Vernacular culture and the way of life characteristic for the Drava, Meža and Mislinja Valleys are the central subjects of interest of ethnological work at the museum. In addition to this, the department collects, studies, stores and makes available characteristic ethnological heritage of the abovementioned area. The department has carried out its activities in unit Ravne since 1984 and in Slovenj Gradec since 1997.
There are several collections of ethnological materials: the textile and clothing collection, collection of tools and products of various crafts, collection of kitchen utensils, toy collection, ritual objects collection and collection of vernacular art objects. Among others there are comprehensive collections, such as the Čarf Collection of Painted Beehive Panels, the Prodnik Collection of Ethnological Objects, Collection of Ethnological Objects from Libeliče and Its Surroundings, Ethnological Collection from Leše, Shoemaking Collection and others. Between 1980 and 1996 field work documenting the traditional built heritage in the Meža Valley resulted in several thousand photographs and several hundred sketches and drawings, which are now kept in the land register of farms in Ravne. Ethnological study of houses in Slovenj Gradec town centre was carried out in 1991 and 1992. Between 1998 and 2005 smaller, yet important ethnological research regarding the miller’s trade, dietary culture, traditional peasant culture, vernacular medicine and built heritage was carried out in cooperation with the Youth Research Camp Mislinja. In 2005 cataloguing of private publicly available ethnological collections that are outside the jurisdiction of our museum was executed in cooperation with the Slovene Ethnographic Museum and Slovene Ethnological Association. The inventory is being continuously perfected. An in-depth study of vernacular built heritage typical of the Pohorje region was carried out in 2009 and 2010. The department keeps records of field work, a video archive, and a photo archive of objects, phenomena and elements of vernacular culture and lifestyle of various social groups. We offer expert assistance to outside users and cooperate with similar institutions in Slovenia and abroad.
Oddelek vodi kartoteko terenskih zapisov, videoteko, fototeko predmetov, pojavov in prvin ljudske kulture in načina življenja različnih družbenih skupin. Oddelek nudi strokovno pomoč zunanjim uporabnikom ter sodeluje s sorodnimi ustanovami doma in v tujini.
Brigita Rajšter, B.A. (university degree in ethnology and professor of history), museum adviser
Andreja Šipek, B.A. (university degree in ethnology and cultural anthropology), curator