Posted on 2019-11-28    Category Traditions

The shingle it is called in romanian „draniță” It is the word used by us to reffer to shingle. That is why you will find it in this article written in this form „draniță„ and not „shingle”.

It is an old art which still can be seened in Romania especially in Maramureș and Gorj the romanian regions where this product it is still used  for the construction of the wooden roofs of the wooden churches or houses.


One of the craftsmanship of wood processing is the ditch. The best wood for dranita was the one cut in November and December, because this wood keeps the most. The wood used by the debris must have certain qualities:

  1. Be stronger, like spruce, not fir, which is softer and rotten faster when it comes in contact with water, heat or sun.
  2. be straight, stubby, not twisted.
  3. Elders say that wood is more resistant to being younger.
  4. Crack well not to be rope, crack straight and light.

At first the craftsman cuts a piece of wood from the tree he cracks to find the qualities of the wood. If the wood is good, cut it, if not, try other trees to find what they are looking for. Dirt and shingle are never made of green wood, because in the drying process, be it slow to shade or faster to the sun the firewood, the wood decreases, the roaring, twisting.  After cleaning, the trunk of the tree is cut with the saw (joagar), in the hubs, called wheels according to the desired size. Prepared wheels are dry either in a surah, stable or porch bridge to be protected from rain and sunburn, either in a stack covered with planks placed in the shade for slow drying.

Then the dregs crack. The wheels, the dry horns, are placed in a vertical position and then cracked: the first time in two, then in four, each square is cracked in turn and in two each sesame is cracked again in two, resulting in an optimum, representing a pair of shingle or dirt that always cracks in a pair. Never drank the dirt one by one of the whole wheel because in this way jumps the chips that would not have the necessary thickness everywhere.

In all researched ethnographic areas, there are several types of dandi: quail of randunicia, in fish scales, rate bot, arrow, beehives, round, round. In Transylvania the most widespread is spontaneous. Making this type of dirt requires a lot of skill because it does not have the same thickness on the entire surface, the part where the sponge (channel) is made thicker. With the help of the spontaneous sponge, they stick to each other on the roof. All the aforementioned dangers are made according to a pattern having the same general characteristics for all types of dirt. The width of the dyke varies between 6-10 and 10-15 cm and the length from 25-50 cm.

Dranita is put in several ways: simple, double, triple in four and five rows. One above the other. Such a roof is very hard but very resistant. The daily practice of the draniters has shown that the sharp roof with sloping slopes leaks better and faster the water and the water and the dirt lasts for a long time.

Another condition is the shape and location of the dirt on the house. The right sword keeps more water at the ends than the sharpened drank and the dirt is rotting faster. So the solution is the dirty, rounded or sharp head on which water leaks faster. The rooting of the dirt on the roof, one above the other, forms some streasins that help the rapid flow of water. Another method to increase resistance to dirt regardless of the shape it has is soaking it in a warm tar bath. The tar, absorbing in the dirt, makes it waterproof and helps dry. Another method used in the biaxial area is to smoke dirt. The stove smoke chimney is inserted into the bridge through a special bucket and spreads into the bridge forming a layer of soot on the dirt that forms the roof.