Vesna Mia Ipavec
Silkworm breeding and the related mulberry cultivation belong among the oldest monocultures in the Gorisko/Gorizia region. Until now, no comprehensive research has been done into their impact on the culture and lifestyle of the local population. The book ('Mulberries and “cavaliers”. Silkworm breeding in the Goriško/Gorizia region') presents an ethnological depiction of these activities in the Gorisko/Gorizia countryside with an emphasis on the 20th century, rich with oral sources serving as the most significant contribution to a study of this kind. The structure of this work was determined to a large extent by the contents of oral sources, in addition to other qualitatively processed sources and literature which directed the research based on the comparative method.
The author of the book paid special attention to the work procedures connected with silkworm breeding, as she believes they had a predominant impact on the culture and lifestyle of the population. The remaining mulberry trees in the settlements and landscape bear witness to the by-gone days of silkworm breeding. In the Gorisko/Gorizia region, the beginnings of mulberry tree planting date back to the 16,h and 17th centuries. Mulberry trees have marked the cultural landscape for centuries. Since the Slovenian part of the Gorisko/Gorizia cultural landscape did not undergone as radical a change as the Italian part did, particularly in the period after the Second World War, numerous exceptional sorts of centuries-old mulberry trees have been preserved there. The book ends with a glossary of expressions related to silkworm breeding, created and used by the population living side by side with it and earning their living from it.