Horváth Attila – Solymos Ede szerk.: Cumania 2. Ethnographia (Bács-Kiskun Megyei Múzeumok Közleményei, Kecskemét, 1974)

J. Vorák: Kolompár Kálmánné kiskunhalasi cigányasszony kézimunkái

THE EMBROIDERIES OF THE KISKUNHALAS GIPSY WOMAN MRS. VILMA KOLOMPÁR By JÓZSEF VORAK In summer 1963 Mrs. J. Mácsai, wife of the head teacher of a local elementary school, presented the Thorma János Museum with a cloth of coarse white linen in the size of a kitchen splash-guard, embroi­dered with coloured thread. The hemming of the cloth, the designs of it and the way they were embroi­dered in gave the impression of children's work. The object attracted my attention only when the presenter told me that the cloth was a work of Mrs. Kálmán Kolompár née Vilma Rostás, a 52 years old. Kiskunhalas gipsy woman from Cserepes. (Fig. 1.) Mrs. Kolompár is known all over Kiskunhalas by the name of Vilma Rostás or just Aunt Vilma. She lives alone with her grandchild in the gipsy row called Cserepes. She has no permanent, regular work or occupation, never had one; she begs for a living. From time to time she turns up at a house where she is acquainted with the family. Her greeting is at all times accompanied with repeated good wishes and with offering some help around the house. She never asks directly for anything, but willingly tells fortune by cards, and if there is an opportunity, she also reads people's hands. However, she does not be­lieve in palmistry herself. — „It is but a gipsy trick. Cards do tell the truth." — Her reward is worn cloth­es, threadbare shoes, a small piece of bacon, etc. If there is nothing else a slice of bread will do. With her down-and-out self-assurance and never-ending complaints, with her impish and crafty flatteries she sometimes arouses pity, sometimes provokes a smile. She is never aggressive or overbearing. With her wild-fowl-like nature she has won the favour of many a Kiskunhalas family. She visits the houses where people tolerate her and present her with any trifle four or five times a year, with wise economy. In 1. Mrs. Kálmán Kolompár 1. Kolompár Kálmánná such a way Mrs. Kolompár also had access to the Mácsai family. When in spring of 1965 the gipsy woman fell sick, Dr. László Kiss physician of Kiskunhalas, fi­ancé of Patricia, the elder daughter of the Mácsai family, sent Mrs. Kolompár to the T.B. hospital in Kalocsa. To the gipsy woman who had lived in tents when a child and later in hovels, the Kalocsa hos­169