Folk group “Suhe Češplje” (Dry Plums)

“Suhe Češplje” (Dry Plums)

Unusual names are common in the region of Primož Trubar, the author of the first Slovene book, but their origin is always very plain. The name of the group originates from dried fruit, because plum trees give plenty of plums in Gradež and the fruit is very convenient for drying. So naming a folk group, active within the Association for Preserving Heritage, after ecologically grown and dried fruit is a matter of course (however, in Slovene češplja (=plum) is also a colloquial and somewhat playful expression for a woman). The folk group preserves tradition on one hand, but on the other it also symbolizes progress by promoting a healthy diet with dried fruits for current and future generations and by advertising tourism in the untouched countryside. Their originality and interest in heritage is reflected through their lyrics and melodies as well as through their home-made practical old instruments. The group “Dry Plums” will show you what a washboard, a saw, a rake, a flax comb, a bucket and three different-sized rommelpots are capable of when handled by real “plums”. The group is accompanied by a guitar and an accordion.

Barbara Pance, a journalist at the newspaper Slovenske Novice visited Gradež and wrote about the folk group: “When women from the village gather in the drying house, where the oven is working for the seventieth year in a row, to sort the savory fruits that are “losing their juiciness and freshness” in the wooden drying frames, a song is heard over the forest slopes of Turjak. Folk songs start in a murmur, but in a while, accompanied by chiming noises and a sound of opening bellows, turn into harmonious melody. When they sort the dried fruit into a drying order, girls from Gradež become Dry Plums.”

The folk group “Dry Plums” performed:

  • in Sutrio, Italy (2006)
  • on Limbarska gora, Slovenia (2006)
  • at the Stati inu obsati Festival in Škocjan Slovenia (2007)
  • at the Market day in Velike Lašče, Slovenia (2007)