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From Crafty Women and Skillful Men

Wood sculpturing in Valle Aurina Ahrntal

Handicrafts in the Valle Aurina-Ahrntal

In many places, handicraft arose from the desire to keep occupied which helped to make the long winter evenings in the mountains seem shorter. In addition, it consists of a second occupation. And sometimes, it also deals with keeping alive a wonderful custom. In the Valle Aurina-Ahrntal, lace making was once necessary for survival. Perhaps it is for that reason that even today, this handicraft is lovingly handed down from generation to generation. 
“A steady hand, a keen eye, nimble and skilled fingers.” Theresia knows what the requirements are to learn lace making. The bobbins clack quietly but constantly as wonderfully delicate forms and noble peaks come into existence on the lace cushions. “When the copper mine in Predoi-Prettau was closed in 1893 after five hundred years of mining activity, many families in the valley lost their income.  

Lace making in Valle Aurina Ahrntal

During that crisis, the women got the idea to turn lace making into a profession, in order to be able to earn their daily bread.” In 1994, a lace making association was founded in Predoi which took on the task of passing this technique on to the new generations.  

The men in the Valle Aurina are just as skilled. Their element is wood. Rough blocks are turned into such slender figures, solid logs become unique decorations and art objects or artistically painted manger figures. In the Nativity Scene and Folk Museum with the mysterious name of Maranatha, Joseph and Mary stand over their little child for the entire year. Manger scenes from the Alps and other Western areas can be admired here, but there are also some particularly exotic figures. In the workshop, the woodshavings fly, and permeating the entire exhibition area is the scent of wood and resin. On top of that, every visitor will be astonished to see how many tools the farmers used to have to make themselves with laborious work by hand. 

Wood sculpture Valle Aurina Ahrntal

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