In most of Slovakia, threshing was done in a barn. Only those farmers who were quite poor and did not have a barn threshed in the open air. This was also done in southern Slovakia, where grain was mainly treaded by cattle.
The threshing process was divided into two separate work procedures. In the first phase, grain was pre-threshed (oklepalo, obokovalo, obi'jalo), and in the second phase it was threshed. The main difference between the two phases is that during threshing, the sheaves are unbound, while during pre-threshing, the sheaves are bound.
There were several reasons for pre-threshing the grain: during this phase, the highest-quality grain fell out (it was usually saved as seed for sowing), new grain was easily acquired, and losses were decreased during further manipulation of the sheaves. Pre-threshing was done with flails or various improvised tools (pitchfork, stick, etc.).
During the threshing itself, unbound sheaves were laid on top of one another, in either one or two rows (positioned with the ears of grain touching). The number of rows was based on the type of grain to be threshed (barley and oats in two rows, rye and wheat in one row), the number of threshers, and on the size of the barn. Threshers worked over the arranged sheaves (posa'd, na'sad) twice, then the grain was turned over by hand or with the handles of the flails, and it was threshed twice more with flails.
The threshed-out straw was shaken out and stored. Barley and oat straw was stored in a barn because it served as cattle fodder, and the other types of straw were placed in open-air stacks. The grain was gathered into a pile, and residuals of straw and ears were removed after threshing was finished. It was now prepared for further cleaning.
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