A Century of Tramping Provided by Goout

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Ethnographic Museum of the National Museum Kinského zahrada 98, Praha 5

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0–70 CZK, Tickets available at venue


An exhibition presenting the reflection of tramping in popular culture from the historical and ethnographic points of view.

In English, the word tramp most commonly denotes a vagrant, a down-and-out or even something worse. However, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia it has acquired a different meaning. As early as the time of the First World War, young people who were inspired by the romantic idea of the Wild West and set off at weekends to camp with their friends began to call themselves by that label. Bordering on scouting, tourism and hiking, a new popular subculture was soon born, with its own music, its own art and its own view of life. Since then, tramping has been a part of Czechoslovak history, influencing the lives of tens of thousands of people. For some, it was mostly a way of relaxing and spending their leisure time; for others, it became a lifestyle, a social activity and a sport. It was commercialized and persecuted; it merged with the leftist avant-garde and anti-Communist underground.

The exhibition presents the reflection of tramping in popular culture from the historical and ethnographic points of view. It gives space to the voices of both the professional public and the tramps themselves. It presents selected objects from the holdings of the Ethnographic Department of the National Museum and other institutions. Some of them are truly unique, while others show the everyday lives of tramps life in the turbulent history of Czechoslovakia.

In the Kinsky Summer House there are, for example, objects from the estates of musicians and writers (such as Géza Včelička, Jaroslav Velinský and Wabi Ryvola), a number of hand-written and illustrated journals, a unique set of flags confiscated by the Communist police, and a totem carved by one of the very first Czech tramps. Visitors can also explore the history through rare photographs, drawings and literary snippets. Visitors will learn how tramping influenced Czech popular music, how it left its mark on the landscape, and be able to see and try historical camping equipment and learn about the present state of tramping.