O drugim majstorima, Altri costruttori/Other makers

O drugim majstorima Mate Maružin-Žliga playing vidalice (dvojnice). Kanfanar, 1963. Photo: Josip Milićević. From the documentation of the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore in Zagreb, IEF Photo 2911.

On some masters who are responsible for creating a smaller number of instruments from the museum's collections we simply don’t have significant data. What we have learned came mostly from other publications, but also through the personal memories of informants who had the opportunity to meet these people or by the stories of others who knew them. What is certain is that makers of instruments generally were skilled musicians (except for Anton Petehi who had a hearing problem since his youth). This is the case with Roman Živić (1935) from Cere, who, according to the inventory cards of the Ethnographic Museum of Istria, is credited with making four bagpipes and three mih’s with the bags from the holdings. He began to play sopele at an early age, and was taught by the famous local player Anton Rudan-Domčić, also a student of Ivan Fonović-Zlatela. In addition to being a very active member of the Folklore Society Cere with whom he had numerous performances, along with his partner Bozo Žgomba he taught young musicians in the area of Žminj, not only playing the sopele, but also other traditional Istrian instruments. For Mate Maružin-Žliga it is said that he was a good maker of sopele, but also that he made a much smaller number of instrument than the other masters. What we found was one photograph of him playing the dvojnice which was taken during the field study involving ethnologists from the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research in Zagreb (then called the Institute of Folk Art) Stjepan Stepanov and Josip Miličević. Except that he was known as an excellent musician of the older generation, about Lovro Batel from Bateli in the Barban area, we have no concrete information. His nephew Alojz is one of the most prominent players of bagpipes, and this is a knowledge he certainly owes to his uncle Lovro. The only thing that serves as documentary material evidence about Lovro Batel is a series of photographs taken in 1982 while he was creating and playing the bagpipes in his courtyard. It is possible that precisely those mišnice are one of the six bagpipes from the museum's collections. It is interesting to point out the photo of Lovro Batel where he is surrounded by three researchers, and a fourth one behind the lens. Mario Sandrić, a native of Roverija, but living in Pula, he produced mainly sopele in the 1970s. As demonstrated by the X-rays, the cone of the inner tube of these instruments is the most accurately made in comparison to the sopele of other masters. By the time he was active as a maker, his instruments were available in the then very high-quality souvenir shop at the Pula Forum. It is interesting to point out that from time to time Šandrić’s sopele appear in sales on the Internet. Of course, today there are also active instrument maker, some of which are now publicly well known as Franko Kos from Kapelica in the Labin area, known for making bagpipes, Karlo Špada from the village Špadići near Barban, the brothers Vitasović from the village Boduleri near Vodnjana and, the already mentioned Alfonso Konović. They all make wind instruments of the older traditions. As for the string instruments, the vast popularization of the bajs in the late eighties has prompted many individuals to build bajs’ and, to a lesser extent, even violins. In those times, the only bajs maker was Libero Bernobić Benečić from the village Erkovčići near Hum. Real renaissance began with Ottavio Štokovac from the village of Kolari in the upper area of Buje, who himself was a bajs, violin, and harmonica player, and his crafting of a series of twelve bajs, several of which were donated to the youngest musicians. The most active right now are Rufo Šepić from Kremenje, Libero Pavletić Vuk from Ročko Polje, Danijel Paulović from Cerovlje and Anđelo Bratulić from Pazin.