1Babeş‐Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, 400006, Cluj‐Napoca, Romania, e‐mail:
ABSTRACT. – Some Aspects Regarding Sheepherding and its Role in the Local Development of the Drăgoiasa‐Tulgheş microregion. Alongside crop growing, sheepherding has always been one of the more important occupations of the local population, agriculture and sheepherding being, in fact, inseparable occupations. The pastoral economy of the Drăgoiasa‐Tulgheş depression string fits in the mountainous type landscape, with a massive domination of hayfields, natural pastures and grazable forests, which encompass the slopes as well as the higher areas. The period for grazing lasts between 130‐150 days for cattle and 150‐180 days for sheep. The pastures are used from May to October, while the hayfields, after the collection of hay. For the animals that are not „taken up” the mountain in summer, people use the hayfields and pastures found in communal areas, a phenomenon encountered only in Corbu and Tulgheş. We also mention the fact that some settlements such as Gălăuţaş, Sărmaş, Subcetate, Ruşii Munţi, Monor, Şieuţ do not have enough pastures, renting pastures from Topliţa, Bilbor and Borsec. Lower, within forest areas, there are clearings, mostly artificial, called „smizi” (smidă), where grazing is forbidden as they contain plantations of tree saplings. However, when milk output is lower due to colder days or lack of grass, the shepherds go down with their herds to these plantations, or on recently deforested lands, where grass is plentiful, but they do it secretly and quietly due to the fines enforced for destroying these plantations, or due to the bears that can be found in these areas. A significant part of the rural population is in an intense seasonal movement from the permanent hearths towards temporary ones and the other way around, which emphasizes the existence of two types of sheepherding: local sheepherding, frequent in almost all the settlements of the depression string, taking place from spring until autumn in stationary, or mobile sheep dens, or with no den whatsoever, within the limit of the village, and an agricultural sheepherding, with sheep dens in the mountains, beyond the limit of the village, that takes place during warm months on the slopes of Căliman, Giurgeu, Hăşmaş and Bistricioarei Mountains. In general, the best pastures are those found on southern, south‐western and south‐eastern slopes, and especially on gradual ridges with a lot of sunlight and heat. The quality of pastures also depends on the manner in which they are used. For example, the introduction of cattle and horses, which graze on the old grass that sheep refuse, allows the development of young grass, thus improving the food quality and quantity of sheepherding products. Some of the most important grazing sites are: Stegea, Şuvărişte, Dobreanu Mic, Dobreanu Mare, Aluniş, Iuteş, Faţa Bilborului, Şestina, Muncelu, Secu, Şesul Comarnicului, Runc, Bâtca, Şăştina Barasău, Bălajul, Feţele Putnei.
Keywords: sheepherding, sheepfolds, traditional products, tools used in a sheepfold, shepherds, pastures.