vicno

The household from Vikno village, Zastavna District, is the so-called open construction type, where the house is placed in the centre of the yard. The household annexes: the crib (used to keep the corn), the traditional fruit dryer (a covered oven used to dry the fruit), the pigsty (the place for pigs) and the coop (the place for the poultry) are situated at some distance from the house and make up the so-called „household annex”. The dovecot is placed on the side, fixed to a pillar, with many openings and with an original wavy roof. The three-room house was built in 1981. The design is characteristic for the traditional houses from Hotin. Because of the reduced forest areas, the wood essences used for constructions are expensive. The construction of walls made from stakes, subsequently filled with earth and stiffened with straw knitting. Such walls were covered with a thick layer of clay and then they were lime-washed. Around the house, the earth stoop catches the eye. The lower side of the wall and the stoop are painted with a liquid made of red earth. (vohrelesi).
The trodden earth floor is covered with a mixture of clay, horse and cow manure, and adding soot for colour. The four sloping roof is steep, woven with rye-straws. The roof ridge includes whole sheaves and is stiffened by stakes.
In the dwelling room – on the right of the entrance– there is the oven with a chimney, also including a hot plate, which heated the room in winter and served for preparing the food on holidays and for baking the bread. On the hot plate (the small oven with metallic plate) the daily food was prepared and the food for animals was heated. The smoke was venting into the hall, through a special opening in the wall, called „cahla” and farther on, through a chimney made of willow knitting, was going out. In the chimney, which on the lower side was clayed, the meat and bacon were smoked. All the space between the oven and the side wall was occupied by the large wooden bed, placed on little pillars buried in the floor. The bed is covered with a home-made woven fabric. Above the bed, there is a wooden rod, with the daily clothes. On a diagonal line, there is the worship place: the icon lamp and the icons with the towels. Along the side wall, there is the table with the benches, which are covered with woven wall carpets. On the wall next to the oven, there are: the woven basket for the spoons, the hanger for the towels and on the floor, the bread peel for putting the bread in the oven and the stick for the fire (“cucerga”). On the left to the over, there is the place for plates.
The hall serves to keep different tools for work and life: weaving loom, distaff, the board for washing the clothes, combs, baskets and the trough. There are also barrels of pickles, cheese and lard. The sharp work tools are not kept in the hall; they are kept in the attic or in the barn.
„The guest room” – larger than the living room – was not heated; it was only used in summer or on holidays. The interior was richly adorned with woven textiles: blankets, covers, carpets etc. In the house, there are two chests where different goods are kept and on the wooden rod above the bed, the holiday clothes were placed: embroidered shirts, skirts and girdles. The strength of the house is given by the main beam, which is one of the most important elements of construction. Generally, for our ancestors, the beam of the house was a symbol of protection, which explains various magical signs and ornaments. Behind the beam, healing herbs are preserved: mint, chamomile and absinth.