One and a half years have been spent in the Ludza craftspeople association to identify people who know or can tell about an ancient skill or trade. Association member Līga Kondrāte said that 150 people had been found.
“We have to be able to document the knowledge and skills of those masters who are still alive so that they remain for the next generation, because, as experience shows, sooner or later, their interest in one of the old skills appears, but often we don't have anything to look at, there's nothing to see, nothing left. And that is why it is important in the case, the documentation or digitalization of these skills,” Kondrāte said.
The association works on two projects to preserve old trades and skills in Latgale. The first digital stories have come from the local masters of disappearing trades, such as the making of saddlery. Other stories are about ancient items, like peternes - woven shoes of rope and cord.
“We, documenting these job skills, questioned people by conducting such interviews. It is very important to know what kind of family they came from, where there have been traditions in the surroundings, what techniques have been in this area, from whom they inherited the skill, where they have developed the skills during his life, to whom they have transferred this skill,” Kondrāte said.
Eight films produced by the Ludza association and also written material on ancient trades and skills are hoped to be finished by the end of the year. They will be used not only as information material or exhibit at museums, but also become a way of preserving a particular skill.
If you are interested in ancient skills, you can also check out our previous step-by-step guides of some trades.