Journal of Ethnology 3/2013 focuses on the theme of the use of clay in traditional culture. From different points of view, the aforementioned theme draws the attention of the studies written by Barbora Půtová (Ideqqi: Ceramics Made by Kabyle Women), Jana Poláková (The Use and Processing of Clay by Romani People Living in the Territory of Former Czechoslovakia), Miroslav Válka (Historical Circumstances of the Extinction of Archaic Architectural Expressions in Pomoravsko-Panonský Type of Traditional Houses) and Martin Novotný (On Some Archaic Building Technologies in Clay Constructions in the Ethnographic Area of Haná). In the section of Other Studies, Eva Šipöczová introduces the political anecdote as a genre of verbal folklore (About a Hare and a Bear: on Thematic Delimitation of the Political Anecdote). Stopping with Photo column (author Helena Beránková), which remembers the phenomenon of the so-called Anabaptist Faiences, relates to the main theme as well. The Social Chronicle involves anniversary articles devoted to ethnologists Josef Kandert (born 1943), Mnislav Zelený (born 1943), Pavel Bureš (born 1953) and Vanda Jiřikovská (born 1933) and publishes obituaries for dance folklorists Petr Novák (1936-2013) and Barbora Čumpelíková (1930-2013). The other sections bring reports from branch conferences, exhibitions and festivals as well as reviews of new books.
Ideqqi: Pottery Made by Kabyle Women
This study deals with Kabyle pottery representing traditional Berber craftsmanship and artwork that has been developing for centuries in the territory of modern-day Algeria. The study focuses on Kabyle pottery, perceived as a specific set of artefacts, and on its manufacturers − Kabyle women. The manufacture of Kabyle pottery is artisan handwork, tabooed in many ways; it has been passed on from mother to daughter. Women have learnt know-how and practical skills concerning pottery manufacture through oral tradition and everyday experience. Kabyle pottery shows a specific feminine style, uncovering thus the Kabyle women’s mentality and their secret knowledge hidden in traditional society. The study describes and analyses phases of Kabyle pottery manufacture, its typology and motifs, which are presented as an independent semiotic system. The origin of Kabyle pottery still remains in a shroud of mystery. On the one hand, Kabyle pottery exhibits traits of autochthonous culture; on the other hand, it has also absorbed some foreign cultural influences. At present, Kabyle tribes strengthen their cultural identity and return to their cultural roots through the production of traditional Kabyle pottery. Moreover, motifs of Kabyle pottery inspire contemporary artists. This study further aims to describe, analyse and interpret Kabyle pottery as a unique demonstration of Berber culture which is an inseparable part of the Kabyle women’s world.
The Use and Processing of Clay by Romani People Living in the Territory of Former Czechoslovakia
The aim of the study is to summarize as much available information as possible that concern the former and today’s processing and use of clay by Romanies living in the territory of former Czechoslovakia; it focuses mainly on the sub-ethnic group of Slovakian Romanies. The approach of Romanies to clay can be divided into two levels - it is considered ritually unclean, but on the other hand, it gives people their energy. Romanies used clay as building material in a similar way the majority population did. Some groups of Romanies in Slovakia dealt with production and deliveries of unburnt bricks dried in the sun or field kilns. We have just sporadic information about the Romani manufacturers of pottery. Current economic situation forces the Romanies, who live in segregated Slovakian settlements, to use their knowledge about the work with clay, which provides us with new opportunities for field researches.
Historical Circumstances of the Extinction of Archaic Architectural Expressions in Pomoravsko-Panonský Type of Traditional Houses
In the European space, unburnt clay used as a building material is connected also with traditional Pannonian house in the Central Danube region. With its north-western outskirts, this cultural area reached the territory of the historical Czech Lands - the region of Central and South-East Moravia - and gave rise to Pomoravsko-Panonský /the Morava River Basin and Pannonian Plain/ type of traditional houses). Unburnt clay represents here the basic building material probably as late as since the 18th century, especially thanks to the fire-fighting and civil legislation, inter alia, which restricted the use of timber. In the 20th century, clay was replaced by industrially produced building materials to which contributed both the technical development and the civil legislation which limited and, in the end, fully restricted (1914) the use of unburnt clay. The process of extinction was not proportioned and related to the social and economical situation of village inhabitants in individual regions of Moravia. In the second half of the 20th century, the houses made of clay became old not only physically - a house made of adobe bricks with soil floors in its residential rooms, in the entrance hall for the longest time, became a symbol of obsolete and outdated culture of living. Unburnt clay has experienced certain satisfaction in the Czech Republic since the late-20th century as an environment-friendly alternative that is in opposition to conventional building industry.
On Some Archaic Building Technologies in Clay Constructions in the Ethnographic Area of Haná
The ethnographic area of Haná, situated in Central Moravia, is a region in which clay constructions prevailed in the past. The dug-in constructions utilizing the compactness of the local loess subsoil can be considered the oldest building solution. The loess subsoil allowed to build constructions without additional supporting structures. Excavation of underground corridors, pits or rooms used as caches for food storage (lochy) became a typical phenomenon in the region. Only exceptionally were later the dug pits used for dwelling. A unique proof of monolithic clay masonry in Haná could be discovered in a chamber part of a former farmstead in Dobrčice, district of Přerov, in 2011. The analysis showed that the building was probably made in the so-called cobbing technique, which had not been described in the region until that time.
About a Hare and a Bear: on Thematic Delimitation of the Political Anecdote
The contribution is devoted to the delimitation of the political anecdote and the joke. In the introduction, it publishes an overview of the Slovakian and Czech literature, and a brief overview of the world literature. Based on the concept of Umberto Eco´s over-interpretation shows that the content as a basic identification symbol constitutes often an insufficient criterion. Therefore, the limits of the political anecdote are searched in other properties of the Slovakian prosaic folklore and anecdote as an independent genre. The author defines the above based on the political and social conditionality of the period, in which the anecdote was and is living, as well as based on its bearer, performance, function and other features. She highlights the problematic or unclear limits for the definition of the monitored phenomenon in respect to the period and its character. As an example, she uses materials from the period of the real socialism in Czechoslovakia as well as those from the present age, which have been collected in the field research to a dissertation thesis. She sets the anecdotes beside each other, pointing to their common and different properties, their place in the society and their different or same perception.