Temenoujka Bandrova, President of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association, provided us with another exciting cartographic project from Bulgaria: A 70 x 100cm large hand-embroidered map!

Hand-embroidered map of the village Banichan

Hand-embroidered map of the village Banichan, Bulgaria: 70 x 100 cm in size, 900,000 stitches using 5km of thread, 6 month of nonstop work by 3 tailors

The embroidered map has the size of 70 x 100 cm and covers the territory of the village Banichan in Bulgaria with an area of 13.1 square kilometers. Banichan is located in the valleys of the majestic Pirin and Rhodope mountains, which are crossed by two rivers and two mineral springs. It contains 23 symbols and unique embroidery relics of Banichan’s woman suits. The map is produced from approximately 900,000 stitches made up of about 5km natural cotton thread. The time required to create the map was six month of nonstop work, accomplished by 3 tailors (11, 50 and 55 years old).

The map was created within the context of the project “The new old saying: The cultural symbols of the Banichan village”, partially funded by the National Fund Culture program on folklore. One of the activities of the project included the creation of a map of Banchian with cultural symbols. The project was managed by Ms. Rumyana Dzhibova in the community center “Izgrev-1930”.

Small and unique land of nature, culture, traditions and rituals is this “living map” of the village Banichan. The map is a culture product with a social effect. As a method of inclusion it combines knowledge and experience in social integration lives of the small village on a piece of cloth. Like Geography it is an excellent and original landmark for the outside world. By underlying technical elements it allows for a parallel ethno-reading the living features of the settlement.

Detail of the hand-emproidered map of Banichan

Detail of the hand-emproidered map of Banichan

Already in the project proposal, the symbolic and thematic link between the real physical and embroidered map was set as a kind of cultural contribution to the International Map Year 2015‒2016. Therefore this project product is an allegory to the social integration to convergence through awareness and education through the symbols on the map, such as educational resources on cultural heritage in the present.

Prof. Temenoujka Bandrova,
President of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association