Jost Franko

2010 - 2012

The shepherd's community on Velika Planina in Slovenia is a tradition that's been kept alive for more than 500 years. Around 20 families move to the mountains during the summer months for economical reasons as the valley lacks food for their animals. To avoid buying fodder for their cattle, they move to the mountains. The settlement is located only an hour drive from the capital city, at 1600 meters above sea level, where the everyday life begins at dawn and finishes at sundown. Most shepherds cannot survive only on farming, so they do their jobs in the valley during weekdays. The settlement is mostly occupied by older members of the families and their grandchildren, who spend their summer vacations helping them.

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  • Cottage on Velika planina is seen through the curtains.

  • Shepherds eating a meal in the morning, after goading the cattle from the valley to the mountains for the whole night.

  • Shepherd tries to rush one of her cows behind the fence.

  • Shepherd is goading the cattle in the morning.

  • Young boy is trying to get the calf into the barn in the evening. Children and youngsters spend their summer vacations helping their families in the mountains.

  • Shepherd and his granddaughter are seen at the front yard of their cottage.

  • Young shepherds standing in front of their cottage during their summer vacations, where they help their families with the cattle.

  • Young boy is seen getting crushed between two cows, after trying to tie them in the barn.

  • Shepherd stands at the pastures after goading the cows.

  • An older shepherd goads the cattle early in the morning. The shepherds community is more than 500 years old and it is mostly settled by older people, so other members meanwhile younger members of the family works in the valley.

  • Shepherd is seen holding an alcoholic beverage which is offered to the younger members of the family who spent the whole night goading the cattle from the valley to the mountains.

  • Shepherd is walking back towards the settlement after mowing the pasture.