Journal of Ethnology 3/2012 has chosen as its major theme the Marian cult in the light of ethnological researches. Věra Frolcová concentrates herself on one of ethnomusicological aspects of this theme (A Legend on Peregrination of the Virgin Mary, Miraculous Recovery of a Child and Repentant Smith in Ceremonial Singing in the 19th-21st Centuries as a Phenomena of Central-European Cultural Commons). Monika Kropej writes about the Marian issues within a wider interpretation of folk culture in Slovenia (The Virgin Mary in Slovenian Folk Tradition). The material contribution by Eva Krekovičová submits the theme of Marian songs of Slovaks in Hungary (On Spiritual Songs in Oral Repertoire of Slovakian Minority in Hungary (Preliminary Results of Researches at the Turn of the Millennium). Out the main theme, a contribution by Jiří Höhn has been included, who pays attention to a folk producer of musical instruments from Moravské Kopanice (Štěpán Šopík´s Musical Insruments in the Collections at the National Institute of Folk Culture).
In Stopping with Photo column, Helena Beránková publishes her contribution A Pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary of Žarošice in the Photos by Jaroslav Pulicar. Social Chronicle remembers the anniversaries of ethnologists Jana Pospíšilová (born 1952) and Jiřina Kosíková (born 1952) and publishes obituaries for choreographer Libuše Hynková (1923-2012), musician and radio editor Jan Rokyta (1938-2012) and sociologist Miloslav Petrusek (1936-2012). Other regular columns include reports from conferences, exhibitions, festivals, reviews of new books, and news from the branch.
A Legend on Peregrination of the Virgin Mary, Miraculous Recovery of a Child and Repentant Smith in Ceremonial Singing in the 19th - 21st Centuries as a Phenomena of Central-European Cultural Commons
The legendic song on the Virgin Mary and a smith develops within the context of looking for an accommodation and Jesus birth in Bethlehem. It has been documented as an oral tradition since 1843 and it constitutes a Central-European song type that can be found in Bohemian, Silesian, Polish, Slovakian, Hungarian, and Ukrainian variations. The study submits the first results of the comparison of songs from hand-written and printed sources, from the text and melody point of views. A song is not connected with a place of pilgrimage. Its lifetime is supported by the tradition (Nativity Scenes, Christmas and Easter carolling, religious services venerating the Virgin Mary) and the printed media (school reading book, printed broadside ballads). The legend as a carol presents a genre of the Western-Slavic folklore called “the Marian carol”. The song has several melodies. The enclosed musical notation shows the common Bohemian-Moravian-Silesian-Polish-Slovenian song type, which has been the tradition bearer from 1845 until today. The author documents also the relations between the spiritual song and the secular dance melody. The legend as a song type covers a certain part of the Christian West, touching the Greek-Catholic region in Ukraine. Although it includes some fragments of the late-medieval passion (the Virgin Mary and the smith) and apocrypha from Jesus´ childhood (the healed hand), the Czech wording of the song can be documented at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. The Central-European theme “the Virgin Mary and a smith” has a thought parallel in the theme “the Virgin Mary and a ferryman” developed by the Slovenian and Croatian songs. Both types include the motif of the sinner’s conversion through the miraculous rescue of the Child, mediated by the Virgin Mary. It is one of the pictures portraying the task of the Mother of God of Perpetual Help in folk songs.
The Virgin Mary in Slovenian Folk Tradition
The study focuses on various forms of worship and veneration of the Virgin Mary as preserved in Slovenian folklore. Folk tradition and customs suggest that personifications of the days Friday, Saturday and Sunday - St. Parasceve/Sv. Petka, Santa Sabida/Sv. Sobota and Santa Domenica/Sv. Nedelja have found a place in Christianity and have churches dedicated to them or appear in church paintings. In folk tradition, the veneration of „Saint Sunday“ or the „Sunday Church“ is strongly connected with the veneration of the Virgin Mary and in some cases it even merges with it. In Christian iconography, depictions often present the Virgin Mary with a unicorn, the Madonna of Mercy with a mantle, the Virgin Mary in an enclosed garden or „hortus conclusus“ and mystical engagement of Virgin Mary. Numerous holidays are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the entire month of May is dedicated to her with May Devotions. The veneration of the Virgin Mary has been especially strong in the Catholic world, and is perhaps particularly so in Slovenia. This is attested by numerous churches, chapels, and statues, as well as legends, songs, apparitions, and miracles connected with the Virgin Mary. The majority of Slovenian pilgrimage churches are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, including the best-known Slovenian pilgrimage church in Brezje. All of this contributed to the fact, that the veneration of Madonna still reflects in rich spiritual life, folk customs, holidays, folk narrative and song tradition of Slovenian people.
On Spiritual Songs in Oral Repertoire of Slovakian Minority in Hungary. (Preliminary Results of Researches at the Turn of the Millennium)
The essay is a probe into the material acquired within a wider research of songs related to folk religiosity in the regions with Catholic inhabitants. The research is implemented in a bilingual environment with the members of Slovakian language islands in Hungary (1991-2011) and with the Slovaks living in Slovakia. The author draws upon the materials acquired during her own field research of song repertoire in Slovakian language with the members of Slovakian diaspora in Hungary that features its hybrid character. The spiritual songs were recorded as orally interpreted by their direct bearers and local contemporaries, or in the form of written texts used for the song interpretation. The contribution follows the following aspects: a) difficulties concerning the connection of the orally interpreted spiritual songs with the pilgrim songs; b) the portion of Marian songs within the acquired fund; c) frequented themes of spiritual songs and their contextual relations.
Štěpán Šopík's Musical Insruments in the Collections at the National Institute of Folk Culture
The essay is devoted to the production of folk violinmaker and musician Štěpán Šopík from the ethnographic area of Moravian Kopanice. Through the analysis of his products safeguarded in the collection at the National Institute of Folk Culture in Strážnice, the author thereof tries to characterize the Šopík´s works setting them against another folk violinmaker, Martin Kuča from Strážnice. The workmanship of the string instruments made by Š. Šopík substantiates his focus especially on the functionality of an instrument while its aesthetical feature is put in the shade. Four of the Šopík´s safeguarded musical instruments are in the collections at the National Institute of Folk Culture in Strážnice (three violins and a baset/violoncello); some other instruments are in the possession of the Jan Amos Komenský´s Museum in Uherský Brod.