The negative on glass was made by Romulus Vuia, in 1923, in the area of Bătrâna village, Hunedoara county, Pădureni Land. In woodsmen’s villages, sheepfolds were located inside the villages’s borders, being light, mobile constructions that could be moved periodically, from place to place, ensuring both the fertilization of agricultural lands and hayfields, but also the protection of sheep.
In the foreground, there is a sheepfold consisting of two rectangular wood sheets (called “shingles”/ “șindrilere”), supported sideways, in hayforks, on the ground, in the middle being raised enough for a man to enter. Inside and outside the sheepfold, you can see objects specific to shepherding: a pot for boiling whey, hanging on a wooden improvised support; “bărbânță” for cheese storage; textiles; sheep milking buckets. There is a man to the left of the building, dressed up in folk costume: black hat with hard edges and turned up; long linen shirt with a high, straight collar, and wide sleeves ending in wristbands (“pumnași”). Over his shirt, he wears a short waistcoat, wide, simple underpants, tucked into “toloboni” (thick cloth sock), fastened below the knees with a strap; on his feet, he wears sandals with tips. The man is leaning on a wooden stick.
On the sheepfold’s side, there is a tall wooden building, consisting of four vertical posts, with broken branches, fixed in the ground, with a bridge of planks and leaves in the middle, arranged horizontally, in the upper part, on which the curd was put for drying (“comarnic”). Various objects used in the sheepfold are hung on the stakes: sacks, clay pots, hooded-bag, cloth strainers with squeezed curd.
The negative, registered with title “Sheepfold”, inventory no. 93, is a cliché made in the silver gelatin-bromide technique on glass support, having dimensions of 9 cm x 12 cm.
Photo: the MET archive