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SIAE Awards 1997
The Museum Study Circle from Ilirska Bistrica

SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2006

Awards to institutions, enterprises and local communities for outstanding professional or promotional achievements as well as for achievements related to the enrichment of one's own knowledge or the knowledge of others 

Marija Sušnik from Brežice

Proposer: Dr Ivanka Počkar, Brežice Regional Museum


"I wrote down everything that they told me."

Marija Sušnik was born in a modest house in Vitna Vas in Bizeljsko, which however in later life she converted into a museum containing a fine ethnographic collection and enriched with a publication containing the testimonies of local people, remains of folk narrative, songs, anecdotes, peculiarities of dialect, descriptions of objects of material heritage, their purpose of use, how they were made, and other features of interest. She continued to study even while working, and for the needs of the ethnographic collection has sought interlocutors from the ethnological, museological and history professions. She has given Bizeljsko a new tourist attraction and strengthened the inhabitants' feeling of their own value and their self-confidence. "Between the wars many items fell into decay. The young people don't know how it once was. They don't know what to do with these items, they don't know how to use them, and so they offered them to me when I visited them in my capacity as court appraiser. In this way the collection in our old house grew richer. For every item I have tried to find out as much as possible from the owners and I have recorded everything carefully." Another special feature of the collection is that the items remain the property of the donors. "The importance of the collection - together with her educational work - is extraordinary," says Dr Ivanka Počkar, curator/ethnologist from the Brežice Regional Museum, who has already worked with Marija several times. "It is invaluable that the collection has been formed in the local environment, in the environment where the items were used, and also the fact that it is accessible to the public. From the museological point of view Marija Sušnik is a zealous field worker, in constant contact with the creators, users and owners of the items. She is a witness to a former way of life, the teller of stories about it and the carrier of knowledge to others. The collection of the Fila family is a like a wine that goes down best in the place it was produced. In her work for the public, Marija Sušnik has several other advantages over us museum workers: her message is a message about personal life, the life of ancestors, fellow-villagers and the inhabitants of the countryside that she can represent in thousands of different ways!"

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