20 November 2016

Fishery – Shelter with boats

The fishery (Romanian: „cherhana”) is a specialized construction typical for regions in our country where heavy fishing is the main occupation: the seaside of the Black Sea, the Danube Delta, the great lakes of Razim (Razelm), Sinoe and Babadag. The necessity of collecting large amounts of fish destined for commercialization (the name „cherhana” is borrowed from Turkish and stands for – a place of trade) has determined the onset of this type of construction. The construction was brought on Village Museum premises in 1953 and is supported on pillars. It features a porch – used as a wharf – surrounding three of its sides fitted with wrought pillars. The gable thatch rooftop is covered with reed „fish-scale” style.

The plan of the construction conveys a large hall which houses fishing tools and vessels used for incoming fish catches and the semi-conservation of fish, also two smaller rooms: one for the preparation of caviar from harvested roe (fish eggs), the other as a welcoming bureau. The inventory on display on the inside is rich and diverse, featuring most of the traditional fishing tools used by locals: the catfish whisker whip rod (Romanian: „clonc”), the lift net (Romanian: „halău”) for small fish, the sturgeon angle rod (Romanian: „carmace”), the purse seine (Romanian: „prostovol”), the float line fishing net (Romanian: „șetca”), the fyke net (Romanian: „vintir”), the drag-net (Romanian: „mreajă”), the trawl net („năvod”). Each adapted to a particular species of fish, the tools and instruments exhibit a fishing technology evolution time-line.

The boat shelter is an indispensable construction for a fishery, it was the place that housed the boats during winter time, also during the fishing prohibition periods. The construction is simple in design – pillars fixed in the ground, topped with wedges that support the framework made with rafter beams and laths. The low gable roof is covered with reed thatch threshed „in a Lipovan fashion”, then „combed”.

The boats (Romanian: „lotca”, or „mahune”) are housed with the hulls on the upside, laid on two or three rows and supported by horizontal beams. The fishery was also the place where fishermen used to repair the boats and fix cracks with reed and molten tar, a technique known as caulking (Romanian: „călăfătuire”) and fixing the strakes (Romanian: „crivace”).

The fishing boats are divided into several categories, depending on size and capacity, also by the number of strakes: the boat, the coracle, the pirogue, the barge, the log canoe, the sail boat etc. (Romanian: „mahună, „ghiurmea”, „răpașnic”, „caiuc”, „barcaz”, barca cu pânze etc., in no particular order).