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The tree trunk

At the arrival of the Slovak colonists on these lands, the area was entirely covered in thick forests. Over time, most of the forests were cut down, both to make room for houses, grasslands, agricultural crops, and for the use of wood. Before entering the birch forest at Huta Slavia, on the left, you will encounter a tree trunk more than 250 years old, making it one of the oldest trees found in the region. In an advanced state of decay, the tree trunk seems to bear witness to other times, when the only sounds coming through the thickets of the forest were the voices of the woodsmen and the blows of the ax, followed by the sound of silence, when, tired from the physical work, the men rested for a few moments.

Life as a lumberjack was not easy in the 18th and 19th centuries. They worked from dawn till dusk and had only a lunch break. Until the 18th century, when they started using the hacksaw, the woodcutters (slov. drevorubač) worked in pairs. Later, they organized themselves in work teams, made especially of men belonging to the same family or related. The group was led by a master, who also acted as a mediator for contracts between the loggers and the forest owners. When the place where they carried out their work was close to the village, the forest workers came back home every day; however, when the cuttings took place at longer distances, they lived in the forest, either until the end of the week, or during the whole season, in temporary dwellings. During rest periods, they made different household objects, handmade from wood and very often decorated with sculptures.

The long-term stay of the men away from the household influenced the way of life of their families, leading to a reorganization of the community. All who remained home were involved in the maintenance of the household, and the kids were raised by women or older family members.

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