Walking around the globe. The story of 497 pairs of peasant sandals

Walking around the globe. The story of 497 pairs of peasant sandals
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Project Promoter: Buzău County Muzeum
Project duration: 17 months, but no later than 31.07.2016
Grant amount: RON 341,932.94, i.e. EUR 77,224.11

The overall project objective consists of preserving, protecting and valorisation of cultural heritage and improving the attractiveness of Buzau city through the valorisation of cultural heritage.

The project will bring to life the amazing story of 4 young Romanian students, wearing traditional costumes and one dog which were walking around the world, with no money, in peasant sandals, competing in a French contest, in the beginning of the 20th century. Until the end, three of them died of tragic deaths; only Dumitru Dan finished the race, becoming, in fact, the 1st Romanian globe-trotter and the winner of the French contest. The Collection of Dumitru Dan owned by three Romanian museums will be displayed for the first time since his death in 1978. Through this project this extraordinary topic will be researched, mainly documents from 1910-1916 and 1923, from all over the world, trying to find out the exact trail of events and the approximate travelling route. The true story of this journey full of adventures and dangers will be revealed and delivered to the general public. 6 Romanian songs and 5 dances will be reconstructed and recorded, songs the globe-trotters sang, danced and performed to support themselves along the way, all over the world. During the project there will be made 497 pairs of replicas of the peasant sandals teaching young Roma students how to manufacture these items (10 workshops) to perpetuate the valuable artistic traditions. Also, Dumitru Dan’s show stage shirt will be recreated through the art of crafts with a folk artist who will use traditional sewing techniques.

In order to increase the public awareness regarding the project, the entire collection of items will be digitized and uploaded on the website www.europeana.eu. Digitization will enable people to gain access to this unique collection, any time and from anywhere, without having to visit the museum.

Buzău County Museum will equip a cultural space where visitors will learn how to engage with the collection and exhibition, aiming to explore new methods to attract visitor’s reflection on the past, the present and the future.


Visit at Buzău County Museum, August 2nd 2017


Workshop „Children of Europe”, May 9th 2017 [video]


Visit of the chairman of European Muzeum Academy, April 5th 2017


Military Centenary, August 18th 2016, visit from the Minister of National Defense, Mihnea Moțoc


Education Day, October 6th 2016


„A Romanian around the globe” (interactive lesson), activity in partnership with „Dr. C. Angelescu” College from Buzău, November 29th 2016


FOLLOW-UP „Traditional embroidered signs” workshops, March 6th-8th 2017

3 „Traditional embroidered signs” workshops were organized. On this occasion, several groups of children in the primary and secondary school learned how to sew traditional motifs, starting from elements sewn on traditional costumes, for the purpose of appropriating craft skills, abilities and competences of sewing traditional elements, under the coordination of a traditional craftsman in the commune of Bisoca, Buzău County. The workshops provided school children with the means to acquire new museum-conveyed knowledge, giving them the opportunity of decorative interpretations of traditional motifs in the area (signs and symbols present on the decorative areas), composition (geometry, stylized shapes), chromatics and traditional materials and techniques used. Between March 6th and 8th 2017, 80 students and 17 teachers and parents participated in 3 workshops.


March 6th 2017


March 7th 2017


March 8th 2017



  • one permanent bilingual exhibition created within the cultural space dedicated to Dumitru Dan’s journey around the globe;;
  • one scientific study with information on cultural intangible heritage;
  • 2 databases containing 677 digitised and preserved items, available at http://dumitrudan.muzeubuzau.ro/arhiva2.php;
  • 136 documents and items restored;
  • 120 items exhibited;
  • 2 crafts preserved and revitalized though14 workshops for Roma children and socially-assisted children organized;
  • 497 pairs of peasant sandals handmade;
  • 2 popular costumes reconstructed;
  • 5 costume replicas;
  • 5 dioramas;
  • 6 traditional Romanian songs and 5 traditional Romanian dances reconstructed;
  • 13 audio files;
  • 8 video files;
  • 3 games created (1 digital and 2 electronic);
  • one website dedicated to the project http://dumitrudan.muzeubuzau.ro/.

News about the project/Photo gallery:


Dumitru Dan’s journey around the globe started in Bucharest on March 1st 1910.

Dumitru Dan, together with three other young men, Alexandru Pascu, Gheorghe Negreanu and Paul Pârvu wore traditional costumes during the whole journey, promoting Romanian folklore, traditional songs and dances.

Dumitru Dan’s performance remains incredible to this day. 497 pairs of peasant sandals were necessary to complete the 100,000 kilometre race.

There are documents that prove Dumitru Dan passed through numerous cities, but through the project some songs and dances were reconstructed and recorded for the future generations.

Globe-trotter songs:

Banu Mărăcine

Globe-trotter dances:

Banu Mărăcine



Hora românească


Globe-trotter dances (documentary)

Short promotion film

The art of making peasant sandals (movie)

Workshops - peasant sandals

Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 12 June 2015


Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 29 September 2015


Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 9 October 2015


Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 3 November 2015


Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 11 December 2015


Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 15 January 2016


Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 2 February 2016


Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 26 February 2016


Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 11 March2016


Workshop sewing peasant sandals, 18 May 2016


 Workshops - traditional shirts

Workshop sewing traditional shirts, 1 June 2016


Workshop sewing traditional shirts, 9 June 2016


Workshop sewing traditional shirts, 16 June 2016


Workshop sewing traditional shirts, 23 June 2016