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The Last One of his Trade / Der letzte seines Standes

The Weaver ()

1993

Weber

There are places in the world where time appears to flow with a different pace and the wind of change is not blowing forceful enough to tear down old traditions at once. At least some years ago that was still true.

Some remote valleys in the Alps may be places like that, despite being invaded by modern tourism. That is where some traditional trades are still alive and well. To learn about them you don't have to resort to studying books. The weaver's craft is an example.

"Falterer Luis" is a well known person in Southern Tirolia's Ultental. He carries his trade to his customers and hikes to the alpine farmers to weave their wool and linen right on the spot. A practice known as working the "Stoer". Very few people would know how to do this today.

700 threads are strung on to the Jacquard loom and for days the shuttle is flying back and forth through the upper and lower yarns until finally the yarn which has been spun over the year has been woven. During this time he is part of the farmer's family, out of necessity not necessarily by choice.

While Luis is 85 years old his life still is mostly work. This one will be his last one, however. He may go for a dance if there is an occasion and if the music is right. That will be this way as long as his legs don't give out, he says.

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