Key textile moments of my life — From the earliest in childhood, almost spontaneous phases was lead me towards dedication to textiles
Key textile moments my life, beginning with games and soaking hemp in Morava river: My early childhood was full of games in an idyllic world of Vitkovac, a village where I was leaving until has risen for schooling.
Objectively speaking, it’s an ideal settlement location for living. Village at the most optimal geographic position. Situated, in between the bank of the river and the foot of the mountain, plus, next to the railway route.
All my senses were completely opposite of one, this classical state.
My games along with grazing sheep or the household textile work processing
Indifferent to the unknown world that railway routes may reach, fully satisfied being at my place. My mother, employed in a nearby town, so couldn’t always be close to me. I missed her very much. And it is the only reason why my village years are not full of my best memories.
During the long hot summers, I was climbing my hill above, named Čukar. That should mean a peak of a hill. There, a flock of sheep grazes. But I was running after as keep eye on a flock.
On another side, on the Morava river bench, I enjoyed completely different sensations. It was because there was going on something else. While elders of a family were melting, the hemp, I was happily swimming along the bank.
I have smeared myself with the mud covering the hemp bundles and then bathed to wash away that mud. After dissolving the adhesives from the stem rot, the hard work follows to clean up the stems of the hemp.
In winter, I would dream enchanted by the play of the spindle that spins the whole night. Granny has to spin wool from removed sheep fleece into the yarn to weave. During the winter nights, I was sleeping with the rhythm of the pounding of the weaving loom.
Also, during the long winter nights, while my grandmother had woven, I was floating in a half-sleep under the rhythmic beating at her weaving loom.
Key textile moments of my life — and the impact on my professional career
In that way, through the games, I had absorbed, and even now, I keep a lot of those sensations. They were not a part of my rational knowledge discourse and experience. But, maybe more valued, remained as emotional connections that still evoke vivid memories of childhood scenes in the countryside.
Today, as an ethnologist, I define such memory as my direct experience. So contents documents of the traditional way of life which I have experienced myself.
Here I will mention, the author of the used photo by Nikola Zega, a giant of national museology. He was the first curator (began together with the Head of Museum, Sima Trojanović) in The Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, founded in 1901.
At this moment, here I can only put the list of subsequent milestones. I believe it should be better to introduce them separately. Because different case opportunities deserve it according to their role at my professional fate:
When I chose the Study of Ethnology, instead of Art history…
My Beginner’s work: Museological processing collection of looms for weaving…
Instead of a chance to work in the Department of Folk Costumes, I continued to study textile processes…
Retirement, an attempt to weave (I invested in the purchase of a modern loom and equipment…
Epilogue: A textile blog based on decades of professional experience…
I am sorry that I have to temporarily postpone the continuation of this personal story. It is for the sake of initiating professional topics. As the beginning is usually hard and slow, I try my best hoping that it will get better.
For now, here is my photo with Zoran, a village neighbor, many years after childhood. But there is the same view from the hill, to the East across the valley of the South Morava river, reaches the Balkan Mountains massif.
Although I still own this property, the photo marks my long-ago visit, in the early 2000s. But I took with me distant views, smells, and children’s joy.
Wishing all of you to stay well, until the next time
Sincerely, Branka on Textiles