Wooden statues from Egypt

Cairo memory

In 1972, two wooden statues were brought to the Tolmin Museum. They are handmade, about 15 centimetres high, but interesting mostly because they come from Egypt. Marija Kofol, originally from the village of Pečine on the Šentviška plateau, purchased them from fellahs at the Cairo market.

Marjanca, as her loved ones called her, was born in 1861. As an adult, she left for Trieste to work as a maid. From there, she travelled to Egypt, where she served as a cook for the British ambassador to Cairo. She worked for his family all her years abroad, and travelled with them to many countries. The preserved letters indicate that she visited Peru, London, New York and probably several other places in the world. She regularly sent part of her pay cheque to her brother Ignac in Pečine, who set about renovating their family home in the early 20th century. When Marjanca returned from abroad around 1920, an apartment awaited her in the family home. She lived there until her death in 1948.

In addition to various personal items, Marjanca brought home the knowledge and habits she acquired during her stay with her distinguished employer. The locals appreciated her cooking skills, as she prepared numerous special dishes previously unknown to them. She was invited to cook at weddings and other village celebrations. She also stood out among the women for her rich clothing and her proud, upright gait.

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