Hungarian folk art

Folk art & embroidery of Matyóföld


Mezökövesd with its 18.000 inhabitants is situated at the half-way line of two regions, in the north is the range of the Bükk mountains, in the south the river Tisza, at about the same distance.

We are in the southern corner of the county Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén which is the second largest county of Hungary, as for the territory and population, in 130 km from the capital, 50 km from the center of the county, Miskolc, and 20 km from the wonderful baroque town, Eger.

Matyó? Matyóland? 
The first word refers to matyo-embroidery-4cla group of people, the second one to two more villages besides Mezökövesd, Tard and Szentistván. The antropological research can not show a homogenous matyó type, and it is only the product of a romantic fancy that the name "matyó" comes from the great benefactor, king Mátyás, who gave the rank of a market-town and several privileges however to Mezew-Kevesd, but in fact this is a nickname and the people of the neighbouring villages being calvinists mostly, called so the strongly catholic ethnic group.

Mezökövesd got its home, then more and more increasing foreign fame at the turn of the century with its national costume and free drawn matyo embroideries which are the products of an opulent imagination. The ends of bed-sheets, the flaming sleeves of the lads' shirts, the bottom part of aprons, the covers of decorative things and those of use, blouses, dolls dressed in small matyó dresses, and later on the painted matyó furniture have become world famous.
The unique variety of forms, dazzling matyó national costume in the forties of the century totally disappeared as a day wear but it can be seen in the local Matyó museum even today in its full glamour. And the folk, musical, dancing, playing, customs have come to life again in the performances of the Matyó Ensemble having some great successes at home as well as abroad.