Talking about traffic in the woods and on the snow
In the living area of Oroqen, there are many mountains, trees and creeks. The traffic is very inconvenient. When it is the ice age that will last six or seven months, it is especially difficult for people and horses to walk and for vehicles to run. From of old, the diligent and brave Oroqen people used the traditional means of conveyance such as elk, horse, sleigh, ski and birch fell boat to travel through the woods and across the snowfield, from generation to generation.
The elks were once the important means of conveyance for Oroqen people, no matter when they migrated or hunted. Because the elks had low speed and small loading capacity, they were gradually replaced by horses that had large loading capacity. From then on, horses became the most important means of conveyance in Oroqen’s production and life.
The sleigh and ski also played important part in Oroqen’s life. The ways of making the sleigh are very simple: use two crooked wooden poles as the bottom and install four wooden stakes and a beam on it. It was not available until it was harnessed with a horse. This kind of sleigh was very primal and simple, but it was convenient to travel through the woods. The Oroqen people used to carry the necessary household articles by this kind of sleigh to the place in distance for hunting. The ski had a long history of usage in Oroqen area. In the past, nearly every young hunter had a ski. Every year, when the mountains were sealed by heavy snow, with the ski, people could walk like flying to hunt beasts, pay a visit or pass message. The ski was generally made of the solid and whippy wooden planks of birch or larch.
The front of the ski was cocked and there was a fur sheath to put foot in the middle of the ski. When skiing, you should use the two stay bars to support backwards against the ground and then you could advance with high speed. The ski of Oroqen has two kinds: short one and long one. The long ski was about 2 meters long and the short ski was about 1meter long. The longer ski had high speed and was suitable to travel on the plain and shallow snowfield. The shorter ski was very flexible and suitable to travel through woods and on the hard snowfield. If we fixed a boar fell with feather on the bottom of the ski, it would be easier to travel and the speed would be higher.