Matyo embroidery

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.

In the Matyó Museum you can see examples of the costumes once worn every day. Visitors can admire the long, bell-shaped skirts and richly coloured ornamental headdresses worn by the women and the long, loose-sleeved shirts, also highly embroidered, of the men. The traditions and way of life of the Matyó are also exhibited. At the entrance to the Museum there is a bust of Bori Kis Jankó (died in 1954), who established a school of this art and who is referred to as ''the writing woman of a hundred of roses". Her home, built around 1850, is today a museum dedicated to her. You can see the bright colours of her work and get an insight into the life of the poor peasantry of the old days.
In the district of Hadas, which is noted for preserving the old Mezökövesd, there are many houses specific to the region. They are also used as activity and leisure centres. In these houses visitors may be introduced into the mysteries: how to make a doll, how to weave and spin, how to paint the furniture, how to embroider; or you can try your hand and pottery and glass-grinding. 
In the Town Gallery there is a permanent exhibition made of the pieces of the colourful world of Matyó embroidery.

You can also buy beautiful pieces from our embroidery shop!