RE: [Slovak-World] Re: Traditional agriculture--58
- I wonder if the change maybe had to do with something more prosaic, like tax rates or laws.
All opinions my own
From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carl
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 1:38 PM
Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: Traditional agriculture--58
I was interested in your post because all of my Kotlarcik ancestors were shepherds in the former Gomor county around the town of Jolsva (Jelsava,SK). The oldest sons were typically cattle shepherds. Cattle herders were known as "gulyas" but in most of my church documents they were usually caled "tehen pasztor" (cattle shepherd in Hungarian)or "marha pastir" (cattle shepherd in Slovak). The middle sons were just referred to as pasztir which I've assumed meant they were sheep or goat herders although I never found a reference to one being called a "juhaz pasztor" (sheep herder). Interestingly, the youngest son in each family was usually a "kondas" or pig herder. The pig herders were sometimes called diszho pasztor and also swin pastir in my records. They were obviously at the bottom of the family pecking order. From what I can derive from the records, the earliest family members (late 1700s to mid 1800s) lived in the var! ious towns in the area. The senior family member was often designated as the "obecny pastir" which means he was the head shepherd for the village. Some of the Kotlarcik men were also designated as the town "vigil" or night watchman. This was a common job for a shepherd since they had to be alert for danger in the fields. But as time went on,towards the middle and late 1800s, the families started living with the men out in the fields. Children are listed as being born in the "pasztorhaz" which were primitive structures that did not offer much protection from the elements. The pasztorhaz were meant to be mobile and could be torn down and rebuilt as needed in different fields. However, as a result of this change in living conditions, childhood mortality increased significantly. In some cases, all the children in a given family died as infants. I've often wondered why this change occurred. Maybe it had something to do with the 1848-1849 revo! lt which led to higher status for the land holding farmers and perhaps lower status for shepherds. Or maybe the families just fell on harder economic times. I really don't know.
--- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>, "Fedor, Helen" <hfed@...> wrote:
> "The Organization of Farm-Animal Breeding"
> In traditional cattle breeding, the farming year is divided into two main periods: the period of winter barn breeding, and that of summer pasturing. Winter cattle breeding was done in village barns everywhere on Slovak territory. These barns were part of the out-buildings of a farms. In areas close to the mountains, with their dispersed settlements, cattle were bred in field barns during the winter. In the Ni'zke Tatry area, winter field barns were used as late as the middle of the 20th century. The main reasons for these field barns was to fertilize the soil and to use the surrounding meadows and plowed fields as pastures [did I get this right??].
> The number of cattle kept during the winter was limited by two factors: stocks of fodder and the farmer's household needs. The length of the winter breeding period depended on the weather and on the types of farm animals. In the warmer, flat, lowland areas, this period was shorter than in the colder mountain areas. However, in general the winter period commenced sometime between St. Michael's day (September 29) and St. Martin's day (November 11). The end of the winter period was traditionally St. George's day (April 24).
> Taking care of the animals during the winter was men's work. In some areas (Liptov), winter valasi (shepherds) were hired, based on an agreement with the sheepfolding association, to perform part of the winter work of feeding and looking after the sheep.
> All opinions my own
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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