Olive milling in the restored olive mill known as Tonina Hiša (Tona's House), Istria, western Slovenia. In the sound recording, a museum employee manually turns the millstone using a wooden spindle – which was usually driven by draught animals such as an ass, horse or mule. The grinding unfortunately doesn't include olives. The mill is part of the museum collection and not intended for use in demonstrations.
The olive grinding mill was circular and made of stone. Its upper part was made of large stone slabs shaped like a shallow plate. In its centre there was a stone plate with a metal bearing and a wooden spindle. A millstone attached to a wooden pole inserted horizontally through the spindle rolled over the plate. The millstone was usually powered by draught animals. Olives were fed directly under the millstone or into a wooden tub connected to the drive shaft enabling them to slide steadily onto the grinding surface.
Tonina Hiša in Sv. Peter in western Slovenia is a piece of ethnological heritage that preserves the typical characteristics of Istrian rural architecture and provides a presentation of olive oil making and the way of life of Istrian farmers in the past. Prior to the restoration, the groundfloor rooms variously served agricultural, fruit growing, wine growing and oil-making purposes. This type of the oil mill was very common throughout Istria until the first half of the 20th century.
Sound recordist: Dušan Oblak
Video Recordist: Barbara Grilc
Photographer: Veronika Štampfl
Recorded on October 2, 2014
Sveti Peter, Sečovlje, SLOVENIA