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History of dayak boat – Vrbas boat ...

The assumption is that dayak boat – Vrbas boat first appeared at approximately same time as the city of Banja Luka did. As city is lying on two banks of river Vrbas and because of the lack of bridges in the past, this boat was used to transport people and goods from one side to another.After the bridges appeared it was still a main transport route because it was cheaper than paying a bridge toll.During the centuries this unusual vessel became a symbol of the city.As Vrbas is rather fast and dangerous river,especially during the winter period , the transport of expensive goods was a pretty risky business, so those who were best and most skillful in boating made some good money by doing this.

Characteristics ...

Specific nature of the river which is shallow but fast, made rowing almost impossible so boats needed another tool for moving across and up and down the river.The solution was dayak – a 4 meter long stick with sharp metal ending called stica that was used for piercing into the bottom of the river (the bottom of the river Vrbas is covered with a medium size pebbles and rocks) and then by leaning its body on dayak the driver would push the boat into the wanted direction.Stica is 25 cm long metal piece with a sharp metal tip and it has a specific weight so dayak would be properly balanced.The boat is 7 meters long and it's made of fir planks that are 2 cm thick.

Being unique in the world ...

There are similarly propelled boats in the world which are driven on still water surfaces,mostly channels. But none of them is able to go upstream or to manage strong rapids of the mountain river, which are easily mastered by a skillful dayak-boat driver.

Being unique among other dayak-boats ...

Each boat has a name on the side where the name represents something personal ( mostly these are the names of girlfriends,wives,family members or something or someone that is very important to the owner ). It has a unique bow which is mostly made of oak,acacia or ash tree.The bow is considered to be a tattoo of the boat and it is more striking than the name of the boat itself because the craftsman when making the bow has a different artistic vision each time, so each bow has a different design .

Mastering a skill ...

As for the driving part,the basic driving technique can be learned in a couple of days, depending on students sense of balance and reflexes. However,it takes a lot of years to become skilfull driver.Club organizes tuitions where one can learn how to drive this boat.


 


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