Comelico, Sappada, Gailtal, Lesachtal: paesaggio storia cultura Comelico
Sappada Gailtal, Lesachtal: Landshaft, Geschichte und Kultur
Edited by: Adolf Leidmar … [et al.]
Belluno: Fondazione Giovanni Angelini, . 224 p. : ill. ; 31 cm.
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The map of the human race, traced through its networks of inhabitants, of cultural parities, of nationalisms and localisms, fixed by time and by circumstance, is witnessing — with the passage of this millennium — modifications which alter its fundamental appearance, and break with the historical past. Large-scale human migrations, the globalization of the economy and its disequilibrating effects, the fall of communication barriers, the melting pot of cultures, are all phenomena which, separating people from their local ties, have made more and more vital the defence of an identity, which only in the past (and in knowledge of the past) can we find the antedote and self-awareness. As such, today, sensitivity toward these needs has increased acutely, and concurrently, the interest of scholars and the public in traditions, historical memory, aspects of community life, and the environment in which such lives were lived. Research effort in these directions has multiplied, and specialized scholarly disciplines have taken off. A rich literature has been born which looks at rediscovery of, and deepening historical understanding of cultures and places.
This volume, published under the EU programme Interreg II Italia-Austria, and edited by Ester Cason Angelini for the Angelini Foundation, which has always worked on issues of conservation of historical and cultural heritage of the Alps, is presented in both Italian and German, and abounds with iconographic repertoire. It is the result of an interdisciplinary investigation of a mountainous area at the crossroads of Carinthia, Tyrol, and the high Bellunese. This area is of particular interest as a specimen of environmental, human, and cultural dynamics, for its many coherences, characterized with respect to the diverse national realities which it contains.
The chapter by Adolf Leidlmair, scholar at the institute of Geography of the University of Innsbruck and member of the Scientific Committee of the Foundation, is aimed primarily at defining the natural landscape within which processes of inhabitation unfold (also in relation with economic factors). This is followed by an analysis of the dialect of the linguistic island of Sappada/Pladen and of linguistic contact in Comelico and the Carinzian Alps by Heinz Dieter Pohl, professor of linguistics at the University of Klagenfurt (and collaborator with the Foundation for research on Bellunese place names in areas near the national boundary). A further contribution made by Anton Draxl, planner at the Alti Tauri Park, and author of various works on nature and culture in Tyrol. Draxl’s makes his contribution on the Monastery of Innichen, drawing on Ottonian documents, and on urbari of Anras and Gorizia, moving to the examination of people and settlements along the Gail and Piave rivers. The chapter, “’Ultra Pennas’, contatti, scontri, trasformazioni di un territorio e di una società, cenni storico-geografici su Comelico e Sappada” by Alessandro Sacco, historian of Comelico, begins with the Latin term ultra pennas: “over the ridge”, where the necessity of hunting for survival, and knowing what lay on the other side, pushed humans as early as the Mesolithic over the confines of modern-day states. History, political and administrative structures, between persistence past forms and modernity: this scholar lays out a framework in which social considerations are not lacking. Finally, Elisabetta Navarra, teacher and historian hailing from Trieste, brings us her chapter on economy and demography of the community of Sappada between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As can be understood in this rapid appraisal whose contents summarise scientific findings brought together in an exercise which treats local interest as a basis for a complete study on the “strategies and behaviours/practices adopted by mountain populations to obtain a balanced relationship with their resources” (Cason), the study offers a window on the recent history of Sappada, and what may serve to understand their contemporary situation. This is book which merits maximum attention.