Turistička zajednica grad Metković

Vessels

The farming areas of the delta are criss-crossed by a network of irrigation channels, which also allow the farmers access in a trupa ( a trupa is a modification of an ancient ves­sel dug out of trunk - trupac).It is very light and draws little enabling it to pass through the narrowest canals and over the many shallow areas. It’s also easy to carry over dry ar­eas and lower into the water again, giving rise to the saying: “Sometimes I‘m in it, sometimes it’s on me”. The Nere­tva farmer uses the trupica for hunt­ing, catching frogs, collecting leeches, for the harvest, for visiting friends, for transporting cattle fodder from one bank to another and even for fer­rying smaller cattle. He can sleep under it and seek cover in bad weather. Before “sailing”, the Neretva navigator commends himself to God with the word “Misisovo!”, which means in dialect: “In the name of Jesus!”; and at night, he’ll bless him­self with river water. What horse-driven carriages were for wide plains, a lađa was for the Neretva - large and strong boats which transported farmers to and from work, along with their (sometimes) abundant crops: grass, hay, straw, wheat, pump­kins, melons, grapes (which were squeezed by the work­ers whilst being ferried), fruit, vegetables, wood, oxen, horses and smaller stock, an abun­dant catch of eagles from the big ravines (jaruge); but also precious goods, furniture (mo- bilja), a bride’s dowry (dota), party groups (druzine). A lađa was used also for going to fairs (derneci), bee-parties (sijela) and for transporting both wed­ding processions complete with the Croatian flag and branches of pine trees and funeral pro­cessions taking the deceased to the final rest. The importance of a lađa in the everyday life of the people of the Neretva is expressed in the poignant words: “A lađa is everything for the Neretva people.” Some­times, lađe had geographic or personal names: one boat which was badly made and was difficult to row was called Nevridna (worthless). Trupe and lađe can be constructed in the open, in the shade, in front of a house, and their builders, who are mostly village wood­workers or coopers, are simply called masters.

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