- Category : 1909-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Uncertainty 2
Frisian carpenter, poet, writer, linguist and translator.
He was the fourth child of Anne Tamminga and Yttje Brouwer. His parents were working class people with little education that spoke the Frisian language. But their "memmetaal" (mother tongue) was seen as a farmers dialect by the Latin and Dutch speaking authorities, that had no legal significance. Frisian people, already described by Tacitus (in Germania) living from the terps of the Northern Netherlands to the coast of Denmark, spoke for centuries their mother language at home, under friends and at work, but it was not aloud in court and there was no formal education in it. The language had a long living language tradition, but it lacked an official story line.
Because of his low come-off, Douwe Annes Tamminga had at first little education. But when he died, he had enjoyed and contributed to a renaissance of the Frisian language, that had become the second official language in the Netherlands. And he had become the Grand Old Man of Frisian poetry. Not only by his own poetry, but also by his vivid translations of Andersen, Dylan Thomas, Edgar Allan Poe en the Hebrew psalms.
After the elementary school, he worked as a farmhand. At age sixteen he became a carpenter, but by studying in the evening, he took the education act and became a teacher in 1933. From 1935 to 1942, he worked in the unemployed concern. From 1942 to 1968 he worked as a Dutch and Frisian language teacher at the higher civil school (HBS) of Sneek and also lived in Sneek. Later he moved to IJsbrechtum. From 1962 until his retirement in 1974, he was research assistant at the Frisian Academy in Leeuwarden. Here he worked on the composition of the "Great Frysk Wurdboek", which revived an old language.
In the Haagse Post of 9 December 1978, the writer Theun de Vries (13h30 Veenwouden Gau 1344 vol 6) said about him: "Tamminga kent het Fries tot in zijn wortels, hij beschikt over een grandioze woordenschat. Hij gebruikt een schitterende taal, die ik wel kan lezen, maar niet kan schrijven." (Tamminga knows the Frisian language to his roots, he has a grandiose vocabulary. He uses a beautiful language, which I can read, but can not write.) In 1975 De Vries had translated into the Dutch language Tamminga's best known bundle In memoriam (1968), dedicated to his lost son.
With Fedde Schurer and others, he erected the Frisian literary magazine "De Tsjerne" in January 1946. Tsjerne, Frisian for butter churn, is the alchemist tool to transform whole milk to butter. It also referred to the Frisian poet and renaissance scholar Gysbert Japiks (1603–1666), who like the Tsjerne erectors wanted to elevate the Frisian language to literary status in his works "Friessche Tjerne" (1640) and "Fryske Rijmlerye" (1688). When Fedde Schurer was brought to court in Leeuwarden, historical riots broke out (16 November 1951, Kneppelfreed) and Tamminga was proud of his abrasions, as a symbol of fighting for the Frisian language.
His first poetry bundle was Brandaris (1938), named after the medieval lighthouse on the Dutch Wadden Sea island Terschelling. After WW2 he published the modernistic Nije gedichten (1945). In 1956 he wrote Balladen and many more bundles.
The Frisian linguist and poet and musician Anne Wadman (30 November 1919, Langweer - 6 February 1997, Sneek) translated his poetry into Dutch.
On 15 March 1936 he married Sjoukje Piebenga (1913- 28 July 1988, Sneek) in Franeker.
In 1990 he moved to Leeuwarden, where he died 5 April 2002. He was buried on 9 April 2002 in Tjalhuizum.
In 1938 the Fryske Akademy was erected with he help of the historian Geert Aeilco Wumkes, the Old Frisian linguist Johannes Kapteyn and the Carmelite priest and mystic Titus Brandsma, a Roman Catholic martyr who died in Dachau.