Luigia Negro & Sandro Quaglia
Unlike in the past, when fables, fairy tales, legends and myths of our valley were told only in a domestic context, today we gladly give you the opportunity to listen to them in the Museum of the people of Val Resia.
“Pravljice so na svetu zato, da se poslušajo in pravijo naprej”
“Le favole esistono perche si ascoltino e si continui a raccontarle”
“Fairy tales are in the world to be listened to and told forward”
Milko Matičetov (1919 -2014)
I was born in a small village in Val Resia in the Julian Alps in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. In this valley we speak Resian, a dialect of the Slovenian language.
My childhood memories take me to the pleasant occasions when our grandmothers and aunts told us fairy tales where the protagonists were almost always the fox and the wolf.
These two protagonists were part of my childhood because their stories were set right by us, in our villages, in our valley. They too had had a home, like ours, and they too cultivated a field like all of us. They wandered through the woods and various events took place in very specific places known to us. The fox was always smart and ready to win at any cost, the wolf was poor, teased and exploited, but always good.
Those were the years, those of my childhood, in which children’s books began to arrive in our valley.
I remember that one of my first books, if not the first, that I got to read, was Pippi Longstocking. The book had been brought to me by my older sister who worked in the city with a family and perhaps she had bought it or had it given to her.
I remember the cover, if I remember correctly it was red, as were the drawings.
Growing up I attended a technical institute with a linguistic and tourist course of study and so I was able to travel around Italy and Europe. When I visited some cities, I gladly went into bookstores and, as a souvenir for my granddaughter, the daughter of my older sister, brought a book of fairy tales in the local languages.
As a cultural worker I have had many opportunities, in all these years, to dedicate myself to the enhancement of the oral narrative heritage of Val Resia. In this, the academic folklorist Milko Matičetov (1919 – 2014) – whom I had the honor of meeting in person – has had great merit, since he, with his tireless and passionate work, has also transmitted to us valley people the attention and interest in the heritage of oral fiction.
In recent years I have been lucky enough to organize or collaborate in various initiatives. On several occasions I have been able to tell our tales.
The candidacy for the ALMA prize, for this simple activity of mine, made me very happy and encourages me to continue on the path I have taken.
In the field of the valorization of the tales and fairy tales of the Val Resia I have collaborated and I still collaborate in various initiatives that have been organized above all in the context of the Resian Cultural Circle “Rozajanski dum” and the Museum of the People of the Val Resia.
I collaborated, from 1993 to 1999, in the organization of the Story Week which took place every year in August in the various towns of Val Resia. During these events, in particular the tales and fairy tales of the Val Resia were presented. I have also told some of them.
Since 2012 I have been collaborating with the Museum of the people of Val Resia and the ViviStolvizza association, in the realization of the event “The village tells a tale” which takes place in August. In particular, we try to involve children in order to pass on our heritage of oral fiction to them.
In 2017 I collaborated in the realization of the exhibition “Zverinice tu-w Reziji” which presented the fables, fairy tales and legends of our valley and their protagonists, the storytellers and the art of telling, the books and scholars of heritage of oral fiction, in particular the academic folklorist Milko Matičetov.
Of this interesting exhibition, the first of its kind in our region, remains the Section where you can find books of fairy tales and scientific texts. Here I gladly tell fairy tales but I also illustrate the works of other important personalities: from Straparola to Basile, from Perrault to the Grimm brothers. As well as scholars: from Antti Amateus Aarne and the international ATU classification system to the works of Wladimir Propp.
In 2019, on the occasion of the centenary of Milko Matičetov’s birth, I promoted and collaborated in the organization of the round table “Pravice z Rezije … kaku na napred? / The fables of Val Resia … what future?”. The scholars who currently deal with the fables of Resia participated in this round table.
In many years of activity I have often been able to tell tales of Val Resia to the numerous groups visiting our valley.
I also had some good experiences in schools, where I was able to tell our fairy tales.
With a special project funded by the FVG region we plan to create the children’s book festival extended to the areas close to us: Slovenia and Austria,
The candidacy for the ALMA award for this simple activity of mine made me very happy and encourages me to continue on the path I have taken.
In 1998 I collaborated in the making of the book “Ta prawä pravicä od lisïca od Rezia / The true story of the Resia fox”, which presents various events from the fox and his wolf companion. It was the first illustrated fairytale book made in our valley.
In 2003 I collaborated in the realization of the textual parts of the photo book “Tell me a tale”. This book presents stories, fable and anecdotes collected in person.
In the same year I collaborated in the drafting of the second illustrated book entitled “Ta mala dujacesa / The wild girl”.
In 2020 I collaborated in the creation of the book “The girl who wished for a flower / Ta hćï ki jë tëla rožico” narrated by Tina Wajatawa (Valentina Pielich 1900 – 1984) to Milko Matičetov in 1968. The fairy tale presents the motif of “The beautiful and the beast”. This is the first volume of the Rozajanske pravice / Fairy tales of the Val Resia series.
I was born in Udine in 1977 and I live with his wife Erica and our children Simone, Nicola and Arianna in Resia.
Since 1996 I have been collaborating regularly with the RAI Regional Headquarters for the Friuli Venezia Giulia and specifically with the Programming Structure in Slovene language, preparing, over the microphone, a series of texts on the life, history, culture and traditions of the autochthonous community of Val Resia. From 1997 to 2001 I was commissioned by the Municipality of Resia to teach local language, culture and traditions in the Resia lower secondary school.
From 1998 to 2007 I collaborated with the Julian Prealps Natural Park Authority, based in Resia, in the promotional activity service. In 2005, on behalf of the Regional Cataloging and Restoration Center, I edited the compilation of the BDM (benidemo-ethno-anthropological) catalog cards for the ethnographic material of the Resia knife grinder museum.
From 2006 to 2010 I was entrusted by the Municipality of Resia with the management of the Municipal Historical Archive.
In 2007 I co-founded the company “L’Eco delle Giulie snc” of which I was director until 2010 and, from the same year, I collaborated in the drafting of the Catholic fortnightly of the Slovenian minority in the province of Udine “Dom” taking care of the space dedicated to Val Resia.
Since 2010 I have been working as curator of the Museum of the people of Val Resia and, since the same year, I have been a member of the regional and provincial board of the Confederation of Slovenian Organizations / Svet Slovenskih Organizaciji, one of the two reference organizations of the Slovenian minority in Italy.
Since 2015 I have been president of the Resian Cultural Circle “Rozajanski Dum” and since 2016 a member of the board of directors of the Institute for Slovenian culture / Inštitut za slovensko kulturo of San Pietro al Natisone.
As a museum curator I dedicate myself to the care, safety, management and enhancement of the collections entrusted to me. I take care of the museum structure with particular attention to ethnography, archeology and the history of the community in which it lives and works.
I collect, order, store and exhibit works or objects of historical, artistic, scientific or ethnic interest. I also prepare programs for the dissemination and enhancement of the heritage preserved in the museum through the preparation of exhibitions by setting up catalogs, organising events, targeted initiatives, educational and guided paths and more generally I take care of editorial publications mostly concerning the history of Val Resia. In this context and for my works, I place particular interest and attention on the oral narrative heritage of the Resian tradition.
As a child I had the opportunity to be in contact with many elderly people in the village, in particular with my grandmother and my aunt, who, as was the custom in our land, told me what they in turn had learned from the most elderly. For our community, for centuries, the transmission of knowledge has been handed down in this way.
In particular, I have always been fascinated by the legends that today I use as a complementary source, together with the written sources, for my historical and anthropological research on Val Resia and its inhabitants.
In addition to handing down this tradition to my children, in recent years, I contribute to the transmission of these legends and in general of the stories also to the younger generations through radio broadcasts, during educational workshops and visits proposed by the Museum for which I work and on the occasion of events or videos related to the enhancement of this aspect of the immaterial culture of my valley.