Child's shirt which forms part of a Latvian national costume which uses traditional patterns from the Dignaja Region. It was made by Mrs Sidorenko in Melbourne in the 1980s for Kaja Herman, the daughter of Anita Apinis and grandaughter of Anna Apinis. The entire costume includes a skirt, shirt, belt and crown, and each piece was made by a different Latvian woman. Anita is second generation Latvian weaver, she was taught by her mother Anna and then undertook further training at the Melbourne College of Textiles.

Anita's parents, Anna and Ervins, migrated to Australia in 1950, after spending time in a displaced persons camp Memmingin in Germany following World War Two. Anna had learnt to weave in Latvia and continued weaving in Australia, becoming one of the few suppliers of Latvian national costumes in the 1950s and 1960s, and exhibited her weaving nationally, at exhibitions and Latvian cultural festivals. She fulfilled her dream to keep her cultural traditions alive through her daughter Anita who continues to weave to this day.

Physical Description

Cream linen shirt with open neck to chest with collar embroidered in brown geometric pattern with green, yellow and brown checked border. Three quarter sleeves with triangular panels under arms, sleeves edged with brown, blue and green cross pattern and green and yellow striped border.


Significance: These items form part of the Apinis Latvian weaving collection, a collection of Latvian weavings, tools (including a countermarch floor loom), weaving notebooks, costume items and audio visual interviews. Its historical and cultural significance lies in the comprehensive documentation of the story through artefacts and narratives, the quality of the weavings and the rarity of particular items such as the loom created in a German displaced persons' camp after World War II and notebooks kept from the 1930s to preserve traditional Latvian weaving techniques. The collection documents the maintenance and transportation of cultural traditions.

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