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Love for Tradition

When someone meets Mrs Mirjana Pleše, this person for sure will learn much. This extraordinary woman is among the fans of Lokve antiques, running a NGO that tries to preserve the traditional Lokve spiritual and material culture and to revive an interest for traditional Lokve artisan crafts.

The members make research projects in Lokve traditional music and instruments, famous persons from Lokve, old Lokve pictures, traditional architecture, old crafts, Lokve dialect, Lokve customs, traditional clothing. Through their effort, local municipality house was turned into the Lokve traditional museum with original exponents from various households.

Currently, the exhibition consists of three separate rooms, but more are in progress. In relaxed atmosphere and with teacher’s attitude, Mrs Mirjana takes us from exponent to exponent, giving them meaning and spirit.

First we enter the religious room, with various religious exponents and especially valuable pictures and small altar with praying books (even in Old Church Slavonic language) and Bible. Every Lokve house had its own small altar somewhere in the corner of a room, showing the common religiosity of the mountain men.

In another room, used as a parlour, stands beautifully preserved old weaving loom. Suddenly two other women from the organisation enter the room and Mrs Mirjana instantly gives them job to do for our photo shooting. The members have done numerous rags, old-style woollen socks, mattresses, even folk costumes and clothes. Of other things, there are every thing imaginable from the old Lokve households.

In the research of Lokve personalities, we constantly come across Rudolf Strohal (1856-1936). His name adores the local school, main street, and is inspiration for many researchers in Gorski kotar social history. He dedicated his life to the local dialects. He made a big grammar of Delnice, collected folk tales and wrote about them, and also made comments on Lokve dialect.

He wrote more than 350 bibliographic pieces, usually old Croatian legal and historical written monuments, religious books, apocryphal stories and tales. He was also very active in researching Glagolitic tradition. No wonder the locals cherish this man very much and still invite his family to Lokve, after he moved to the Croatian capital Zagreb.

In a special room we find pictures and letters from USA. In times of great migrations to America, many Lokve families moved there. They preserved their heritage, even part of the Lokve dialect. They mostly live in Michigan state. They visit Croatia more often now, and although many go to the seaside for holiday, they cannot omit a visit to their old ancestry home – Lokve.

Maybe they want to check the future weather in the Lokve calendar. This special calendar is based on Lokve traditional prediction of weather a year ahead. This prediction is based on knowledgeable watching of the nature, behaviour of animals or growing of crops. Surely, they will bring home roštvo, mix of herbs, one of the best souvenirs of Lokve.

We are, naturally, most interested in kitchen utensils and traditional foods. Given its position, Lokve diet was very much centred on hard and simple food. It included sauerkraut and beans (zelje i fažol), or stuffed cabbage (filjanci). A more common dish was podmetaš, sauerkraut with yellow semolina.

At the same time, we are offered tasty kuglof cake with herbal rakija on side. Too bad we had so little time to spend with these interesting women, the fans of Lokve antiques.

Zavičajna zbirka lokvarskih starina Mirjana Pleše, +385 98 954 6524


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