Who does the Ritbrett belong to?
The house symbol will tell.
The ears as records.
Or the memories of the Valser shepherds.
House symbols of Vals
The records of oral and not written lifestyles date far back into the evolution of mankind. Symbols, characters and signs were manners of expression which were equated with mythology, magic, protection, property or status.
There was also the requirement to depict household items and tools. In Vals, the old items bear the engraved house symbol. Serving as seal, signature and document, it marks property and thus also the right to ownership. The house symbol also shows the connection between something and its owner and this symbol moves with the family name. The house symbol therefore does not belong to the house as such, but it was the property of him who led the household. That would be the father of the house or family or the household itself.
Cattle marks of Vals
Heavy livestock and small domestic animals used to be identified by the ears. The mark ensured that each animal remained assigned to its rightful owner. Through variations and combinations on the right and left ear, front and back and through the use of several symbols on one of the two ears there were a large numbers of ways in which the livestock could be differentiated from one another. Anyone who had need of a symbol invented a new one if he could not take on an existing one from someone else. Strangely, there was no official list of these animal symbols. There were always some farmers, but usually shepherds, who knew the symbols well. One could just ask these people whether the new symbol already existed. With almost 140 different symbols, that was a magnificent accomplishment of memory!