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Parco Naturale Regionale Monti Simbruini

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Camerata Nuova Visitor Center

Woodsmen
Woodsmen

Life and Work linked to the Trees


Località
00020 Camerata Nuova (RM)

Municipality: Camerata Nuova Region: Lazio

Tel. 0774/827221 (ufficio comunicazione e educazione) - Fax 0774/827183
E-mail: promozione.sviluppo@simbruini.it

The people living in the Apennines have worked in the forests since ancient times. As a matter of fact, timber has always represented an important reference point for the local economy. In the Park territory, the vast beech forests have always represented a natural richness providing high-quality timber and firewood. In the latest decades, only a few people have decided to take up this profession, more for passion than for an economic match. The woodsmen profession has always been one of the most widespread professions in the mountains. It was often handed down from generation to generation and involved whole families. The most expert woodsmen, thanks to the experience acquired over the years, were assigned to the tree felling, while the youngest ones were given all the other tasks. In this way, they collected timber and, above all, firewood, the only combustible material which was essential in those years to resist the cold winters. The coalsmen profession derives from the need to produce a material that, compared to wood, had the advantage to be easily transported and to develop a greater energy.
Necessarily linked to the above-mentioned profession there is the muleteer, a connection link between woodsmen-coalsmen and local people. With long mule caravans, they transported wood and charcoal from the forest to the towns and, more recently, to the areas where the material was loaded on the trucks.
The muleteers led the caravan to the destination on foot, they unloaded the animals, and headed again to the forest on their back. The road was often the same, and the caravans formed small tracks called "mule tracks".
Among the professions, without a doubt the most characteristic one is the profession of the coffer maker. The coffer is a sort of case with a bent cover you could find in the past in every country house: they put in it bread, homemade pasta, clothes, flour, etc. It was made with beech timber: the coffer maker himself used to choose the tree to chop down, which had to be a top quality tree without knots. One of the features of the coffer is to be a joint work, with no iron nails and screws, in order to be easily assembled, disassembled, and transported. The techniques used were handed down from father to son, creating a real family tradition. In the decades following the second post-war period, the ancient profession of the coffer maker has slowly disappeared, leaving only a few elderly who had learnt the coffer making techniques when they were young. It is necessary to rely on them if we want to maintain this very ancient local tradition.

Further info

Opening times:

For further information, please call the Park Communication Office from Monday to Friday, from 9.00 am to 1.30 pm: Ph. +39 0774 827221. E-mail promozione.sviluppo@simbruini.it. 


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