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THERE used to be many more meadows on Slovak mountains than there are now. In the late 19th century, the numerous pastures near the village of Pribylina, which lies below the Západné Tatry, provided a livelihood to farmers and a place for shepherds to bring their flocks to graze.
The meadows were regularly fertilised with muck, poultry droppings, and ash. In the spring, they were cleaned and dewatered.
Cutting the meadows' grass was a major event in the region, becoming as important to livestock breeders as the harvest was to peasants. The cutting sometimes lasted more than a month and whole families took part by going into the mountains to live on remote meadows.
After cutting the grass, the locals dried and stored it in log sheds for use during the winter. This postcard from the 1930s show two of the sheds.
By Branislav Chovan
3. Sep 2007 at 0:00