Fujara- Slovakia’s Beloved Instrument

We cannot keep posting on a blog about Slovakia without writing at least one article about Slovakia’s rich folk culture.

To keep the whole tone of this blog, I’d like to write about something truly unique: Slovak Fujara. Now, maybe many other countries have their traditional musical instruments, but what makes Fujara really special is the fact that Slovaks do they pride in knowing how to play it.

Moreover, fujara was included on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2005.

Fujara is the typical Slovak wooden wind instrument. Its birthplace is accredited to the regions of Central Slovakia. Originally, fujara was intended for sending signals and communicating. Shepherds would use fujara to send different signals along the valleys. They would also use fujara at different celebrations or even for different sadder occasions.

However, its sombre tones soon made people think of different more artistic kinds of usage. This is how the musical instrument was born. The original motives played using fujara were based on day to day life: shepherding, love, outlaws.

The musical instrument is produced generally from elderberry wood, due to its being easily worked. It also have incredible acoustic properties.

Fujara’s great artistic value is also due to its being so complicated to produce. Making this instrument requires a lot of talent, creativity and skill.

The traditional decorative motifs used on fujara are most often inspired by nature. On the actual instrument, they are burnt out using acid.

You can witness fujara’s fascinating sounds at any of Slovakia’s folk festivals that take place around the country from spring to autumn.

For those interested, here are two recommendations for you:

National Fujara Festival– held In July in the village of Korytarky, this festival is devoted to the fujara and its music.

National Meeting of Fujara Players– this event happens in September in the village of Cicmany; in addition to the beautiful fujara music, you’ll be surrounded by the famous painted log houses.

Manuel-Iulian Cazac