Journal of Ethnology 3/2015 focuses on intangible cultural heritage. Petr Janeček contemplates over the transfer of the intangible heritage concept from the political setting to the scientific framework of ethnology in relation to the already existing matters of ethnological research (European Ethnology and Concept of Intangible Cultural Heritage). Rebeka Kunej reflects on the Slovenian National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage from the perspective of dance culture (Dance and Sausages: The tangible form of intangible cultural heritage or vice versa? /Slovenian experience/). Mats Nilsson devotes himself to the theoretical grasp of the content of the terms “cultural heritage” and “tradition”, among other things, on the example of Swedish national polska dance (Keep Dancing Alive. Some personal remarks on dance as tradition and heritage). Dragana Radojičić and Miroslava Lukić Krstanović present particular experience with intangible cultural heritage in Serbia, including its institutional support. Damir Demonja and Tatjana Gredičak deal with cultural heritage in Croatia from the perspective of tourism (Production of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Serbia). The study by Daniela Machová does not relate to the theme and pays attention to the phenomenon of dance courses (Transformations in Youth Dance and Social Etiquette Courses in Bohemia since the mid-19th Century up to the Present). Stopping with Photos column is devoted to the “Old-Bavarian” Passion Plays. Review Section commemorates what would have been the 90th birthday of Oldřich Sirovátka (1925–1992), a literary scientist and folklorist. Interview Section pays attention to the anniversary of folklorist Marta Šrámková (born 1935). Social Chronicle remembers other anniversaries – ethnologist Peter Skalník (born 1945), ethno-musicologist Marta Toncrová (born 1945), ethnologist Hana Hlôšková (born 1955), and ethnologist Eva Večerková (born 1945) – and publishes obituary notes for musician Vlastimil Dřímal (1961–2014), fine artist Olga Vlasáková (1934–2015) and radio editor Jaromír Nečas (1922–2015). Other regular columns publish reports from conferences, festivals, concerts and review of new books.
European Ethnology and Concept of Intangible Cultural Heritage
The article deals with critical analysis of contemporary acceptance of the intangible cultural heritage concept in field of European ethnology. European ethnology has strong historic experience with making the key analytical terms of its study (“folk”, “traditional folk culture”, “folklore”, “tradition”) problematical. In its long history, these terms were more times redefined, deconstructed or even fully abandoned. In the last years, external as well as internal criticism of this traditional ethnological terminology led to a quick acceptance of an applied and originally political term “intangible cultural heritage” that was primarily created for the UNESCO international agenda. Unlike the above mentioned traditional ethnological terms, this concept features a lot of undoubted advantages (modern understanding of culture as a process and practice, not only as a product; social construction of its meaning; taking into consideration the community´s and society´s decision about its passing down from generation to generation; international consensus about its meaning). On the other hand, however, it brings about a lot of problematical facts (derivation from an unclearly defined applied concept of “heritage”; nature of a mere enumeration of designates; weak theoretical reflexion of the concept in the contrast with its strong political and ideological background). On a ground of the concise overview Begriffgeschichte, i.e. a brief history of the European ethnology´s terminology, the essay tries to find a corresponding position for this concept and to contemplate its role for this unusual discipline that is located at the boundary line between historiography, social sciences and humanities.
Dance and Sausages: The tangible form of intangible cultural heritage or vice versa? (Slovenian experiance)
The aim of the paper is to present the implementation of the Slovenian national Register of intangible cultural heritage focusing on dance culture. The Slovenian Register currently lists just one element connected to dance traditions. The focus of the paper is to introduce the implementation of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Slovenia, to outline the entry named Vuzemski plesi in igre v Metliki (Easter dance and games in Metlika) and to analyze discourses and dilemmas, which have arisen with this first inscription of dance related heritage. Furthermore, the article presents two of the dance practices which has not been jet recognized and registered on the national list of the intangible heritage: the first is a midnight dance of a newly married couple, and the second is veselica, a village festival. By comparing the dance practices with a production of the sausages (which has already been entered in a national Register) the author concludes that for certain (living) dance practice is more important to practice than to have an inscription in the Register.
Keep Dancing Alive. Some personal remarks on dance as tradition and heritage
This article discusses tradition versus heritage with example from Scandinavian (mainly Swedish) polska dance. The author also puts forward an idea how to understand a difference between the concepts tradition and heritage, and argues that it is the dancing that primarily must be taken into consideration, not the dances as such. Using heritage has a tendency to focus on the dances, while thinking of the concept of tradition more emphasizes dancing, the ongoing process of dance. This is an important distinction not least in the light of the UNESCO ideas about intangible cultural heritage. The consequence of intangible cultural heritage is that dance is seen more as objects, dances, instead of a process, dancing, since becoming certified heritage needs documentation. Documents are products, not processes, even if they are documents describing processes. The process of documentation creates artefacts put in archives that become heritage, dances, describing the process of dancing. The article does not want to define the concepts of heritage and tradition, but rather use the words to help us understand what happens when we create what is mostly called intangible cultural heritage.
Production of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Serbia
Diverse traditions and heritage practices are the legacies of contemporary processes, and as such they are safeguarded and retained. The elements of intangible cultural meaning are presented as dynamic, often ambivalent processes that form specific cultural politics on a local, regional and global level. Intangible cultural heritage is projected in Serbia as a strategy of state politics, accumulated scientific knowledge and a network of various interactions and perceptions. Bearing in mind all the specific social-political circumstances of a country during the crisis and transitional period, practices, constructions and statuses of intangible cultural heritage are manifested through ambivalent processes of global networking and positioning on a national level. More and more traditions, heritage practices, social communities and groups are heading towards decentralization and pluralization, thus making it harder to register them and have a systematic overview. Safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in Serbia relies on people and their practices not just inside one country and its national borders but, as well, through self-identification and diffusion where unique maps of cultural diversities and perceptive empathies between people are created.
Cultural Heritage and Tourism: Croatian experiences
Cultural heritage and tourism are very complex in their content. Considering that tourism contributes to the overall economic development, tourist valorization of cultural heritage that has evolved over the centuries has to be one of the primary objectives. Concurrently, the protection and improvement of cultural and historical values, especially those architectural, in terms of market democracy as one of the primary tasks in which tourist destination should build its identity. The focus of the concept of economic development are not only the needs of a particular segment of consumers, but also the needs of the whole society which means it should take into account the necessity of preserving the characteristics of tourist destinations in the social, cultural and environmental terms. Since tourism development is unthinkable without such logic thinking, it is the foundation of its existence and further development. To create a concept of tourism development at lower spatial levels it is essential to make a thorough study to determine the possibility of tourist characteristics/features and values as well as the receptive possibilities of all those resources, natural and social, that will meet tourists’ needs. This paper discusses the importance of cultural heritage, analyzes the development of cultural tourism in Croatia, presents Croatian good practice examples of tourist valorization of the culture heritage, and explains the importance of the needs of tourist valorization of cultural heritage for the effective development of Croatian tourism and tourism in general.
Transformations in Youth Dance and Social Etiquette Courses in Bohemia since the mid-19th Century up to the Present
The study writes about dance and social etiquette courses for young people in Bohemia. It observes the transformation of particular aspects of this phenomenon since the mid-19th century up to the present with regard to differences given by location (Prague, Jičín environs). It mentions the changes that have taken place in the taught repertoire of ballroom dances, the development of music accompaniment, the good-manners teaching and the formal dress. It mentions the form and structure of courses (lessons, extended dancing lessons, balls and graduation balls). It also pays attention to the members of those courses, bringing the first information from the running field research focused on the issue why the young people attend dance courses today. As resulting from the research, the youth dance courses fulfil a lot of social functions (the educational, socializing, dating, romantic, amusing ones) and they are a kind of living tradition. The author proceeds on the study of various period materials (archives, period literature) and the interviews with dancing instructors. The research is also based on observing the contemporary look of dances in defined locations (Prague, Jičín environs) and interviews with participants of those courses.