Mäetagused vol. 22


From Folk Medicine to Medical Folkloristics

Birgitta Rørbye

Overview about research in medical folkloristics during the recent 50 years. The author emphasises that the focal point of research must always be the cultural analysis of the process of the formation and the complexity of various concepts and images. Translated into Estonian by Renata Sõukand. Source: Rørbye, Birgitte 1992. From folk medicine to medical folkloristics. - Reimund Kvideland et al. (ed.). Folklore Processed. In honour of Lauri Honko on his 60th Birthday 6th March 1992. Studia Fennica Folkloristica 1. NIF Publications 24. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, pp. 190-199.

Words in Wards: Language, Health and Place

Wilbert M. Gesler

The role of place in medical encounters that involve language is examined using theoretical arguments backed by empirical studies. Links between language and place, health and place and especially language and health are discussed. The language-health link is elaborated in terms of explanatory models; how language is used in medical encounters; and power, dominance and resistance relationships. It is also shown how considerations of place enhance knowledge about this link. The paper closes with a set of research questions that focus on the role of place. Translated into Estonian by Kristin Haugas and Anne Kaaber. Source: Gesler, Wilbert M. 1999. Words in wards: Language, health and place. - Health & Place 5, pp. 13-25.

Preindustrial Urban Lifestyle and Health

Rebecca Storey

One of the important milestones and changes in human history is the appearance and dominance of the city as a place of habitation and as the administrative and economic heart of society. Until the beginning of the 18th century in Europe, there were only preindustrial cities and there are still arguably preinduistrial cities left today. In this article only cities dating before the Industrial Revolution will be discussed. Translated into Estonian by Kadri Selge and Kairika Kärsna. Source: Storey, Rebecca 1992. Preindustrial urban lifestyle and health. - Huss-Ashmore, Rebecca & Schall, Joan & Hediger, Mary (ed.). Health and Lifestyle Change. MASCA Research papers in Science and Archaeology 9. Philadelphia: MASCA, University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, pp. 33-42.

From Music Magic to Music Therapy

Eha Rüütel

It is believed that music has been used to treat people since the Palaeolithic Period. In the time when illnesses were attributed to supernatural phenomena, the instruments of making sound where used to create connection with magic powers. When people learned to give rational explanations to illnesses, they began to consider the effect of music as balancing emotional life and bodily processes. In ancient Greece and Rome, practising doctors gave suggestions on music therapy, but it was considered an alternative treatment. Relying on the effect modes and rhythms has on emotions, music was considered especially suitable for dispersing passionate desires. Different music was suggested for different illnesses. Through ages it has been recommended to engage in music activities supporting ethos in order to stay healthy.

The discovery of the methods for recording sound at the end of the 19th century expanded the range of therapeutic use of music. Music was regularly used in medicine in order to control moods, decrease anxiety, and promote relaxation. Music was introduced into dental procedures, midwifery and operating theatres. In contemporary medicine there are three major ways of applying music: supportive to medical treatment (e.g. music listening during a procedure to diminish anxiety and to promote relaxation); equivalent to treatment (e.g. singing in the case of respiratory problems); primary treatment (e.g. listening to music to achieve pain relief). In parallel with application of music in medicine, music therapy developed into an independent field, which according to Kenneth Bruscia, is a systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to achieve health, using musical experiences and the relationships that develop through them as dynamic forces of change.

On the Factors Influencing the Development of Plague Stories

Reet Hiiemäe

The article treats in depth the uniqueness of discourse and demonstrates why concepts from medical discourse do not enter legends in unchanged form. Since they are unfit for presentation as a separate structured plot, they have no function in folk narratives. However, this does not rule out the fact that people knew them and put to use when encountered with disease.

Their format - ready-made single concepts distributed mainly by the literary tradition - made them more apt to be represented in folk belief accounts. The latter genre, due to the era's and folklorists' romanticism, provohed little interest and was thus often ignored. The factors described in the article that influence tradition-shaping, shed light on the relations of oral-spontaneous and scholarly-organised traditions from various angles.

Cures for Warts in the Irish Folk Medicine on the Materials of Country Mayo

Ave Tupits

While trying to locate the material on folk cures for warts in both the Irish as well as in the English language, Country Mayo proved to be a good choice from a number of counties in the Schools' Manuscripts in the Archive of the Department of Irish Folklore. As Mayo is one of the biggest bilingual counties, there was a large and representative material corpus recorded from there on the topic.

It appears from the archive texts that warts were seen as something tedious and widespread but definitely curable, for which a wide variety of remedies were used, from snail to water, from potatoes to charms etc. The texts imply that the remedies worked if one really believed in the remedy. There is a certain pattern one must follow, certain actions to be performed and there is always the suggestion reflecting from behind the words to really believe in what one is doing.

It surprised me how versatile one particular area in folk medicine can be. Although the current topic was limited to a certain county and narrowed down to only one ailment and its remedies and most of the material coincided, there were still little things that kept coming up and widening the range of the remedies.

A Glance at the Categorizations of Disease Aetiology

Renata Sõukand

The article views the different etiological systems presented by various ethno-medicine researchers. In addition to Ilmari Manninen (who included Estonian material), classifications suggested by Mascie-Taylor, Honko, Morley and Ackerknecht are viewed.

There is as yet no systematised overview of Estonian folk medicine. A new system of categorization needs to be created for this.

Witch Prosecutions from the Archives of Pärnu County Court, before 1642

Villem Uuspuu

Another reprint of articles published by the theologian Villem Uuspuu in late 1930s in the journal Usuteadusline Ajakiri. The series of articles concern Estonian 17th century witch processes. This time in focus: records of the Pärnu County Court archive.

Material and Research Methods within Folk-medicine

Carl-Herman Tillhagen

The treatise is an example of scholarly folk medicine discussions from nearly 50 years ago and provides an overview of the conclusive discussion at the I Nordic Folk Medicine Symposium, in 1961 held in Stockholm on the initiative of the Nordiska museet. Translated into Estonian by Renata Sõukand. Source: Carl-Herman Tillhagen 1962-1963. Material and Research Methods within Folk-medicine. ARV: Nordic Yearbook of Folklore 18/19, pp. 352-362.

News, overviews   

Ülo Tedre 75

Rein Saukas

The grand old man of Estonian folkloristics, PhD (1955) Ülo Tedre celebrated on February 12, 2003, his 75th jubilee. Ülo Tedre is a truly multifaceted folklorist. His main research topics concern runo song (though mainly the newer, rhymed folk song) and customs.

Ü. Tedre contributed to the compilation of the to date most comprehensive runo song anthology of over 7000 texts - Eesti rahvalaulud I-IV [Estonian Folk Songs I_IV] (1969-1972) and songs from Jõhvi and Iisaku parishes in the Vana kannel [Old Zither] series. His main interest in peasant customs has centred on weddings and mumming, illustrated by the publications "Eesti pulmad. Lühiülevaade muistsetest kosja- ja pulmakommetest" [Estonian Weddings. A Short Overview of Ancient Wooing and Wedding Customs] (1973) and "Pulmasõnastik" [Wedding Dictionary] (journal Mäetagused, in 1996-1999). In recent years, he has been part of the Nordic countries co-project Mumming and Masking.

Brothers in Kin and Land-Chains

Jüri Viikberg

The doctoral dissertation by Aivar Jürgenson Siberi eestlaste territoriaalsus ja identiteet [Territoriality and Identity of Siberian Estonians] (Tallinna Pedagoogikaülikooli humanitaarteaduste dissertatsioonid 7, Tallinn 2002, 308 pp.) lays emphasis on the territorial aspects of identity. The research concerns issues central to territory: what kind of relationship do Siberian Estonians have with their homeland Siberia and the once-homeland Estonia, what do they consider their fatherland, how have different influences shaped the Siberian Estonian culture, etc. Light is thrown also on why thousands of Estonians stay in Siberia and have not come (back) to Estonia.

Doctoral Thesis by Tatjana Minnijahmetova

Tatjana Minnijahmetova [Tatiana Minniakhmetova] defended her PhD on Kaama-taguste udmurtide traditsioonilised kombed: struktuur, semantika, folkloor (Òðàäèöèîííûå îáðÿäû çàêàìñêèõ óäìóðòîâ: Ñòðóêòóðà. Ñåìàíòèêà. Ôîëüêëîð ) [Traditional Customs among Udmurts Living Across the Kama River: Structure, Semantics, Folklore] in 2003 at Tartu University.

Exhibition of Estonian Folk Medicine Herbs - Herba

Ave Tupits

On September 23 - December 14, 2003, the Tartu University History Museum presents the exhibition of folk medicine herbs, Herba, curator Renata Sõukand. The exhibition is based on material in a database of the same name and content, compiled in 1999-2001. The exhibition displays plants most frequently used in folk medicine.

What Will Udmurtian Culture Globalise Into?

Heno Sarv

Review of the documentaries Päikeselapsed [Children of the Sun] (authors Liis Ruussaar and Kristel Kaljund) and Juri Vella maailm [The World of Juri Vella] (author Liivi Niglas) presents the new films on Udmurts and Forest Nenets peoples, research on them and their place in the globalising world in general. The review concerns issues not directly depicted in the films.

Research on Newer Songs

Mare Kõiva

The book Eesti mees ja tema sugu: XIX sajandi lõppriimilises rahvalaulus [The Estonian Man and His Gender: In the 19th Century End-Rhymed Folk Song] by Ülo Tedre analyses the 19th century end-rhymed folk song. In addition to a text-centred analysis, the author presents overview of the historical economic and juridicial situation in Estonian and Livonia - a necessary background to properly understand newer songs.

A synthesis of the scientific discourse and tratitional knowledge

Kalmer Kand

An overview of the translation into Estonian of medical-pedagogical handbook A Guide to Child Health (Kindersprechstunde) of the antroposophic practitioners Wolfgang Goebel and Manuela Glöckler.

Nord Nytt 86: Death is life too

Pihla Vuorinen

An overview of the journal of organization of students and young scholars of ethnology and folklore NEFA (Nordisk Etnologisk Folkloristisk Arbetsgrupp [Nordic Workgroup of Ethnology and Folkloristics] Nord Nytt No 86 Döden är också liv [Death is life too].