Cultural Ecology of an Agricultural Implement in Carpathian Europe.


In his article the author presents an important agricultural implement of Carpathian Europe: the hayrakes. From typological view these are almost identical with the hayrakes of Western Europe. They are not only used as tools, but fulfill a social function as well. Decorative and "rattling" rakes are eventually used as gifts. The women will guard their decorated rake lifelong. Among the Hungarians a rake is carved on the grave-post of a woman distinguished in haywork. The hayrake plays various roles in the folk-belief, so for instance, when hanging on the wall of the stable, it will keep away the witches. The functional analysis of such an agricultural implement leeds us to the result, that the terminology "material culture" and "spiritual culture" is not correct. In peasant farming of Carpathian Europe the stubble-rakes and chaff-rakes are playing a major role, while a special small rake is being used for sheath-binding. The rakes are made partly at home, but there are also some villages where rakes and other farming necessities are produced and carried away for sale in remote regions. The author tries to demonstrate the geographical area of the different rakes and points out, that geographical diffusion reflects historicity. On the other hand, geographical diffusion is impaired by social and ecological impediments. The present paper is referring to an earlier article by Bjarne Stoklund (Ethnological Interpretations of Implements. The Hayrake as an Example. Ethnologia Europaea XX: 5-14).

How to Cite

Gunda, B., (1992) “Cultural Ecology of an Agricultural Implement in Carpathian Europe.”, Ethnologia Europaea 22(1), 145-161. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


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Bela Gunda (University Lajos Kossuth)



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