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Culture

8 – The Forest in Nivernais – Stave splitters’ lodge

24 May 2018

Etymologically, “loge” (lodge) comes from the Old Frankish word laubja (foliage hut). The lodge, precarious housing typical of the forest proletariat, was usually built by loggers or coal workers directly on the cutting areas.

Etymologically, “loge” (lodge) comes from the Old Frankish word laubja (foliage hut). The lodge, precarious housing typical of the forest proletariat, was usually built by loggers or coal workers directly on the cutting areas. Coal workers’ lodges were more spacious because they were used for a longer period, from March to November, and often welcomed coal workers’ family.

Lodges, conical huts made with logs and branches covered with clods of earth or mud, had an aperture usually facing south. In the Sologne region, lodges were called “cul-de-loup”.

The French poet, Achille Millien, complements the postcard with verses of poetry referring to a former popular folk song from the Nièvre about three stave splitters: “« C’est trois jolis fendeurs dans la forêt jolie, » / Dit la vieille chanson que l’on ne chante plus / Les fendeurs sont encor dans « la forêt jolie », / Mais les naïfs chanteurs, que sont-ils devenus, / Quand mœurs, traditions et parlers, tout s’oublie ?

 

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