Journal of Ethnology 4/2008

Journal of Ethnology 4/2008 deals with folklorism and utilization of folk traditions in the social and political context. Martina Pavlicová and Lucie Uhlíková in their study pay attention especially to the Czech folklore movement in the period of real socialism (Folklorism in historical context of the years 1945-1989 (following the example of the folklore movement in the Czech Republic). Klára Davidová deals with a specific ensemble, studying it as an alternative social community of that time (Chorea Bohemica - a folk dance ensemble as a site of inner emigration). Oľga Danglová focuses on the Slovak environment and reflection of folk traditions in politics (Folk Traditions and Politics). Juraj Hamar analyzes the development of stage folklore in Slovakia in the last twenty years (Folklore in the shadow of scenic folklorism. Marginalia to the Slovak folklore movement after the year 1988-2008). Jan Blahůšek assesses the work of a significant personality in the field of utilization and development of music traditions (The personality of Jaromír Nečas from the point of view of musical folkloristics).

Stopping with Photos section remembers the personality of Josef Šíma who dealt with folk culture at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries (by Helena Beránková). Transferring Tradition column publishes the contribution by Eva Večerková Czech Republic Christmas Tree. Notes on Modern Tradition, then the reflections on the dance “verbuňk” called Intangible Cultural Heritage by Barbora Čumpelíková and the contribution Contemplation on the 100th anniversary of Slovácký krůžek in Brno by Václav Štěpánek. Section Review remembers Emanuel Kuksa (1932-2003), a composer, musical manager and teacher who was closely connected with folklorism. Section Interview introduces ethnologist Bohuslav Šalanda on his anniversary. Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of ethnologists Jiří Pajer (born 1948) and Vlasta Ondrušová (born 1948). Other regular columns publish the reviews of new book editions, the reports of folklore festivals, conferences and activities of the National Institute of Folk Culture in Strážnice.

Folklorism in historical context of the years 1945–1989 (following the example of the folklore movement in the Czech Republic)

Folklorism as the phenomenon and the movement was defined and studied for many times in the ethnological literature, for example with the respect to its role it played in the cultural and historical development of the society and in the process of national, regional and local identification; or with the respect to its role in upbringing the youngest generation. The submitted contribution refers to folklorism in a concrete sector of the folklore movement, asking the question how it functions as a part of the contemporary culture and which role it can play in the life of an individual. It was more difficult to find an answer in past periods. Since it came into being, this range of culture was connected and evaluated in connections with the political context of that time. A specific framework was created especially between 1945 and 1989. The impact of social processes of that time in other cultural spheres has been reflected for many times (e.g. literature, film, religious life). However, the sphere of the folklore movement is always awaiting an objective assessment. There should be investigated not only the impact of the society on this movement, but also the personal statements of the persons involved, which completes the study of life in the period of real socialism.

Chorea Bohemica – a folk dance ensemble as a site of inner emigration

The study deals with the Chorea Bohemica ensemble from the dance-anthropologic point of view. The aim is to describe the ensemble in its social and cultural aspects and to explore the relation between the importance the Chorea Bohemica members placed on their participating in the group and the political situation in communist Czechoslovakia of that time. The presumption is that the ensemble served as a site for ‘inner emigration’ (a kind of getaway from an oppressive reality of the communist regime). The investigation could show that Chorea Bohemica provided a space for inner emigration. Moreover, it transcended the private character of the usual ‘inner emigration-like’ activities to the public realm and allowed free and creative self-expression, which at some points took on a meaning of an active resistance to the communist regime. The investigation of the factors that constituted the socio-cultural environment of the ensemble was therefore crucial for understanding both the Chorea Bohemica output and the importance it had for its members.

Folk Traditions and Politics

The contribution points out the changeable relationship between cultural heritage and politics in the historical retrospective. It draws the attention to the fact how the aestheticity of folk traditions became a part of the Slovak nation institutionalization in the cultural and political sense in the 19th century nation-creating thoughts; how some folk traditions became a source for creation of the national culture and a mean for political propaganda and manipulation between the Wars and in the period of Slovak military state; how the socialistic state policy supported the folk traditions, appreciating them as an expression of working class. The above was one of the reasons why folklore lost its credit at a part of Slovak meaning-creating society in the post- socialistic period. On the other hand, even present Slovak politicians like to draw on folklore heritage, trying to use it for putting-through their political projects.

Folklore in the shadow of scenic folklorism. Marginalia to the Slovak folklore movement after the year 1988

After the World War II, folklore lost its functions that proceeded on the original environment and original opportunities. Its so-called “secondary existence” in the form of stage folklorism is always more actual. At the end of the 1940s, there were founded two important folklore ensembles that dealt with stage arrangements and interpretation of folklore on professional level – Lúčnica (1948) and Slovenský ľudový umelecký kolektív (SĽUK – Slovak Traditional Dance Theatre, 1949). For decades, both bodies were influencing the establishment and activities of amateur folklore ensembles all over Slovakia. In 1988, the Slovak folklore movement was a well-functioning organism with the hinterland at many institutions and with the carefully formulated methodology for care, protection, up-bringing and education in the field of stage folklorism. The social changes at the end of 1989 brought a lot of negative experience in the Slovak folklore movement. In addition to the difficulties with financial support for ensembles and festivals, there appeared especially the stereotypes focused on folklore discrediting. Such stereotypes found their breeding ground mainly in mass media. The folklore works, in which we can see the propensity for poor taste and kitsch, constitute another problem. In the end, it is also the institutional failure of the methodological centre for stage folklorism in Slovakia.

The personality of Jaromír Nečas from the point of view of musical folkloristic

The essay deals with the role of an individual in the development of folklorism in the Czech Republic, namely with Jaromír Nečas, a significant personality of the post-war cultural life in Moravia. As the music editor at the Czechoslovak Radio (Czech Radio today), since 1952 he had taken part in documentation and modern passing-on of music folklore and folklore expressions, their presentation and popularization. Significant was his cooperation with the Brno Radio Orchestra of Folk Instruments where he worked as cimbalom-player, arranger and Artistic Council member. Nečas´s activity, however, fell outside the scope of the Radio – he lectured on ethnomusicology and folk music culture at important music schools in Brno, taught playing the cimbalom, cooperated with plenty of folk music bands as their consultant; he was initiator, music manager or co-publisher of music media with records of folk music. Jaromír Nečas´s knowledge of folklore material and its exponents and his always-functioning intuition of a music editor, who tries to involve the audience in the imaginary middle of musical events, made him an important co-operator of folklore festivals. The essay is considered the folkloristic assessment of the life’s direction and contribution of this personality.

Journal of Ethnology 3/2008 deals with the activities of the Centre for Folk Art Manufacture (ÚLUV) that was a bearer of the heritage of handicraft traditions, their safeguarding and transformation to new contemporary shapes and functions, between the 1920s and 1995. In her contribution, Lenka Žižková deals with the history of this institution (The glorious beginnings and the inglorious ends of Krásná jizba and the Centre for Folk Art Manufacture), while Alena Křížová comments on the content of its art activity (Art inventions and ambitions of the Centre for Folk Art Manufacture). Daniel Drápala focuses on the personality of Vladimír Bouček in relation to the Centre for Folk Art Manufacture (Folk culture in the context of Vladimír Bouček´s professional activities), Josef Jančář describes the role of the institution in safeguarding the extincting handicraft techniques, problematics of their extinct as well as following struggles to continue the activitity in this field (Documentation of the Centre for Folk Art Production and its continuation).

Transferring Tradition column is devoted to one of Easter customs (so-called rattling) in the region of Uherské Hradiště (by Petr Číhal), Section Review remembers the important anniversary of Czech researcher and traveller Alois Musil (1868-1944). Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of ethnologists Hana Dvořáková (born 1948) and Josef Kandert (born 1943) and publishes the obituary notice of ethnologist Josef Vařeka (1927-2008). Other regular columns deal with the reports of conferences and folklore festivals and the reviews of new book editions.

The glorious beginnings and the inglorious ends of Krásná jizba and the Centre for Folk Art Manufacture

The contribution deals with the history of two designers ́ institutions related to folk culture. The first of them, the so-called Beautiful Chamber (Krásná jizba) was founded by the Association of Czechoslovak Work (Svaz československého díla) in 1927. From 1936 until its liquidation, it worked in the House of Industrial Arts (Dům uměleckého průmyslu) in Národní Street. The best Czech architects, graphic artists and designers of that time worked for Krásná jizba. Since 1929, Ladislav Sutnar, fine artist, architect and theorist, was its consultant. In 1945, the care of folk art production was supported by law, the public corporation – the Centre for Folk and Art Production – was established and Krásná jizba moved under its administration. After the nationalization in 1948, the Centre became the only institution that tried to rescue the crafts and producers by means of model workshops. In 1956, its sphere of activity was narrowed down to the protection and development of the so-called folk art production. Thanks to the cooperation between ethnographers, designers manufacture and sale, it was possible to maintain the high level of all folk and handicraft products and to develop the designer’s output. After the political changes in 1989, some workshops were returned to their original owners, or privatized. Two privatization projects submitted to rescue Krásná jizba, the designers ́ studio and the surviving model workshops were rejected and both the Centre for Folk Art Production and the Krásná jizba were privatized in the form of their liquidation.

​Art Inventions and Ambitions of the Centre of Folk Art Manufacture

The Centre of Folk Art Manufacture was established in 1945 to support the traditional folk producers. In the first years of its existence, it struggled to maintain the original assortment of the individual workshops. In 1954, the Ministry of Culture commenced to act as its promoter. In 1957, a new Act here was issued and the conception of manufacture changed in favour of the quality-designed objects made of natural materials and by old techniques, which were just inspired by the folk art expression. Vladimír Bouček, the founder of the aforementioned institution, declared the so-called unbleached style to be its production programme. This style should become a common standard for the exquisite taste. In the designs of the products took part ethnographers, artists and technologists, who developed the typical style of domestic artefacts, beverage sets, fashion clothing, decorative objects and souvenirs offered in the shops called Krásná jizba (The Beautiful Chamber). This style became very popular in the towns, especially in the intellectual circles because it offered an alternative to the industrial production in the socialistic Czechoslovakia of that time, which brought insufficient invention and poor workmanship.

Folk culture in the context of Vladimír Bouček´s professional activities

The essay is devoted to Vladimír Bouček, one of the most essential personalities in the first years of the Centre of Folk Art Manufacture’s existence. Although Bouček was not an ethnographer (he studied architecture in the University of Technology in Brno), he took a significant part – especially between the mid-1940s and the early 1970s – in forming the Centre of Folk Art Manufacture as an organization interconnecting research and documentation, development and manufacture. He became actively involved in the field documentation of tangible culture in the Czechoslovakian territory. He used the gained knowledge for material and theoretic essays published in professional journals, and as documents for the designs of products resulting from the principles of traditional handicraft. Within the monitored phenomena, he paid the particular attention to three basic elements – material, technique and ornament. When developing the handicrafts, the put the greatest stress on keeping the technique. All the professional activities of V. Bouček were determined, however, by his motivation for the folk culture study – to use the gained knowledge to create and develop a system of an efficient support of the handicraft that shall serve – among others – to satisfy the contemporary needs of the modern society.

ÚLUV documentation and its continuation

The defunct journals Tvar (Shape), Věci a lidé (Things and People) and especially the important review Umění a řemesla (Art and Crafts) discuss the development of the Centre of Folk Art Manufacture and its role in safeguarding the declining techniques that produced the objects as accessories for modern living. The knowledge on natural materials and on technological principles of processing those materials for the need of contemporary environment led the producers, the ethnographers and the artists to a unique kind of cooperation. In 1992, this institution was liquidated. The National Institute of Folk Culture in Strážnice submitted a thorough project to take over and use the documentation of the aforementioned institution, but by the decision of the Ministry of Culture, those documentation funds have been passed to the National Museum in Prague and to the Open-Air Museum of Moravian Wallachia in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm. The National Institute of Folk Culture has commenced to compile its own documentation of folk manufacture in the Czech Republic; it also takes part in supporting the contemporary manufacture and prepares the documents for awarding the work of folk producers. Since 2000, the producers are awarded by the Ministry of Culture with the title the Bearer of Folk Craft Tradition.

Journal of Ethnology 2/2008 deals with the theme of folk dress. Martin Šimša submits a historical excursion to the development of an important part of men´s clothing - trousers (Canvas trousers - nohavice - legacy of the Middle Ages or a contribution of the Carpathian shepherd’s culture?). In her contribution, Petra Mertová gives an overview of fabrics used to make traditional clothing in the 19th and 20th centuries (Notes on fabrics in the Czech Lands (taking into account the territory of Western and Eastern Slavs). Marta Ulrychová focuses on the contemporary form of the women´s folk costume in a particular location of the Domažlicko ethnographical area (Women’s Carnival Costumes in Postřekov, the Region of Chodsko). Lenka Drápalová pays her attention to stockings - an integral part of the women´s folk costume in the region of Moravian Walachia (Cast-off stockings as a part of women´s traditional dress in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm). Helena Beránková brings the information about the structure of clothing of a contemporary traditional dress wearer from a particular location in Moravian Slovakia (Traditional dress at the present /with an example of one of the last wearers in Uherský Ostroh/).

Stopping with Photos section is devoted to the slides by Franz Stödtner (1870-1944) from the environment of a German textile factory (author Helena Beránková). Transferring Tradition column publishes the results of a fi ve-years survey among school children under the title Is Folklore a Kind of Art? A testimony of children - not only of those from folklore ensembles (author Alena Schauerová). Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of the ethnologists Leopold Pospíšil (born 1923), Viera Gašparíková (born 1928) and Dušan Holý (born 1933). In other regular columns, the reports of conferences and other professional branch activities and festivals and the reviews of new book editions are published.

Canvas Trousers – nohavice – Legacy of the Middle Ages or a Contribution of the Carpathian Shepherd’s Culture?

The research of the folk dress ranked among frequent themes of the domestic ethnology for many years. Studies from that range, however, dealt more with the research of women’s dress parts and relating issues, while the men’s dress was more on the fringe of interest. The author tries to cover this gap partially with a study aimed at a characteristic men’s dress part – the canvas trousers – nohavice – that belonged to the typical features of traditional men’s dress in the Eastern and South-Eastern Moravia in the past. The contemporary ethnology sees their origin in high Middle Ages as the foregoing development resulted in the rise of complete closed trousers. Although the scientists suppose the traditional canvas trousers – nohavice – to originate in the aforementioned trousers, no study has tried to research and analyse this connection in greater detail up to now. The confrontation of cuts of me- dieval and modern canvas trousers – nohavice – with subsequent taking account of their territorial dissemination serve as a basis of this contribution.

Notes on fabrics in the Czech Lands (taking into account the territory of Western and Eastern Slavs

The contribution deals with traditional weaver’s trade in Central and Eastern Europe. This branch had a rich tradition here and its possibilities were influenced by used textile materials – flax, hemp and wool. Cotton and silk were processed rarely -more from the mid-19th century. Another fact, which affected the appearance of weaver’s products, was the expansion of the horizontal loom with frame (frame loom with shafts) which was used as early as since the 11th century in Europe. Canvas, hemp, wool fulled fabrics and semi-wool non-fulled fabrics ranked among the basic traditional products. Within traditional weaver’s trade in Central, Eastern and a part of Northern Europe, wool striped and checked fabrics had great importance. They were peculiar to country weavers and their patterns were typical for relating regions. They were most often used for women’s skirts; their colours were rather dark, with predominant red, brown, blue and black colours. Within traditional weaver’s trade in Bohemia and Moravia, the patterning by an additional weft (float length), which has different names in folk culture, has been kept partially. The aforementioned technique formed the characteristic patterns on fabric and was applied mainly for women’s dress on blouse-sleeves and aprons, on decorated parts of women’s underclothes as well as on soft furnishings within the entire Slavic environment.

Women’s Carnival Costumes in Postřekov, the Region of Chodsko

The text pays attention to three contemporary variant of festive costumes worn by the women during the Carnival period in Postřekov in the so-called Upper Chodsko Region. The author’s interest in women’s dress is determined by the fact that the men – except for the young men until 18 and the preschool-aged boys – make a point of non-wearing the folk costumes in this location. The recorded variants confirm the lifetime of women’s costumes that fulfil mainly the locally representative and aesthetical functions. For the time being, nothing seems to suggest that its popularity should be on the wane. On the contrary, one can notice opposite trends becoming evident by plenty of exemplars newly made not only upon the wish of local inhabitants but also of those who visit the village as guests and who like to take part in the Carnival balls. The study describes on which occasion a certain variant are worn; it mentions also an overview of colour combinations in accordance with the canon that the women try to keep strictly. Determining the functions, the author found inspiration in the publication by Petr Bogatyrev from 1937 on the analysis of folk costumes at the opposite end of the Czech Republic (Moravian Slovakia). This publication applying the functional and structural analysis goes beyond the scope of foregoing and later works that preferred the predominantly diachronic point of view and the detailed description of costume types and variants.

Cast-off Stockings as a Part of Traditional Women ́s Dress in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm

The written, iconographic and tangible sources, not always maintained in sufficient quantity, document the existence of many parts of the traditional folk dress in Moravian Wallachia. Those parts, however, ceased to be used as early as during the second half of the 19th century. The cast-off stockings made of traditional materials – sheep wool or cloth – and worn both for everyday occasion and for formal wear ranked among the aforementioned parts. Although they were ugly as to the aesthetic standpoint of contemporary observers, the wearers considered them an integral part of their dress not only because of their good properties – warmness and light water-resistance. Nowadays, the amateur and professional public can see the stockings to a limited extent at the museum exhibitions. In 2007, the Museum of Moravian Wallachia in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm solved the grant project called Extinct World of Traditional Techniques whose partial task was to collect the documentation on appearance and dissemination of cast-off stockings in the region of Rožnov and to verify the technique by an attempt with making this garment part.

Traditional Dress at the Present (with an Example of One of the Last Wearers in Uherský Ostroh)

South-Eastern Moravia is a region where we can find some expressions of traditional folk culture even at the beginning of the third millennium, although that region is perfectly accessible as to communication and information and it accepts the globalization trends in many respects. The traditional dress is an example. The author noticed five last women (born in the 1920s) in the chosen location (Uherský Ostroh) who usually wear the everyday, festive and ceremonial variants of the traditional dress. The contribution pays its attention to the relation of one of those wearers of the specified traditional dress to her own dress. In quantitative and qualitative respects, her individual wardrobe evaluates and follows the phenomena that influence and enable the tradition lifetime. The contribution is tangential with the comparison of how the festive and ceremonial variants of the traditional dress function within the contemporary cultural life of the location (on secular and church holidays and at folklore ensemble performances). It draws the attention to the problems that have not been reflected in an expert way yet and that deals with the creation of folk costume stylizations in the locations where the traditional dress is a living and developing part of the local tradition.

Journal of Ethnography 1/2008 outlines the migration and the ethnic issues. Alexandra Bitušíková chose the theme of transnational migration (Transnational Migration: Research Possibilities within the Central-European Space). Pavel Havránek (Czechs in Caucasus, a Brief History of the Settled Area) and Miloš Luković (Bohumil Bouček ́s Medical Mission in Montenegro between 1875 and 1876 from the Ethnological and Cultural and Historical Point of View) chose the transnational migration as their theme. Zdeněk Uherek and Tereza Pojarová presented a part of the voluminous research concerning the contemporary Romany question (Positions and Opinions of Romany Society Representatives on Selected Issues concering the Community Conflicts).

The text Change of Tradition (author Alena Dunajová) deals with the every-day life of Romanian Slovaks in former Transylvania). Section Review remembers the personality of ethnologist Karel Fojtík (1918–1999). Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of the Slovak folklorist Soňa Burlasová (born 1927), ethnologist Alena Plessingerová (born 1928) and that of Miloslav Brtník (born 1928) – musician, folklore collector and an important organizer of folklore movement in the region of Horácko. In other regular columns, the reports of conferences, exhibitions and other professional branch activities and the reviews of new book editions are published.

Transnational migration: Research Possibilities in Conditions of the Central-European Area

The paper deals with the anthropological study of transnationalism that is a new phenomenon in the post-socialist countries in Central Europe, and a new perspective research topic. It brings a brief overview of the most used definitions of transnationalism. It focuses on the processes of transnational migration and the place of transnational migrants in the global world. With an example of the transnational migrants from Slovakia working in Brussels, it demonstrates what makes a migrant transnational and different from a „traditional“migrant. The study mentions two flows of transnational migrants from Central Europe – the transnational professionals and the workers in non-qualified jobs. It also emphasises the importance of studying the increasing transnational migration to Central Europe (mainly from Eastern Europe) and its consequences for the changing structure and diversity of the population.

Czechs in Caucasus, a Brief History of the Settled Area

The emigration of Czech ethnic group to the area of north-eastern Caucasus in Russia ranked among one of three main colonizing streams heading east from Bohemia and Moravia in the course of the 1860s. Bedřich Heyduk, who acted as the main agronomist in the Black-Sea Governorate, played the leading role. The colonists founded some villages, especially in the close vicinity to the seaport town of Novorossiysk. Even after 140 years full of tsarist country’s russificating policy, wars, Bolsheviks ́ government and everything related to the above, the Russian Czechs have maintained their national awareness and do no forget the roots of their ancestors. The Czech Republic is giving the assistance as well – it supports the compatriots living abroad in many aspects, shall it concern financial subsidies or ensuring the lessons of Czech language.

Bohumil Bouček ́s Medical Mission in Montenegro between 1875 and 1876 from the Ethnological and Cultural and Historical Point of View

Bohumil Bouček (1850–1926) is known especially as founder of the spa in Poděbrady. As the young physician, he spent six months in medical mission in Šavnik in Montenegro, where the Austrian-Hungarian Government posted him during the so-called Herzegovina Uprising 1875–1876. In his letters, published at that time, as well as in the book “Among wounded Montenegrians, years 1875–6” he depicted the course and some details of the anti-Turkish uprising, not excepting the contacts with other Czechs and foreigners working in the region. He described the treatment of the wounded rebels and local people and he recorded the every-day life in families (way of livehood, food preparation, hygienic habits, various customs and festivities, folklore tradition, position of popes in the society etc.). His records represent both the “little” history of the uprising and the source for etnologists, physicians and scientists from other scientific branches.

Attitudes and Opinions of Roma Social Representatives to Selected Issues Relating to Community Conflicts

The contribution proceeds on the analysis of responses by Roma leading employees of 30 institutions dealing with social work, consultancy, cultural activity and political activities. The data have been obtained within the solution of the international project called Peace-Com, focused on the community conflicts in Europe. The text concentrates on determination of the term “community conflict” and shows, which Roma leading personalities look for the beginnings and causes of those conflicts in the Czech countries. The research has shown a quite significant co-operation of organisations cooperating with Roma with state administration and local self-governments, non-governmental and non-profit-making organizations and international organizations as well as a big heterogeneity in looking for causes and beginnings of community conflicts and a small interconnection of Roma organization among each other. The research has also confirmed that the Roma penetrate the political sphere to a quite low extent, they have, however, their allies there. The Roma elites concentrate rather on social works ad cultural activities. The research concerned just the organizations and only the leading Roma representatives were interviewed. It does not represent the opinions and attitudes in Roma communities generally.