Ofra Morando Malga

The malga: a segment of cultural landscape

The territory of the Little Dolomites (Veneto and Trentino regions), like any other mountain territory, is a continuum in which different landscapes coexist, which can be divided into two large areas: those respecting the uncontaminated natural environment (wilderness) and the historical-cultural ones related to artifacts, tools and activities of men who lived and live in a certain territory.

These landscapes, especially in the Pre-Alps, only rarely present themselves separated from each other because the territories were strongly affected by the activity of man; the different landscapes have gradually overlapped (historical-cultural stratifications) becoming just one thing. Let's consider, for example, how much the Great War changed the original territory of the Carega Group and the Pasubio Massif; think of the dry-stone walls that were raised on the sides of the mountains, the streets, the houses, the schools, the churches, the sacred aedicules, the malgas...

The malga object of this work, is situated in a small plateau at about a thousand meters altitude, lying on the side of the northern slope of the Tre Croci chain; a plateau that once counted numerous active malgas.

 I remember the amazement and happiness with which I approached the world that I knew only superficially and the astonishment of malgas' owners who, of course, had already met some Sunday photographer (who does not take a photograph at the caliéra that is on fire?) but no one had attended the malga for as many days as I had done, no one had really noticed the extraordinary beauty of that world so essential but so rich in culture and humanity.

Today on the Montagnole plateau only three malgas make their own milk, but also the one that I photographed twenty-five years ago, I no longer recognize it. The malga has changed and the people who work there have (culturally) changed. I can say that my photographs are the testimony of a world that has disappeared forever.

  

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