If hard working is a common feature in Maramures, for Ileana and her family is almost a like a religion.
Ileana, a hard working, photogenic peasant of Maramures, keeps alive her family's old workshop for traditional wool processing.
I guess no one could ever claim seeing Ileana hanging around and doing nothing. She always seems to be working, with a smile on her face.
The last time I met her, she was carding and spinning fine wool yarn. I was with a group of American travelers and she took the time to show us all the machinery powered by the brook and explaining the stages of the wool processing. Next to the workshop, driven by the same stream, there was the family's "washing machine". It was "broken"! "Only a bit of rain would fix it", she smiled.
She invited us in, showed us around the cottage and we put on traditional clothing hand-spun by Ileana, her mother and her grandmother.
When Communists took over Romania in 1945-1948, the family lost all the farm animals they owned - horses, cows and pigs - and much of the land. Her grandfather even spent three years in the ignominious prison in Sighet, 30 kilometers away, on Romania's border with Ukraine, then the USSR. However, they managed to keep the workshop and started from scratches again. If hard working is a common feature in Maramures, for Ileana and her family it is almost a like a religion.