Lecture by Armands Vijups on the silver brooches (saktas) of Kurzeme

Lecture by Armands Vijups on the silver brooches (saktas) of Kurzeme

On Thursday, 17 August, at 17 in Liepāja Museum, at Kūrmājas prospekts 16/18, the Information Centre for Kurzemes National Costumes would like to welcome you to a lecture “The Story of Kurzeme Sakta”, by PhD in History professor Armands Vijups, who will talk about the silver sakta’s hidden side. The lecture is part of the project “Traditions of wearing the South Kurzeme national costume today”.

In Latvia, brooches (“saktas” in Latvian) have been known since the Bronze Age. Originally, brooches were used as an ornament to fasten and decorate clothes. Later, the function of holding the garment together was done with buttons, but, contrary to their gradual disappearance, brooches have retained their proud status, especially in Kurzeme, a region that can justifiably boast a great variety of brooches, especially in terms of material.

In Kurzeme, brooches are made of silver, melchior (alloy), amber, even mirror and nacre. Often the size and type of material was a subject to customer’s affordability.

Women in South Kurzeme mostly accessorised with bubble brooches, which they wore one by one or carried in “bunches”. Bubble brooches were one of the most luxurious Latvian women’s ornaments and were often engraved with the name of the owner and the year in which the brooch was made or given as a gift.

Professor Armands Vijups, who holds a PhD in History and currently works as Deputy Director and Senior Researcher at the Ventspils Museum and lectures at the University of Latvia, has carried out extensive research on the silver brooches of Kurzeme.

As part of the project, Armands Vijups has kindly consented to share the results of his research by giving a lecture on large silver saktas (betting saktas, three-lined saktas) and the inscriptions engraved on their reverse. The research revealed that the largest number of inscriptions is on the bubble brooches typical of South Kurzeme, the oldest of which dates back to Kurzeme and is engraved with the name Calei Ans and the year 1714.  

The lecture will also be complemented by an exhibition “The Hidden Side of the Sakta”, displaying the saktas from the collection of the Liepāja Museum.

The lecture will take place in person at the Liepāja Museum. It is free of charge.