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1: Signs of tar-burning in the landscape
2: Building the pit
3: Tar-burning
4: Obtaining tar-rich wood
5: Draining off the tar
6: Rowing the tar
7: Barrel making
8: Making a Tar Boat

Rowing the tar

The barrels were dragged to backwoods waterways between two wooden cart shafts, two barrels at a time being the heaviest load a horse could pull. The barrels endured stones and tree-stumps well, with one barrel helping the other. Then the barrels were loaded lengthwise in two rows of ten barrels at the bottom of the tar boat. A few barrels were also lifted onto the seams, with the usual load being 22-25 barrels in total. The journey to Oulu, over large stretches of open water and through white water rapids, in a boat weighing almost 3000 kg was hard and dangerous with the return journey between Oulu and Hyrynsalmi on the Sotkamo route, taking two to three weeks. The tar wages were mostly used to cover tradesmen’s debts and credit from the tar barons. Further credit ensured that the tar burner remained a loyal customer.