Research in progress under the guidance of Dr. G. B. Pellegrini

Quaderni scientifici della Fondazione n. 10

Edited by Ester Cason Angelini

Angelini Foundation
Price: € 20.00

346 pp. With illustrations in colour and b&w
Dimensions: 16.6 cm x 24 cm x 2.5 cm
ISBN: 978-88-86106-33-7

Volume dedicated to documentation of names of places and peaks of the Marmarole mountain group, in the municipality of Calalzo di Cadore. This work corresponds to a “preservation of memory”, before a reality, and the people who were its principle agents, disappear. For many places, no cartographic record exists and the history of these places could only be found in oral tradition. These notes on oronyms are based on the work carried out over the years by the Italian Alpine Club section of Calalzo di Cadore, and have been corroborated in etymological research by Paola Barbierato, student and collaborator of G.B. Pellegrini.

This volume falls into the series of “quaderni” which the Angelini Foundation is in the process of publishing (as of 1991) under the scientific guidance of Dr. G.B. Pellegrini (until 2007), and by his students up to the present. The research programme which guides this work was born out of the need to document research on oronyms of the Bellunese, a labourious, yet rewarding research endeavour which has furnished an invaluable contribution on the knowledge of these dolomitic mountains, their economic and mountaineering history, their traditions, and of the practices of their inhabitants, all of which are brought to bear on local place names. Interwoven in this volume are geographical, geological, and natural history, historical-archival material, and local stories and legends, including the histories of single persons and families, which left, through the name of a place, an imprint on the landscape. The records associated with these names permit us to “save” a culture of an area often subjected to sudden and drastic changes brought about by mountain tourism development, which does not leave space for the old landscape.

In volume no. 10 of the “Oronimi Bellunesi” series, the names of mountains of the Marmarole group, in particular the south slope located in the municipality of Calalzo di Cadore, are linked to the accurate etymological explanations of Paola Barbierato, who was student and collaborator to Dr. G.B. Pellegrini. The place names were collected through the dedicated work carried out over the years by the CAI section of Calalzo di Cadore.

This mountain group, together with Antelao and Sorapiss, comprise the Dolomiti Cadorine, recently listed in the World Heritage List as Natural Heritage for geological-geomorphological and esthetic-landscape values. For this reason, the historical and geographical study of the Marmarole group appears to be especially important to valorize in its entirety.

Each “note” of this volume of oronyms was assembled based on observations made by people on the land, with descriptions of access, cartographic references, reference to written documents where they exist, and references to the oral record of inhabitants consulted one-on-one.

The general framing of the research programme presented in the opening of this volume makes for an excellent reference point for similar studies. It includes the methodology of sourcing of the “notes”, natural sciences notes written by Carlo Argeni and Cesare Lasen, which take into account the importance of the vegetation for research in historical geography, and a geology section by S. Furlanis, E. Oddone and G.L. Piccin, which permits us to see lithology of the rocky substrate to make skilful connections to botanical observations.

The outstanding characteristic of the volume consist in the approach to documentation of place names for research on a place and its environment using a modern key. This corresponds in a way to a “memory save”, in that many cases are demonstrated to occur “just in time”, before the disappearance of the reality in question with the person or people which were their principal knowledge-holders.

For many places, in fact, a cartographic record of place names does not even exist, and the history of the place can only found in oral tradition.

The “notes” on place names which comprise this volume, regardless, do not correspond to a simple collection of scientific and archival material. Place names take on additional value through their concrete positioning on the map through geographical coordinates of single mountain place names (oronyms), and in the accurate description of their associated access trails, which become useful in the eventuality of rescue operations or public safety work.

The volume reflects a modern research approach, where the necessity of “delving into depth” emerges in order to understand the transformations of a place and its environment, not only on the basis of its natural characteristics, but also taking into consideration its cultivated aspects, tied to human settlement, and rural practices.