National Geographic : 1981 Jan
Hallmark of a gdral home, an elaboratelydecoratedand dated central beam, the "sosreb," is set in place by a carpenter in the village of Witdw (above). The owner earnedfunds for construction by working for two years in the United States. There and in Western Europe, thousands of gdrale have found a pipeline to prosperitysince about 1900, when poverty and overpopulation plagued Podhale. Forwealth that endures, the people look to their timber, which they craft into a renowned style of log house. During a proud spring ritualin the village of Chocholdw-a national monument--a resident laboriously cleans the exterior of her home, beam by beam (left). Newer houses feature plankingadded for insulation,a handsome frame for a playful girl in her churchfinery (right).