Ancestral Lifestyle (05:13)
Residents in the Latgal region of Latvia are willing to accept the hardships of living close to nature and avoiding the constraints of modern life.
Celebrating the Middle Ages (02:13)
One of the historic periods that Latgale residents are most proud of occurred around 1000 CE. Locals make authentic garments, swords, and shields from the time period and gather for forest expeditions.
Fishing Trip (04:41)
Neighbors take their shared boat onto the lake and cast their nets. One of the men smokes their catch.
Independent Living (05:03)
Latgalians celebrate a period in history when locals banded together against their German enemy. A man explains why he moved to the region from Latvia's capital, Riga.
Latgalian Carpentry (03:58)
A properly managed forest means sustainability. A local discusses the art of roofing; he uses the same techniques as his ancestors from 1,000 years ago.
Musical Heritage (04:48)
Latgalian songs are passed from one generation to the next. Graveyards are integrated with surrounding vegetation. Locals gather in one for a celebration; they recognize Christian and pagan traditions.
Latgalian Customs (02:48)
Beekeeping, hunting, ceramics, and other traditions remain the same as they were centuries ago. During the Middle Ages, Latgalians bring the bodies of their fallen soldiers back to their land.
Latgalian Pottery (03:06)
A resident discusses his family's tradition with pottery and realizing that he does not control the clay—the clay controls him.
Connection with Nature (05:48)
A local recalls a time when Latgalians exchanged furs for salt and metals. Another man practices with his whip. The potter masters firing clay without a clock or thermometer.
Tradition and Peace (06:34)
A man reflects on the past. The potter retrieves his clay from the kiln; it is black. Black pottery is aesthetically pleasing and unusually sturdy. Modernity leads to a loss of inner balance.
Nature Worship (03:26)
Latgalians discuss the importance of trees. The potter reflects on people who speak to trees, stones, and other inanimate objects.
Credits: Latvia: A Poem of Nature and Water (00:50)
Credits: Latvia: A Poem of Nature and Water
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