The village of Iza in Zakarpattia region, western Ukraine, is a real open-air wicker weaving museum and a huge fair.
"The village of Iza is considered the capital of wicker weaving in Zakarpattia region. It is a real open-air museum and a huge fair. Hundreds of wicker products are exhibited in almost every yard: baskets, souvenirs, and furniture," the Tourism Brand of Zakarpattia posted on Facebook.
The history of Iza village goes back almost seven centuries, the first written mention of it dates 1387. According to legend, the village got its name from the first settler, Izai.
Ivan Kashko is considered to be the founder of wicker weaving in Iza. At first, he taught this craft to his sons. Later, it became the main occupation for most of the villagers, and these traditions have been preserved to this day.
The mass production of wicker products dates back to the 1880s. At the beginning of the 20th century, Iza became the main center of wicker weaving in the then Maramoros County of Austria-Hungary.
Residents call the process of wicker weaving "Izian naksam". The name comes from the Hungarian word "nopszа́m" which means "working day", "hired work".
In 2022, the tradition of wicker weaving in the village of Iza of Khust district was added to the Elements on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ukraine.
Photo: Tourism Brand of Zakarpattia