Why Perm has "salty ears"

"Permyak - salty ears" - such a nickname stuck to the inhabitants of this region more than one century ago. Not entirely, however, it is clear - why do Perm have salty ears? The origins of this expression must be sought in distant antiquity - in the 15th century.

In the thirties of the fifteenth century, salt pans were built on the banks of the Usolka River. Already at the very beginning of the 16th century, the documents mention the city of Usolye-na-Kamsky, which later received a new name - Sol Kamskaya.

Solikamsk is becoming the largest salt mining center in Russia, supplying about half of all salt in the country to the market. But the work in the salt breweries was very reminiscent of hard labor: first, it was necessary to manually drill a well from which the brine was extracted. Then the salt water was evaporated, after which the salt was dried and filled in bags. After that, the loading of goods from the barns onto the barges began.

Unsurprisingly, the body of the workers in the salt pan was soaked through and through with salt. The movers especially got it. They carried heavy bales on their backs, the salt absorbed into the skin, causing terrible irritation. The ears of the movers were always red, their skin peeled off. It was not difficult to recognize the saline worker, it was enough to take off the hat, it immediately became clear - where the person got the "occupational disease". So the nickname went for a walk in Russia: "Perm - salty ears". Not without reason, even Maxim Gorky, a native of the Volga region, mentioned this nickname of the Perm people in his story "Childhood".

At present, salt mining in the city of Solikamsk, Perm region, has been stopped, but the memory of this ancient craft, which fed the city for centuries, has been preserved. In October 1986, a unique Museum of the History of Salt was opened here, located on the site of a salt factory built at the end of the 19th century by a local merchant Alexander Vasilyevich Ryazantsev.

And in Perm in April 2006, a monument was erected, made according to the project of the sculptor Rustam Ismagilov. This unusual monument, recognized as one of the "strangest" in Russia, consists of an oval frame with huge ears. Anyone can put their face in this frame and visit for a few moments the role of a Perm with "salty ears". It is interesting that the first person who was photographed in this form was the mayor of the city Igor Shubin.

A figure of a photographer with a camera on a tripod is installed opposite the monument to the “salty ears”. Rustam Ismagilov's project became the winner of the city competition, which was announced by the Perm branch of BINBANK, the sponsor of this event.