An Offer for Tourists: “The Way of Golden Hands in Latgale”

Since ancient times, the Latgale region was significant for its development of craftsmanship in various spheres.  Here, household craftsmen worked to prepare items for housekeeping and everyday life. In addition, artisans specialized in arts and crafts, such as jewelry making and pottery. Precisely in Latgale, the history of ornamental jewelry is the richest, and in one piece there may be many detailed elements. The country of Jersika had a strong artisanal tradition, and its jewelers and potters were famous far beyond its borders.  Latgale‘s particularity is that farmers bought only that which they could not prepare themselves and which was needed for practical purposes. Over time, different craft centers developed which were mostly localized within the same village.  Thus developed the homeland of potters, weavers, coopers, furniture-makers and builders.

Based on its regional uniqueness and special values, Latgale has long been associated in people's minds not only with its blue lakes, but mostly with its unique cultural heritage, in particular: folk art values, household and labor traditions, its unique language and rich heritage in folklore. To get to know Latvian culture in the eastern region and the unique values characteristic of Latgale, guests are invited to visit artisan workshops and to actively take part in the arts and crafts of the region. The Ludza Craftsmen‘s Centre in cooperation with the Latgale Arts and Crafts Centre of Livani and the Latgale Regional Development Agency, invites everyone to get to know Latgale through its craft traditions, and together with its artisans to participate in Latgale’s Way of Golden Hands.

Details
During this program travelers are invited to start their journey at the Latgalian craft workshops in Livani, at the Latgale Arts and Crafts Centre. Travelers receive a card which is marked during subsequent workshop visits throughout Latgale.  Having visited at least 5 artisan workshops in the region, and having completed the tour at the Ludza Craftsmen’s Centre, participants receive a certificate attesting to their pleasurable experience and to the news skills they have gained.  The tourist with the most visits to workshops and the most references attesting to active participation will receive a prize, a valuable work of art. This offer will end in October.

This project supported by the Latgale Regional Development Agency, Latgale Culture Program and the Latvian Cultural Capital Foundation.

In 2009, more than 500 people participated in the program, and nearly 50 received certificates.  Interestingly, there were many who visited more than 5 workshops, such as: 8, 16, 18, even 33 workshops! Thus, the biggest benefit was not the received prizes and certificates, but the priceless experience, skills and insights. Now in its fourth year in a row, from May 15 to the 15th of October we invite you to travel around Latgale and visit its craft workshops.

Our campaign seeks to help you, traveler of Latgale, discover the region's master artists, Latgalian culture and folk art values, and to create a desire to learn something new for your hands and soul.

“The Way of Golden Hands” Organizers:

Ludza Craftsmen’s Centre
Talavijas 27a, Ludza, Latvia, LV-5701
Tel. +371 29467925, +371 29123749, +371 5707203
E-mail: ligakondrate@inbox.lv; info@ludzasamatnieki.lv;
Web: www.ludzasamatnieki.lv

Latgale Arts and Craft Centre
Domes iela 1, Lîvâni, Latvija, LV – 5316
Tel.: +371 65381855, mob. tel.: +37128603333
E-mail: lmac@livani.lv; Web: www.latgalesamatnieki.lv

Tâlavijas 27a, Ludza, LV-5701, Latvia,
65707203, 29467925,
65707202,
ligakondrate@inbox.lv