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Photographer's Note

Weathercocks of the Curonian Lagoon

Since ancient times, the fishermen of the Curonian Lagoon had unique sailing boats crafted to handle the waves of the Curonian Lagoon. These vessels were bouyant, shallow draught boats constructed of oak boards and called kurenas, bradinine, or venterine, depending on the types of nets they used.

From a distance all these boats looked alike. As each village controlled its own fishing areas, a system of identification through uniquely shaped weathercocks at the top of each mast was developed. The earliest record of this system dates from 1844, but the folk art seems much older.

Each weathercock had to be of a minimum size and decorated in colours and with shapes that would clearly denote the village from which it had come. The creation of weathercocks developed into a folk art form with symbols from the lives of the fishermen and their villages.

Now these weathercocks decorate the village of Nida on the
Curonian Spit, which is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The dune at Nida was a stop on Peter's Paragliding Nomadness tour.

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Additional Photos by Peter Jennings (Geo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 55 N: 182] (1245)
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