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Háromszék Patriot Women

The open-air exhibition Háromszék Patriot Women (Háromszéki honleányok) is a tribute to those lesser-known female figures, the women patriots, of the 1848 uprising. It presents those women who, through their heroic behaviour, noble endeavours and commitment to the revolution, stood head and shoulders above their compatriots, and who shared with the men not only in the successes of battle but also in the reprisals that followed the defeat of the War of Independence.
In the midst of revolutionary events, the women patriots showcased in the display were active players of social phenomena that underwent rapid change. One thing they have in common is that they were all born in Székely Land (Székelyföld), more particularly in Háromszék (Three Counties), and all were committed heart and soul to the uprising. These determined women fought on the front, they helped in the production of gunpowder and nursed the wounded, but they also played their part in demonstrations against the prevailing authority. Their gender frequently only became apparent from injuries suffered in battle. In revolutionary times they carried out revolutionary acts, whether as the so-called banner mothers, cockade-makers, baking women or female soldiers.

The exhibition allows us to see up close the lives of Jusztina Velcsuj (wife of Áron Gábor), Lídia Kovács Zsigmond Jakabné, Terézia Vajna Szotyori Nagy Tamásné, Rozália Dálnoki Lázár Benkő Rafaelné, and Zsuzsanna Doby Vitéz Antalné. Photos showing the ‘patriot women’ were taken in costume of the Áron Gábor performance by Háromszék Dance Ensemble. Thanks to them, we can look into the eyes of the patriot women even when there are no contemporary images of them that can be used.
The display is the fruit of the combined efforts of several cultural institutes. Texts on the tableaux are sourced from the volume by Sándor Nagy (Self-defence Battle of Háromszék in 1848-49 /Háromszék önvédelmi harca 1848–49-ben/), although numerous historians and writers (Ákos Egyed, Lajos Demeter, László Demeter, Zoltán Kisgyörgy, Tamás Kisgyörgy, Fanni Borbíró, Attila Süli, Mihály Benő, György Bözödi) also contributed to the authentic depiction of the women and the period.