This fire style is something that is only rarely seen here in Canada. It was demonstrated to me by creating horizontal notches for the cross-members and the creation of a longitudinal notch in both the upper and lower logs. The long notch was filled with tinder, kindling and small wood, the upper log was put in place and the fire started.A hunter warming up near a rakovalkea at Kontiolahti in 1911. Rakovalkea is a fire built between two logs and it will burn all night without any supervising.
The fire is made of two large, dry pine logs (called honka or petäjä depending the dialect used). I'm here assuming that the fire is needed for two men. The diameter of the tree used for the fire depends the season; according to a manual printed in the 1930s, 23-25 centimeters or about 9-10 inches in diameter measured chest height from the ground is suitable for winter. The logs are cut about 1½ - 2 meters (5 - 6,5 feet) in length. The logs are carved flat from the other side and two slits called tulkuskolo are made to the lower one on each end to allow the air to flow free between the logs. One then cuts smaller, three to four cm in diameter, pieces of green wood (tulkkunen, pl. tulkkuset) which are put in right angle between the logs but over the slits. These are the birch wood blocks seen in the 1911 photograph.Could you provide a description of the process used in Finland in preparing the materials, the size recommendations, and if available, the terms used to describe the different logs.
As puukko is puukko and sauna is sauna, rakovalkea can be really understood only with knowledge of Finnish. However one can split the compound into two seperate words that have their own meanings, rako and valkea. Rako ("slit"/"slot") is the easier one to understand as it refer to the opening between the logs. Independently valkea usually is used to mean white but in this context it means fire, i.e. the hottest fire possible is white. Roughly translated rakovalkea is thus "slit fire".Is there a rough translation of rakovalkea?
Thank you for your response. This idea of removing the tulkkuset is completely new to me and something that I will have to try in the future. My very small background in languages comes through my Danish grandmother who described Finnish as the most difficult language she ever worked with as a translator.Logs are piled on top of each other with tulkkuset between. Wood shaves (kiehinen, pl. kiehiset) are then put between the logs and to the slits. These are shaved from pine roots or other place saturated with resin. The shaves are lit and after a while, if the logs have caught fire well, the tulkkuset are removed and the fire continues on for some 10 to 12 hours.
Tulkkunen is the same as tulkku with suffix -nen, meaning affection to something. I would suppose that tulkku is probably a dialect form of another word, tulkka. In general it means plug and is a loan word from Russian втулка. Tulkkunen can be then literally translated as "a place where the plug is". Tulkuskolo is again a compound compromised of tulkku and kolo. The latter one means a hole.Sometimes learning the names of things, even in a rough translation, helps to solidify the concept more fully in my mind. With this in mind, are their additional translations for (tulkkunen, pl. tulkkuset) and tulkuskolo? With a little help from google I was able to find the translation of honka as a large straight trunked pine.
Resin-filled conifer stumps (fi. tervaskanto) were also used for fire if they were available. I suppose they will light up easily (haven't tried). I also checked couple of late 19th and early 20th century sources on rakovalkea and they naturally had differences between each other. For example some did not remove tulkkuset but changed them to smaller ones at the same point when others removed them.The other interesting note was the specific use of shaved pieces of resin containing wood. Here in Canada, until vendors starting selling chunks of "maya sticks" I had never been exposed to the idea of collecting resinous wood. We often would collect lumps of pitch to use a fire-starting aid, and I still cannot bring myself to purchase a little stick when the forests are full of things that burn. But your description is encouraging me to spend some time hunting for this resource in our local boreal forest.
Excellent, thank you.What ahkio or pulkka is for winter, purilaat or travois is for summer. The following drawing by Jean-Baptiste Le Prince from 1765 is the oldest depiction of purilaat that I am aware of. These were mostly drawn by horses but they can be also drawn by a dog or a man. Notice the hat almost identical to the modern day boonie hat, except that the one in the drawing was made out of wool.
I have some specifications for a horse-drawn purilaat which I am willing to supply to any who is interested of building one.
This is a very interesting image, but I can't quite see clearly enough. He is carrying something tied to his gun, you can see the tie & the object on top. Where the lock should be showing there is something else, also possibly tied on.Here is a Karelian hunter from the Finnish-Russian frontier drawn by L. Sparre in 1893. He is carrying a flintlock but, as it seems, also a blanket roll? Similar contraptions are know from Finnish church paintings dating to 1470s and were used up to the beginning of the 20th century.
At this rate you are going to have to change your username to "Spamdit"!Spam is an international word
This is a fascinating subject and I think the answer depends very much on the terrain.I have tried to find literature which would explain how hunters found their way before the advent of compass but without success.
Being an archanic method, there are no historical drawings of this method that I am aware of in existance but we have several archeological findings that illustrate it. However one must remember that these particular knives were found from women's graves. Men probably wore more simpler ones.I would be really interested to see any examples of the horizontal carrying method for a puuko.