Mordovian sledges

Mordovian sledges

Driving in the village of Pazelki. Penza province. 1926 year.

It is unlikely that any young person today can talk about the traditional winter transport of our ancestors – sleighs. But even relatively recently they were ubiquitous. Now, except that on winter holidays in some places the guys are rolled on sleighs-rozvalnyah …
Manufacture of sledges in the XIX century peasants engaged in 148 Russian and Mordvinian villages of Mordovia. One of the centers of sledge fishing was the village of Luhmensky Maidan, which is 30 km from Insara. This was facilitated by the proximity of the market, the availability of their forests, the demand for sledges and … poor soils.

Mordovian sledges

It is unlikely that any young person today can talk about the traditional winter transport of our ancestors – sleighs. But even relatively recently they were ubiquitous. Now, except that on winter holidays in some places the guys are rolled on sleighs-rozvalnyah …
Manufacture of sledges in the XIX century peasants engaged in 148 Russian and Mordvinian villages of Mordovia. One of the centers of sledge fishing was the village of Luhmensky Maidan, which is 30 km from Insara. This was facilitated by the proximity of the market, the availability of their forests, the demand for sledges and … poor soils.
Sani bought and local cab drivers, but in much larger quantities they went to the steppe areas of the Transvolga, in the Samara and Simbirsk provinces. From there special buyers came for them.
Depending on the purpose of the sledge differed in size and appearance. Simplified woodwinds, and wagon sledges were made, and, finally, sheaths used for trips.

Mordovian sledges

Three of the Shrovetide. With a picture of the artist Petro Gruzinsky. The year 1889.

The drills were intended for the transport of weights, mainly firewood and logs; when transporting the latter, they were tied up with “droplets”. At the same level, the peasants went to the bazaars and fairs. In this case, they attached a “braid” – a body woven from thin long rods. This kind of cart is known as “sledgehole”. There were driftwood and sledgeholes practically in every household.
Of the festive visiting sleds, the most common were the women: in them our ancestors went on a visit, to a wedding, and went to Maslenitsa. Usually they were made with two seats: the rear – for two people and the front (for the sun) – for the driver. Koshevni had quite wide lateral “bends”, protecting them from turning over on the bumps and turns.
Hard skins of the tree – oak, ash and maple – went to the runners. On the plank – birch, linden, aspen. On knitting – young trees – elms. For skinning cheap sledges, mats were purchased, for half-sheep sleds. Different types of sled required different qualities of materials: for firewood, and worse things went on, on wagons – medium-quality materials, on the best ones.
The average length of the woodwork was on a working day and consisted of 5 different operations, a sledge-sled for 2 days and 8 operations, a sheathed for 3 days and 12 operations.

Mordovian sledges

Sleigh. Photo of Ivan Bogdanov. The 1930s.

Work on the design of the sled profile in such a sequence. At first, we harvested 8 knits – 5 for the bottom and 3 for the top. The knits sawed and hollowed out places for folds. They sawed, hewed and cut the bark of the stickers and hammered into them nests for the dust, which required about 10 pieces – 8 short ones: I fastened the runners and 2 long ones to strengthen the front end. After that, a large rear arch was scratched and reinforced in the muck-holes. Then the front end was hollowed out, the upper chairs were made out with the backs and bends and reinforced them in place. The small arcs were scratched. Dyed and nailed to the ground lubki. At last the zodok and lateral arches swam out, and were covered with matting.
With special diligence, the craftsmen worked on the production of custom sledges. Since in this case materials of better quality were used, their cost was one and a half times higher than the market value.
The most important stages of the technology of sledge fishing were bending the runners and assembling the crews. Initially, both types of work were not divided. Each master made a sleigh from beginning to end. Sam bent rails, prepared knitting and other parts, he himself collected the finished products. Bending of runners was made in spring and summer, and lining of sledges in autumn.
The obligatory elements of the workshops were the guy and the bending machine. The guy was a long brick stove with one or two boilers. The water heated in the cauldrons evaporated, the steam penetrated into the large room under the upper vault, where the planks fit – the future runners.
Because of the high cost of the boys were not all Sannikov. In such cases, they were dispensed with without them, steaming the skids in the dung. The manure was used fresh, unbroken, predominantly horse. Plakhs were packed in rows, heads to each other, which were closed with manure, and then they fell asleep with earth. In this position, they were at least two weeks, with the temperature and humidity in the pile being monitored. If the manure became dry and cold, it was watered with warm water. It was impossible neither to steam, nor to skid steadfast. The people who were ridden during the drive quickly broke down, unpaired – they broke when bending.
The steamed plows well succumbed to bending on a special lathe. It had the shape of the bend of the skid and was connected to the collar, by means of which the bending was performed. To dry the folded skids and fix the bend, the craftsmen arranged a special wall in poles, to which bends and spacers were attached in a bent kind of skids. However, more often the poles were dried at the walls of the outbuildings, tying them so that they did not straighten.
Before dressing the sleigh, the runners were dried: in the winter – in the huts under the ceiling, in the summer – under a canopy.
They collected sledges in the yards under the awnings.
Saints were mostly engaged in men, women also helped them with bending razoev. To perform light work, for example, for scraping the bark, harvesting ropes, children were also involved. Knowledge and skills were inherited.
Sale of sledges began in October, and ended on the eve of Maslenitsa. In October, there was a greater demand for sledges, in November – for wood, in December – for sleds. This allowed the Sannies to remain a fairly prosperous part of the peasantry.

Mordovian sleigh Manufacture of sledges in the XIX century