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Goat on the Istrian Coat of Arms Towards the Knowledge of the Historical Background of the Coat of Arms and the Istrian Goat-Breeding
; Museum of Prigorje Region, Sesvete, Croatia
Puni tekst: pdf (1 MB),
Str. 7 - 28
Since 1990, Republic of Croatia has a new coat of arms. What is actually new is only its composition, while its constituent parts are historical Croatian coats of arms, including the Istrian one. Little is known about Istrian coat of arms, but a vague belief that it is an old feature of Istria is prevalent.
This paper presents contributions on the coat of arms that the author has found so far, mostly descriptions of simple figures and tinctures. Discovered examples of the coat of arms show various deviations in detail of its execution. A change of a simple figure in l915 has also been documented, and from that point on, it was no longer a she-goat but a he-goat.
The origin of this coat of arms is still an open issue, as well as the exact date of its origin and related details. The author explained her assumption that it didn't exist prior to the 17th century.
She was also interested whether the assumption that the goat was on the coat of arms because it was especially important for the existence of people in the past, and that it therefore left trace in religious life, language, monuments and various visual arts, could be proved. These traces probably wouldn't exist if the goats weren't so numerous. The data we presently have at our disposal affirm explicit importance and numerousness of goats in the history of Istria. They particularly left trace in the culture of Ćići (Istro-Romanians), specifically in their speech concerning the names of certain cattle-raising buildings.
Croatian ethnologist A. Stojanović, who recognised the existence of particular goat-breeding layer in the Adriatic and parts of Mediterranean in regards to cattle raising in general, defined one technical detail as a criterion for belonging to that particular layer. Namely, the fact that sheep are not milked, but that goats are milked instead, as is the case on the island of Mljet, but that was not confirmed in Istria, and there was no confirmation that goat milk had been considerably represented in nourishment which is a regular feature of the goat-breeding layer in question.
The author however feels that the role of the goat in the Istrian economy and tradition didn't necessarily have to be so strong in order for it to become a trademark in the coat of arms. So far none of the official documents that would prove that choice are known.
Data found have shown that this coat of arms had been officially used for Istria since the second part of the 17th century merely as a figure in primary Venetian and later Austrian official documents. The confirmation of using the coat of arms in the field work dates back only to the early 20th century.
So far the least known aspect of this emblem, i. e. the goat as a simple figure, have been its national implications. Namely, in Stemmatographia by Vitezović from the early 18th century this Istrian coat of arms is represented among the Illyrian, therefore, according to Vitezović, Croatian coats of arms. In addition, it is left for the future to cast the light on the part of the history of this emblem, in which the goat became Italian-irredentist-fascist symbol late in the 19th and in the early 20th century.
goat; coat of arms; Istria
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