Net sheds

Until the end of the 19th century, common net fences for one or more villages were situated on the beaches. These were the net sheds for various boat crews. Nets and other fishing tackle were stored there. The seafront in the Open Air Museum’s island region features three net sheds from Saaremaa Island: Nasva, Toomalõuka and Alvi.

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Nasva net shed

Did you know?

  • Women and children wove the nets in the winters. Several families would get together for collective net weaving evenings, where net weavers would square off to see who was the fastest. This was a common pastime.
  • Besides nets, fish were also caught with seines. The seine was originally the property of the entire village. The seine crew was led by the most experienced fishermen and usually consisted of more people than were actually needed for the job. Instead of pitching in, an alternative was to contribute vodka or beer for a party.
  • On Muhu Island, the custom was to strike sleeping people and say: “Good fish, lots of fish, lots of whitefish, lots of ides, lots of cod, lots of flounder!” It was believed that anyone who received a good beating would have good luck fishing that spring! Muhu parish - M. J. Eisen.