Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Anna Zariņa's Legacy

From Balticsmith's post on the Facebook group Viking Era Textiles and Fiber Arts, I learned tonight that archaeologist and costume historian Anna Zariņa passed away earlier this year.

I knew that Professor Zariņa was the authority on early Latvian costume, but Balticsmith's post includes a short obituary/biography that underscores the impressiveness of her achievements.  She was born into a farming family.  Her original degrees were in agriculture and home economics, but while she was at university she was exposed to Latvian folk costume and began to study it. Eventually, she learned archaeological field methods and began expanding her research into Latvian prehistory, as far back as the Bronze Age.

In short, if you know anything at all about Latvian costume, chances are you are recalling something Professor Zariņa wrote, or a summary of something Professor Zariņa wrote that was written by someone else.

Balticsmith's post includes a link to a PDF copy of a book by Professor Zariņa whose title means, in English, "Garments in Latvia from the 7th to 17th Centuries." That book can be downloaded from here.  It is written in Latvian, with a German language summary, but it is well-enough illustrated that it should be of use, and of interest, to costume scholars who don't read Latvian (or German).  I am passing the link on in the hope that it will be of use to researchers interested in clothing of the Baltic countries.  Professor Zariņa's legacy is the knowledge she researched and published, and I can think of no better way to honor her than to use and spread that knowledge.

No comments:

Post a Comment