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Antal Englert

Category: Sights | Date: 22.07.2014.

In the southeastern part of Baranya county, in a town of 20,000 inhabitants situated on both banks of the Danube lives the several international award-winning, busó mask carver, folk artist Antal Englert in Mohács. Busójárás: a custom of Sokacs (Croats) in Mohacs - is well known even beyond our borders. The exact time of the carnival is determined by the first full moon after the spring solstice. The Busójárás can be found in other peoples' beliefs in the world, belonging to the family of farewell to winter, spring greeting, protective, fertility conjuring holidays. It is related to the Rio and the Venetian carnival, but also to the customs of the peoples of Africa.

In Mohács the formation and origin of the tradition is linked with the driving out the Turks. The legend - that the refugees, the native Sokacs (Croats) gathered on the Mohács Island in the marshland having had enough of the bondage, dressed into scary masks made by themselves and by noise generating devices and during the night crossed the Danube with boats and chased the Turks out of Mohács - hardly has any historical basis. In 1687 the city was liberated from Turkish rule and the large-scale introduction of Sokacs (Croats) began only about ten years after it. This custom must have been brought by the Sokac formerly living in the Balkans, which has been shaped further in Mohács and has reached its present form.

The Buso-clothing long ago was like what they wear today: furry sheepskin coat turned inside out, pants stuffed with straws, on which they put colorful, fancy knitted wool stockings, on their feet they wore sandals. The coat was fastened by a belt or a tether around their waist. The essential rattles in their hands. Most importantly, what makes a busó a busó is a carved mask made of willow and traditionally painted with animals' blood.

The dressed up busós are accompanied by jankeles who, according to tradition, kept the men in the street, especially the children away from the busós. Arranging the children with their previously ash and flour stuffed bags, now these bags are only filled with cloth, sawdust or rice. According to the traditions one can encounter veiled women, men dressed in wedding attire and people hiding in carnival costumes in the whirl of Busójárás. In the past, according to the tradition the rattles and cowbell shaker busógroups' aim was to visit everyone from house to house and express their good wishes and also to benefit from the donations they've been given in the houses in form of food and drink.

Antal Englert, born in Mohács has been in close acquaintance with the folk art and busómask carving tricks since childhood. In his work and in his everyday life folklore, folk art, folk customs, the Sokác traditions and the folklore relating to it play an important role. His approach, perceptions and designs are greatly influenced and shaped by the folk culture which has been faithfully kept by him. With his hand-made masks he is a regularly invited guest at the national and international exhibitions and events.

At the "Armourers' tricks" exhibition held in The Museum of Military History in Budapest the mask maker was given the armourer's certificate in appreciation of the psychological strength of his masks and in recognition of his work. His masks are known worldwide, in France, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Belgium, Japan, America, Australia, the Netherlands, museums and exhibitions keep the carved and prepared busó masks with their collections. In Paris he represented the Hungarian handicraft at the series of events called ‘Magy-Art’. The mask carving masters regularly invite him to their meetings in Tarcento (Italy). In his own workshop he holds mask carving demonstrations, thereby familiarizing the art of mask carving with the people, popularizing the process, the habits of the Sokác people and the busó traditions.

Not only does Antal Englert like carving masks but he also likes cycling. The creation of the first veteran bicycle rental service in Hungary is linked to his name. Earlier for sensible reasons and later as a passion he has been collecting veteran bikes. As a craftsman he soon mastered the tricks of metal processing and restoration, this way the antiques which he acquires are normally renewed and made special by him. His collection currently consists of about fifty pieces, which are primarily made available for accommodations. In 2014 bikes 10 of his bikes were selected for the exposition of the ICVA International Cycling Union Veterans of the World Summit to take place in Hungary. His bikes are available for rent, it is possible for everyone to try the atmosphere of the reminising memories of old times and the acquisition of experience relating to them. With the bicycle upon request he can arrange a tour guide as well.

Mohács, thanks to its proximity to the Croatian border, provides an excellent cycling route for lovers of cycling. The "Three Rivers" bicycle path provides a connection between the Mura-Drava-Danube rivers for cycling tourism lovers. The route starts in Austria, covers the northern part of Slovenia then it gets to Croatia, and reaches Hungary at the town of Mohacs. Here one can join the Euro Velo section of the Danube. The "Three Rivers" hiking trail was set in one of the most beautiful natural surroundings in Southern Transdanubia, on which from Barcs to Mohács lovers of cycling can enjoy a nearly 120 km long ride.

Mohács offers excellent program for all ages. Come and ride in the area and get to know the local traditions!

Address: 7/A, Kígyó street, Mohács,. 7700

Phone number: +3670/701-4538