The origins of this collection, the TMS’ oldest, reach back to 1947, although its first public presentation came six years later. The collection contains more than 3,000 exhibits, including numerous taxidermic specimens, trophies, hunting weapons and other such accessories, as well as a wealth of old records, medals and postcards.
The permanent collection is primarily based on actual specimens and is complemented by expert accounts and written records on hunting and wildlife.
Visitors are first introduced to the hunt of olden times. From the dawn of human existence, man has been involved in hunting, though its primary function and the methods employed have changed much and developed over time.
With the social stratification, which began a 1,000 years or more ago when Frankish overlords rode into and laid claim to these territories and its Slavic population, hunting became the exclusive preserve of the aristocracy. Due to evermore advanced weapons – visitors can witness the development of weaponry from the longbow, through more primitive firearms to the modern sporting rifle – wildlife stood increasingly less chance against the well-equipped hunter.
During the Late Middle Ages, falconry gained in popularity over conventional hunting; falconers hunted with trained domesticated birds of prey, mostly hawks. The traps, which are exhibited as part of this collection, recall an era when disease-ridden vermin plagued society; indeed, if not kept under firm control, such pests could decimate the population. In the mid 19th century, as a reaction to the devastating free-for-all, state and provincial laws established kill limits and required that hunters acquire licences.
At the close of the century, the first hunting associations were established; while the Slovensko Lovsko Društvo (Slovene Hunting Club), a precursor of the Lovska Zveza Slovenije (Hunters’ Association of Slovenia), was itself founded in 1907. The materials on display are proof of the positive attitude and orientation of the leadership of these bodies which themselves deserve all the merit for the preservation of great a many species of wildlife in Slovenia.
Most of the available space in this part of the museum is dedicated to a full presentation of the extraordinary variety of wildlife that is to be found in this most diverse of Central European states. Introductions of particular species follow the same basic concept: dioramas with taxidermic specimens of the animals in their natural habitat. Trophies and other exhibits are also complemented with photographs, graphs and written commentaries. By way of all this, the visitor can gain a complete picture of a particular species, including information as to its habitat and range, lifestyle, how and when it is hunted, as well as to what degree it is endangered and protected.
A number of exhibits deserve special attention. Here mention should be made of the collections, which illustrate the development of ibex and chamois horns, while the brown bear skin on display enjoys the status of natural heritage. Space is also given over to polharstvo - dormouse trapping, an ancient folk method of hunting this forest animal that still continues to this day in the forests of Lower Carniola. In the past dormouse trapping was a combination of a viable economic activity and a social event. The vast array of different wooden traps that are to be found - designs based on the experience and ingenuity of the dormouse hunters themselves - are proof that this ritual became very well developed indeed.
4,50 / 2,40 EUR
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