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2006 | 51 | 2 | 123-143

Article title

Blacksmith's Craft Apprenticeship in Kaszuby and Kociewie Region in the 20th Century


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A traditional rustic forging has already made history. In the past, during the interwar period and even in the 60's of the 20th century, rural forge used to be inherent almost in each country. In the smithy horses were shoed, tools and various objects were produced, carts were built, agricultural horse-drawn carriages were repaired and overhauled. A special position in the rural society was held by a smith, who enjoyed the respect of people's entourage, especially as far as his manual skills were concerned. The farrier used to improve on various utensils, and sometimes even constructed self-invented devices - what important, the blacksmith's craft had usually drawn an attention of the technically skilled rural youth. In this article the author presents the issues connected with blacksmith's craft apprenticeship concentrating on law regulations it depended on, practical and theoretical job learning, and servants' and masterly examinations. He also shows the moral sphere and tradition included in the model of educating students to the craft. Blacksmith's craft apprenticeship in the pre - war period took place under control of the master in the forge, and in the additional school. A great attention was also paid to the practical job and tradition learning that was to make students perceive their work to be the value itself. The pupil could not drink the alcohol, smoke the cigarettes, or take part in any amusements. The craftsman was instructed in conducting self-dependent job activity that brought about craft and initiative development. In the period after 1945, in the communist period the system was changed. The new authorities were drifting towards educating the workpeople, and not the craftsmen able to run self-dependent economic activity. In the educational sense - through the law regulations and other steps that were taken - both educational significance of the masters and relations between master and pupil were impaired. Education was often practised in the state institutions. The main result of these changes was an expanding moral and work discipline decline among the pupils deprived of the authorities.









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  • J. Kuniewski, Uniwersytet Gdanski, Wydzial Nauk Spolecznych, Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii, ul. Bielanska 5, 80-851 Gdansk, Poland


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Publication order reference


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