In the Polish pastoralist tradition there have always been two seminal community events which bracketed the winter season. There was the autumn event of “Redyk Jesienny” when the sheep brought back from the summer alpine pastures were given back to their owners and there was also a spring “Redyk” also called “Mieszanie Owiec” which literally means the Mixing of Sheep. Historically, it was an important event in which the head shepherd, or the baca had to use his magical knowledge to ensure that the big herd made up of sheep from the individual owners would keep together as one and produce enough milk to make this summer venture profitable. To do that he used magic spells and performed rituals learned from his predecessors. The bacas' magical knowledge was frequently in opposition to the powers of the priests who viewed them with suspicion. Today, this spring event of “Mieszanie Owiec” is much changed. It is no longer a private affair of the baca and the sheep owners. Frequently, it is a public event, a tourist attraction, with the priests often taking centre stage. There is even a new, “invented” tradition of region wide “Mieszanie” at the sanctuary of Ludźmierz. There, a small herd of around 200 sheep is symbolically used to bless all the herds going up the mountain pastures for the season. The paper examines how these traditions changed from old ethnographic descriptions and how they are evolving in a modern economic and social reality.
Subject and purpose of work: The Gorce National Park (GNP) represents the object of the study. The purpose of the article is to present the GNP in the category of an area and in the category of an active managing unit. Materials and methods: Empirical research was conducted (2008-2014) based on the data collected from the GNP financial and accounting records and the Central Statistical Office. The degree of tourism function, carried out by the territorial municipalities connected with the GNP, was studied (Baretje and Defert index and Charvat index were calculated) and also the analysis of the GNP activities was conducted. Both the relevant literature query and the analysis of development strategies prepared by the territorial municipalities connected with the GNP were conducted. Results: It was found that the tourist function constitutes an important, however, not the primary function for the analysed municipalities, whereas the initiated activities (both on the part of municipalities and the GNP) indicate the desire for its intensification. The GNP has assets exceeding the value of PLN 17 million, offers jobs for the team whose total annual remuneration is almost PLN 2,5 million and the total annual costs for the last audited year amount to PLN 7,5 million. Conclusions: The described protected area constitutes the example of proper coexistence of human economic activity and nature. The GNP remains a significant entity of the local economic life scene which increases tourist attractiveness of the Gorce Mountains.
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