In ethno-house Marasović, there is a small exhibition of household furniture and agricultural tools, representing the long tradition, history, customs and beliefs of people from the Velebit area.
A small info-centre and souvenir shop is also in the house.
In authentic atmosphere of the Marasović ethno-house traditional food of this area can be found - simple food but rich in tastes and aromas.
Mount Velebit is for Croatian people what Olympus Mount is for the Greeks, Mont Blanc for the Europeans, Fuji for the Japanese or Kilas for the Indians and Tibetans. Lush with distinctive botanical and animal species, this karst mountain has been enabling the survival of humans since prehistoric times. Indo-Europeans, Ilirs, Japodes, Liburnians, Romans, Croats… All these peoples who lived around Velebit have never completely disappeared but have remained in the area and assimilated with new settlers, retaining some of their own and accepting new ways of living, customs, beliefs...
Since ancient times cattle breeding has been the main economy. The ways of living and earning have almost remained unchanged for centuries, and they have only started to change recently.
In dry summer months the shepherds used to take their numerous goat and sheep flocks from the coastal areas higher into the mountain, and they would stay there for five to six months. They would build their shelters - modest habitats built of rocks - near the pastures and streams.
Quite a number of people used to spend some time on Velebit during the summer, which can be seen from many remaining sacral structures such as small churches, chapels, “mirila” (tombstones), altars... Merchants and caravans crossed the mountain as well. People from the coast used to load horses or donkeys with their products - primarily salt, handmade wooden artefacts, figs and other agricultural products - and take them over the mountain inland to Lika, where they would exchange them for flour, furniture and other goods. One of the usual crossings was Velika Paklenica and it took about 10 hours to arrive to Lika.
Besides cattle breeding people used to make dairy products (cheese) and wool. Women were using wool to make clothes, blankets and other products, either for their own usage or for sale or exchange. Men carved wood to make some pieces of furniture or tools. In coastal area grape growing was quite developed and more widespread than nowadays, while olive growing is picking up again.
Settlements in coastal areas are small and dense, mostly of Mediterranean type. Houses were modest, with basic, home-made furniture. On the ground floor there was a fire place („komin“) and the room for the cattle or the wine cellar while the bedroom was upstairs. The roofs were covered with tiles and at the beginning of 20 century cement was used to make barrel type roofs without steel structure („krov na kubu“). This style is unique, although there are some similarities to the roofs in other Mediterranean areas. Since 1950s, or to be more precise, since the main coastal road called „Jadranska magistrala“ had been built, tourism started to develop and connections with the urban centres became easier, the life for the people of Velebit area has rapidly changed.
*Taken from www.rivijera-paklenica.hr
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