofs,instruments, cutleries and toys were made of reed, - ropes, carpets, chair rails, bags, tilts, dough-baskets and baskets of bulrush.
Bottle-gourd could also serve as a dish or a container.
Tinderfungus was used after several phases of manufacturing as hats, caps, belts, bags, slippers.
The technique of basket-making also has its roots in ancient times and shows a great variety. Basket-making just like weaving was a female activity, but pottery and clay work likewise. It was only after the appearance of the treadle-driven wheel that pottery became a male activity.