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From History of Folk Construction: Traditional Techniques of Roof Covering on the Territory of Polissia

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The authors of the publication:
Radovych Roman
Bibliographic description:
Radovych, R. (2017) From History of Folk Construction: Traditional Techniques of Roof Covering on the Territory of Polissia. Folk Art and Ethnology, 3 (367), 53–66.


Radovych Roman – a Ph.D. in History, a research officer at Historical Ethnology Department of the NASU Institute of Ethnology


From History of Folk Construction: Traditional Techniques of Roof Covering on the Territory of Polissia



The article elucidates a file of aspects that touch upon the issue of traditional techniques of roof covering with thatch, reed and swamp grass, as well as related technological processes. It has been ascertained that both on the territory of Polissia, and in other Ukrainian regions, rye thatch was the most widely used material for roof covering. Thatching with bound straw sheaves prevailed on Middle and Western Ukrainian Polissia, as well as in the western part of Belarusian Polissia and on Pidliashshia, as did everywhere on the territory of Right-Bank Ukraine. While applying this method of roof covering, two types of sheaves were used: the whole roof surface was thatched with sheaves, fastened near their roots, with spikes downwards (kulyky); on corners and the lower row (sometimes beneath roof’s ridge) were put sheaves, in which thatch was bound near spikes, with roots downwards (kytytsi). However, on Eastern Ukrainian Polissia, as well as in the east of Belarusian Polissia, roof covering with unfolded thatch (with spikes upwards – pid shchit, or downwards – pid huzyr) was more typical. Along with these methods of roof covering, overall on the territory of Polissia sporadically occurred thatching (ordinarily, on utility structures) with shredded haulm (v natrusku). Outhouses (in some cases dwellings houses) could be covered with swamp grass, being notable for its considerable moisture-resistant and rot-proof features (while roof covering in such a way, the technique v natrusku was applied). Another widespread material for roof covering was ocheret (reed), which was used as a stuff for thatching by the method pid shchit on the territory of both Ukrainian and Belarusian Polissia, namely, on lands along the watercourses of rivers and, especially, in the area of Pinsk Swamp.



Polissia, dwelling, roof, thatch, sheaves of threshed straw, sheaves.


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