Journal of Ethnography 1/2006 deals with the carnival theme. Using examples of customary tradition from the region of Haná, Martin Šimša analyzes individual features of carnival customs and puts them into historical consequences. (The Ostatky Right in Haná, its Position in the Structure of Carnival Customs, and its Relationship to other Ceremonies of the Customary Cycle). In her article, Blanka Petráková summarizes her field research of many years in the area of Luhačovice Zálesí (The Carnival Walk in Luhačovice Zálesí within the Context of the Transformation of Customary Tradition in South Eastern Moravia). Daniela Stavělová focuses on the carnival walk in the area of Doudlebsko in southern Bohemia and the meaning of dance manifestations in its structure (The Doudleby Carnival Carolling: the Dance as a Text). Ilona Vojancová offers a survey of carnival walks at selected locations of the Hlinecko area (The Carnival Walks and Masks in Hlinecko). Katarína Nádaská presents the material from her research in the region of Slovak Nitra (The Carnival in the Community of Kanianka; The Tradition and the Present). The photo gallery of the journal includes the pictures of carnival masks from Šlapanice near Brno of the 1970s.
Josef Oriško presents his notes from the Slovenian countryside in the Transforming Tradition column. The Social Chronicle column is devoted to anniversaries of ethnomusicologist Marta Toncrová (born 1945), ethnologist Eva Večerková (born 1945), and Slovak folklorist Dagmar Klímová (born 1926); it also carries obituary notes to ethnochoreologist Hannah Laudová (1921 – 2005), and the Verbuňk dancer Kliment Navrátil (1925 – 2006). Conference news, exhibition news, book reviews and information from the field of support and preservation of folk culture are presented at the remaining pages of the journal.
The Ostatky Right in Haná, its Position in the Structure of Carnival Customs, and its Relationship to other Ceremonies of the Customary Cycle
„Shrovetide right“– a set of Carnival customs held in the region of Central Moravia – was awaking the interest of amateur observers and experienced experts in the course of the whole 19th century. The study targets to analyse the structure of the customary complex and to emphasize its basic forming elements. The essential part that includes the election of principal master of ceremony, the obtainment of ceremony insignia and the ritual bringing of girls to that insignia, has been taken out of the complex of Whitsun ceremonies. After having been connected with the hitherto rather seldom activities, the prestige of that festivity has grown significantly and the festivity itself has been newly re-interpreted.
The Carnival Walk in Luhačovice Zálesí within the Context of the Transformation of Customary Tradition in South Eastern Moravia
The workers of the Museum of South-East Moravia in Zlín have documented the Carnival rounds in the region of Luhačovické Zálesí at the end of the 1960s, and then since 1991 until now. In the aforementioned region, the traditional structure of mascaras within a group has been maintained sporadically. There are especially the mascaras presenting and parodying various occupations or properties, and the animal mascaras (the mascara of bear occurs regularly, even if it has lost its dominating position). Now, the rounds tend to have a unifying theme that is often affected by actual social and political events or cultural news. We consider the change in understanding the rounds in the course of the 20th century from a relict of traditional ceremoniousness to the social and political satire for a model example of the Carnival customs ́ development in South-East Moravia.
The Doudleby Carnival Carolling: the Dance as a Text
The region of South-Bohemian Doudleby has aroused interest of the ethnographers since the end of the 19th century. The fact that the expression of traditional culture, called “Shrove carolling” by local people, survived continually, became attractive. Within different periods, it was recorded repeatedly. The territory of three adjacent villages – Slaveč, Dobrovská Lhotka and Soběnov – became the object of the latest feedback research (1999 – 2005). The aim of the research was to follow the importance of this local phenomenon within the today’s local society; why is it performed just now, by whom and under which circumstances, and what does contribute to its repeated performance? The structure of that custom has been stated by comparison of all available records of Carnival and based on recognition of constitutive units of the phenomenon. Within the custom’s framework, there was observed the role of the dance expression as a cultural text whose symbolic language assisted to identify some important statements regarding states, identity and integration of the relating socio-cultural environment.
The Carnival Walks and Masks in Hlinecko
In the surroundings of the town of Hlinsko in East Bohemia in Bohemian-Moravian Uplands, the Carnival rounds have been safeguarded in their almost unchanged form in some villages for long decades. At the end of Shrovetide, the rounds with mascaras take place spontaneously in the villages of Hamry, Studnice and Vortová. The appearance of mascaras, their character and functions have been maintained by tradition in active awareness of all inhabitants in the above villages. The course of the rounds, which take place all day long, is given as well: after having obtained the Mayor’s permit, the mascaras go round the village, from house to house, and they get reward (refreshment and money) of their rich-vintage and fortune wishes. The rounds are closed with a custom when one of the mascaras, called Kobylka (mare) is slaughtered solemnly.
The Carnival in the Community of Kanianka; The Tradition and the Present
The author of the text spares a thought for existing changes of Carnival rounds in the village of Kanianka. The spontaneously organized Carnival rounds with the mascaras of a Bear, Soldier, Gipsy, Grandpa etc. ceased to exist at the end of the 1970s. After the inhabitants from the undermined part of the neighbour village of Koš came in 1987, the folklore ensemble Košovan has been established. That ensemble presents the Carnival rounds in form of folklore performances in the Community Centre. The scenic folklore performance is closed with the midnight “double-bass burying” and the dancing entertainment.