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Falconry 3011 2000 Centrum pre tradičnú ľudovú kultúru

Falconry is the art of hunting by means of birds of prey. It entails a set of knowledge, skills, tools, and methods needed for the manipulation with a feathered predator throughout its development phases for the purposes of protection, breeding, training, and hunting. Falconry is an ancient way of obtaining food. Within the Slovak territory, it has been practiced since the 5th century, and the oldest artefacts date back to the Great Moravian era. Throughout its history, it was practiced by nobility, clergy and common people, too. In terms of the country’s history, geotype and genotype, falconry in Slovakia has gone through the process of development and adaptation under various conditions, obtaining its own local specificities with regard to the training of predatory birds and their use (falcons, hawks, eagles, and owls). This knowledge and skills are transmitted via personal communication between older falconers and candidates throughout mandatory, at least a one-year long intership. The falconers in Slovakia are organised in two falconers’ clubs which set up regional falconry centres. Combined with falconers’ individual activities, these centres cover the entire territory of Slovakia. Under the influence of social and technological changes, the primary function of falconry has become marginalised. At present, falconry is practiced mainly through presentation activities of the falconry art at cultural and social events, providing a picture of contemporary life in learning about the country’s history. Falconry is currently used for the biological protection of sites, airports, and agricultural crops. Equally important are the activities of the community members in strengthening the gene pool, thanks to which precious species of predatory birds were returned to the wild by means of falcon breeding. Falconry is taught at elementary and secondary schools and at universities with specialisation in agriculture, veterinary medicine and forestry.

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Slovak Falconers Club by Slovak Hunting Association
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