Re: Our ancestors
- You bring up a good point, Vlad. We have a hand axe in the family
reputed to have been forged by our grandfather. That is one topic I
have never brought up with the cousins in Sulin, and I have never
heard reference to a blacksmith shop or local forging. There was a
glass foundry, presumably to produce glass for bottles of the exported
Sulin water, though again I never heard of a bottle factory, just the
'hutta' or foundry. Neighboring Maly Lipnik also produced glass from
what I read.
It seems tough to run across English language references that speak of
any tools in the Slavic lands. There are write-ups and sketches in
the Ethnography Atlas and English write-ups in 'Slovakia, European
Contexts of the Folk Culture'. A visit to the Ethnographic Museum in
Budapest is recommendable for anyone passing through that beautiful
city. They have a great display of folk costumes, houses and tools on
display for many of the different peoples that lived in old Greater
Hungary. The two newsletters produced by Helena C. and Vlad L. may
occasionally touch on the topic, but I can't recall of any articles at
I was fortunate to see some of the wooden wagons and tools on my first
visits to Slovakia and even helped toss up a hay stack or two, which
taught e how they get those tall, thin parabolic haystacks (on the
stem of a fir tree). It makes me wonder how big the haystack was
that my great-uncle hid in to get away from Franz Josef's troops.
They tore his pants with the pitchfork but did not get him for WW I.
Our western history certainly short-changes central and Eastern Europe
when it comes to writing up everything from hand tools to home made
musical instruments. In America we automatically think of Scotland
for bag pipes and Switzerland for alpine horns, but both were part of
life in the Carpathians as well. When we think of skiing we think
perhaps of Scandinavia or the Alps, but during Pugachev's revolt in
Russia, around the time of the American Revolution, they fielded
armies of troops on skis for the winter fighting. We tend to think of
these things as isolated in use or development and not in terms of how
international or widespread they were. We need more people expanding
upon these aspects of our history - if there is a paying market for
this in the English language world.
Now I do expect most thoughts will spring to farm and household
instruments rather than cottage industry or village industry
activities. We can see these tools in the Skansens in Slovakia, but
finding a write-up on how they were made or the woods that were chosen
for which purpose is lacking. The closest I come to that is a book
from East Germany, "Historische Werkstatten" from 1989. He takes an
even 50 occupations for different trades and describes in pictures and
words how they went about their business in the old days. Assuming
that similar technology spread all over Europe, the book gives a good
indication of what life was like for the different trades.
In Sulin the Creek Palenicky jarok translates to 'Charcoal Creek" in
Slovak or the preferable "Distillery Creek" in Rusyn. It would be
nice to know if the landlord had an official distillery there or if
the citizens were so industrious on their own.... I have read about
how impoverished the itinerant charcoal makers were, and it is
fascinating to read how they built and carefully maintained the
charcoal producing mounds.
Sulin also had a flour mill that is now in the Skansen below Stara
Lubovna castle. I must wonder how many planted acres does it take to
support a flour mill, the family of the miller and his helpers, and
provide a share of income for the local lord as well. In the same
fashion, I also wonder how many pounds of grapes it takes to produce a
liter of wine. (that later is more of a south-Slovakia question!)
Back on the farm, I believe there is a passage in Michener's "Poland"
that describes how a farmer guided and shaped the growth of several
trees so that they would form pitch forks, and as one wore out the
next one would be properly developed for harvesting and use.
It was evidently a fascinating world we know so little about. Thanks
for bringing up the topic. I hope we get some interesting replies!
--- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, <konekta@...> wrote:
> One thought came to my mind;
> Everybody is so interested in churches, homes, weddings,
> but not a single person ever expressed interest in tools ancestors
were > using every day in their hard work. Tools, that mostly were
home made. Many > out of wood.
> There was nothing they did without tools.
> Once I visited an old house in Myjava hills, which was bought by
Bratislava > guy, to use it as a weekend cottage.
> This man burned all the tools he found there in one big fire. What a
sad > view to see those brave companions of Myjava men being turned to
ashes. A > tool can speak volumes.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Maxine,
I am happy to hear that you liked the pictures. I
still have relatives living in Livov (not the huta);
they are somewhere around third or fourth cousins with
some of those "removed" qualifications which means we
skipped a generation somewhere.
I see no reason for a language to be a barrier to you
living there. The kids in the town will flock to you
to hear you and learn English and you will have the
marvelous opportunity to learn the language from the
kid's words along with those of the adults. Go ahead
and find a place in Slovakia and LIVE!
--- maxine <maxine96@...> wrote:
> Dr Q. thanks for sending the pictures, they were____________________________________________________________________________________
> wonderful. The thing I love most when seeing these
> pictures is how simple the people live. I visited 2
> years ago and every time I see these pictures it
> makes me feel like I want to go back. For the people
> who have NOT visited, THIS is what the villages and
> towns look like and exactly how the people live!
> Their live is hard but simple. It is a beautiful way
> to live. They help and know each other, it is like
> one big family. They have some modern things,
> however, most of them live like they did years ago.
> The countryside is so pretty and the smoke from
> their houses swirling about, and walking where your
> people walked, were born and died, it over whelms
> you. I have been considering purchasing a house
> there to live a few months out of the year-- the
> only thing stopping me is the language. I have
> many, many pictures on my walls of my village and I
> made one room in my house look somewhat like the
> inside of a village house. thanks maxine sasala
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Dr. Joe Q
> To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 9:18 PM
> Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Our ancestors
> I have loaded three pictures of Livovska huta into
> Files area of this group. The first is of the
> entrance to the town (you are looking south) and
> other two are the "front" of the church in the
> John gave you.
> I put them in the Files area because the Photos
> section limits the resolution and file size. I
> leave the pictures there for a few weeks and then
> remove them to keep from cluttering up the storage
> Dr. "Q"
> --- maxine <maxine96@...> wrote:
> > GREAT, GREAT PICTURES-I printed them all!
> > you said this was a Lemko site. When I go into
> > site I just get the pictures and hotels. Am I
> > something wrong- or is it just these 2 items.
> > Thanks send more. maxine
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Sinbad Schwartz
> > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
> > Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2007 6:43 PM
> > Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: Our ancestors
> > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Sinbad
> > Schwartz"
> > <sandman6294@...> wrote:
> > > This site might be of interest. It shows
> > farming, cloth
> > > making,and other implements. It also shows
> > simple architectural
> > > drawings. Unfortunately, unless you can read
> > Cyrillic, the captions
> > > and descriptions will not help but it is still
> > well worth the effort
> > > to visit the site. It is a Lemko site.
> > >
> > > http://tinyurl.com/3d4rar
> > >
> > > RU
> > >
> > My apologies. The site is at:
> > http://lemko.org/lih/beskid/
> > RU
Don't pick lemons.
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