Добро пожаловать к этому международному месту открытки изображения. Benvenuto a questo luogo internazionale della cartolina di immagine. Καλωσορίστε σε αυτήν την διεθνή περιοχή καρτών εικόνων. Willkommen zu diesem internationalen Abbildungspostkarteaufstellungsort. Bienvenue à cet emplacement international de carte postale. Onthaal aan deze Internationale plaats van de beeldprentbriefkaar. Welcome to this International picture postcard site. (Please Click on the Picture for an Enlarged View)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kurenai – Curonian Lagoon - Lithuania

Boats were the most important assets for the Curonian fishermen in their daily life. It was the only means, which connected them to the continent. Besides fishing, Curonians used them for hay and animal transportation from the meadows in the Nemunas delta. Flat-bottomed boats, whose draught and shape were the most suitable according to sailing conditions, prevailed in the lagoon. Curonian fishermen sailed four different kinds of boats: dragnet boat, sailing boat, fish-trap boat, and kurenai (korno valte); they had the name given according to the net they were drawing. Depending on purpose, boats were of different size. For instance, Kurenas was eight to ten meters in length and 3 meters in width. Four or five fishermen could fit in it.
An interesting fact is that fishermen from Juodkrante didn't use bi-masted sailboats for dragnets, sealing-nets or kurenai.

The prerogative of constructing sail boats belonged to masters from Gilija, Labguva and Dreverna. Nobody from the Curonian Spit had such skills. The great boats were constructed on the southwestern side of the lagoon and smaller, fish-trap boats and keelboats came from the northeastern side. Experienced masters were able to build a traditional boat in one month. Such a boat would cost as much as a fisherman's house. The fisherman described the type, shape and size to the constructor, and it was custom built.

The first picture of the flat-bottomed boats was found on the map from the 16th century. Such boats were used until 1956. Now there are only three kurenas and one fish-trap boat which sail the Curonian Lagoon.

This nice black and white picture postcard was sent to me by Kotryna from Lithuania. The picture was taken sometime in the 1940’s of  a fishing fleet of Curonian boats at anchor in the Curonian Lagoon.