Maramures brand, the gate is loaded with a special symbolism. On all the valleys of the Mara River, Cosau River and Iza River we encounter (increasingly less) the glorious wooden oak gates, proof of our proud ancestors that created bigger and more decorated gates.
Gate connects with the world beyond the village, with world away, hidden from all that is evil and what can harm the ones in the house. This is a crossing from evil to the heat of an archaic world, guarded by everyone and everything. It has a sacred function, the gate is often much larger than the house and outbuildings, it is like a fortress, a defensive wall that cannot be crossed over and neither can glimpse something. Stepping outside the gate, passing it was a ritual act of purification upon entering the family space.
Not everyone had the right to raise their gate, except peasants "noblemen" ranking, descendants of knezes and proof that this land is full of noble village people in exactly this impressively large number of old gates of the rivers valleys mentioned before. The gate was a sign of wealth and pride of the house in Maramures, protecting the house and farm animals, representing a model of crafting, which persist even today in the community.
Not coincidentally the gates of Maramures are carved with motifs full of deep meanings, many of them pre-Christian, like the sun-represented life, tree of life - symbol of growth, snake - as guardian of the household, wolf tooth - symbolizing power and apotropaica significance. Rosettes of different sizes and curl symbols of Genesis, the beginnings of the world, of perfection, are presented on each gate even those built today as a testimonial to the continuity of faith in the values rooted for centuries.
The pillar gate is likewise axis mundi, a link between heaven and earth, like the rope carved in various ways on this. The posts are right hand twist using chisel craftsman, giving the impression of infinity. During the process of creation, the folk artist puts all his patience and toil which in our days seems almost unbelievable, sisyphus work, that test human power, but takes the spirit to heaven.
The material used in the creation of the gate must be prepared, dried, cut according to the space in which the gate will be located, and then the sculpture is made exclusively by hand. The gates, depending on the dimensions, can have from 2 to 8 pillars or even more. The hardwood oak is preferable because it allows sculpting. A softer core, like fir, does not permit this and breaks easily. The gates have a shingle roof, but the closing gates can be realized from slats carved, and the entrance gate can contain carved wood panels. Of course the whole work is treated with special oils and varnishes to protect it from changing weather conditions and assuring a beautiful passage through time