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Traditional agriculture--19

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  • Fedor, Helen
    Agrarian-ethnological documentation from neighboring areas shows that this harvesting method was also used more widely in Central Europe and the Balkans.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 11, 2010
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      Agrarian-ethnological documentation from neighboring areas shows that this harvesting method was also used more widely in Central Europe and the Balkans. Since the 18th century, when the smooth sickle appeared, harvesting methods started to vary by region. In western Europe, the smooth sickle began to replace the serrated sickle in the middle of the 19th century, and was considered the typical tool of northern and western Europe. In the south, the smooth sickle was used only in the Croatian area. Slavs typically used serrated sickles.

      Smooth sickles appeared in the Slavic areas as a result of advanced manufacturing techniques, and later, industrial production. Evidence of this comes from Austria and Moravia. The smooth sickle probably found its way farther east via this area and western and southwestern Slovakia. Historical Hungarian agrarian literature defines the smooth sickle as a tool of Upper Hungary [i.e. Slovakia] that was used mainly for cutting grass, and only sometimes for harvesting grain. Smooth sickles probably spread to Hungarian territory from the north and west, thanks to advanced production of iron tools in Slovakia and Austria.

      The scythe < http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b1/Scythe_user.png > spread throughout the central area of the Carpathian Basin in the 18th century. However, its complete adoption was a long and complicated process that was completed as late as in the first decades of the 10th century.

      There were other reasons for the slow adoption of the scythe, the most important being its high price and low quality. Scythes used to break or crack during work, causing great losses. *Great resistance to using a scythe was caused by the deep-rooted tradition of women harvesting with a sickle (either smooth or serrated ) and men binding and storing the harvested grain, which was considered harder work. It was probably for this reason that scythes were initially used in Slovakia to harvest spring grains, which were mowed like grass, i.e., in rows, with the women turning over the drying grain with a rake.

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      * I hope I got this right. The original sentence reads: "A large moment of retardation was represented by a deep-rooted organization of harvesting with a sickle (with either a smooth or serrated blade), where women harvested and men bound the harvested grain and put it away for storage, which was considered to be harder work."



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