October 27, 2006

Maramureş 6. Architecture and husbandry.

The architecture and husbandry of Maramures hay.

We saw parts of this process repeated, with minor variations, weather-proofing domes of hay throughout Maramureş. In some fields the stacks were clustered like affectionate families; elsewhere they were scattered equidistantly.
Gate, staddle, stack, Cosau Valley, 2006.Stacking near Berbeşti, 2006.

 Stacking near Breb, 2006.Stacking near Breb, 2006.  Stacking near Breb, 2006.
Humanoid stacks near Breb, 2006. Humanoid stacks near Breb, 2006.

The soprons of Maramureş.
In the valleys of the Mara and Cosau, they were sheltered by adjustable wooden structures, hay-sheds with roofs that can be raised and lowered, known locally as soprons, in Hungary as aboras, and in the Netherlands, where our friend Wim Lanphen is tirelessly collecting every surviving example, as hooibergs. The Dutch brought them to Manhattan in the seventeenth century, and they were common in New England and as far south as Pennsylvania until the early twentieth century. They survive in Maramures both in the fields and near the farmyards, where they serve as fodder storage structures, from which the insatiable cows, confined in the milking sheds for most of the year, can be conveniently supplied.

Sopron, Berbeşti, 2006. Sopron, Berbeşti, 2006. Sopron, Calineşti, 2006.
 Sopron, Calineşti, 2006. Sopron, Sârbi, 2006. Sopron and animal shelter, Rozavlea, 2006.

Moving the Maramureş hay.
Anamaria Iuga estimates that three haystacks are enough to feed a single cow through the winter months. The rest are shared among the other livestock: the horses, oxen and buffalo that pull the summer wagons and winter sleds; the pigs that also convert squash and slops to protein; and the sheep that migrate with the seasons from the high pastures of summer to the winter valleys.

”Wagon, Wagon pulled by buffalo, Deseşti, 2006.
”Girl Wagon and handcart, Cosau Valley, 2006. Petru, Vasili and their wagon, Sârbi, 2006.

Posted by Alan Ritch at October 27, 2006 11:27 AM