Turku (Åbo) Castle as a Narrative
The Turku (Åbo) Castle served as a defensive structure and as a residential palace between the 1280's and the early 17th century, when it began to fall in decline. Between the late 19th and the mid-20th century it was gradually restored. Nowadays the Turku Castle counts as one of the cornerstones of Finnish built heritage. There are, naturally, lots of narratives about the Turku Castle. In this paper, however, I want to consider the castle itself as a narrative. To achieve this, I will look at the building through the analytical framework of frame, schema, plan, and script, which Robert de Beaugrande has introduced in his book Text, Discourse, and Process. Toward a Multidisciplinary Science of Texts (1980). My starting point for the analysis is the simple notion that all buildings are made by people. For the Turku Castle, the restoration in 1944-1961 was a turning point in this respect. I feel safe to say that in its current form, the Castle is a narrative of the restoration architects. This narrative is based on the general level frame of 'a castle', which as a prototypical image refers to history, romance, and warfare. In the restoration process, these aspects were sequenced into a schema through the concrete architectural choices made by the restorers. The structures of the castle are partly traces from the past, but there are also features that have been reconstructed according to the architectural plan of what the walls are supposed to tell. Later on, a more detailed script was made of the tour around the castle. The dominating narrative of the Turku Castle tells about the past. It is the narrative of a museum and a monument, written by the restorers and voiced by the tour guides, but visualized in the forms of the castle itself.
The emergence of nation states in the 19th century Balkan Peninsula influenced the appreciation of folklore. The construction of a monolith Bulgarian folklore had as an ideal an artistically and stylistically pure folk music and poetry. Recognized and unrecognized ethnic minorities and their folklore traditions were either neglected or subjected to pressure to adhere to the norm. Was the Bulgarian national folklore tradition as homogeneous as presented in music recordings and folklore collections? Recent publications of individual folklorists and ethnomusicologists' unpublished material display a dynamic folk tradition combining different cultural elements - Bulgarian, Jewish, Turkish, Roma etc. Since the 1990s in a climate of a decentralized consumer economy, new cross-genres exemplify a new energy for crossing the borders. The present paper will consider on the basis of a case study (the folklore traditions of three generations of female singers in a Bulgarian speaking Muslim community) how the other, exotic, foreign, oriental mingle into the enjoyment of songs and music. New forms pose new questions for the folklorist. The consumer market has introduced other rules for what is popular. Is this a new development or has it been present, although subversively, under a strictly centralized censored and artistically improved folklore tradition under communism? To what an extent do these other uses of the folklore tradition challenge the cultural and political hierarchies of the nation state?
The research material consists of a selection of ordinary Setu folktales from the Estonian Folklore Archives collection. The Setu region is located in Southeastern Estonia; some former Setumaa regions are now part of the Russian Federation. Setus are of the Russian Orthodox denomination, they speak their own dialect and culturally constitute a distinctive borderline people, which is also strongly reflected in their folklore - they consider neither Estonians nor Russians their own kin. I draw on Bengt Holbek, Yuri Lotman, Mikhail Bakhtin, Vladimir Propp, Laura Stark, Eleazar Meletinsky, etc. for the theoretical basis for my presentation. Folktales - they are stories unbelieved, taking place never and nowhere, in an imagined time and space. Stories meant for entertainment, they have no pretence to seriousness or credibility. What sort of a world-view is provided by Setu folk-tales? What exactly is described by stories that are often retracted by their final formula - "...thus the story ends, and I can lie no more"? What does such a text actually describe and how adequate is this description - physical surroundings are seldom depicted in these stories. Why are stories once believed to be untrue, and which for a while were part of children's literature, now used as possible role models? How does one's own and alien, the commonplace and the fabled intermingle in ordinary Setu folktales and how does this reflect in their world-view? Is the category of "credibility" the same in all folktales? Another aspect I would like to treat briefly is the structure and framework of classification in Aarne-Thompson's type-catalogue. If you look at the way the stories are ranked from the perspective of who is allowed to speak, a peculiar model describing the changing of the world-view emerges, which curiously reflects contemporary approaches in historiography. Initially, the stories present a world in which everything speaks - birds, animals, insects, sometimes even plants - nature is alive and animate and humans are secondary; from there on, the picture of the world turns more and more anthropocentric. Natural artefacts still allowed to speak in tales of magic are in the status of things - they are resources for solving a problem. All non-human characters are also marginalized or even opposed to humans and their environments.
Escorting the Dead with Song and Dance: Funeral Poetics among the Abanyole of Western Province, Kenya
Song and dance pervades the life world of the Abanyole. For example, when they are sad, they sing; when they are happy, they sing; when a child is born, they sing and dance and when one dies, they also sing and dance. So strong is the singing and dancing tradition in this community that it can be described as lubricating oil that the Abanyole use on their wheel of life as they transact different facets of their being. In this paper, I examine the role of song and dance in a funeral context among the Abanyole of the Western Province of Kenya. The discussion is focused on traditional Abanyole songs. I make this distinction because Christian songs are also sung in funerals in Bunyore. Specifically, I discuss performances by individual mourners and night performances at funerals. This discussion is guided by the following questions: Who performs? When are the performances done? What is the structure of the performance? What is the meaning of the performances within the context of a funeral? I have utilized the "Infracultural Model in Folklore Analysis" as the conceptual-analytical framework for this paper. This model emphasises the interpretation of words and actions within specific cultural contexts. This essentially means that the meanings of the words and actions can only be located within the perceptions of the study community. Underlying this model is a key concern that researchers should enter into the rhythm of life of the communities, as a sound basis for learning, experiencing and documenting the beliefs, expectations, fears and perceptions of the communities studied.
The paper discusses the relation power - community in the transitional period on the grounds of the data from a multiethnic settlement (Russian Old-Believers and Ukrainians) from the District of Odessa, Ukraine. The work presents the specific communication network formed on the basis of the interaction between the leader and the society. It settles the paradigms of the existence of the small local socium on all the levels: the explanation of the geo-political changes in the region and in the world, the place of the settlement in the new situation, the economic priorities, family relations, moral values, etc. The principal communicative unit is the narrative. It describes and explains, thus providing the specific model of the community world. The narrative is shaped by a system of oppositions (East - West; before - now; self - alien, etc.) that have their origin in the major motifs of socialist and post-socialist folklore in the so-called post-Soviet area. The text was prepared on the grounds of field surveys by the author and continues her series of works dealing with "power and transition" in Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
Philosophy, fictional writing, and painting - these three are generally considered to be absolutely different ways of accessing the world. Philosophy is about argumenting, not about telling stories. Yet why is it that philosophers so often turn towards art? Why do they tell a story about an artwork in order to illustrate their philosophical argumentation? It seems that philosophy needs something other than itself, it needs the experience of art and through it one often creates a story to tell. This paper reads an essay by Martin Heidegger "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes" [The Origin of the Work of Art], first drafted in 1931/1932, presented in 1935 and 1936, revised and published in 1949. The paper focuses on Heidegger's reading of Vincent van Gogh's painting of peasant shoes and on the ways how Heidegger narrativises the simple painting.
Key words: anthropology of communication, mass sermon, audience, verbal/non-verbal behaviour of the Finnish priest. This paper looks into the mass sermon in the Finnish Lutheran Church around the turn of the millennium. The material consists of day services documented by using participant observation. Day services are nowadays called a mass, if communion is served. A mass sermon can be characterised as persuasive communication encompassing three processes:
1) a process that shapes a person's world view;
2) a process that strengthens the world view, or
3) a process that changes the world view.
The paper discusses the principles of communication in the mass sermon. By familiarisation the speaker tries to introduce a new subject with events or narratives that are familiar to the listener. Through emphatic behaviour the priest can appear as either honest or superficial. Trustworthy behaviour is manifested through encouraging words. The principle of self-confidence raises the priest's own self-esteem. The principle of personification helps the preacher to project the main character of a religious narrative to the listener' reality in many different ways. In the principle of opposites, the narration follows the antonym setting God - man, good - evil. When the preacher refers to common interest, he emphasises the social responsibility of Christians. In the authoritarian principle, the listeners are controlled by the priest's supreme leadership. When the preacher assigns blame, he uses sin and death to wake up a bad conscience. In the principle of winning time, the preacher uses delay or speeding things up as a wisdom by claiming that "this is the right time / this is not the right time". Building obstacles is based on evasion: "We in the congregation are willing to help people, but few are interested." From the listener's point of view, the mass sermon answers the question what the listener has to know to be able to interpret the sermon through his own world view. Important schemata for the listener are: terminal, transitional, temporal, spatial and associative features, holy authorities in the sermon, opposites, linguistic routine models and redundancy. Finally, the mass sermon also reflects the life and personality of its producer.
Pertti J. Anttonen
The Christian churches in Finland celebrate the year 2005 as the 850th anniversary of the permanent settlement of Western Christianity in Finland. The dating is based on the commonly held notion that in 1155 an English-born bishop named Henrik (or Henry) arrived in the country and began to convert local heathen people into Christianity. According to earlier conceptions by church historians, this conversion took place in the form of a crusade, which Bishop Henrik allegedly made with the Swedish king Erik. More recent views emphasize that the country had for centuries been under Christian influence, but it was thanks to Bishop Henrik that the new vernacular religion was established on an institutional level. The narrative construction of this historical account becomes evident when one takes into consideration that there are no historical records of Bishop Henrik, except for a couple of liturgical legends dating from the end of the 13th century and a ballad-like text first documented from oral circulation in the late 17th century. Despite this fact, however, Bishop Henrik's canonical status as the culture hero of Finnish Christianity and the patron saint of Finland has mainly gone unquestioned. The reformation did not change his public fame, although it did end the saint's cult established by the medieval (Catholic) church. The practices to be halted included the pilgrimages to the site where the bishop was martyred. In recent years the Lutheran Church has expressed a growing interest in ecumenical relations across doctrinal differences, and Bishop Henrik has been adopted as a key symbolic figure in this process. Accordingly, the Church in Finland 850 Years celebrations in 2005 make Henrik one of the focal points of public attention. This paper deals with the narrative legacy of Bishop Henrik by mapping out the various competing arenas of discourse in which the narrated event has received value as symbolic capital. Yet, instead of focusing merely on heritage politics and questions of cultural ownership, the paper aims at discussing one of the fundamental concerns of folkloristic research: the dissemination and transmission of narratives. The methodological tool to be used in this is argumentation analysis.
In exploring mythico-religious representations in specific oral accounts, genre analysis has provided a major scholarly device by which vernacular systems of belief and practice have been systematized for description, comparison, and classification. Establishing a genre and distinguishing criteria for the inclusion of a specific oral account within its domain is dependent on the methodology by which 'folklore' is conceptualized. In the paper both realistic and nominal (or stipulative) definitions are discussed. Drawing conceptual understanding from the study of religion, "folklore" is approached as a nominal category, the contents of which are not determined by any single property inherent in the verbal or non-verbal expression. Instead, its conceptual contents derive from the context-dependent discourse in which 'folklore' is used. Ethical discourses on forests are employed to serve as a case in point. In Finnish as well as in any cultural setting in which forests play an important socio-economic role, the flora and the fauna of wilderness areas provides mythico-geographic landscape par excellence and narrative topoi for expressions of vernacular religiosity or vernacular sacrality. One can discern two levels of ethical discourse on forests in present-day Finland. Discourse by experts is strongly biased towards values placed on biodiversity and social sustainability of forests as a response to the forest industry, while lay discourse places value on the forest as a source of personal experience and recreation. The paper draws its empirical evidence of ethical discourses on forests from interviews carried out among private forest owners in the Lieksa province in Northern Karelia.
I am conducting research on the appearance of four classic fairy tales (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White) in the 16th-19th-century literature and in the 19th-20th-century folk narration. I have chosen these "feminine" fairy tales to examine the continuities and changes in the models of the ideal womanhood contained within them. As source material of folk fairy tales I have used texts recorded in Finland and Karelia.
The questions associated with my comparison between the literary and oral versions of the aforementioned classic fairy tales are linked to a number of theoretical discussions
1. Research history: How has the relationship between literary and oral traditions been addressed within the most important paradigms and theoretical debates of folkloristics in the 20th century?
2. Cultural history: How have political and ideological factors impacted the ways in which folk fairy tales became literary works in different centuries?
3. Perspectives from literary studies and media history, particularly the ethnography of reading and writing, as well as the history of books: How did written fairy tales spread to folk narrators? What was the nature of reading and writing abilities among the Finnish and Karelian masses?
4. Textualization and poetics: Some of my source materials are written recordings of oral presentations, while others were written down by the narrator him/herself, and still others were recorded on audiotape. Oral tradition also includes texts based on a literary fairy tale. Texts belonging to the literary fairy tale tradition can be the writer's own invention, a new written version of a literary fairy tale, or a written fairy tale based on oral narration. What sorts of different poetics appear in different textualization types?
5. Gender-related questions: the gender models and representations of the fairy tale texts, the influence of the narrators' gender.
I examine some of these questions using examples from the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast".
Alexandra Arkhipova & Artem Kozmin
The goal of research is to show dependences between a plot of a fairy tale and the social environment. The study is based on a plot of the fairy tale "The kind and unkind girls" (listed as Type 480 in Aarne-Thompson). It is most frequently called "Frau Holle" (printed by Grimm brothers, 1812, "Morozko" in Russia). We are studying the cross- cultural correlations between variants of this tale type (the whole list is 900 variants, decribed by Warren Roberts) and "Ethnographic Atlas" (compiled by George Murdock et al), the atlas describes more 1200 ethnic groups with 99 variables. Data on 51 groups (type of settlement, marriage, a role of agriculture, etc.) have been considered. Features of variants of the plot belonging to different ethnic groups were checked on correlations with the different social facts of these ethnic groups. It is revealed that such correlations are not numerous. There is a strong negative correlation between an element of a plot "physical transformation of the hero as reward" and type of religion. In strong monotheistic cultures physical transformation as reward is preferred. The second interesting result refers to the punishment of the false hero. He may be killed, on his head horns appear, from his mouth toads fall, he is covered by ulcers, etc. There is a strong enough (0,472) negative correlation between the cruelty of a punishment of the false hero and a role of gathering in a culture. No significant correlation was revealed. The received results show that social facts determine a termination of a fairy tale only. The fairy tale semantics is almost absolutely "impenetrable" for the social environment - everywhere, except for the end of a fairy tale, which is adopted on the contrary to the social reality.
The topic of this article is the interaction or dialogue of the traditional and individual in publicist and folkloristic works by Oskar Loorits, one of the most outstanding Estonian folklorists and national ideologists in the 20th century. First of all, it is a good example of the creation and systematic dissemination of the specific selection of signs from the nation's past, in order to build up the nation and support the national identity. The most significant scientific contribution of O. Loorits as a researcher and promoter was in the following subject areas: diachronic knowledge, myth creation through a detailed knowledge and understanding, as well as examination of history and heritage, unlike the signals in the present-day Estonian society, either coming from 'above' or 'scientifically' presented and being (or pretending to be) of strategic importance. As expected, O. Loorits diverts more or less consciously from professional concerns towards becoming an ideologist. Such a comprehensive reconstruction of 'sacred history' is a relatively rare phenomenon in the modern, so-called 'knowledge-based' society. We can say that the endeavours of O. Loorits at popular imaginations, both in the 20th century and present-day Estonia, have been successful. The continued self-determination of Estonians through nature worship and the concept of forest people among certain groups and debates would play central role in it.
Honolulu, Havaii, USA
Angela Carter's narrative triptych 'Ashputtle, or the Mother's Ghost' is a mise en abîme of the transformative magic of storytelling, in that it enacts the strategy of stepping right into a dead or worn fiction (the fairy tale as genre) to know it anew and to journey away from its popular topoi. Especially when cultures converge, such transformations can open up new paths. Nalo Hopkinson is a contemporary Caribbean Canadian author who rewrites folk and fairy tales in her 2001 short-story collection Skin Folk to denaturalizing and insightful effects. This presentation will focus on
(a) how Hopkinson's representations of gender, sexuality, and race work to regenerative effects by drawing on multiple folkloric traditions; and
(b) how her speculative fiction can be mapped in relation to the proliferation of fairy tales in contemporary media and literature.
Woman has permanently appeared as an eminent and essential element in forming the structure of Persian literature in past and present. For this investigation the literary sources could be divided into four categories: mythical, epic, classic, and folkloric. The mythical evidence indicates the extensive appearance and activeness of the Persian Goddesses alongside the masculine divine entities. The references signify their important roles and activities in creation as aids of the lord and their collaboration in both management and maintenance of the secular world and eternal existence. E.g. Sepandarmad is the goddess of earth and when the Premier Man, who is mankind's origin was put to death, Sepandarmad entrusted his seed. This particular function of the Goddess has introduced the term "mother earth" to Persian literature. In Persian national epic, the responsibilities of outstanding women are highly emphasized, such as: heroism, athleticism, attentiveness, conceptualism, advice giving, faithfulness and modesty. The women's images that appeared in Persian classical literary sources are notably different and mostly appeared as a beautiful entity who has the ability to stimulate desires and romantic sentiments. In this manner, their feminine characteristics are hired by the mystic writers as symbols to express their concepts to convey their messages to their followers, and explain their beliefs concerning the facts, reality, and love of the eternal divinity. Women have always had a vivid role in the field of folklore, both in producing as well as preserving and transmitting folkloric materials. Storytelling was a task of women and part of mothers' duty. Therefore, the image of women in Persian literature starts with the mythical features in the abode of heaven moving around in the chariot of sun; in classical literary sources, women are likened to the moon and in folklore, as bright and beautiful as the moon and as kind and sturdy as the earth.
This paper will draw heavily on Stanley Cavell's incursions into film and literature, particularly his studies on classic Hollywood remarriage comedies and Shakespearean comedies. One striking aspect about these that is pointed out by this philosopher is the fact that in the course of the protagonists' "pursuits of happiness", they are temporarily drawn out of their everyday environments and familiar conditions of existence into unknown parallel worlds, only to come back from them with a renewed wisdom or vision that confers upon them an increased awareness and lucidity regarding their habitual realms of existence. I would like to relate this to Vladimir Propp's notion that fairy tales involve a cyclical journey between the otherworld and this one - a continuous alternation between the natural and the supernatural, death and rejuvenation - in order to enquire into the persistence of underlying fairy tale structures in contemporary popular culture.
We talk, communicate, chat, speak, and make utterances - all these synonymous verbs signify verbal communication and mark the same action. The action may also be expressed by means of set expressions, or more precisely, phrases or idioms. Words, phrases and syntactic units, or the so-called microtexts are at our disposal. The issue may be also considered at another angle - namely, how short can a phrase be for it to preserve its contents? Compared to other short forms (proverbs, riddles), phrases are generally characterised as being shorter. It has been determined that the minimum length of a phrase is a combination of at least two fully semantic words. According to a common claim a phrase characterises a specific situation. Therefore, a phrase can only exist as a set expression in a context. Conceptualising phraseologisms, however, prompts the question of the 'obligatory' and 'facultative' constituents of a phraseologism, i.e. the issue of its form and, more importantly, of its defining. While discussing the motivation of phrasal expressions, scholars often refer to their opacity vs. transparency. But what would the ideal form be for which people possess sufficient background knowledge, including phraseological competence, which is required for understanding a given expression? What is the smallest number of words necessary for understanding an expression? Whether and to what extent can we find help in metalanguage framing a set phrase? The most serious disadvantage of the recording of Estonian phrases is the laconic accompanying comments or a lack of these. A comment may not even provide an answer as to why a phrase was used, since during the time of recording it was considered unnecessary to write it down. Another unavoidable question that may remain unanswered concerns the function of an expression. In the presentation I will discuss the issues related to the study of phrasal semantics on the example of set phrases connected with the image of talking, narration, words, etc. The discussion will rely on material from the database of Estonian phrases.
One of the distinctive features of "Bluebeard" tales is a party. The party or festive celebration may take place at any point in the tale and, sometimes, there may even be a succession of parties. In Perrault's "The Bluebeard", for instance, an extravagant week-long party serves to seduce a young woman into accepting the proposal of a wealthy gentleman despite his ill-omened beard and the mysterious disappearance of his previous wives. Subsequently, another party serves to punctuate the discourteously impetuous behaviour of the bride, who leaves her guests and rushes off to open the forbidden door. In the Grimms' "The Robber Bridegroom", by contrast, a wedding celebration held at the end of the tale provides the occasion for the public exposure of the villain. However, whether the convocation of guests be arranged to inaugurate, celebrate, or terminate a marriage, the bride of Bluebeard is often a hostess. Although the party motif has elicited little, if any, critical attention - perhaps because it is so patently an instrumental feature of the plot - Margaret Atwood is one close reader who has not overlooked it. Her rewriting of "Bluebeard" not only culminates in a social gathering but also absorbs and transforms several intertexts in which some party takes place. This intersection between Atwood's "Bluebeard's Egg" and its precursor texts is remarkable for two reasons. First, unlike the ever-popular "Cinderella" with its multiple balls, "Bluebeard" has acquired, mainly via its German literary inflections, an association with murderous assault in a closed familial setting rather than communal festivity. Second, the recurrence of the party motif is also unexpected given the wide variety of texts interpolated into Atwood's story. Her intertextual references range from classical Bluebeard Märchen to a little-known Canadian folk version and from Alan Alexander Milne's beloved children's book, Winnie-the-Pooh, to the modernism of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and Katherine Mansfield's "Bliss." Nevertheless, what brings all of these diverse "guests" together on this narrative occasion, as I propose to show, is a party consciousness.
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
In this talk I want to take a closer look at the nornir, who represent a notion of fate in Old Norse tradition, and some of the ways in which they compare to certain other supernatural female beings, notably the Old Norse goddess Frigg and the mother of Grendel in the Old English poem "Beowulf". Focusing on some of the most dominant features of these beings (their double-sided nature, combining a sinister aspect with a benign one) as well as some of the most widely accepted representations of the concept of fate (the idea that the nornir spin and that they lay down laws), I want to explore why it is so common to represent fate in feminine guise.
Riga , Latvia
This research began in the field of oral history. The rebirth of Latvia's independence in 1990/1991 created a need to revise the history of 20th century Latvia and to construct new cultural identities - a more complete history needs to make a room for a personal voice. But the oral life stories are much more than a unique and very individual personal experience or subjective representation of objective reality. Tellers include various events of their lives in a single story, making use of fairly significant variety of culture-based models, finding support in stable forms of genre - either in written sources or in oral culture (Tonkin 1992, Skultans 1998). The combination of nontraditional content - the teller's unique experience - and traditional aspects of form, style and function will be at the focus of analysis in this paper. At first, the paper outlines the theoretical and methodological principles of research. Secondly, it explores narrative genres in the personal experience stories about the Soviet period told in contemporary Latvia. The principles of narrative analysis are used. Narratives are analyzed as verbal structures, organized by rules of discourse, rooted in culturally defined modes of communication and closely tied with culturally available narratives and dominating discourses in the community. In telling one's own story, there is a need to move beyond personal life into the shared life of culture (Freeman 2002). In life-stories about the Soviet period we can see various genres: tragedy, anecdote, testimony, heroic saga, tale of adventure or humoresque. Examples of each genre will be provided, and the explanation of the cultural context which supports these personal choices of representation of experience will be given.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
For the last fifteen years, together with Professor Dov Noy, I have been working on an anthology of selected tales from the Israel Folktale Archives that by now includes more than 20,000 narrative texts. The encounter with such a quantity of tales, recorded from immigrants from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Near East, and North Africa reveals anew the centrality of storytelling, and requires once again that we seek to explain the importance of narrative beyond the functional, symbolic, and biological models that have been used for this purpose in the past.
Since the second half of the 20th century, new media of disseminating narration - such as records, cassette tapes and CDs - bring into much stronger focus the vital role played by narrators' voices in shaping narrative content and listening pleasure. The paper first assembles a brief history of narrative scholarships' (lack of) attention to the voice as medium of narration, drawing
1) from largely German tale and legend collectors' book prefaces and notes since the 19th century and
2) from the more recent ethnopoetic and performance centred scholarship (largely drawing on American material).
The paper then argues for the theoretical potential inherent in documenting the role of voice both in shaping or producing and appreciating the message. This difficult-to-describe medium with its gendered and age-based specificity opens connections to the ethnography of the senses, to questions of technology and narrative preservation and dissemination, as well as to the marketing of narrative and narrators.
Yuri E. Berezkin
St. Petersburg, Russia
Tales about the struggle between dwarfs and birds are widespread across Eurasia and the Americas. About half of them were known to Yrjö Toivonen (1937), but a large part of the American and some of the Asian materials remained beyond the scope of his research. The southernmost Eurasian version is from Nagaland. The closest parallels are between Ancient Greek, Fennoscandian, Chinese, Lower Amur and North American tales. In Eastern South America (Upper Xingu) dwarfs at the edge of the earth are replaced with the souls of the dead in the sky. Among 35,000 texts included into the author's electronic database, about 100 Eurasian, North and South American cases are relevant to the theme. Several motifs, partially overlapped and variously combined, reflect a unique set of cosmological ideas. Creatures different from (normal) human beings who live in a distant land fight with non-human enemies (birds, crabs, hares, etc.); man readily helps these creatures because for him their enemies are not dangerous; birds attack man who comes to the other world; migratory birds fly from our world to another one; at the boundary, sky is constantly moving in respect to earth or the opening leading to other world is narrow, many birds perish; there is a person at the passage to the other world who feeds on birds; the mistress of birds lives on the other side of the moving obstacle. The spread of this complex across all the New World allows us to date the corresponding ideas to the time of the initial peopling of the Americas (about 14,000 b.p.). The complex had taken its final shape in Northern Eurasia. The existence of South American versions and the absence of parallels in Australia and most of South and Southeast Asia (African materials are not still processed) is evidence in favor of historic connections between all known cases. Ecological factors are not sufficient to explain their independent emergence.
After the Second World War an intense period of modern housing construction started up in Sweden, which suddenly changed the circumstances of everyday life for a great number of the Swedish population. The tenants were offered flats equipped with central heating, kitchen with fridge and electric cooker, and bathroom with bathtub. These dwellings implied new experiences for everyone moving in. By ordering their things and forming new everyday routines and habits, people appropriated this new and unfamiliar space and made it one with their ongoing life. In this process of spatial organisation and routinisation new borderlines were drawn and new meanings were given to categories such as private-public, indoor-outdoor, home-outer world, male-female, work- leisure, us-other. Based on life story interviews with people who experienced these modern flats in their capacity as the first tenants, I will in this paper examine the spatiality of dwelling in everyday practice, with a focus on how private and public realms were created. At the mundane level of everyday life, people understand themselves as the centre of the world, which they group around the self in layers of various degrees of intimacy and anonymity. In this perspective, with influences from phenomenology, I will discuss how people through their own bodies in interaction with things and consociates both delimited and positioned themselves in connection with a wider world, how they established a relationship between private and public domains.
Losing one's way as an emotional event remains in one's active memory for a long while. People may brightly remember the tiniest details even decades after the event. On one hand such experiences are individual and unique; on the other hand despite the individuality and uniqueness these narratives are obviously similar to Latvian legends of the demonic spirit called vad@t@js 'the one who misleads people'. The role of the forest was absolutely significant in the rural society since its resources shaped a considerable proportion of the peasants' menu. Furthermore, it was used for pasture, firewood and as a walkway to get from one village to another, thus people needed to visit the forest frequently and in all seasons. Despite the fact that the significance of the forest has been lessened in modern society since the largest part of the population lives in urban areas, stories about persons lost in the forest/swamp/city are still a current issue and are frequently narrated. The research is based on two types of material - firstly, legends about people misled by the demonic spirit vad@t@js written down from the end of the 19th century till the middle of the 20th century and, secondly, field recordings done in recent years in Latvia. The research shows that contemporary stories about people lost in the forest/swamp have a great similarity to legends about vad@t@js in spite of many of them being told as personal experience stories. In this paper the most frequently met concepts and interpretations in Latvian stories of losing one's way are analyzed, and both types of materials are compared outlining the similarities and differences between them.
Josephus Flavius (37/38 - c. 100) tells about the prodigies occurring before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. A star resembling a sword was seen, a comet appeared, a bright light shone in the temple, a massive temple door opened by itself, armies were seen in the skies and a voice was heard in the temple, speaking about leaving the city. A man ran like mad through Jerusalem, constantly crying "Woe to Jerusalem!", until he was killed by a Roman projectile (The Jewish War, VI, 5, 3). Josephus' work was known during the Middle Ages, but the episodes in question gained a much wider circulation after the Reformation by being included in an appendix to Johannes Bugenhagen's diatesseron which was printed very frequently from 1524 onwards. The appendix (Die Verstörung Jerusalem vnd der Jüden) was first added in 1534 and was included in most of later editions. It came to be translated into practically all languages used in Lutheran churches. Also many editions of hymnals and other Lutheran handbooks contained Bugenhagen's diatesseron and the appendix. In many territories, the appendix was read regularly in church, normally on the tenth Sunday after Trinity - a rare honour for a non-biblical text. The appendix thus quickly gained authoritative status as the extra-biblical example par excellence of God's warnings to His unrepentant people before pouring out His wrath. Given the wide dissemination of the text, it comes as no surprise that it was among the first to be translated into Estonian and Latvian. Despite the common source, however, the versions used in the different Lutheran countries were not uniform. My presentation will study some variants of this folklore spread through reading and the pulpit.
Anil Kumar Boro
Guwahati, Assam, India
The Bodos, like other ethnic groups of North-east India, have retained a good stock of mythical narratives about the creation of the world, of the origin of living beings, of the origin of forms of worship and related rituals and the presiding deities of their traditional religion. These mythical narratives can be considered as strategies for negotiating any possible threat of disintegration in the context of culture contact besides providing strong support as the authority of tradition. These narratives extant in the oral tradition have, however, been influenced and some times nourished by pan-Indian written tradition, very often identified as 'great' or classical tradition. Many gods and goddesses of Bodo native religion and mythical narratives have been linked to Hindu gods and goddesses, revealing intercultural communication of these Indo-mongoloid people with the other groups of people. While many of these narratives reveal features of intercultural communication, there are other narratives which contain rejection of the dominant Hindu culture and contest. The mythical narratives in the oral tradition are now being reshaped and invented to fit into ethnicity discourse of the tribal movement.
Ruth B. Bottigheimer
New York, USA
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a set of "laws" governing the genesis and transmission of folk narra tive was formulated. These laws made no distinction between the many small genres traditionally included in folk narrative. Instead, they claimed that all folk narratives - whether fairy tales, tales about fairies, etiologies, riddles, folk tales, or any one of their many narrative relatives - were subject to the same laws. In contrast, it is my contention that fairy tales and tales about fairies have a non-oral history; that these genres were created for and disseminated to a literate audience beginning in the age of print; that we can chart their emergence in the Renaissance and can identify their late Renaissance reshaping by the Venetian Giovanfrancesco Straparola, their narrative expansion by the seventeenth-century Neapolitan Giambattista Basile, their re-use and refinement by late seventeenth-century French authors, their transportation from France to Germany in three waves (as documented by Manfred Grätz), and their incorporation into the Grimm collection from 1807 to 1857. Absences and presences provide the basis for asserting that fairy tales and tales about fairies have a unique print and not oral history within the corpus of folk narrative:
1) the absence of unambiguous documentation of fairy tales in a purely oral context;
2) the evident formation of the genre from the 1470s onward;
3) the genre's early seventeenth-century insertion of Ovidian elements;
4) evidence of Perrault's and others' direct utilization of Straparola's and Basile's books in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century;
5) the obvious eighteenth-century textual genealogy of many of the Grimms' fairy tales and tales about fairies.
Together these observations suggest that fairy tales and tales about fairies stand outside the laws of folk narrative. Those laws may well explain the genesis and dissemination of other genres within folk narrative, but they do not apply to fairy tales and tales about fairies. The logical conclusion is that the laws of folk narrative are improperly used when they are applied to theoretical treatments and analyses of fairy tales and tales about fairies.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
This paper explores the role of Celtic myth - and myths about 'Celticity' - in vernacular religion and contemporary spirituality in Glastonbury, in the southwest of England. Glastonbury, best known in the 20th century as a centre of contemporary spirituality and religious experimentation, has long been connected in vernacular tradition and religion with Celtic myth. Some claim that Glastonbury is Avalon, where King Arthur was taken for healing after his last battle, and where he lies sleeping until some time of great national emergency. Some regard Glastonbury as a bastion of Celtic Christianity, connected in legend with saints such as David, Patrick, and Bridget. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, the Celts (variously envisaged and defined) increasingly became regarded as Britain's noble savages in alternative circles, and 'Celtic spirituality' (understood in myriad ways) was hailed as Britain's 'indigenous religion'. Glastonbury's Celtic connections were exploited in relation to alternative spirituality in a variety of ways, perhaps most noticeably in the elevation of Arthur as the quintessential New Age hero, the icon of the individual spiritual quest. However, Arthur's position has been undermined in recent years by the increased confidence and profile of Goddess Spirituality in Glastonbury, and the promotion of another Celt, St. Bridget - widely regarded as a Christianised form of the Goddess Bridie. The ways in which Celtic myth has been utilised in relation to different forms of historical and contemporary religion, and the manner in which Arthur has been eclipsed by Bridget in Glastonbury in recent years, provide striking examples of changing trends in contemporary spirituality and the importance of vernacular culture and religion in our understanding of 21st century religiosity.
One of the lesser supernatural beings in the traditional Danish belief system is the Ghost Horse, often called in Danish "Helhesten". The Ghost Horse is often sighted at night in a village cemetery foreboding someone's death. Apart from its ghostlike appearance it may have as a special trait that it has only three legs or that it has glowing eyes. In the Danish tradition, however, Christmas mumming has also taken the form of a horse-like creature, a covered up person carrying a stick with some kind of horse head on one end. For some intriguing reason a number of references to this "Hobbyhorse" takes on characteristics known from the Ghost Horse. In the recordings on masking the horse-like figure is never called a Helhest. But on the other side the way it attracts a supernatural horse seems to indicate a connection. Is it better to regard the recordings as folk life description or to see them as folk belief legends? The paper will investigate this polymorph tradition from a number of viewpoints.
Charles L. Briggs
Berkeley, California, USA
This paper explores the traditionalization of narrative vis-à-vis a new theory that analyzes the power of ideologies of communication-situated ideas about how knowledge is produced, turned into discourse (entextualized), transported between contexts (de/recontextualized), and received. These imaginations produce subjectivities, organize them hierarchically, and recruit people to occupy them. Hegemonic ideologies often envision the communication of "modern" discourse as a unilinear, unidirectional process in which messages are produced by experts; circulated by newspapers, the Internet, etc.; and received by "the public". Although discursive practices are too complex to be adequately characterized by them, these ideologies exert crucial political-economic and social effects. Modernity and the status of the modern subject have been defined since the seventeenth century both in terms of "modern" spheres of communicability and by projecting its opposite - "traditional" communication. One way that cultural forms, populations, sites, epistemologies, and social relations get branded as being premodern is by projecting traditional spheres of communicability that purportedly operate in an anti-modern fashion: generated by an anonymous public, orally transmitted, and sent in unilinear fashion to experts, such as folklorists. By way of illustration, indigenous Venezuelans used traditional narrative forms in making sense of a cholera epidemic that killed some 500 people. Public health officials, politicians, and reporters constructed "modern" narratives that blamed the epidemic on indigenous culture, placing their narratives within a modern, scientific sphere of communicability, and characterizing indigenous stories as operating within a sphere of communicability organized by ignorance, superstition, and irrationality. Alternative narratives that drew attention to institutional racism, global commerce, and environmental degradation were thereby systematically excluded from public spheres that defined themselves on the basis of dominant spheres of communicability.
The comparative study of repeated performances of prose narratives in traditional occupations provides good evidence of the mode of life of prose tradition. A century ago, a large number of folk prose narrative transcriptions was collected in the Ukrainian village Ploske, and published by O. Malynka in 1902 (Sbornik Materialov po Malorusskomu fol'kloru). This collection was the starting point for contemporary fieldwork in Ploske from 1994 to 2004. Transcriptions of video and audio recordings of numerous performances were published by O. Britsyna and I. Golovakha-Hicks (Prose Folklore of Ploske, a Village in Chernihivshchyna (Texts and Research), 2004). A lot of repeated performances were also recorded in other traditional occupations in the different regions of Ukraine during the last 25 years. The same narrator's repeated performances were recorded within different intervals and in different communicative contexts. These transcriptions were compared with the recorded performances of their "pupils" - bearers who inherited their traditional knowledge from their "teachers". The repeated performances are usually marked by textual dependence, mirroring the memory of tradition and its chronological depth. Transcribed oral texts have a lot of common features. The comparative study of these recordings leads to some conclusions about the nature of the oral prose tradition, which is a fundamental basis for the narrator's activity. Contemporary performers re-create texts relying upon traditional knowledge's demands and limits, and upon the communicative context. Special attention in the paper is paid keywords accompanied by more-or-less stable nonverbal elements of the orally performed text. They manifest them selves variably, and may be regarded as concepts. Keywords are an essential part of traditional performer's competence, which has verbal, non-verbal and semantic dimensions.
By "negative legends" we mean here those numerous folk narratives, which employ the typical features and narrative strategies used by traditional belief legends, yet are told in order to discredit the contents of such legends. Such stories would initially seem to be depicting certain supernormal experiences; the legend-like qualities of special time, place, etc. seem to be even more pronounced here than in some "true" legends, creating an impression of something extraordinary about to happen. But usually there is some overly simple or even absurd and comical explanation of the situation attached to the end (e.g. the depicted events take place at night, in the proximity of the graveyard; the human being encounters certain mysterious, supernatural phenomena, gets scared and takes flight etc., only to discover afterwards that there was some stump of tree or one's own shadow that one mistook for a ghost; the deceased seen at the cemetery chapel appears to be a late traveller seeking shelter from the rain or a local prankster attempting to scare and make fun of others, and so on). These stories closely resemble belief legends, except for a distinctive "negative sign" added in the end. Some researchers define them as negative legends or anti-legends; others do not consider them to qualify as belief legends at all. Closer scrutiny of the archived data revealed that almost all the popular types of Lithuanian belief legends have their "opposites", told in the negative vein. Moreover, these stories clearly enjoy extreme popularity, reflecting the actual folk belief situation in the community at the time of recording, the changes and shifts taking place in the folk worldview and mentality (sometimes even allowing us to catch the very moment when the formerly well-established belief in the supernatural phenomena is shaken in the human mind). In our view, these texts present the results of the natural development of the belief legends, at the same time testifying to the vitality of the genre itself. Many of the Lithuanian negative legends clearly gravitate towards didactical stories, anecdotes, and so on. In some cases, the same event is told from different perspectives (including both the haunted and the "ghost"), thus questioning the veracity of the belief itself.
The paper is based on fieldwork carried out among the suburban fishing community of Mangaïsala in 1992-2000. It deals with oral history from a folklorist's perspective and emphasizes the narrator's role in creating a story during performance. The narrative repertoires of Mangaïsala inhabitants contain a story about the first 19 landowners of the village. The knowledge of local history is a common resource for all members of the community, yet it is exploited differently. It can be either included in storytelling repertoire or left aside. The stories vary in length and plot; they contain different facts. Past events are interpreted from diverse perspectives and receive competing evaluations when people try link their own lives to the history of the place. Some informants present their knowledge in a form of a legend, some remember and use only a local saying which is believed to be handed down from the mouths of the legendary first landowners.
Ethnographic interviewing as part of research into Irish Neo-Paganism has resulted in a corpus of personal spiritual experience narratives. This paper involves an examination of these narratives as a means of gaining insight into 'lived experience' of Neo-Paganism. During interviews, informants expressed subjective experiences or explained something by way of an example of some significant event that occurred. Many informants hold strong beliefs in magical or spiritual energies and analysis of their narratives reveal that, for some individuals, perception of reality may be guided by a magical worldview such that certain events may be interpreted as having mystical or supernatural foundations. It must be kept in mind that spiritual experience is quite difficult to express by verbal means. However, the language of Neo-Paganism contains common motifs and shared significance and analysing the verbal narratives can give us some insight Neo-Pagan belief-systems. It must also be stated that spiritual life and the interpretation of it remains in the domain of individual experience and that the analysis of select extracts of personal spiritual experience narrative is an endeavour to provide an understanding of Neo-Pagan worldview and is not an attempt to either verify or repudiate the events under discussion. In this paper I also explore psychologist Stanley Krippner's notion of "personal mythology" and how individuals map their inner world and make sense of personal life events and circumstances by recourse to personal myths. "Personal myth" is evident in examination of personal narratives and aids in gaining an understanding of the identities of individual Neo-Pagans and of establishing the kind of "foundation myths" that inform the Irish Neo-Pagan community.
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hertsogovina
This paper deals with the identification of the style of oral magic tales through the process of narration in three Bosnian tales - a style that can be identified as compressed narration. Two of the tales were recorded on tape in the 1960s in Zepa near Rogatica; the third was dictated in the late 19th or early 20th century and apparently somewhat edited by the note-taker. The process of compressed narration (in the story) follows the rules of oral literature, relying on memory; memory retains that which is symbolic and significant, and as such is captured in the compressed version. Static images are remembered, and are transmissible because of their mythic content, in the shape of fantasies forming the fabric of the narrative. This is the precise subject of analysis in the selected examples. Mythic content derives from myths and, studies to date indicate, is expressed as images located in the mind of and interpreted by individuals. The structure of these three magic tales, determined by the poetics of orality, thus comprises predictable elements, which transmit in static images what is expected of them, in line with the norms of tradition. The magic of the narrator's words leads one into another world, an anti-universe. The narrator, structurally imitating the hero's long quest, lives through the duration with him, finally to return where they belong. My purpose is to indicate differences and similarities in compression as a stylistic compositional constant of orality, both in the domain of oral tales in general and in the recitation of these three tales. My attention will focus on the relationship between the tales authentically recorded on tape and the tale edited in the late 19th or early 20th century.
The changing patterns of Indian proverbs are very much reflected in various literary creations, especially in modern Indian poetry. Indeed, it is mostly expressed in a style of poetic narration called 'Lokaabharan'. The central message of a proverb is often conveyed with a subtle touch of poetic imagination in a different linguistic device. The changing pattern of the proverbs in relation to their language used and central message needs to be examined from the view-point of folk-narrative research. The present paper examines some major Indian proverbs used in modern Bengali poetry as expressed in a definite and creative style of 'Lokaabharan'. It also compares and contrasts Indian proverbs and their poetic usages in modern poetry. It further highlights how and why folk-wisdom plays a central role in the creative imagination of a modern poet.
Key words: Return migration and biographical methods, qualitative research, oral history, life stories, oral and written narratives, interdisciplinarity, positionality and ethics, critical ethnography and interpretative human geography.
This paper will focus primarily on the epistemological-interdisciplinary perspectives, ethical considerations and methodological difficulties encountered during the fieldwork study for my PhD thesis. The issues that emerged throughout the research design and implementation (data collection and analysis) will be addressed, assessed, analyzed and interpreted. I intend to draw on my own experiences in the field and reflect on the research process and outcome. In addition to offering some insight into the research process, the epistemologies and methodologies employed as well as the debates surrounding interdisciplinarity, I hope through these examples to engage the complexity of everyday life and to deconstruct meaning from that. In highlighting those contexts of everyday life, we can draw means of utilizing prevailing paradigms as a means of understanding reality. Additionally, I will explore the 'insider'-'outsider' issue in social science research and the substance of methodological approaches that are collaborative and non-exploitative, those seeking to diminish unequal power relations between researchers and researched. Subsequently the paper will seek to address ethical questions and moral considerations in research and the politics of knowledge construction. I hope to open up a dialogue between researchers and researched both about the challenges faced in interpreting the lives of others and about the responsibilities of the researcher in doing so. Primarily because the production of situated knowledge is shared knowledge, open to further critique and questioning. The use of biographical methods and life history in human geography and migration studies is a multi-faceted channel of challenging boundaries, redefining reflexivity and illuminating the interplay of structure and agency. The cross-fertilization of such methods provides the necessary tools to focus on social and cultural transformations of both collectivities as well as individuals which are conceived as subjective meaning framed by historical, social, political and cultural factors. Thus, a multiplicity of boundary challenges emerges: cross-inter-multi-disciplinary considerations, illuminations of self and other, homeland and hostland, identity and memory, longing and belonging, place and space, home-ness and alienation, ethnicity and nationalism, gender and power, class and culture.
Cana of Galille, Israel
The goal of this presentation is to expound the concept of place-names as reflected in the tradition of the Galilee Arabs, in an attempt to deduce their spatial perceptions. Researchers in the fields of Geography (Miller 2000, Berleant-Shiler 1991), anthropology and folklore (Basso 1988, Slyomovics 1998) have extolled the value of studying indigenous names and traditions. These researchers and others agree that this research method produces hypotheses in the field of toponomy (the discipline of geographical names), sheds light on the meaning of the name and the way in which it was given, and exposes the spatial perceptions of the indigenous society. Based on these approaches, it would be possible to assume that reading the folklore stories could lead to:
A. Cultural interpretation of the names and the motives that have structured them.
B. Knowledge about the manner and circumstances in which these names were given.
C. Knowledge about the sense of territoriality.
These assumptions will be examined through the meanings underlying the names of two villages as they emerge from four stories. The method of analysis focuses on two levels: the reasons for the name (as suggested by Steawart 1970) and the structure of the place (as suggested by Daraze 1993). The spatial areas will be examined, based on Jason's typology (1975). However, beyond the taxonomy, I intend to discuss the inter-spatial relationships and their role at the narrative level. Space is also a cultural product (Parmenter 1994, Azariaho 2000), and accordingly the structured and designed space, as reflected by names, will be examined. This discussion might lead to a suggestion favouring the spatial split in legend as a result of a cultural position, not only as a purely geographical aspect. The discussed names are supported, in part, with more than a story. Presentation of the texts on a paradigmatic axis (based on Jakobson) allows us to see the "named" village as a place composed of a fabric of places, in which the establishment of each place imparts to the village a unique spatial-Semitic identity. In addition, I intend to discuss the literary characters appearing in the name formation, their types (similar to Noy's method with Jewish legends, 1967), and their characterization according to Rimmon-Kenan (1984).
Manuel T. Dannemann
This communication proceeds from my experience as auditor of the folktales in narration events, occasions when oral stories of reciprocate property and strong animical and social cohesion are practiced. In these narrative sessions, I have distinguished eight classes of folktales: joke tales, riddle tales, of animals, of advice, of formula, fairy tales, roguish tales and religious tales. The wonderfulness is known by their tellers as magic, performing to adventure and even lies. It can be said that in all these classes there is a major or minor grade of wonderfulness, understood as a condition that allows to evade and obtain an effect of fascination. Together with wonderfulness, there are two other factors in all the classes: the first is functionality and the second, narrativity. These constitute three instruments for researching in folktales. The first is mainly qualitative, showing general didactical and entertaining purposes in all the classes; on the other hand the particulars of satirical, ludic or religious character. The factor of narrativity is more quantitative than qualitative, concerned with the structure of the story development; it can exist in an upper, medium, or low grade. Wonderfulness is likewise more quantitative than qualitative and can also answer to these three grades. It must be recognized that the class of the denominated wonderfulness tale is the most complex and rich in its fabulous quality with the participation of magic characters and objects that more intensively oppose fiction to verisimilitude. The wonderfulness, that culminates in this class, appears in all classes of tales of Stith Thompson Index. The folktales enter into other times, and other spaces, into the world of wonderfulness. Without this step perhaps the folk narrative would not exist at least as we know it now, because the future of culture is still unpredictable.
Umesh Deka & Geeta Deka
Guwahati, Asam, India
North-East India is comprised of such large varieties of human population that one just cannot help wondering at the structure of such a complex and diverse demography. From this point of view this area could be considered as an anthropological as well as cultural museum. The most prominent feature of this museum is that it is a cultural repertoire of the Indo-Mongoloid stock. And it is in this tract of India that Indo-Mongoloid elements are present in their largest numbers. The ethnic variety of the area is most complex in India. There are over two hundred recorded tribes here, and its non-tribal population contains a rich variety of ethnic groups as well. The cultural landscape of North-East India is characterised by several ethnic groups whose social response, with varying degrees of differences emanates from an ethnic value system. If the people of these diverse cultural and ethnic groups along with their festivals and rituals which they practiced are studied properly, one can easily realise their interpersonal relationships as well as their integral attitude. The North-East culture has been found to be varied in nature and broad in perspectives. Different ethnic groups lead different ways of life, while keeping their own identity. Assam is the central part of the NE India and the inhabitants of the area have been formed by the variety of tribes. Among them Assamese, Boro, Rabha, Karbi, Missing, Deuri-Chutia, Dimacha etc. These tribal groups have their own ethnic identity and different agricultural and religious festivals. It may be noted that though the diverse elements have been noticed among these festivals, common and integral characteristics played a dominant role in regard to the songs, dances and rituals. Among these festivals Bihu, Baisagu, Samankan, Ali-ai-lrigang, and Fat-Bihu etc. are most prominent. These festivals are considered national, and the songs and dances connected with these marked the harmony and integrity as well as it expressed emotional feelings, hopes and aspirations, love and affections. On the other hand, socio-cultural and socio-economic aspects of those tribal societies have been reflected very nicely through their festivals. The main objectives of this paper are to go through the various agricultural and religious festivals observed by the different Northeastern Tribal groups and to show their interwoven cultural relations, which lead to integration among the diverse groups in the North-East India.
The presentation intends to investigate mobile communication as a medium of conveying folklore texts, as well as the folklore-like features of the messages (SMS) sent via mobile communication. Mobile phones in Hungary emerged in the 1990s, at first as symbols of prestige; later they have become widespread practical mass products. Short message sending service belongs to secondary or electronic literacy, which in contemporary practice of communication is almost as popular as e-mail correspondence. In Hungarian practice three levels of SMS can be distinguished:
(1) It can be interpreted as a service, in this case it signifies the device of communication
(2) In Hungarian SMS also means the sent or received message itself, thus SMS stands for texts sent via mobile phones
(3) Certain SMS texts occasionally constitute folklore genres as well.
The preliminary issues and problems of a related textual analysis from a folkloristic aspect are as follows: What well-known folklore genres emerge in SMS texts? What is the relationship of these genres to traditional folklore genres? What sort of changes do traditional genres undergo when emerging in this new form and medium? Are there any new genres, and in case of an affirmative answer, in what respect do these genres differ from traditional ones? The corpus of texts on which the research project is based consists of three types of text collections. The first collection is made up of actually sent messages. In the past four years I have recorded more than one hundred folklore-like SMS texts. The second collection is constituted of such handwritten collections of SMS texts that Hungarian pupils of secondary schools use as diaries or keepsake albums. The third part of the corpus was collected among pupils of secondary schools in the framework of a sociological research, which eventually provided almost two hundred folklore-like SMS texts. As the analysis has pointed out, in practice SMS does not signify one genre, since the practically used SMS corpus is constituted by heterogeneous texts, among which folklore-like and non-folklore texts can also be found. Some of the SMS texts can be assigned to the traditional types of folklore genres (e.g. jokes, proverbs, greetings in rhyme related to festive occasions), whereas other texts such as funny-tricky texts or reduced chain letters comprising only the initial and closure units seem to refer to new genres.
Folk literature is different from written literature, for written literature is a kind of art of written language. Folk literature is a kind of living literature with the character of being stereoscopic. The stereoscopic character of folk literature is represented in four aspects:
1. Folk literature is a kind of performance. While telling stories, the narrators' facial expressions, body movements and hand gestures are also part of the story-telling. The music of folk songs, the body movements of games, the rituals of ceremonies are also very important. Thus we should concentrate not only on the texts, but also on the performance.
2. Folk literature is a kind of practical art. It has many social functions. While collecting texts, we should also pay attention to their social functions.
3. One of the characters of folk literature is that it has variants. We should collect all the variants of a text, and then we can study it as a whole.
4. We should also pay attention to the aesthetics of folk literature. One of the main characters of folk literature is its aesthetics.
Memorate is a genre-analytical term, which in recent decades has been established to mean a narrative about a supernatural experience of the narrator him/herself, or a person that he/she knows. In research into popular beliefs that have benefited from folkloristic materials, the memorate has been considered to be of particular value in getting a grip on the "living core" of popular religion. My argument, however, is that the purpose of telling about one's own or other people's supernatural experiences is not always to prove the real existence of the supernatural world. There may be several functions in the community for relating stories genre-analytically defined as memorates. Supernatural experiences can be narrated purely for the sake of passing the time, or from a pedagogical or strictly humorous point of view. Memorates can also be used as a means of testing the listener's gullibility, commenting on social relations, or displaying the narrator's creative skills in traditional storytelling. This fact does not exclude the possibility of firm belief in the supernatural. In the context of the River Sámi narrative tradition these different uses of memorate-form narratives are evident. Two indigenous narrative genres, muihtalus (reminiscence, true story) and máinnas (legend, tale, amusing story) both to some degree fit to the scholarly definition of memorate. Yet, in many cases there is a quite clear contradiction between the form of the narratives, on the one hand, and the functions and uses of them, on the other hand. In my presentation, taking examples from the River Sámi tradition of the upper Teno River on the border between Finland and Norway, I will demonstrate how realistic and fantastic elements are utilized in narratives about supernatural experiences. Skilful narrators may creatively mix up traditional narrative motifs and motifs invented by themselves, report true as well as made-up events, and quite freely expand the boundaries of the realistic world. Thus, in narrating and listening to stories about encountering the supernatural, there is often an interplay going on between fact and fiction.
Larisa Fialkova & Maria N. Yelenevskaya
Citizens of the former Soviet Union, although brought up in a totalitarian state, were not law-abiding by conviction. For Russians justice is more important than truth. The law is seen as an instrument, often immoral at that, used by the state against an individual. So juggling it was considered to be both moral and appropriate. Ries, who studied contemporary Russian speech genres, identifies a genre of male mischief stories. These can be divided into two groups: stories aimed at depicting the narrator's boldness, courage, and wit, examples of what is known in Russia as "hussar behaviour" and trickster stories. In our opinion mischief stories are popular among males and females alike, though dominant themes differ in their narratives: while males brag about drinking, womanizing, and fighting adventures, female stories deal with seduction and taming of husbands and mothers-in-law. In addition, both sexes excel in telling stories about outwitting "the system" and circumventing the law. Immigration produced new types of mischief stories, first of all about faking documents, deceiving customs and emigrating without obtaining close relatives' consent. Thus in our sample mischief stories are of the trickster type. The change of the country has not led to a change of strategies. Stories about white collar crimes remain popular and have entered the repertoire of immigrants' folklore. The material of this presentation has been drawn from face-to-face interviews with immigrants to Israel from the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Karelia has always been a place of utopias and dreams in Finland. The images that we have of this area tend to originate in national projects and Karelianism. Therefore the word Karelia without any further specification creates homogeneity. Karelia was divided between the two states, Finland and the Soviet Union since Finland gained independence in 1917. The Karelian Isthmus belonged to Finland until 1939. After World War II a total of 430,000 evacuees, 407,000 of whom were Karelians, were resettled in different parts of Finland. In the presentation the researcher notes that there is a need for a critical analysis within comparative religion and cultural studies in general, because Karelianism has left a permanent mark in the collections of Finnish folklore archives and in research on Karelia. We are currently living in a kind of revival of Karelianism, and, in addition to this, the images and memories of Karelia have undergone constant change in the course of the past 80 years. Karelia as a Place of Memories and Utopias is a project that studies the memories of the Karelian Isthmus that Finns who evacuated the area during World War II have. The project concentrates particularly on those memories that evacuees who have come from the Karelian Isthmus possess. The aim of my presentation in Tartu is to find, construct and analyse the different ways in which the past is remembered and ritualised, the experiences of different generations of Karelia, and the phenomenon of "new Karelianism". Karelia is not just an abstraction but a place of memories and utopias for Karelian evacuees. Their utopias are different from those of supporters of Karelianism because of their misery and dreams about going back to a home that exists only in their memories. Karelia is also a meaningful place for the construction of identity within different generations. It is a place where Karelian refugees and their children and children's children as well as the cohabitants in the new hometowns of the evacuees (ritually) visit again and again.
If we take a close look at representations of the male body in popular culture since the 1990s, the famous phrase by John Berger "Men look at women, and women watch themselves being looked at" doesn't seem quite right anymore. For not only in the visual media, but also in popular literature, male bodies are presented in increasingly eroticised ways, which extend them to female gaze and female desire. This shift, this "disruption of conventional patterns of looking," as Rosalind Gill puts it, and the representation of maleness in popular culture and everyday life in general, has attracted much scholarly attention in the last years. While comics, magazines, films, adverts, romances etc. have already been taken into consideration, women's crime novels - which have been booming on the international book market for the last two decades (and which are defined by disruptions of conventional patterns, among other things) - are still to be examined closely in this respect. In my paper, I shall argue that eroticised representations of the male body are not only a striking feature of many women's crime novels, but that erotic fantasies, triggered by those representations, build the very backbone of the genre’s constitutive suspense in some of the best-selling texts.
How does the move from a Diaspora community to Israel influence the status of women? Does religious attachment to the ancestral homeland enhance or weaken their standing? I shall touch upon these questions by referring to the condition of Jewish women in various communities outside of Israel, while focusing on that of women in the Jewish community of Zakho, Kurdistan. Most of the information has been gleaned from personal narratives. The community of Zakho served as a spiritual and religious centre for Jewish communities in the northern mountain region of Kurdistan. Observance of tradition was characteristic of the lifestyle of the community, which underwent very few changes. The family structure was patriarchal, with the entire extended family living under the same roof, whereas the women were housekeepers and responsible for the education of the girls and the male children until a certain age. Changes in the status of women came about when they fully identified with collective communal values, such as religious attachment to Eretz Israel, in general, and to Jerusalem, in particular. Such values were particularly characteristic of male society and the religious leadership of the community, and were acquired through prayer and the study of homiletic interpretations of the Bible. Zakho's Jewish women, who were not present during the prayers, absorbed these values in a roundabout way. In certain cases they even took the lead in their realization, perhaps as a means of self-expression or out of a covert hope to better their condition. Examples of such changes in the status of women in Zakho can be found in stories of pilgrimages to holy sites in Kurdistan, which served as a substitute for Eretz Israel. The women played leading roles in these pilgrimages, at times forcing their participation upon the menfolk. Feminine leadership in Zakho is also reflected as they took care of the funds collected in charity boxes; They influenced the decision to emigrate to Eretz Israel and there were those who took matters in hand and solved problems when convoys of immigrants ran into difficulties on the way. Personal narratives of the absorption of Kurdistani immigrants in Israel, after the establishment of the state in 1948, bring to light stories of women who fought for the right to advance themselves by means of education. Thus, the change in status of Kurdistani Jewish women began prior to their immigration to Eretz Israel, while in the State of Israel they gradually consolidated their status on an equal standing with men.
Demonological legends are one of Ukrainian folklore's most common and ancient prosaic genres. Today, this tradition is as alive and active as a century ago. Our research in the village Ploske in Chernihivshyna, for example, showed that more demonological plots are involved in oral transmission today than a century ago in the same village. Active bearers of this tradition are present in both traditional agricultural communities and contemporary urban communities. At the same time, this is a genre which Ukrainian folklorists have not analyzed deeply enough. First epic genres and then tales took attention away from demonological legends, over the last 140 years. But regardless of this relative lack of research, demonological legends endured and have been inherited by the newest generation, our contemporaries. As a result, we have in our hands unique material for comparative analyses of demonological narrative life over the last century. In the contemporary world, even among the most educated and technically minded humans, the ancient beliefs in witches, witchcraft, ghosts, dead souls, sorcery, and their influence on human life are as important as they were in the lives of our ancestors. This is why demonological legends allow us not only to analyze the life of certain narrations but also to understand the traditional world view of their bearers. Texts themselves become a bridge to the traditionally-oriented minds of the people who live in contemporary folk communities. The widespread of demonological beliefs among urbanized people tells us that, in contemporary Ukraine, the spiritual, cultural and economical connections between city and village are very tight, and that traditional agricultural life influences urban life more efficiently then urbanization influences traditional communities.
In Hungarian variants of some folk fairy tale types (especially AaTh 315, 707, 725) the operation of a peculiar dream narrative can be observed: the characters of the tale purposefully use an embedded dream narrative to communicate information. The agent of knowledge conveys information to a mediating person and in doing so (s)he also orders/governs that when the mediator conveys information to the actual addressee (recipient), the mediator must explain the origin of the conveyed knowledge to the recipient by referring to a fictional dream vision: as if the mediator had had a dream and would have gained information in dream. The mediator in these tales always accepts this proposal and when telling the information to the recipient, (s)he conceals the real source of information and substitutes it with a generally available and uncontrollable source of knowledge as (s)he claims that it has been provided for him/her in a dream. The recipient, having understood the information conveyed in this manner, sets out to perform an action as these sets of information in most cases are about some absent or missing objects or persons, which/whom the recipient should obtain. The presentation intends to investigate these as-if (emphatically fictional) dream narratives and tries to answer a very simple question: why is it necessary (if it is necessary at all) to use these as-if dream narratives in these fairy tales? According to my presumption these special dream narratives belong to the Proppian category of those auxiliary elements that link morphological functions, because their basic narrative role is to distribute information in the frame narrative, which information makes it possible for the characters to act. As is well-known, distribution of information as an essential condition to induce action is of crucial importance in any narrative (and especially in those classical narrative genres in which these two are very strongly interrelated, i.e in folk fairy tales and e.g. in detective stories). Since Vladimir Propp enlists several variants of the category of auxiliary elements linking functions (e.g. speaking animals, overhearing of a chat, letter, slander, boasting, acoustic and visual information/signs), the examination of narrative solutions that are functionally equivalent with embedded as-if dream narratives may promote another answer to the abovementioned question.
The central theme of the present conference is Narrative Theories and Modern Practices. One might say that one of the key developments in our approach to the narrative over the last one hundred years has been to move from the examination of a narrative as a series of written words printed on a page, isolated from their context like a stuffed exhibit in a museum. Aside from the eternal questions of genre and type classification, most people nowadays see the folk narrative as a living social phenomenon, something with a historical and social context, that is both uttered and received, passed on and developed, as a series of images, symbols, sounds and textures. In short, the text has gained "thickness". It has begun to be seen as occupying a greater degree of "space" than it had in the time of the Grimms. In this lecture, I would like to examine a variety of different spatial aspects connected with different types of folk narrative, ranging from the way that a spoken narrative creates a marked-off area of space, to the way that the space surrounding this space affects the understanding of the narrative (like the set of a play affects the understanding of the play itself); and the way that the narrative adds temporal and geographical space to the lives of the listeners, at the same time temporarily transforming the immediate space in which they exist. As has been argued by earlier scholars, there can even be a shamanistic healing element within the performance of a narrative. In many ways, it might be argued that the often ignored spatial element of the spoken text is something that differentiates it radically from the photocopied or e-mailed text, or even the data-base entries that many of us are at present dealing with. These new forms would thus appear to call for very different approaches to those we have adopted in recent years. Or do they?
One of the main problems with researching "traditional" Icelandic legends (apart from the fact that only about 3% of them are available to people who cannot read Icelandic) is that up until very recently there has been no archive of folk legend material in Iceland. This has meant that the only way to find material on legends of a particular type, gender and job-related distribution of storytellers, distribution of legends, local beliefs and so on has been to plough through all the various collections, and listen to all of the tapes in the Arnamagnean Institute in Reykjavík, a task daunting enough to put even the most dogged researcher off. Matters, however, are beginning to change in Iceland. Over the last five years, we have been working on two large databases of printed and recorded legendary material, each containing over 10,000 entries. The plan is that these databases will eventually be linked, and connected to a mapping programme allowing immediate distribution analysis. In this lecture, the situation in Iceland past and present will be analysed, and the draft form of the database of printed material (Sagnagrunnur) presented, along with a review of the possibilities that this will open up for scholars both in Iceland and abroad. At the same time as outlining the advantages of such an approach, some discussion will be made of the difficulties that such a database presents, and the potential weaknesses that need to be considered.
The comparative analysis of Slavic formulas and narratives which interpret dark figures on the moon shows an opportunity of decomposition of the text on morphological various elements: characters, subjects, attributives, temporatives, functions and predicates. In different traditions the same elements enter different combinations with each other, creating dialectal variants of the text and forming a semantic field of interpretation of lunar spots. The analysis allows one to establish interrelations of elements, to show how the text is designed from them in different local traditions, to see the general "grammatic" structure of the mythological text, to reveal inclusion of some elements of the text in other semantic models.
The life of every human being extends from birth to death. No-one can escape this fate even if death has often been said to have become subject to taboo in recent years, and marginalized in people's social lives and as a topic of conversation. What happens if death occurs at some earlier phase of life than that more normally expected, and not at a far distant time in people's everyday lives? This will most often be a sudden and unexpected death. How do the deceased's nearest family, friends and acquaintances manage to cope with this? Can different forms of ritual help to mitigate the shock and ease the process of grief? These are questions that will be discussed in this essay, based on a number of cases in which death has occurred suddenly and, usually, without prior warning. The emphasis is on the present day, but the study also considers the question of variation over time as illustrated by conditions in the early 1900s. How are new rituals created, and how are they spread, and what meaning do they have for those people thrust into difficult situations? Ritual presupposes the performance of actions and that these actions are carried out in a public, social context. The fieldwork for this study was carried out in south-eastern Norway and western Sweden.
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Since the days of the poets Aneirin and Taliesin in the 6th century, few nations in Europe have accorded the poet greater status than Wales, and no meaningful statement can be made about the nature of Welsh identity without a proper understanding of the central role played by national and local poets. This paper concentrates mainly on the rich vein of informal, unofficial poetry, composed by numerous bards and rhymesters in Wales and inspired by everyday events and incidents. The central questions considered are: why and how did people make such constant use of a variety of verse forms as a vital means of communication in their daily lives? Why do they continue to do so in the 21st century? Why verse and not prose? Also, why many of these forms seem to be non-crystallized? Is it poetry or prose? What is the value of symbolism and images? Is the prose often poetry? What is the function of cante fable? Whatever form used, is that form primarily a means to an end, that is, the use of the most appropriate form to communicate a message in the most effective manner at a certain place and moment in time? In an attempt to address these questions, reference is made to what I consider to be seven of the main characteristics of folk poetry.
1. It is a social activity, especially reflective of small, closely-knit communities, and specific social groups, in both rural and urban areas, and relating to both adults and children alike.
2. It is an activity which belongs to all classes of people.
3. It is a means of communication in all aspects of life and circumstances.
4. The forms of folk poetry are very numerous and wide-ranging. They are non-static and adaptable, depending on context and function.
5. Folk poetry, in essence, is oral poetry: cerdd dafod, 'the art or craft of the tongue'. It is power poetry and poetry of inspiration. It is memorable and repeatable.
6. Folk poetry is poetry in action. It visualizes the invisible; the abstract becomes concrete. It communicates a message in a direct and colourful manner. It is a drama and a performance, a story and anecdote in verse, with the emphasis on spontaneity, immediacy and creativity.
7. Folk poetry is functional, applied poetry. It is poetry for everyday use. Those uses are innumerable and reflect the complexities of society and the human experience, past and present.
The oral tradition of my family has preserved plenty of stories about fights, knifings and other crimes. One prominent character of these stories is Veikko Haanpää, my grandfather's brother, and the subject of my presentation. Veikko Haanpää has the characteristics of a typical fighter: On one hand, he is presented as a vicious killer who was eager to fight, on the other, he was a loving and handsome as well as a musical man. Veikko Haanpää was also an actual killer, who stabbed his own brother to death with a knife. In this presentation I study Veikko Haanpää and his image as pictured in stories and official historical sources. For the research material of my study I use interviews I conducted on Veikko Haanpää in 2000-2002 and also for official and historical sources I use church registers and court statements. I also consider newspapers and their stories about the killing incident and about Veikko Haanpää. Studying these quite different sources I concentrate on the question of how the picture of the man from South Ostrobothnia is presented: why and how are stories about Veikko Haanpää told in different periods and in different generations? What sort of interpretations and community values - also family values - are those of Veikko Haanpää? I also analyse South Ostrobothnian society, especially the socio-historical background of violence and crime in South Ostrobothnia, which has influenced the stories about Veikko Haanpää. As the starting point for my study I use oral history theories which reflect the narrators' own views and interpretations of the past. It also shows the values, attitudes and social norms which exist in a community.
This paper explores the framing, presentation, and textual constitution of folktales and fairy tales in popular print and electronic editions. The study proceeds from the premise that simultaneous changes occurring over the last three decades in fairy-tale scholarship, literary studies, and technology have generated notable changes in the production and reception of texts. In particular, a new understanding of the printed folktale's textual complexity and intertextuality emerged simultaneously with the phenomenon of hypertextuality. Against this background, the paper examines selected texts representing children's picture books, trade-book anthologies, and collections on CD-ROM and the Internet. Ultimately I assess what these new editions mean for the contemporary reception of the folktale and fairy tale and the degree to which the production and re-production of texts in new media and in new formats represent actual innovation, especially in light of the democratization of fairy-tale studies, the popularization of scholarship, and Internet's challenge to traditional authority.
156,000 Palestinians continued to live in their homeland when Israel was founded in 1948, and became Israeli citizens. (Currently they are 1,300,000). Their heritage, folklore, culture and civilization have never been researched or studied as they should be. In the 1990s, the Ministry of Education and Culture, accepted our request to compose a curriculum for teaching Palestinian heritage in Palestinian schools in Israel. I was asked to prepare a draft for this curriculum. This draft considered the heritage, folklore and civilization of the Palestinians in Israel as an integral part of the Palestinian heritage, and at the same time an integral part of the Israeli heritage, and that both these basic connections should be emphasized. The main goals of this curriculum were to enable the Palestinian pupils in Israel to get acquainted with their heritage, at least as well as they know the Israeli (Jewish) heritage, and to emphasize the humane aspects of the Palestinian heritage, stressing the common attributes between the Palestinian and Israeli heritage. The curriculum also strives to stress the common ground that can be found in the heritage of other nations. There is also a clear aim to enhance coexistence between the two nations living in Israel and in Palestine and throughout the entire Middle East, and to serve as an example of tolerance to all the nations and countries in the world. The curriculum includes the major definitions of heritage, folklore, culture and civilization, their main attributes, their development, and their interrelations with the heritage of other nations. This draft was discussed in dozens of meetings by a committee of experts appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture whose members were of the best educational and academic minds of the country. This committee recommended doing the utmost in turning this curriculum into educational material (books, multimedia, etc). Funds and teaching hours were to be made available so that this program could be implemented immediately for teaching heritage for the Palestinian pupils in Israel. The complete curriculum and the appropriate recommendations were handed in to the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2001. To date there has been no final approval by the ministry and consequently no implementation of the curriculum, and committee's recommendations.
Valdimar Tr. Hafstein
In 2003, UNESCO's member states adopted a new instrument - the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage - that extends the scope of international heritage policy from immovable objects to the realm of the "intangible": storytelling, craftsmanship, rituals, dramas, and festivals. The convention aims to assure the transmission and reproduction of traditional practices. In this paper, I argue that the concept of intangible cultural heritage is in this sense a tool of intervention - a normative rather than descriptive concept. The objectives of intangible heritage policy comprise the structuring of communities and the orchestration of differences within and across states. Drawing on Foucault-inspired theories of governmentality, I contend that intangible heritage permits a re-location of culture in communities and of communities in a multicultural matrix of organized diversity. According to the convention, intangible cultural heritage is appointed and interpreted in part by or in consultation with the practicing communities to whom it is attributed and whose identities are intertwined in its representation. By enfranchising communities, it attempts to fix particular sets of relations as relatively stable units that speak with one voice. Thus, the concept of intangible heritage of fers tools and techniques to subnational and transnational communities to organize themselves as spaces of identification. In societies increasingly characterized by cultural differences - diaspora, indigeneity, localisms, etc. - liberal governments tend to delegate more and more of the tasks of social governance to the community level. If intangible heritage invests capacities in cultural communities, I suggest that this is best understood in the context of the increasing communalization of government. The convention, in fact, contributes to the organization of communities as self-governing and semi-autonomous social units with a strong but not exclusive claim to allegiance from community members, giving each community a voice within the orchestrated polyphony of a pluralistic society.
The topic of my paper is the stories that the Soviet settlers of the former Finnish Karelia, ceded to the Soviet Union in World War II, tell about the places they have created on the empty territory which they occupied in 1945, initially sometimes even as early as 1940. Peculiar to the area and the telling related to the places is the lack of the distant past - Soviet people settled there half a century ago, without any knowledge of the area in advance. New settlers had to start the construction of the places as accumulations of life experiences and tradition connected with them from zero. Main topography and place names were initially acquired from the Finns, but the inhabitants soon developed their own additional toponyms. There were both in the Ladoga Karelia and on the Karelian isthmus two separate toponymic systems in use, one Soviet Russian, the other Finnish. Narration about the places usually seems not to have established forms and contents. One reason for this is the relatively short period of time for the formation of narratives; another is rapid changes in the development of patterns of dwelling: small villages have been abandoned due to the concentration of agriculture and people in large main villages; thus many places have disappeared both physically and as points of accumulation of tradition. Finnish Lutheran churches are the only places of tradition-attraction. Another topic, attached to the so-called khutor houses but usually not in any concrete place, are stories about encounters of the dwellers with the former Finnish inhabitants of the house, told in the Ladoga Karelia.
"Knowledge no longer requires application to reality; knowledge is what gets passed on silently without comment, from one text to another. Ideas are propagated and disseminated anonymously; they are repeated without attribution; they have literally become idées reçues: what matters is that they are there to be repeated, echoed, and re-echoed uncritically" (Edward W. Said, Orientalism, p. 116). In this brief paper my endeavour is to focus on the status of discourse - both oral and written - in India. The paper argues against the strict confinement of discourse in verbal behaviour. The real picture of discourse in India emerges only when its complex dimensions are captured holistically in both the verbal and non-verbal behaviour of Indian society. In other words I argue that folklore be viewed as discourse - the real discourse. It hardly needs to be emphasized that folklore theory has remained chained in formalism and formalistic methodology for more than a century that might have defeated the very purpose tradition studies stood far. The paper will attempt to put this argument to test in the existing conditions of discourse in India, more importantly the discourse associated with historical space. The traditional paradigm of historical discourse (I prefer to call it palace paradigm) and the weaknesses of this paradigm which include the issues of representation, ideology and the blurred status of the historical discourse seem to be the source of most of the formal discourse in India. This hegemonic paradigm in both its dimensions - diachronic and synchronic - has not only misled generations, but has also obscured the story, the real story, of mankind and to a great extent perpetuated the dangerous ideology of power politics the paradigm is raised on. The discovery of the writing systems might have helped mankind in many ways, but it certainly has harmed mankind in many other ways. Historical discourse has completely depended upon the written metaphor and as such has added to the idiosyncratic expressions of the writing system. That is why the paradigms of writing history and writing literature have not only coexisted, but have remained in free variation and more often than not interchangeable. One could also add the dimensions of distance both in time and space that written systems create between the speaker - subject and the writer; between the historian and the human being.
When studying the narrative construction of an experience, the narrative is seen as a method of restructuring the past, a process involving interpretations of events and meaning-making. The world that a narrator constructs is not a replica of pre-existing reality but a representation. When people narrate experiences, they are conveying meanings, producing states of affairs and constructing subjects and identities. Thus storytelling plays an important role when validating experiences, and especially when validating competing experiences, such as supernatural experiences. In this paper I study how Finnish people living in the 21st century construct and interpret the supernatural experiences in personal experience narratives. The overall research material consists of over 470 written responses to my inquiries regarding personal encounters with supernatural beings, such as angels, extraterrestrials, demons and ghosts. In my presentation I will concentrate on some ghost stories and examine what narrators tell about the encounters with the supernatural: What do they tell about themselves, the supernatural beings and other story characters? How do they involve the recipient participation? What kinds of emotions are attached to the supernatural experiences? Focusing on the structural features of the stories, I will suggest that storytelling is the narrator's means to argue for the reality of the supernatural experiences.
Cultural dynamics denotes here the means of cultural activities that enable reactions to new sociocultural processes and challenges. Ethnopoetic research has traditionally analysed different narrative patterns, ranging from line/clause level to broad overall structures. The school of ethnopoetics has striven to illustrate culture-specific characteristics, taking into consideration the linguistic-poetic system and worldview of the peoples it studies and the interaction of form and meaning, or it has focused on the systems for transcribing recorded performances in order to bring out such meaningful "paralinguistic" features as pitch, quality of voice, loudness, or pause. Using this approach it has been possible to reconstruct and reinterpret features that are not visible in the materials of earlier researchers of indigenous cultures (such as Franz Boas and Edward Sapir). Influenced by the "Ethnography of Speaking" school, these approaches have sought to establish an alternative to the stereotyped Western concepts of text and textualisation. Rather than trying to reconstruct poetic systems, my aim is at creating a broader ethnopoetic theory, taking in not only the poetic traditional systems in their natural environments, but also the manifold processes of textualisation in literary cultures, including the use of traditional meanings in new, global settings. In this sense the elements of traditional texts are not static, but dynamic and processual.
When we study narratives in ancient texts, it is often hard to pinpoint exactly the subjectivity or subjectivities underlying the text, especially when the texts are canonical in the culture to which they belong. One interpretative strategy that has been applied is the use of the term "voice" as a supposedly distinct category independent of the authority of the dominant textual establishment (national, religious or class). Very often voice thus emerges in the textual analysis as a socially relatively unprivileged subjectivity, such as women, children, poor or uneducated people. But the voice may also be geared to retrieving the subject positions of individuals in textual corpora that are attributed to a collective authorship or editorship. The paper critiques the former usage of the term "voice" by this author and others in the study of late antique Rabbinic texts in Hebrew and Aramaic, especially from a feminist theoretical perspective. It will be demonstrated through examples of textual analysis that whereas the attribution of voice may serve to reinforce subjectivity it may also completely erase it due to the metaphorical quality of the interpretative strategy.
The "Tale of Sayf al-Muluk and Badi'at al-Jamal" stands out in contrast to other tales in the Arabian Nights. It starts with a long prologue, which unfolds on Nights 756-758 (in Bulaq edition), narrating the quest journey for the "Well-Constructed Tale and the Strange Discourse Unheard of Before" which turns out to be "The Tale of Sayf al-Muluk." The sought tale gets written down when it is found. Sequentially this prologue leads to the "Tale of Sayf al-Muluk" but it can be read as an autonomous narrative. In the prologue, the "Beautiful Tale" is the object of desire and the feeling of a "lack" moves the events precisely to compensate for this lack. However, from the epistemic point of view and taking into consideration the narrative objective, the tale of the prologue narrates the very process of narration, its conditions, and its social status. Thus, it is a narrative representation of story-telling and a testimony to the self-reflexivity of the Arabian Nights - its consciousness of itself as a collection of tales. From this perspective, the prologue does not simply introduce the "Tale of Sayf al-Muluk" but functions as a manifesto of story-telling and the social role and status of narratives. This prologue, then, draws attention to its novelty and specificity. This new type of tale/prologue develops elements from earlier Arabic narrative traditions and particularly the ways books were introduced and ideas were exposed in oral literary séances. The best example of this is to be found in the introductory prologue of Kalila wa-Dimna. This mode of induction has left its imprint on modern fiction even in the European tradition as we can see in the second part of Don Quixote. This narrative prologue, thus, features a sophisticated fictional form which we can call the Manifesto-Tale.
The memories of witnesses, survivors, or victims of war are commonly believed to be not only more authentic than other forms of knowledge, but also more reliable. However, memory is never only private and internal, but always draws on knowledge and information from the surrounding culture and is inserted into larger cultural narratives. If at times people lay claim to memories of what evidently never happened or to a version different from reality, this does not mean that these memories are to be rejected as false or invalid, but that different questions need to be asked. Official history does not necessarily have to be in written form; instead it is the version which has achieved the most established position in society. Until the 1990s, when a local amateur historian published the first-ever article on the subject, nearly all information concerning the 1918 Finnish Civil War in Sammatti - a small rural town of approx. 1000 inhabitants in Southern Finland - was passed on in oral form. For many locals the Civil War and especially its severe aftermath are considered the most significant historical event in the history of their home commune. Though their history was mainly in oral form, in literate societies oral history is always influenced by written forms of discourse and public representations of history. In my paper I will examine how oral narratives are shaped into factual accounts and used in the constructing of the official version of the 1918 Finnish Civil War in Sammatti. I will show by means of rhetoric discourse analysis that this has as much to do with who is speaking than with what is actually being said.
In my paper I would like to touch upon some of the difficulties with making and using databases of folklore material. What are the problems you would come across, and how could you solve these? My point of departure will be my own research, where to get a better grasp of my material, I have created a database. This database is made for my own research purposes, but could also be used by other scholars for other aims. I want to discuss how the making of the database with creating data entry forms will affect the material. The way I categorize my material will always be fixed in this database. I also reflect upon the representation of the material, always limited by the format of the records in the database. The design of the records might not be the best or most informative, and contain the most useful fields, for other researchers than the creator of the database. What information do we want people to get access to in our folklore databases? And when it comes to using the material of a folklore database there are also all sorts of methodological questions. To what extent is it possible to use only the material in the database - should I as a researcher always go to the source material, in case this is accessible? The advantages with a database, of course, are the possibilities of treating large volumes and quantities of materials and, as in my case for example, to make combined searches and compare large amounts of records with speed and efficiency.
Based on a seven-month fieldwork conducted in a Hungarian village in Romania, the present paper aims to analyse the formulation of the bewitchment narrative of one peasant family. Certain types of bewitchment- narratives are primarily the construction of at least two people, the unbewitcher and the bewitched. During the interactive process of diagnosis and healing, the witch-doctor offers several possible interpretations concerning the type of the bewitchment and its underlying conflicts, from which the bewitched constructs his/her own version. This process of interpretation - often also influenced by relatives and friends of the bewitched - goes beyond the diagnostic and healing sessions of the unbewitcher, and the resulting narrative, being subject to constant reinterpretations, is highly unstable and open-ended. While closely following the formulation of a particular narrative, the paper has two main focuses. In the studied community, misfortune is seen as the result either of the bewitching activity of a witch, or the curse of the orthodox priest or laypeople. Since the different bewitchment types put the unfortunate into different positions, being either a victim or a sinner, and because both types of bewitchments are believed to be accidentally transferable from one person to another, the number of interpretations is numerous. Taking this conceptual framework and the social relation ships of the bewitched family as its background, the paper focuses on the motives and interpretational strategies determining the process of constructing the narrative. Doing so, it tries to reveal why certain elements are accepted or not accepted by the bewitched, and how they relate themselves to the (supposed) conflict leading to bewitchment. On the other hand, it also tries to investigate the way people use the resulting narrative, that is, how the distribution of the narrative is managed (to whom, how, and why it is told), and what psychological and social effects it has.
Shamans have different tasks in their communities. One of them is to preserve an oral tradition. They are singers of traditional shamanic songs and they recite shamanic myths, legends. The shaman(ness) is the person who performs the sacrificial rituals for the benefit of the community. Having all these functions they carry a quite complex role since they need to remember texts of mythic narratives, prayers, invocations, hymns, etc. This means that they have a special relationship to language since the shamanic use of language is a poetic one with its own rules. Shamanic narratives of different kinds represent the main body of their sacred knowledge.
The second part of the paper quotes some personal narratives told by shamans that are mainly family histories but contain also important information concerning sacred rituals. Furthermore, shamanic songs and prayers can be labelled as speech acts within the context of shamanic rituals that genuinely contribute to the effectiveness of séances.
Taking into account all the above features of shamanic narratives, it seems reasonable to declare all of them to be important elements of the intangible cultural (and oral) heritage of mankind.
Viktoriya Hryaban Widholm
Numerous narratives about fire are widely spread around the Carpathian mountain area of the Bukowina region in Ukraine. In the worldview of the local inhabitants, this element is regarded as a holy substance that constitutes soul and appears in different shapes, as in celestial-, earthly- and subterranean (hell) form. These meanings of the strength of fire and the relics of its implementation in mediation, protection, and for purifying purposes can be traced throughout calendar, family and everyday-life traditions, in household and medical magic. The consolidation of objective reality with mythological metaphorisation of perceptions created the phenomenon of religious syncretism that combines the spiritual culture of the local people with Christian tradition. Based on such an ethnological approach I would like to proceed to focus on the following questions: Why are the relics of fire so prominent in the traditions of the Ukrainians and a preferred subject of contemporary cultural sciences? What role do they play in modern society? Do the "irrational and dysfunctional" rituals and narratives have any function within a society that explains their perseveration and popularity? Since the independence of Ukraine in 1991, Ukrainian politicians and leaders continuously reinforce the use of traditional cultural codes and stress the necessity of their application within the ongoing construction of Ukrainian identity. The popularization of folk culture and its narratives are used as an auxiliary instrument in the service of the inner and outer legitimation of a new state. Narratives like the ones centred on fire and its relics are preferred objects in this discourse and play an important role in transferring their symbolic coherence onto the concepts of regional and national identity.
Newark, Ohio, USA
One of the primary formal distinctions made in literary studies is between prose and poetry. For several hundred years, this distinction has been commonly figured in terms of time: thus, prose extends through time to tell a story or to report happenings in some kind of sequence, whereas poetry, archetypically lyric poetry, presents but a crystallized moment, whose depth extends less temporally than psychologically or emotionally. Certainly, there have been challenges to this schematization, but among the more interesting is the theory of poetry propounded by the nineteenth-century American romantic thinker, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882). In his essays and in his poetic practice, Emerson describes a theory of poetry in which even the most temporally compact poem is, at heart, the telling of an experience. Emerson imagines this all in ethical terms. He holds that the fundamental obligation of every human being is first to engage with his or her existence and then to articulate that experience in language. Poetry, in the view of Emerson, is the privileged means of that existential expression. The present paper will present Emerson's theory of poetry as an existential ethics and will read several of Emerson's own poems to show how these poems, despite their seeming temporal compactness, are essentially a telling of the poet's experience in almost a narrative, except with some distinctive features (which will be discussed). The poems chosen tell Emerson's experience of mourning his young son's death.
The idea that narrators and listeners can draw attention to the communal meanings of the narration by using the local genre terms is the standpoint of the interpetation in the examples of this paper: The fact that the way people classify oral tradition is incoherent and sometimes even contradictory, indicates variation of meanings and local classification principles. My examples are from the River Sámi narrative tradition. Geographically the investigation area is situated along the River Deatnu in the Finnish and Norwegian Lappland. People living in that area call themselves by two names: cáhcegátti olbmot, meaning people living on the borderline of the water and badjeolbmot, meaning upland people. These local names highlight the environment that is the most important to each group. The viewpoint here is that of the cáhcegátti olbmot. I concentrate on the narratives concerning environment, especially the great trees. The interview materials used were mainly collected in the 1960s and 1970s and represent a fraction of the Sámi Folklore Research project of the University of Turku. Genre terms found in the interview material are máinnas, muitalus, and cuvccas. The use of these terms in the River Sami discussions have several local meanings. For example the border between terms máinnas and muitalus is traced by assessing the stylistic devices used in narration, whether the narrative is based on personal experience, and the narrator's attitude to what he or she is narrating. Some of the narrators stress the aesthetic objectives of the mainnas narratives and the narrator's ability to use hyberbole, metaphor and repetition as stylistic devices and to carry the narrative forward. Sometimes the terms máinnas, muitalus and cuvccas indicate the narrator's personal attitude to the events in the narrative and their foundation in reality. The narrative genre system of the River Sámi tradition provides a means for narrators to evaluate what has been heard and said. The system is in practice flexible, and the narrators can utilise it in many ways. The narrative context and the character of the narrator determine the criteria by which a narrative is evaluated. Drawing the line between the possible and the impossible and evaluation of the narrative means are recurring topics in the used interview material. They create a picture of the way the community negotiates what is true, false, erroneous and imaginary.
The status of the Kalevala in Finnish cultural history is usually formulated from a bird's-eye perspective; the common view emphasizes how immediately from its publication the work was defined as the canonized national epic. The rising of the Old Kalevala to the status of a celebrated national epic was neither immediate nor uncomplicated; from the point of view of the ordinary reading public, Kalevala had to achieve its status in the field of other literary works and make its own breakthrough. The print run of the first edition of Old Kalevala was only 500, and this was sufficient for 12 years after its publication. How was it possible that this quite small edition lasted for so long, and who were those who decided to purchase this literary work for private use? Research material and the perspectives chosen try to answer to following question: What new perspective do the contemporary private discussions reveal about the reception of Kalevala; how was the private interpretation formed and how wide did the hegemonic national rhetoric guide private readings and individual interpretations? The viewpoint of my research is to examine the Old Kalevala (1835-1836) as textual artifact; its aim is to scrutinize, how the marketing and distribution of the Old Kalevala contributed the process of nationalizing Lönnrot's source material, Karelian oral poems. The micro- historical perspective will provide new insights to the distribution of national epic and the circulating of folklore materials. The formation of the reading public also exemplifies an important perspective concerning the textualization process of the Old Kalevala. Elias Lönnrot, the compiler of the epic, was aware of the potential audience of his forthcoming work; thus he was aware of what his readers expected.
Barbara IvanFiF Kutin
Every folklore storytelling event which occurs spontaneously in an authentic domestic environment is unique and singular, because it develops in an unrepeatable context of time, place, space, and participants. Storytelling requires, in addition to the narrator, the presence of at least one participant at whom the story is aimed - a recipient. How the story develops is influenced by motivation, personal characteristics; the mood and behaviour of all the participants, and the relations between them are also very important, because they determine how relaxed and effective the event is. The effectiveness of folklore storytelling largely depends on the storyteller: his narrative power with and without words determines how he will succeed in catching the attention of his audience and what responses he will draw from it. This aim requires the narrator's psychological, mental and physical engagement, resulting in creativity and authority. The role of storyteller may be limited to a single person, especially when there are a few participants, and in particular if the only recipient is a researcher. If there are more participants, that is at least three, several participants can alternate in the role of storyteller. The participants who act as recipients respond to the story by listening, watching, commenting, asking questions, calling and emotional reactions. The material documented in our field research shows that the role of recipient can be divided more accurately based on the forms of active intervention in the course of the narration: 1) motivator, 2) assistant 3) inquirer 4) yea-sayer or nay-sayer (censor), 5) complementor, 6) commentator. Individual recipients may engage in several of these roles and they all influence how the storyteller tells his story. A higher diversity of roles is obvious in groups with three or more participants. Such a group acts in co-operation, especially if one of them is very apt at motivating. The roles of motivator, assistant, yea-sayer/nay-sayer and complementor prove that the narration is a re-enactment of a version of the story the recipients are familiar with.
Today's extensive databases provide improved possibilities to study several areas of folklore that hitherto have been relatively neglected. For instance, proverbs included in folktales have not been registered systematically nor presented in the academic edition of Estonian proverbs (EV). My observations pertain to the text corpus of Estonian fairy tales (ATU 300-749) that is nearing completion. Using such a tool it becomes possible to pay attention to the occurrence of a minor genre within another genre - to proverbs included in fairy tales, also to observe the context of using proverbs in the text corpus - something often not mentioned in the Estonian recordings of proverbs. Of course, it has to be taken into account that the text creation strategies used in the majority of the fairy tale manuscripts that were often recorded towards the end of the 19th century greatly differ from oral presentation - it can be presumed that the use of proverbs in archived manuscripts can be more conscious and purpose-oriented than using proverbs in oral presentation of fairy tales. This paper also considers the proverbs included in voice recordings of fairy tales, but the focus will be on proverbs found in manuscripts. A part of the proverbs included in the fairy tale corpus have been noted while digitising the manuscript texts; others have been found as the result of a special search, proceeding from the text types included in the typology of Estonian proverbs. The presentation analyses the positions of the proverbs in the story structure, observes possible similarities between proverb users, and checks the validity of tendencies that different researchers have noticed, both in the case of other kinds of tales (animal tales, religious tales, realistic tales etc.) and fairy tales. The proverb use of some correspondents/story-tellers who have employed particularly numerous or striking proverbs will be analysed in more detail. An attempt will be made to answer the question whether some proverbs are likely to be used in specific tale types, or whether their use is determined by idiosyncratic individual modes of expression.
My focus of interest in this paper is "religion as it is lived", as Leonard Primiano put it when defining the concept "vernacular religion" (1995). I have been studying, on the one hand, women's religious conceptions and practices in the Republic of Karelia in the 1990s; on the other, archived texts of sacred legends with mainly female narrators from an earlier period of time, the 1930s and 1940s, in the same culture and language area. My view is that the earlier oral tradition of sacred legends and religious songs forms part of the ethical basis of the religious conceptions and practices of the present, although the narrative tradition as such has ceased to exist. Karelian sacred legends dealt with relations between humans and the supreme power, the Christian God, functioning through his holy agents, and with the relations of humans with their fellow men. The legends also mediated cognitive aspects of religion, telling their versions and interpretations of some biblical stories, and raising serious ethical questions. Nowadays, instead of sacred legends, dream narratives and their interpretations have become the locus of interest in women's lives. The dream narratives also deal with religious and ethical ponderings over questions such as is there life after death, and what is it like? How should people live in order to reach the good place after death? How should death rituals be carried out in order to maintain peaceful relations with the deceased?
"The step-daughter went into the forests. Crying bitterly she wandered and looked for the lost bread. She cried, cried and her tears turned into a river and flowed. The waters of that river reached a shepherd. The shepherd drank of the river and felt it was salty" (An Armenian Folk Tale). Yuri Lotman once commented on the propensity of the Romantics to get rid of tropes. It is possible that this tendency could be accounted for by their deep love of the fairy tale, for an important stylistic feature of the fairy tale is its tendency to neutralize tropes by animating them. New fairy tale devices, transformations, for instance, appear at the expense of the intentional enlivening of the worn semantics of some hackneyed tropes. For example, the tears from her eyes fell like beads of pearl is animated into the tears she had shed had turned into beads of pearl which he gathered and put into a box. Neutralized tropes should be interpreted literally. In case of alternative, i.e. metaphoric interpretation, the succeeding narrative stretch will be under threat of logical and semantic collapse. Sometimes whole narratives are shaped at the ex pense of a neutralized trope. A very similar phenomenon was observed by Zvetan Todorov in the fantastic fiction. As distinct from fiction, the oral fairy tale does not show the rhetorical figure and its extension in the same textual cut. The hackneyed trope is mostly absent. Granted, it can be easily restored owing to the fact that it is a phrase of which the listeners/readers are well aware. Doubtless, we are far from claiming that any transformation appears as a consequence of a rhetorical operation. Swinging between improbability and impossibility, many neutralized tropes, (animated hyperboles, for example) often glide into Nonsense, the boundary between them being rather indistinct.
The aim of my paper is to discuss the various themes in post-socialist biographical narratives which deal with the socialist past, particularly with socialist working life in Estonia. The main question is the role of ideology and the "privatization" of working life in these stories. Work and working life had a very strong political connotation in the Soviet Union; every citizen had the right to work as well as an obligation to work. In the ideology of the Communist Party and in the official or formal public sphere,1 working life enjoyed great attention and importance. The changes which took place in the former socialist societies from the beginning of the 1990s onwards - privatization, the fall of the old institutions and the rise of new ones - have had a direct influence on people's everyday lives and on the ways they are narrate their "lived past" under socialism. Many strategies learned and habitualized in those years are useless in today's society, and the understanding of time and social stratum has also changed considerably. From this post-socialist point of view I have analyzed various biographical narratives i.e. biographical interviews, answers to a written questionnaire and, to a lesser extent, life-stories. The question I am asking is which themes are important to people, and why? Which themes are "silenced"? What has been the role of ideology and the public sphere in these biographies, and what are the private themes connected to narrating about working life? A biographical story is recreated every single time when being narrated or written, from the moment of narrating or writing it. Therefore, experiences of socialist working life are strongly linked to people's experience with post-socialist everyday life.
This paper focuses on narratives and visual representations in Visby tourism mindscapes. A key word is "agency of display" (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1997), where the "display" in question is directed towards a viewing and listening general public. Together with narratives about Visby, images engender different gazes, perspectives, and mindscapes, thus highlighting specific objects. In travel information guides about Visby, narratives and visual images compete in an ongoing struggle about which representations count and are allowed to represent the city of Visby. Narratives and images create and maintain hierarchies, include and exclude people and position them. In her book Destination Culture, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett identifies museums, historical re-creations and ancient monuments as important settings for the displaying of places and the production of destinations through the agency of cultural heritage. This unmistakably is what has taken place in Visby. Within the same city, we find several historical landscapes defined by ethnic groups, building styles, prosperity or decline. In Visby, the Middle Ages hava become "the Age" that determines the tourist's gaze. A common description of Visby is found in the introduction to Bengt G. Söderbergs' book: "There is a lingering poetical or romantic idea of Visby - the town of roses and ruins. The romantic atmosphere comes from past greatness, a scattered wealth. And the exaggerated romance of Visby has its origin in the Middle Ages." Numerous paintings, photos and other visual images back up narratives like this one to make Visby visible and well known in a very specific way - as a medieval theme city. This is the dominant mindscape, but there certainly are other ones battling for people's attention. Visby speaks with many tongues and displays many kinds of images besides ruins and roses.
Bloomington, Indiana, USA
In this paper, I shall explore the image of the fairy godmother in contemporary American media. The two prime examples that shall inform my study are a novel, The Fairy Godmother by fantasy author Mercedes Lackey, and a movie, Shrek 2. Both of these works prominently feature fairy godmother characters that depart from traditional fairy-tale depictions. In the novel, the main character becomes apprenticed to a fairy godmother, and in learning how to practice that magical trade, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery that ultimately aids in the salvation of her world. In the film, the fairy godmother character is responsible for numerous plot twists due to her meddling nature and self-interest. Both of these depictions are a departure from the traditional role of fairy godmothers in folk narratives, where they are usually portrayed as selfless donor figures that test heroes and heroines before meting out reward and punishment alike. I would argue that the increased personification of fairy godmothers in contemporary American media corresponds to an aspect of American worldview that emphasizes "magical" quick fixes and solutions. Moreover, I see a parallel between the work of fairy godmothers and the work of folklorists in directing the acceptable outcomes of traditional materials. Just as fairy godmothers shape the outcome of a story by recognizing and rewarding traditionally good behavior, so do folklorists shape the presentation of their materials by selecting traditional or authentic material over that which is suspect. In addition to textual readings, my paper will draw on structuralist and worldview studies.
The subject of my presentation is the stories told about the Danish king Valdemar II, who died in the year 1241. I intend to speak about the relations between the stories and realities by focusing on an innovation of the tradition. King Valdemar got the name "victorious" because he conquered a part of Germany and of Estonia. The tellers figured him as a ruler representing a period of greatness in the history of the kingdom. They also represented him as a role model in stories about troublesome situations similar to those of the ordinary people. These narratives continued to have both political and moral connections to the time in which they were told, but their content and form changed. The traditional stories expressed musings about what the king won and lost. He was narrated as a complex character who had to choose between alternative norms and moral values. The medieval storytellers told about the king's choice between power on earth and a place in heaven. In the Renaissance this tradition was renewed. 300 years after his death, some ballads were written in which the king had to choose between his first and second wives, who were figured as the good mother and the evil stepmother. I suggest that the use of the king gave the ballads an official authorisation. Today, the ballads are referred to as "a part of the cultural heritage of Denmark", and they draw increasing interest - but they are retold in new ways. The functional aims of the tellers have an important effect on the development of the tradition, but a new thesis about the means of tradition and its relations to realities is necessary. It is possible that a combination of role theory and narratology can be used for this purpose.
I interviewed several Ingrian Finns living in the region southwest of St Petersburg in 1992-1993. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 made it possible for researchers to carry out fieldwork in the regions of Russia once inhabited by Finns. When asked to tell me about their lives, very many of them began by talking about the war. 'The outbreak of war' meant 22 June 1941, when the Germans began advancing on Leningrad and the subsequent evacuation of the local population began. People found it natural to speak about their lives. I was astonished to find that a simple request "Can you tell me about your life?" should immediately produce a narrative containing some intimate and sometimes very terrible details of the major turning point in their lives. Many began their tale not with the childhood or memories of school, but with the moment the war began for them. The two women I wish to talk about here lived in two villages close to each other. I chose them from a possible thirty or more because they had been through rather similar experience but tell about them in different ways. Anna tells about evacuation stressing the experience of the whole group, while Lena looks at the flight from the advancing frontline as if she is following a film. I call the memoirs of these women 'key narratives', by which I mean a report of an experience that was exceptionally meaningful to its narrator and in which the narrator interprets events in the past for the listener. The dominant elements of their narratives are movement, being forced repeatedly to leave home and settle in a new environment that was not of their choice.
There are no natural gold resources in Estonia, which explains the absence of local discourse about the gold-rush in the Estonian tradition. Regardless of this fact, a considerable number of recorded texts about legends and reports of treasures have been accumulated in the Estonian Folklore Archives over the past two centuries or so. The materials contain widely-known and narrated lore about treasures hidden during wars and in other circumstances. This versatile narrative tradition enables posing hypotheses and drawing conclusions:
(1) The theme is expressed only in narrative form; narratives tell about fictitious action;
(2) A certain part of the theme is expressed as a type of narrative that must have been based on imminent experience, i.e. the narration took place after an individual action (either a futile attempt to find a treasure, or a serendipitous discovery);
(3) Information included in the tales is applied in practical treasure-hunts. For this purpose, legends of fictitious actions and tales based on true experience are used.
The theme of buried treasures entails more aspects of action and more practice than students of legend have bothered to consider. In different periods the proportion of "narration only" and "narrating and action" has varied. In Estonia today the emphasis is on search, i.e. action. Such outbreaks of hunting buried treasures usually entail the following:
(1) reactivation of a part of traditional treasure lore; tales are searched in archives and legend collection, made available on personal homepages, local people are questioned, etc.;
experiences are gained through practice, and new personal experience stories
are created, some of which will make their way to the media (Internet, TV,
(3) problems arise with national heritage protection and archaeological studies; this is only a step away from semipolitical demands to ban the activities of amateur detectors and restrict access to old narrative reports about possible treasure sites;
(4) these instances cause a scholar studying treasure legends to question where the line is drawn between folklore (narratives about treasures) and real life (action on geographical landscape)? Can a treasure hunt based on lore information be considered a special instance of performance?
Oral literature and popular written literature require integrated study. My ethnographic material is based on archive collections of Greek popular booklets of tales since the middle/end of the 19th century. In Greece, these booklets of tales followed parallel paths with popular novels. Several oral and written genres (such as folktales, legends, narratives) are published in the booklets, evidence which creates an unclear and diffused perception of the genre "folktale". All the academic definitions of folktales do not fit in this material, because they ignore the emic perspective of the collectors. For this purpose, the concept Popularmärchen is coined to describe this kind of material accurately. The "dialogue" (in the sense of Mikhail Bakhtin) between Popularmärchen (folktales in popular booklets) and popular novel will be examined. Through an interdisciplinary methodology based on content analysis, significant similarities emerge between them. The intergeneric dialogue can be demonstrated in two areas. First, on the language level: the vernacular vocabulary, the use of adjectives, diminutives, metaphors, etc. Secondly, on aesthetic stylistic features, such as specific sentimental or moral utterances, dichotomies between good and bad, and the lengthening of the stories with maxims and repetitions.
There is no doubt that the methodological term 'type' has had major influence on the collecting and research of the Estonian songs in the Kalevalaic metre, the regilaul. Due to the great number of regilaul preserved in the Estonian Folklore Archives and the scarce contextual information, the categorisation applied to these texts seemed useful and necessary at the time. The Vana Kannel series started by Jakob Hurt (arranging texts collected by region) has been a continuing research and publication project for over a century and it has strongly influenced Estonian folkloristics. However, both this seemingly neutral principle of organising texts and the term 'type' originate in the 19th century comparative-historical ideology, according to which every folk song text collected and preserved had a single original form. The primary aim of comparing and juxtaposing different types has been to find the most perfect text corresponding to that. In the context where the text has been more important than its author, one can understand why Estonian folkloristics has paid much less attention to those texts that are insistently contemporary, connected to their author and a certain time period. One group of texts that do not fit into the system and cannot be easily typologised are Seto women's autobiographical songs. According to the type-ideology these texts are improvisations that use different typical motives. Autobiographical songs are texts where the author sings about her life and usually informs us in the beginning or the end of the song that the text should be received as an autobiographical one. Discarding the practice that observes folklore texts as independent entities with weak connection to their authors, their gender or environment, and applying a different approach to these songs should give us important information about the people who performed them. Close reading of Seto women's autobiographical songs gives us excellent insight into topics such as mentality, religion, and family life of rural Orthodox Seto women at the beginning of the 20th century. This microhistorical observation foregrounds particularly how the women represent their life or how they use traditional means for self-expression. At the beginning of the 20th century, singing one's life story was not uncommon in Setomaa, but it remained largely in the private sphere. These texts appear symptomatically in the material collected by the local documenters of folklore while they are not represented in the work of professional folklorists. These texts of oral history existed for local collectors but remained invisible to strangers.
The development of contemporary "Slavic" mythologies is undergoing growth in the conditions of Internet and telecommunications. The Neo-pagan movement began in the late 1970s, but now the Internet is a very important aspect of support for the Russian Neo-pagans' spiritual and intellectual trend. A great number of pagans' sites can be found, with stocks of scientific, political, philosophical and mythological literature and thematic forums for discussions. Russian Neo-pagans use the Internet in three main directions: dissemination of texts and propaganda, "theological" and philosophical polemic (which means imagining of the united pagan community as opposed to other religious and cultural groups), coordination of activities (organization of celebrations, lectures, concerts and demonstrations against the violent actions of some members of the Orthodox Church). The author asserts that electronic infrastructure influences Neo-pagans' world-outlook the following ways:
1) the model of imagining opposition between communities of "Us" ("pagans") and "Them" ("monotheists" and "provocateurs") is similar to the mythological one;
2) Russian neo-paganism is regarded a united cultural movement. However, it seems instead to be a conglomeration of various non-state social networks. There is neither a common center nor a unified hierarchy of priesthood. Ideological pluralism is possible even at the level of a single community. Because of communities' autonomy and anonymity, the exact number of Russian neo-pagans cannot be determined. There is neither single ceremonial system nor a stable pantheon. Wide spread of syncretism of different traditions (Russian, Indo-European, Scandinavian and Finno-Ugric, Western or Oriental occultism, and fiction literature) also takes place;
3) the relative influence of some Neo-pagans is based on their fame. Proprietors and editors of Neo-pagan sites are among them.
The notion of folk religion, popular religion and the religious constellations that scholars have classified as such have been discussed from a wide range of perspectives throughout the past decades. When one considers that in various geographical regions popular religion has been, and still is, a predominately female realm, it is somewhat surprising to find how little attention has been paid to the issue of gender in folk religion outside specifically feminist research. I intend to discuss some theoretical and methodological issues that have been central to feminist scholars in their study of folk religion.
Some feminist scholars have criticised the very notion of 'folk religion' at the outset because of its implicit androcentric bias. The term creates the false impression that women are not part of the "folk", "ordinary people" or, "peasants" (e.g. King 1995). Feminist anthropologists have pointed out that women's empirical invisibility has not been a problem in anthropological studies of religion; anthropologists have been quite meticulous in their documentation of women's practices within the sphere of folk religion. Thus, the problem has not been a lack of recognition of women's active role in folk religion, but rather that women's practices have been ignored on an analytical plane. This analytical invisibility has made folk religion to appear to be a totally male created system despite women's great involvement. There has been a tendency to view women's religious ideas and practices as personal and idiosyncratic, not as constitutive of general religious patterns. One of the main tasks that the feminist scholars have set themselves has been to establish women as producers of culture and to identify and study the gender-specific traits in women's experiences and practices within the sphere of folk religion.
The anthropologist Susan S. Sered can be seen as one of the leading scholars in what we may term the feminist phenomenology of religion. She has sought to identify typical feminine patterns in what she calls "religions dominated by women." Her pioneering study (1994), however, raises three major questions that I wish to address in my paper:
1) Do women's religious practices profoundly differ from the general pattern of folk religion and if so, how?
2) Do women's religious practices radically differ from those of men and if so, in what sense?
3) Finally, do women's religious practices in female-dominated religions differ markedly from those in male-dominated religions and if so how?
I will present my arguments mainly from within the context of my own area of research, the folk religion of pre-modern Russian Karelia.
More precise comparison of analogous folk narratives and their elements is one of the important tasks of folkloristics. Researchers realized this task approximately a hundred years ago. Antti Aarne's classification system of folktales and his efforts to distinguish the stable types of folktales have influenced a host of comparative studies. A. Aarne and later Stith Thompson defined neither the categories of types nor principles of selection. Hans-Jörg Uther, the author of a huge recently published huge work "The Types of International Folktales" outlines that the type is "understood to be flexible" (ATU 1 p. 8). However, he does not explain how the new types are selected or why some of AaTh types are joined. Our experience in systematizing Lithuanian folktales according to the AaTh catalogue induced us to look for more precise principles for distinguishing changing types of folk narratives and for ways of describing their versions. We created the structural-semantic method. It allows one to distinguish the structural-semantic types on the abstract level. Concrete types of folktales or legends are selected and located within abstract types. We have found universal rules for organizing the texts of folk narratives on several levels. This is also why multilevel descriptions of types are used. For attributing the text to certain structural-semantic type and concrete type we use from 4 to 13 or 14 procedures of analysis and description (The number of procedures depends on complicity of the text structure; we intend to show them in our paper). This complicated method was evoked by a complicity of phenomena. According to this method we have analysed and grouped into types and versions more than 85,000 variants of Lithuanian narratives. The elementary plots (EP) of Lithuanian narratives were ascribed to 152 types. The EPs of the same types form the folk narratives of several or even all genres. The examples of descriptions of elementary plots and their semantic interpretations as well as the example of type description will be added, too. Only one or some procedures of our method may be used for research of various problems. For example, in comparison of folk legends and folk customs or beliefs, the descriptions of text structures sometimes are sufficient. Mainly, attention is focused on descriptions of macrostructures in efforts to reconstruct the theoretically possible means of development of folktales. Research on peculiarities of certain genres and of interrelations of several genres is more effective when elementary plots are analysed and compared.
Collected folklore is indexical in nature - it is considered 'authentic' only when it is able to indicate something real behind it (the narrator, narrating or collecting situation etc). When collected folklore turns up not to have the ability of indexicality, it is termed 'fake'. K. K. Ruthven has written in the book Faking Literature that every kind of forgeries live "two lives: first as a cultural intervention, and second as a symptom of the culture into which it intervenes" (2001: 193). In this presentation I analyze the works of Hans Anton Schults (1866-1905). He was a co-worker of Jakob Hurt, and sent to Hurt over 2000 pages of writings. Most of these writings are likely to be labeled 'fake'. Specifically I am focusing on two themes:
1) the framing mechanisms he is using to create the indexicality illusion, the most important of which is his faith in the 'truth of the folk';
2) his relationship to the broader framework of the Herderian Romantics which is mainly characterized by synecdochal interpretation frames. Both of these themes help to see H. A. Schults as a symptomatic representative of his era, which was characterized by nation building and massive interest in folklore collecting.
The paper will discuss the structure and functions of storytelling communities in the conditions of contemporary (post) modern society in Slovakia. The author will use the empirical data from her fieldwork in a district town of northern Slovakia. It is a region where the author conducted fieldwork for more than two decades. Using a case study, the following research questions will be addressed in the paper: what types of storytelling communities can be found in the contemporary urban society? How do contemporary social networks in the town support the existence and functioning of storytelling communities? What changes (similarities and differences) can be noted if we compare the structure and functions of storytelling communities in time? Thanks to published data and the author's fieldwork, the period of comparison will include approximately the last forty years. Further, the author will analyze the repertoire of contemporary storytelling communities in the town. Special attention will be paid to legends in current storytelling.
Proceeding from an intertextual and historical perspective, the paper will discuss the multi-textual and multi-meaning aspects in the recently published Kiswahili play Kifo Kisimani by Kithaka wa Mberia. An attempt will be made to portray the extent of intertextual relationship between this play and the classical Swahili epic narrative: Utenzi wa Fumo Liyongo of the 14th century. The historical and factual nature of the epic as recorded by such linguists and Swahili scholars as Harries (1962), Allen (1971), Knappert (1979) and Abdulaziz (1979), among others, will invoked in an effort to link up the two texts in terms of the theme, language use, and characterization. In conclusion, the importance of literary deconstruction and re-invention of historical narrative as a method of re-interpreting and re-living social realities in different historical era will be explored.
1. Die Bevölkerung Estlands hat vom Jahr 1939 an sehr grosse mechanische Veränderungen überlebt: die baltischen Deutschen und estnischen Schweden haben Estland verlassen und in ihr historisches Vaterland umgezohen. Über 10 000 Esten - die führenden Personen der Estnischer Respublik (1918-1940) - wurden von den Russen vernichtet (erschossen) oder samt ihren Familien nach Sibirien versandt. Viele haben im II Weltkrieg ihr Leben verloren - im Kampf an einer oder anderer Seite; sowie sind im Kriegswirbel und vom Schreck vor dem Kommunismus nach Westen entflohen. Von dem 1940 an wurden aus Russland neue Einsiedler eingeführt. Der Anteil der Russisch-sprechenden Einwohner in Estland ist zum 1960. Jahr fast bis zur Hälfte gestiegen, in vielen Städten (Paldiski, Narva, Sillamäe) haben die Esten überhaupt kein Recht zu wohnen gehabt. Jetzt wohnt und studiert in Estland die zweite oder dritte Generation der damaligen Einsiedler.
2. Die Familienerinnerung als Seele, Illustration und Erklärung der Geschichte, als Möglichkeit und Verpflichtung im Wenden an die Voreltern. Achtung auf die Familienerinnerungen nach der Wiederherstellung der Estnischer Respublik (1990-nden Jahre).
3. Die Familienerinnerungen der gemischten Familien und nichtestnischen Studenten der Tallinner Universität vermitteln die Beurteilungen auf der Ebene der Familien und einzelnen Personen a) über die Gestaltung der Gemischtfamilien b) über das Ankommen oder der Geraten der nichtestnischen Familien und Geschlechter im Estland - die Zeit und die Motivierung (Ursachen). c) Die Adaptationsfähigkeit oder Anpassungsunfähigkeit an Estland und die Esten.
4. Das Leben der dritten Generation in Estland anhand ihrer Familienerinnerungen.
Since 2000, facilitating a weekly life-writing group of elderly Estonians in Toronto has raised a range of questions about the place of stories of war and emigration as foundational narratives for individual and diasporic group identity. Since the 25 member group includes Estonians who came to Toronto from the homeland during the Soviet period, the memory of World War II evoked and retold both orally and in the written texts can be said to be not only plurivocal but contestatory. In my paper I will examine the structure, variability, and rhythm of elicitation of narratives of World War II in the group's five year history to date, focusing on ways the sacralized core story of fear, resistance and flight has been commemorated, recycled, and challenged. Based on the metanarratives of survivorship in the group's desktop-published collections, I will suggest that the degree of drama and trauma in individual stories regulates their perceived value or "weight," and comment on contrasting gender aspects of the stories of civilians and combatants. Finally, I will set the war and emigration narratives elicited in the Toronto group in two comparative contexts: my brief experiment at leading a life writing group in Tartu in 2004/05, and texts elicited two life histories competitions (on the German occupation 1941-1944, and World War II in general) sponsored in 2004 and 2005 respectively by the Estonian Life Histories Association and the Estonian Literary Museum in Tartu.
The human experience of the relationship with other nature is, for many reasons and influences and aspirations, always ambivalent. The individual experiences change according to age; women's and men's experiences also differ. The dwelling place affects what nature signifies, as do profession, interests, even political affiliation. Finns believe themselves to be a forest people more than most other forest peoples of the world. In the rhetoric of constructing Finnishness, the forest has been and still is the most important element of nature, the origin of whose meaning cannot truly be attained nor wiped away. In this presentation I will examine one phenomenon connected with the forest: the experiences and interpretations of getting lost. A great number of writings from oral tradition have been recorded about getting lost over a period of several generations, in which the ambivalent relationship between culture and nature appears as a generalization from the experiences of individuals. Over the last century, direct beliefs connected with the forest, as with other elements of nature, as explanations of experiences of the environment have dwindled, but they still have a strong foothold in works of popular culture, especially in action and horror films which personify nature and make the supernatural visible. Asking students over several years for their experiences of getting lost, I heard, apart from memories of the forest, stories of what it felt like to get lost as a child in a library, a department store and other modern environments. Despite the changes in setting, the feelings of getting lost and the reactions are of the same sort as are found in the accounts of previous generations. The break in communication with mother, father, friends, and the whole known human world causes distress and a feeling of rejection. The internal messages and the external codes are in conflict, knowledge and instinct fight against each other. Fear of "disappearing for good" runs through the mind and ends up taking over the whole person. Ultimately it is the type of disturbance in communication that determines how the inexplicable or supernatural experiences related to being lost are interpreted.
Studying the Animal Wife tales in various cultures shows many interesting differences among them. One very obvious example is found in the narrative structure: the revelation of the wife's animal nature results in the termination of connubiality in Japanese "Animal Wife" tales, whereas this revelation seldom leads to this sort of termination in the tales of other cultures. Many factors explain this structural difference. The most important one is theme, the focus of this paper, as a basic conception of creating folktales. What kind of theme shapes such a difference in the narrative structure of Japanese "Animal Wife" tales? Addressing questions about the theme of the Japanese "Animal Wife" tales often evokes important but endless discussions from a wide range of scholarship. Scholars working on anthropology, folk religions, and psychology have made many useful observations on this theme. However, these observations mainly highlight the socio-cultural context and the psychological behaviours peculiar to the Japanese, and therefore fail to consider the narrative structure as a tool to understand the theme. In short, the interrelation between the theme and the structure has not yet been expounded. This paper attempts a new approach to exploring the theme by analyzing the narrative structure of the Japanese "Animal Wife" tale. This exploration demonstrates that the specific narrative structure is defined by the theme, which ultimately reflects the Japanese perception of nature. From this analysis, the theme of Japanese "Animal Wife" tales can be understood as the forbidden assimilation between humans and nonhumans, whereas the theme in the tales of other cultures can be as the acceptable assimilation between the two. This contrast can ultimately lead us to a deeper understanding of Japanese culture, one constituent element of which is an animistic view of nature.
According to the theory developed by Robert J. Sternberg, love represents a narrative that is created on the basis of personal characteristics and the surrounding environment (that we ourselves have part in creating, by the way). These stories are attempted to be followed in real life as much as possible. Although one creates his/her stories by himself, they are still based on life experience - on stories heard in childhood, relations between parents and relatives, media, the experiences and tales of other people, etc. Admittedly, some types of narrative are culture specific, found more in one culture and less in another. A love story expresses a certain characteristic way of thinking and behaving. Having a narrative concept leads to specific expectations towards what a love relationship is, in a way similar to the concept of automatic thoughts. Can a person choose a love narrative he or she is not prepared for? Researchers generally claim that one cannot. If people do, it is unsuccessful in life and a fictive narrative. I will analyse in my presentation stories of X (a literarily talented but poorly educated woman with a complicated fate and background) using David K. Lewis, Mary-Lauren Ryan and R. J. Sternberg's theories. In Soviet times, various strategies for surviving and self-realisation were used. What kind of pragmatics of personal fiction does X use? What kind of tactics does X use when she speaks about reality; how and what is reflected in a specific story about the mechanisms of the totalitarian regime? Why did X use the form of a love story to narrate her life? What kinds of sub-narratives are used and what is the reason for using such a complicated genre? This paper is an outcome of the ESF grant No. 5117.
In a 1989 article Valdis Zeps claims, "The discussion of Latvian folk metre has long been plagued by an initial false turn taken in the nineteenth century, namely the attempt to explain Latvian folk metre in terms of classical (notably Greek) metric theory (as understood by German scholars)." Indeed the Latvian folk meters (trochee and dactyl) very often have been understood as regulating stress and length. Valdis Zeps and Morris Halle suggest instead that the features of the language that control the dainas meters are counting of syllables and word-boundaries. In addition, a new account of metrical verse developed by Morris Halle and Nigel Fabb offers a more precise formulation of metrical structure. Within the new framework, I will analyze in this paper some aspects that may be relevant to the discovery of the operating constraints:
a) the role of some rules involving syllable length, for example, the so called rule of the third and fourth syllable. I will argue that in fact it has little to do with real length of syllables, but rather with line length;
b) the "padding vowel". Following Zeps argument, I will show its central role in relation to the above and to line length;
c) some statistics will be given regarding the number of syllables in the dactyl lines - some statistics.
The paper analyzes biographical stories of Estonians repatriated from Russia, describing their return to Estonia and adaptation to local life. The presentation is based on interviews conducted during 2003-2004 with Estonians born in Russia, and on written materials sent to a biographical stories collection competition entitled "Emigration and Life in the New Homeland". Mass emigration of the Estonians into sparsely settled parts of Russia began in the second half of the 19th century and lasted until the first decades of the 20th century. This was predominantly an economic emigration, which also served agrarian purposes - the main incentive was greater freedom and the wish to become a landowner. The first emigrants settled in Samara and the Crimea; later migration led to central Russia; during the last decade of the century, it already extended to Siberia. The majority of settlements were formed on the basis of ethnic groups so that the core of inhabitants came from the same region. The first shock to these rather well structured settlements was World War I and Civil War in Russia, the aftermath of which was the interdiction of any kind of religiosity, coerced collectivization, major repressions, and, eventually, World War II. The interviewed informants had returned from the Russian villages to the mother country after the annexation of the Republic of Estonia; most of them during 1941-1986. The majority of the interviewed repatriates were born before 1930, but the number of people born after 1950 was relatively small. Therefore, we may look at repatriation as a venture of one generation. The migration narratives of the Estonians in Russia follow certain typical storylines:
1) stories about the reasons for repatriation and about travelling back to Estonia, which could be divided into forced repatriation and stories of those who came on their own initiative;
2) stories of adaptation, telling about cultural and linguistic misunderstandings;
3) stories of successful adaptation, comparing life in Estonia with life in their village in Russia.
While the stories of successful adaptation are more or less similar - in the end the decision to return to Estonia was perceived as the right one -, other stories about returning to one's roots and attempts to adapt point to clear differences between generations. The stories of repatriating teenagers or young men/women depict the travels as a cheerful adventure, and the problems and failure in adapting are regarded through the lens of humor. The stories of informants who returned in middle or older age focus on life in their home villages in Russia, on the difficulties in adapting in a new environment and problems in coping with a new life.
The end of the 1980s and the first half of the 90s could be regarded as a time when 'everything was politics', especially remembrance. In this particular context, 'the politics of experience' (H. Arendt) on the individual level was simultaneously a 'big politics' that, in its own turn, resulted in certain political scripts employed both by 'public historians' and individuals to give meaning to 20th century Estonian history. In this paper two conflicting post- Soviet life stories of elderly Estonians will be discussed as classifiable with 'national' and 'soviet' historical narrative templates, in order to demonstrate the politics of memory in post-Soviet Estonia. Both life stories represent conflicting normative experiences and narrative templates in post-Soviet Estonia. The focal point of the 'national biography' is the discontinuance and decline of harmonious national development, brought about by the occupation of Estonia by the USSR. Through the prism of 'rupture', the pre-occupation period of independent statehood was constructed as an ideal national society; fellow nationals are described across different phases of history with reference to the stereotype of "the ideal Estonian". National biography became the dominant 'type' of life story during political developments in Estonia at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s. Such an emergence was connected with the renovation and rewriting of history and processes of nation-building that meant (public) acknowledgement of 'national biography'. The so-called 'Soviet biography' has an opposite valence, and follows the basic myths of Soviet ideology, among them, the myths of the Great Patriotic War, the communist future, work and constant enhancement of the Soviet economy, and the working class as the leading power. This biography-'type' was dominant during the Soviet period, but during the so-called second national awakening, its authors lost his/her 'right to a biography' (Yuri Lotman). Another aim of this paper is to discuss the common post-Soviet notion of collective memory. The research on the collective memory of post- socialist space mostly takes into account those resources of memory that fed the national version of memory; collective memory has been treated as a counter-memory to the official Soviet interpretation of the past. It is, however, necessary to consider the 'Soviet-type'-biography as a part of the collective memory of Estonians. Furthermore, the influence of Soviet texts as cultural resources for collective memory might be even more intensive than is revealed on the basis of the life stories sent to public institutions in the 1990s. This paper is an outcome of the international project 'Memories and Visions in the Baltic Sea Area' (University College of Visby) and the Estonian Science Foundation Grant No. 5322.
The concept of place has been discussed widely during the last decades, especially in the field of human geography, but in ethnology, anthropology and folklore studies as well. As a result the sense of the concept has broadened out from geographic location to experiential place, which is based for instance on dwellers' experiences and memories. Because reminiscences of everyday life and special events are often located in particular places, researchers of oral history (for example Portelli and Skultans) have also discussed and developed viewpoints about the meanings of places. In my paper I shall explore the process of defining places and creating boundaries of places in reminiscences narrated by people who worked and lived in the Penttilä sawmill factory district. The sawmill factory was situated in town of Joensuu, in eastern Finland, and was in operation from 1871 to 1988. I shall discuss how the Penttilä district is defined, what are the most meaningful places there, what are the meanings of places outside it, and what kind of hierarchic structures and boundaries can be found inside the community according to sawmill workers' reminiscences. I shall also address some genre and age differences that have come up in my analysis. Furthermore, as the time in memories is layered, I shall discuss how two levels of time, past and present, are connected to the meanings of places. The factory community and the district changed many times while the sawmill factory was working, and especially after it was closed down. These changes and their connection to experiential places are an important theme in the interviews and other sources binding up the stories of past with the present. I will also demonstrate some examples how the past effects narrators' conceptions of the place today.
The focus of my research is Finnish belief tradition concerning the power of death, archived during years 1890-1960. In my paper, I will analyse the considerably wide variation of this tradition in three aspects.
1) Conceptual: What is the power of death? To what kinds of different features and motives is the concept connected?
2) Normative: How is this supernormal agent's relationship to man interpreted? How does its assumed existence affect human activities?
3) Cognitive: How is the concept constructed? Has there, practically, been any general concept at all?
The power of death has been understood either as an impersonal force or a crowd of beings. These beings can be divided into black and white (good/bad), considered all bad or all neutral. The image of this supernormal agent called churchyard-väki is incoherent and continuum-like. The traditional strategy towards it can be roughly divided into two major attitudes: to strictly avoid this dangerous agent, or to actively manage with its both useful and harmful potential. The latter attitude is found both in legends and ritual practices. Even though the variation is partly geographical, considerable contradictions are present in all core areas of the tradition. My point is that instead of a coherent view and firm belief, folk belief is about different images and insights, which are found useful in different contexts. Laymen who placed supernormal tradition in the margins of their worldview, could occasionally find certain concepts or motives useful in their life, but had no reason to try to fit them into a coherent picture.
The paper deals with the problem of globalization from the aspects of mass/popular culture and oral/written/visual folklore. The author presents her approach to the problem in the context of psycho-social awareness of global fears of 21st century: terrorism, ecological disasters, and people's loneliness. She deals with examples of social reactions post-September 11 as well as tsunami stories and issues in dating-on line folklore. The paper is accompanied by illustrations.
The paper aims to introduce and critically analyze some attempts of explaining conceptual construal of (and liquidating the alleged paradoxes in) the figurative expression "digging one's own grave" in cognitive linguistics - more specifically, the blending-centred approach by Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner, and application of George Lakoff's Metaphor of Divided Person suggested by Ruiz de Mendoza. The main starting points of my criticism are:
(1) If conceptual representation of any situation where somebody cannot predict the consequences of his actions would require the building of the so-called blended mental spaces and the projecting of the intentional structure of the target space into the resulting blend, the most part of actualizations of proverbial expressions - not only those including "broken" (i.e. nominal or predicative), but also sentential metaphors - would turn out to be blends, because such situations are the main stimuli for using proverbs in general.
(2) Co-participation of metonymic operations in processing the expression in question makes its allegedly inverted causal and event structure insignificant, i.e. whether the dangerous action (e.g. the beating of the notorious coffin nail into the coffin) is timed to the moment before or after the death of the eventual victim.
(3) The source domain can be enlarged from the scenarios of natural deaths and "civilized funerals" to scenarios of violent deaths, e.g. various kinds of executions or scenarios of hunting and trapping where 'grave' becomes the synonym of 'pit' (e.g. in the famous biblical "He who digs a grave ~ pit for another falls into it himself").
The paper will discuss the following subtopics:
1. Arthur Koestler’s bisociation theory of humour and its reception.
2. Victor Raskin’s script-based theory of jokes (SSTH) in his "Semantic Mechanisms of Humor".
3. The General Theory of Verbal Humor (GTVH) by Victor Raskin and Salvatore Attardo. The attempt of testing GTVH by Willibald Ruch.
4. Salvatore Attardo’s Linear Theory of Humor (IDM).
5. The analysis of puns by Attardo.
6. Humour and pragmatic maxims (Raskin, Attardo, etc.).
7. Attardo’s Setup-Incongruity-Resolution -model (SIR).
8. The further taxonomy of "logical mechanisms" (LM) of jokes by Attardo, Hempelmann, and Di Maio.
9. The "Anti-Festschrift" for Victor Raskin.
Rapid industrial development and the tendency to hinder private initiative in the period after the Second World War greatly obstructed traditional culture in socialistic countries. It has survived, however, since spiritual traditions are not static and unchanging, but rather constantly adapt to current lifestyles. In the early 1990s it became clear that folk tradition is indispensable for the nation. Folk narrative in Slovenia today can be observed within five conceptual frameworks:
1. Original contexts and functions
2. Folklore groups
3. Folk narrative performers
4. Application of folk narrative in art, theater, and literature
5. Contemporary legends and narrative genres appearing also in electronic media.
Folk narratives in original contexts and functions can hardly be recognised today, surviving mostly in parts of Slovenia that are on the border and in remote areas. In 2001 the Štrekelj Award for outstanding achievement in the field of collecting and preserving Slovene folk traditions was established. After the Second World War the number of folklore groups rose steeply all the way to 336 registered folklore groups in 1987. Contemporary folklore events are often linked with tourist promotion and the entertainment industry. As a result, visitors are sometimes exposed to rather trivial presentations of customs, songs, dances and story-telling that often neglect temporal, social or local characteristics. Folk story-telling and performing is today mostly part of the events organized by individuals, communities or cultural associations. Most of these events take place on specific occasions or celebrations, for instance on Assumption Day (August 15) in Resia in Italy, or as part of a local event in town, such as events at a village or local fairs. Story-telling performances are organised each year in Ljubljana and Maribor by the central cultural organisation of the city. There are also individuals or artistic groups, who narrate or enact folk tales by telling local fairy tales and staging performances. Such organized groups or single actors include Marica Globoènik from Kranjska Gora, representing Pehtra, or the group from Radio Student that combines narration with application of folk music and puppet theatre. Today's folk narrative lives mostly in the form of contemporary legends, jokes, memorates, and gossip. Other genres of narration are presented on the internet, in newspapers, radio, television, tabloids, film, as well as elsewhere problems specific to collecting and researching these hard-to-distinguish narrative genres will also be discussed.
While in the Middle Ages, saga-telling was the dominant and productive form of popular entertainment in Iceland, it was gradually replaced by chanted epics in Early Modern Times. These rímur incorporated some of the other literary traditions of medieval Iceland, the skaldic poetry with its elaborate metric schemes and alliteration, some of the didactic/reflective poetry found in the Elder Edda, and the end rhyme that came to Iceland with the Latin Church hymn. On the whole the subject matter was not original, but rather based on existing prose narratives. It was not "folk literature" in the sense of anonymous, orally translated literature, but the work of individuals, who usually also were the performers. Each successive ríma, which would be of the length of an evening's entertainment, was required to be in a different metre, of which there were more than 2000. Until the end of the 19th century, when the home textile industry was gradually replaced by industrially produced goods, the wandering rímur singer was a familiar figure on the farms, where he would entertain the locals at evening gatherings and stay until at least one cycle of rímur (one "story") was finished. The melodies were not attached to particular poems but to particular metres, and sometimes the performer would change melodies within the same ríma, probably to give listeners a jolt or make some dramatic point. Unfortunately, no melodies were noted down until the end of the 19th century, and even then not many were collected, as the genre was frowned upon by the literary establishment that demanded more "contemporary" forms of poetic expression. The traditional convention or pretence of the rímur poet was that rímur were composed for a girl or woman, usually one in the audience; this gave the opportunity to open each ríma with some stanzas of personal reflection on himself or the state of the world before resuming his narrative. The rímur as a living, productive genre did not survive the urbanising process in Iceland; occasional attempts have been made to revive them, but they have remained marginal in the context of modern entertainment.
My paper focuses on an old folk poem called "Vellamon neidon onginta" (The Angling of the Maid of Vellamo). The texts of the poem were originally collected in the 19th century in Archangel Karelia, and belong to the corpus of poems that can be found behind the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. I am particularly interested in mythic models of thought, and my intention is to deconstruct representations of hero/ine in the Kalevala-metre epic tradition. My methodological framework will be feminist folklore studies. In addition, Luce Irigaray's so-called mimetic strategy and her notions of jouissance provide useful conceptual tools for the analysis of epic representations of female desire. In my paper I will focus on the confrontation between a woman and the male hero: is it possible for the male hero to recognize a woman in the sense Irigaray has suggested?
Mouvance, the varying text form, has been recognized as a general feature of medieval vernacular textuality. As the forms of text production and text transmittance were different for different genres (courtly lyric, romance, short couplet texts), the forms of variability, too, are believed to be at least partly genre-specific (Bumke, Holznagel). The Middle High German short couplet narrative (Märe, Verserzählung) is commonly seen as a "popular" and thus as a particularly "open" genre. Earlier scholars (Fischer, Mihm) believed that the main reason for the particular variability of Märe was the fact that it was carried by an oral tradition that existed mainly in the form of performance, although its outcomes were often fixed in writing. Some more recent works (Grubmüller) have challenged this opinion for the lack of evidence to support it. They associate the specific variability of the genre not so much with the (oral/written) medium but rather with text structure (Holznagel), or even with a certain need for combination and modification that constitutes the whole genre (Grubmüller). In this paper, I will present some observations made on the basis of a small set of texts, in order to discuss the following questions: Can signs of orality (in the phase of text production, performance, or transmittance) be observed in the texts, and can they be related to the variability of these texts? In what ways, if at all, can the variability of the texts be related to the specific structural features of the genre? The discussion of these questions should eventually lead towards the answering of a third, more complex one: Can we see any genre-specific forms of mouvance in Märe, and how do these relate to the manifestations of variability that we know from other epic genres?
This presentation combines the investigation of life narrative, life writing and disciplinary history. The chosen approach proposes to follow the trends of inquiry prevalent in recent reflexive disciplinary histories where the institutionalisation process of museums, learned societies, research institutions, universities are analysed by applying an examination of individual careers, scholarly networks, and schools of thought by studying biographies and autobiographies. The historical perspective focuses on a key figure in Estonian folkloristics and folk narrative research, Matthias Johann Eisen. The massive amount of folklore accumulated under his initiative reached about a hundred thousand pages and formed one of the pillars upon which the Estonian Folklore Archives was founded. M. J. Eisen was engaged in collecting various genres of folklore, among which tale repertoire was most prominently represented. M. J. Eisen's life in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century correspond to the general period of nation-building concurring with the gradual chiselling of disciplinary boundaries in the academe and the establishment of professional folkloristics around the Gulf of Finland. However, besides being a highly productive collector of expressive culture, M. J. Eisen was also a prolific author and published numerous books, many of those based on the collected material. He likewise wrote memoirs and autobiographical notes, where he reflected upon his almost fifty years of active participation in Estonian intellectual life. I will take a look at M. J. Eisen's manuscripts of life writing stored at the Estonian Archives of Cultural History and compare them to published memoirs, but also to the festschrifts dedicated to him. My aim is to examine the academic and personal representation constructed of a folk narrative scholar while applying a reflexive historical approach to the construction of narrative in life writing, but also to map the ontological principles in the constitution of an academic discipline of narrative research.
Legends are normally told or referred to in a social setting where they are known. I addition they can be performed on stage or in processions. The can also be acted out and understood as a reference to the legends. Using mainly Scandinavian legend tradition, this paper that not only rite descriptions but also migratory legends can be carried out in action.
We are familiar with the sad satire of Socialist regimes as well as the merciless celebrity-battering of democratic systems. It can be said that different political systems give rise to completely different humour. Democracy tends to mock its leaders personally, stereotyping them with particular ludicrous characteristics that may or may not have roots in reality. Authoritarian or other undemocratic systems, on the other hand, focus on general societal problems instead of the private and public life of politicians. Unless the regime in question appeals to the nation, its humor stabs at the heart of the system and its representatives. Under the rigidly pan-Arabist Nasser, for example, jokes were usually about his regime, his socialism, his suppression, but hardly ever about his person (Kishtainy 1985). Nevertheless, studying jokes created under different political regimes reveals that jokes may travel also across borders set by regimes. Jokes from Soviet Russia or communist Cuba live a parallel life in democratic Finland or Great Britain, only with different targets (although we cannot compare the popularity of the jokes in those countries in this study). Is the separation between "true" and "pseudo" jokes (a distinction made by Raskin in 1985 with regard to ethnic humour) also possible in the genre of political jokes? That is, are "true" political jokes only applicable to a certain country (a certain regime), or can they live successfully under both sets of circumstances? The presentation touches upon some more widespread types of political jokes that are an exception to the generally holding rule of regime-specific joking.
A community is always a social structure; it consists of people who share the same habitat (a village, household, a commune), a place to work or study (school, factory, department store), hobbies (an acting club, dog trainers) or an internet discussion group. However, all the people living in the same village or working at the same factory are not necessarily in a communal relationship with the others in the same situation. While they may share the place, they do not always feel a sense of mutual togetherness. It is possible to study the community as a social structure, but the cultural meanings lie beyond and behind it. The meanings can be reconstructed through stories told about togetherness; in the deeds that are done together. This is why humanistic studies, especially cultural anthropology and folklore studies can provide a point of departure for locating and defining the cultural sense of community or commonality. The aim of my presentation is to focus on concepts and ideas of community and cultural commonality within folklore studies. The focus has often been on communities, e.g. villages, as a place of the tradition. When did the study of contents and meanings become defining? My research material, the stories about work related festivals and the Tori Amos-fan meetings both on- and off-line holds elements of belonging to something and to someone. The stories are not told so much about commonality than about doing and sharing things. Thus the text, the written or told material, itself becomes a construction of the community. The meanings within the material are the key to finding the sense of community. Can a community even exist without the sense of it?
Virág Lappints & Dániel Bárth
Recent studies on the history of European mentality have devoted attention to the issue of historical changes as well as cultural construction and representations of the relationship between man and animals. Folklore narratology may provide an opportunity to extend the scope of such investigations. The presentation intends to analyse the various anthropological aspects of dog-keeping on the basis of related folklore texts, literary sources and modern urban personal narratives. The presentation of structural units and functions of these narratives primarily relies upon the investigation of contemporary narratives collected in the framework of our own fieldwork, carried out since 1997. According to the presumption of the research project, social, mental, psychological as well as ethological aspects of dog-keeping emerge in these types of texts. The presentation pays special attention to the importance of narrative strategies of anthropomorphism, which play a considerable (and frequently legitimating) role in the construction and representation of man's perception of and relationship to animals.
My paper focuses on 'history-telling' (cf. Portelli 1992, 1998) and its ways of reconstructing the past. The material consists of the texts sent to a collection called 'the Great Narrative of the Family', organized by the Finnish Literature Society Folklore Archive 1997. My research questions include: What sort of purposes/intentions do these texts have? What kind of relationship can be found between history-telling and historiography in Finland? What are the various models and ways for a Folk Archive to represent the past? When dealing with texts produced for an archive, it is essential to analyse their multidimensional context and standpoint; they are both private and public texts. The production of the text is never context-free. Mikhail Bakhtin (in a 1979 collection of earlier texts) created a concept in Russian language that has been translated in English both as 'Speech plan' and 'authorial intent' (see Bakhtin 1986 Speech Genres and other Late Essays) I prefer the latter (Intent, intention, purpose). I utilize the concept of Bakhtin as well as M. A. K. Halliday's (1978) three components of the text (ideational, interpersonal and textual) in my text-analysis, in order to categorize the differences between ways of representing the past. These three main ways could be designated as ideal, marginal and multivoicing. The narrator has a continuous dialogue between himself/herself, the imagined reader and the surrounding writing culture as she/he finally deploys the chosen style and position.
Various natural areas arouse mental images in us. Some of these are based on universal, scientific definitions, which give us an exact idea of nature in general. However, personal and culturally specific knowledge and fictitious images accompany these facts. Each of these approaches may evoke entirely different images of the same places, which in turn have a significant influence on our attitudes and values towards different natural areas. When discussing experiences of nature, it is thus important to take into consideration both facts and fictions. I am especially interested in experiences of mires (peatlands, bogs, swamps). In addition to its highly valued forests and lakes, the Finnish natural environment also includes a wealth of mires, which cover one third of the total land area. Seven years ago a nation-wide "Mire Story"-writing competition was organized in Finland. The assignment was, "Write your own story of experiencing mire". Almost thousand stories were submitted. I collected my research data from this competition material with the goal of clarifying the cultural relationship we have with our mires today and how we experience "nature". Until the last decades mires have mostly been appreciated for their economic and ecological values. In our westernized society a growing number of us are no longer directly dependent on nature. More often we have the possibility to go into nature without anxieties about livelihood. I suggest that this possibility gives us freedom to experience and enjoy nature more aesthetically and fancifully than in earlier times. In this kind of "leisure-time" relationship to nature, fictive mental images play an increasingly important role.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
This paper investigates the conflicts that occur in the relationship between a mother-in-law and a new bride. In many traditional folktales, the most conflictual relationship is that between a new bride and her mother-in-law. This paper is based on my analysis of several tale types (AT 706, AT 707, AT 712, and AT 880-899, etc.) that deal explicitly with the chastity of a wife (or a daughter or sister) who has been accused of infidelity (or premarital sexual relations). A common factor is that the heroines are innocent but villains present evidence to the contrary. The mother-in-law is often presented as an ambiguous figure in these tales. She simultaneously wants her son to marry and produce children, yet she often works to subvert and undermine the new marriage. For example, in many traditional narratives, she implicitly accuses an innocent persecuted heroine of adultery, or arranges for the heroine to be exposed to such slandering. Consequently, in folktales the mother-in-law is often portrayed as the villain or the instigator of villainous activity. In this paper I consider and critique several of the ways that this tension has been interpreted in previous scholarship. For example, some analyses of the conflict between the mother-in-law and the female protagonist have interpreted this situation in Freudian terms as an example of an Oedipal complex. This interpretation seems to me too simple, shifting the focus from the female characters to the male protagonist. I propose to look beyond such simple, androcentric explanations. My reading of this conflict draws on a combination of theoretical perspectives, including socio-historical, feminist, and symbolic. This paper contributes to our understanding of how both ideologies and lived experiences may be articulated through traditional narrative forms.
Art Leete & Vladimir Lipin
Tartu, Estonia & Syktyvkar, Komi Republik, Russia
During our joint fieldwork among the Komis (from 1996 to 2004) we have recorded several hours of hunting stories and discussed hunting rules. These stories have had quite a range of characters and can be classified as being situated on the border areas of different narrative genres. They reveal different aspects of Komi hunters' worldview and behavioural rules, and tell us something about ways of narrating among the Komis. Hunting stories can be broadly distinguished as narrations describing situations that illustrate hunting rules or beliefs connected to hunters' life, or those depicting peculiar situations experienced during hunting trips. Quite a number of stories of both kinds also have didactic aspects, and may help to share survival information for critical situations (for example - the behaviour of wild animals). The exact purpose of telling these stories cannot be easily identified. Neither are clear rules for classification. From a generic point of view, they are a kind of borderline narratives. At the same time, these stories are extremely important for hunters in a pragmatic sense. Some stories have been told several times over the course of our fieldwork. In this paper we propose to analyse several features that characterise story-telling among Komi hunters. These optional guidelines can be identified as taking into account hunting magic; describing social threats that present-day Komi hunters must consider; designing stories according to some rules of folk narration; individual characteristics of hunters, situations of story-telling, and differences in criteria of truth of a researcher and of a hunter (including aspects of cultural background).
Scientific progress means inventions and discoveries that eventually change the world along with our worldviews. Such advances have occurred in Finnish folkloristics over the past few decades. Along with The Turn our understanding of folklore has profoundly and irretrievably changed. Folklore is no longer interpreted as "tradition" but as the result of thinking, as another language, capable of articulating culturally important things that go beyond mere oral expression. While it has been proven that the human mind also produces folkloric expression outside the domain of oral culture, the old Finnish concept of folklore (oral, anonymous, "folk" verbal expression) and its implications have become clearer, suggesting a fresh understanding of folkloristics as a core discipline of oral culture. Folklore appears to be a fuzzy system of communication where verbatim accuracy is not necessary for adequate communication of meaning. Progress seems to happen by accidents and surprises; scholars do not always know where their findings will lead. Even backlashes happen. By abandoning Volksdichtung, the aesthetic soul of the discipline, something was lost in our "European" understanding of folklore. The American notion of "artistic communication in small groups" does not cover the cultural continuity contained in large folklore collections. Locally as well as globally, folklore seems to possess an enigmatic tenacity, a cohesion which holds constructions of utterances and meanings together, while allowing for great surface variation. Recent Finnish research, as a kind of contemporary extension of 'Finnish' thinking about folklore, seems to suggest that the keys to a 'final' understanding of the existence of folklore lie somewhere at the junction of aesthetics, linguistics and neurobiology. This view is supported by recent discussions in academic aesthetics (e.g. at the world congress in Rio de Janeiro 2004). Human beings seem to have an urge to combine memorable aesthetic verbal expression with emotionally grounded socially and culturally important messages. The task of the folklorist is to find out what in each case the message is.
When reading fantasy literature, it is possible to notice a wealth of folklore motifs. The hero often makes the same journey as the hero of Proppian folktales: he leaves home because of some villainy or lack, meets helpers, donors, and villains, undergoes and passes difficult tasks etc. On his or her way the hero can meet various supernatural beings: dragons, pixies, goblins, trolls and elves, the very same entities we meet in folktales. The hero can also get or find all kinds of magical objects: cloaks making one invisible, magical weapons, charmed necklaces and rings, all familiar from fairy tales. Folklore can be seen as a pool of ideas for fantasy. It is somehow familiar and shared without studying. It is part of our popular imagination. Fantasy literature also gains from other sources, for example other fantasy in literature as well as films and cartoons etc., which often have already taken motifs from folklore. So fantasy literature has a multilevel relationship with folklore material. In my paper I will present some folktale themes and motifs used in new Finnish fantasy literature. I will offer some tentative interpretations, but focus primarily on proposing possibilities for using folklore material today.
St. Petersburg, Russia
(l) Wenn Erzählforschung künftig noch als separate Disciplin zu gelten habe, so muß sie eine Wissenschaft von aer fariana erzählter Stoffe (plots) sein, welche im Zuge deren Überlieferung entstand und dem Forscher einheitlich dokumentiert problemgerecht zugänglich gemacht werden sollte. Dafür kann ich eine bewährte Methodik und detailierte Instruktionen bieten.
(1.1) Objekt der Forschung sei grundsätzlich Textologische Rezeption und Reproduktion genetisch zusammengehöriger Stoffe (also nicht der Schöpfung unikaler Erzählungen in statu nascendi einer bestimmten Person).
(1.2) Zu erforschen gelten Erscheinungen komplex erzählter Stoffe: /1.-2./ Die Verbreitungsart der Belege in der Landschaft & Zeit (sc. Geografisch-historisches Problem); /3./ Der Bezug der Erzähler zur mentalen Topik (d.h. die Art des Gedächtnisses, anhand der verglichenen Reproduktion, ob etwa unbewußt, vorbewußt oder gar kreativ bewußt), dementsprechend sollte das Verhältnis der Erzähler zum Erzählten, sowie zum Weitererzählen des Stoffes (sc. Das psychologische und funktionale Problem).
(1.3) Ergebnisse globaler vergleichender Erzählforschung wären in Gestalt einheitlich konzipierter, womöglich synchroner Kartogramme in allgemeiner Diachronie der Belege quantitativ korrelliert kultur-bezogen einerseits auf Typenebene und andererseits innerhalb einer Stoffmonographie auch auf 'Motivebene' sollten interpretiert werden.
(1.3.1) Der Inhalt eines Repertoires (etwa von Witzen und Redens-arten ) läßt sich einleuchtend aufgrund sinnvoller Gliederung des Wortgutes, mittels Sprachinhaltforschung objektivieren Mein reichlich erprobtes Dokumentationssystem kann man lediglich auf fabeilen plausibel demonstrieren. Es ist höchste Zeit und glücklicherweise auch technisch billig machbar, das allenthalben gesammelte Material analytisch leicht (ohne Terminologie!) zu erfassen, in Buchform synoptisch, oder elektronisch als wohlgeordnete Databanken herauszugeben.
(2) Die im Titel genannte MS-Kollektion - rund 1,000 Heftseiten - wurde in Tartu ab 1929 konzipiert, für die Aufklärung des noch bäuerlichen Wirtsvolkes über die 'Folklore' judischer, städtischer Minorität des jungen Freistaates Ehstland - etwa 4000 Seelen - auf ehstnisch, dann ab 1935 bis 1940 meistens in jidischer Sprache, durch Walter Anderson's Studenten vom universitären Lehrstuhl „Jüdischer Wissenschaft" aufgeschrieben.
(2.1) Diese Sammlung enthielt das,was man üblicherweise inadäquat als 'Volksdichtung der Juden' empfand, und zwar: exotische Bräuche, Witze, Redensarten, wenige Sagen und Märchen.
(2.2) H.H. war diese Sammlung inhaltlich, 'geistlich' als Repertoire dürftig, nicht traditionell. Denn die Ostseeprovinzen des Zarenreichs, insbesondere Ehst- & Livland waren bis 1917 für Juden gesetzlich verboten, allerdings nach 25-jährigem Dienst abgedankte Soldaten und manche Handwerker - also NB! jüdisch ungebildete, bzw. religiös unkundige Menschen-, durften hier wohnen. Es war nicht viel und nicht tief, was sie in der Familie den Kindern vom Judentum angedeihen konnten.
(2.3) Dieser Minderheit gewährte der Freistaat Ehstland eine in Europa ungewöhnliche Kulturautonomie. Es gab einige muttersprachliche Schulen, just von dieser Generation wurde, unter ehstnischer Gepflogenheit, mundliches Wortgut aufgenommen.
(2.4) Während beider Okkupationen von Ehst- und Lettland wurden die einheimischen baltischen Juden, die Sammler wie die Informanten fast völlig ausgerottet. Infolgedessen muß diese seltene, weil marginale Kollektion, die qua Eigentum des Ehstnischen Literaturmuseums u.a. zufällig erhalten blieb, als Denkmal untergegangener, verklungener Kultur aufbewahrt, gebührend dokumentiert und vielleicht künftig ausgelegt werden.
Georgiy A. Levinton
St. Petersburg, Russia
In this paper I intend to present the "narrative part" of a larger study, Genre-Space of Traditional Russian Folklore (or Ethnopoetry, Oral Poetry), which is described in its entirety elsewhere. Two main dimensions (axes, distinctive features) of the space are (a) versified vs non-versified verse in Russian folklore, as in some others as well, means sung or recitative performance), and (b) prosaic vs. non prosaic, where prose actually means 'a story', i.e. narrative. Thus we have four groups of genres:
(1) narrative in verse,
(2) non-versified narrative (prose sensu stricto),
(3) non-narrative verse (lyrical song, laments) and
(4) "neither verse, nor prose" (paroemia, spells, etc.).
The structure of the two narrative groups is mainly symmetrical; each of them has one nuclear genre, a "main" or most representative genre (fairy tale in non-versified genres, and bylina (epics) in versified ones) and peripheral genres, largely corresponding to each other. The category of "Spiritual verses" (dukhovnyj stikh) corresponds to sacred legends (with respect to both representing sacral genres), although their repertory of narrative types is quite different (e.g. non-versified oral legend includes no saint legends). Historical songs (some historical ballads as well) share common subject matter with historical legends (istoricheskoe predanie - tales about historical persons). Ballads roughly correspond to novellas (usually cold novelistic or Romantic tales, AaTh 850=899), while comic or parody epics resemble the "Jokes and Anecdotes" of Aarne's classification. For many European traditions I might mention Animal Tales and Animal Epics, respectively, but Russian tradition has no animal epics in verse. Each group has one feature that diminishes as one moves from the central genre to peripheral ones; in verse genres, this is verse itself. Epics are sung in bylina (epic) verse; other genres combine epic verse and song-verse. In non-versified texts this feature is stylistic elaboration, with special formulas which can be found to a most sophisticated degree in fairy-tales and are much less prominent in other genres. Some other symmetries connect these genres with non-narrative ones.
Houston, Texas, USA
Northern Europe and North America, distant as they are geographically, are separated even farther by their scholars' treatment of märchen. At the end of the twentieth century, Europeans like Bengt Holbek and Anna-Leena Siikala marshaled the enormous resources amassed by nineteenth-century collectors and re-employed them in creative quests to get to know their long-dead tellers and discover the cultural and personal meanings of their tales. By this time, across the Atlantic, the great collectors of North American, English-language märchen - Halpert, Randoph, Dorson, Roberts - had completed their collections without getting to know their tellers or more than touching upon meanings of the stories. But many of these narrators are still alive; and many of the tales collected told by their parents and neighbors have never found their way out of the archives or into the new formulation of Types of the Folktale, which by default of the American scholars, fails to represent the depth of the tradition. This presentation draws upon the repertoire of one family - the Farmer-Muncy-Lewis family of eastern Kentucky - represented by live performances over a span of 45 years as well as some forty manuscript tales committed to writing in the 1950s by one family member. The family is talented, eloquent, and profoundly concerned with the uses of terror: ways of transforming negative märchen magic into tools for combating pervasive personal and cultural demons, notably local violence, gender rifts, abandonment, and a culture of war. In both performance and in memory, the family narratives combine märchen, legend, and local history to create a verbal commentary on their daily lives that echoes their most painful experiences while shaping strategies for healing.
There are two main liminal periods in the Udmurt folk calendar - the period after winter solstice is called vozhodyr (time of the vozho) or uivozho (night+vozho); the period after summer solstice, referred to as invozho dyr (time of the heavenly vozho) or vozho poton tolez' (month of vozho emerging). It is likely that the Permian vezha or vozho originated in a Finno-Ugric root associated with liminality, or existing somewhere in-between *vajesh. Even at the end of the 19th century, Udmurts believed that water spirits came into the villages and inhabited the saunas before Christmas. In the twilight they could be encountered on the street. The water spirits of the Christmas period were mostly called the vozhos. On the other hand vozhos were little devil-like creatures with tails and horns who hid in lakes and rivers in the daytime and danced in water mills and empty houses in the nighttime. For the Udmurts, vozhodyr is the period for mumming. The most common name for mumming is pörtmas'kon, cf. pörtmany - 'to change, to transform, to slander'. Other words for mumming are pendzas'kon (cf. pen 'soot, ashes', pendzyny 'incinerate, to burn to ashes', referring to the most common way of masking by smearing the face with soot or ashes), vozhoyas'kon ("vozhoing"; in several regions the mummers called themselves the vozho). The winter vozho-time was the main storytelling and riddle time for the Udmurts. Even as late as in June 2002 three informants, living in the Udmurtskii-Karaul and Deby villages in the Krasnogorskoie region (Northern Udmurtia), claimed that the words for 'riddle' in local dialect are vozho kyl (vozho language/word/story) or vozho mad' (vozho speech/word/story). Direct restrictions were placed on riddles after the winter vozho-time.
This contribution analyses the ethnography made by teachers-to-be when training in the classrooms. In an ethnology course, "Cultural Diversity", students are asked to observe situations indicating everyday conditions of children at school. They return with stories of how difference is made, or prohibited. There will be idyllic reports as well as reports of nothing-to-report-because-everything works perfectly. The stories told among the students turn out to be narratives of certain themes. The background is the need to make integration work, meaning that the majority has to learn to make the world safe for diversity. The newcomers already know the demand to cope with variety. In 35 years the population has been enriched by a million persons, some 15-20 percent of the grownups, born elsewhere. Their children go to school. The teachers meet everybody's children and may reach all kinds of parents. The majority is still likely to place the onus of problems on the Others, or outsiders. This is a reason to begin efforts to make schools safe for diversity in the process of educating teachers. My analysis has the goal of clarifying when the various systems of domination clash. Hierarchy positions of gender, class, ethnicity, religion, age, and cohort meet at certain crossroads. At school the outcome cannot be predicted. How can this be understood? How are we to understand our reactions when the order of the world is turned upside down? Whose order is it? Whose world? Also even if all the children come from the same country there will be girls and boys present, and gender issues will be at work. Teachers are expected to work wonders against any discrimination. They are supposed to make the school safe for every kind of diversity. They have to meet unexpected situations and react to them instantly, on the spot. It is not easy to do the right thing. Teachers-to-be have knowledge that implies and provides solidarity.
The Qur'an claims to be a heavenly text, authored by God and transmitted to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. But it is also an oral text: Muhammad was known as the unlettered prophet (Sura 7.157), and in the Qur'an, Allah himself admits to using folklore to serve his purposes (cf. 2.26, 39.27). Scholars have nevertheless been reticent about identifying folkloric elements in the Qur'an, because they wrongly assume this calls the truth value of the Qur'an into question. In his essay Fables of the Ancients: Folklore in the Qur'an (Rowman & Littlefield 2003), Alan Dundes seeks to remedy the situation, and shows that the Qur'an has many traces of being an oral composition. He identifies three folktales in the Qur'an, and points to the frequent occurrence of oral formulas in the text. In this paper I continue Dundes' task. I examine the Qur'anic narratives of the fall of Satan and Adam, which are found seven times in the Qur'an: 2.30-39; 7.11-25; 15.26-48; 17.61-65; 18.50-53; 20.115-125; 38.71-88. There are significant differences between these versions; the multiple attestations of the narrative combined with the variation between the versions give clear evidence of their oral origin (cf. Dundes 2003.47). I briefly discuss antecedents to the Qur'anic fall narratives in Jewish and Christian tradition (both canonical and extracanonical), and then more closely examine the Qur'anic versions. I seek to discover whether at the basis of the versions there is one underlying form, or whether the Qur'an conflates two or more narratives. I also show how the variation between the narratives relates to the context in which they are found. This in turn leads us toward a better understanding of their intended meaning.
The corpus of published Udmurt folklore texts is classified as prose texts. It is interesting to note that Udmurt oral tradition does not demarcate legends and parables, true stories and memorats, belief legends (fabulats) and mythological tales, household stories and archaic tales, etc. Such a generic situation demonstrates syncretism. Texts contain some special features that under certain conditions convert memorats or belief legends into fairy tales and conversely. Narration changes its status depending on function and apprehension of a told story. Today storytellers often narrate belief legends as fairy tales and the audience does not doubt this. Sometimes a typical fairy tale is perceived as a real story because of an orientation toward authenticity. Here "the fact" only covers itself with poetic imagery. The Udmurt fairy tale contains living notions, especially mythological notions, and it is transformed in the direction of artistic reliability. According to our material there are no doubts as to the genetical affinities of memorate, belief legend and fairy tale. The influence of folk religion and belief legend on fairy tale can be seen from the fact that many of the characters in fairy tales are based on models taken from the folk religion, folk beliefs. In the folk tales of Udmurtia we find completely supranormal belief figures (spirits of nature: of animals and the forest, the rivers and the lakes; spirits of farm buildings, etc.) and actors of a mediatory nature combining supranormal with human features (witches, the dead) that usually characterize superstitious tales. The attitude of these supranormal beings toward the hero is ambivalent: on the one hand they are shown as dangerous opponents; on the other hand they are friendly and help the hero to achieve his goal. Often the behavior of spirits depends on how the hero treats them, hero's principal knowledge of such beings. Some researchers of Udmurt folklore call these tales "belief legends", others - "mythological tales," or classify them as magic or novelistic tales. Absence of stable terminology both in storytelling tradition and folkloristics points to difficulties in the determination of prose genres of Udmurt oral art.
Due to many long-term social, economic and cultural changes and a reasonably recent, rapid language change among the Nenets living on the Kolguev Island, Northern Russia, these people have begun to tell narratives also in Russian. Some of the elderly are still competent performers of traditional Nenets-language folklore, but its performance is restricted only to special occasions with mostly older people as an audience. On the other hand the narratives in Russian are told quite freely in everyday life and are known by most of the Nenets living on the island. In my paper I want to pose the question whether these Russian narratives are part of Nenets folklore and whether these narratives are folklore at all - or just daily talk? The narratives in question tell about the places and history of the island, but also about the past way of living; in this way the narratives are tightly related to the traditional way of life and to Nenets culture in general. In addition to this continuity, I also find another kind of continuity in the structures and in the meanings related to narratives and to the places they are telling about. In this sense, the narratives clearly represent Nenets world view and culture. Despite the continuities, the changes seem to be more evident due to the advent of another language (not Nenets, but Russian) and to different kind of structural ways of performing the tradition (not by traditional, but by new genres). This is why these narratives are not studied or even collected by folklorists in Russia. Hence, these questions are related to genre and meaning, and also to the problematics of authenticity.
Seppo Luoto & Krista Anttila
The idea of 'possible selves" is a way of thinking about one's occupational future by envisioning oneself in potential roles. It links self-concept with incentives for future behavior. Possible selves represent individuals' ideas of what they might become, what they would like to become, and what they fear becoming. Hazel Markus and Paula Nurius (1986) are credited with developing the concept. It has been applied in research and practice, for instance with adolescents exploring career choices (Kerpelman et al. 2002; Packard & Nguyen 2003; Shepard and Marshall 1999; Yowell 2002) and adults in transition (Beyer and Hannah 2002; Ibarra 1999; Trentham 2000). Research has uncovered differences in the way individuals construct possible selves, which reflect different experiences regarding opportunity structure, stereotypes, and social messages about potential and identity. These 'constructed possible selves' seen through the theories of attribution (Weiner 1986), locus-of control (Rotter 1966) and self-efficacy (Bandura 1977) shows that these constructions may influence our behavior and affect our aspirations (Kerpelman et al. 2002; Lips 1999; Packard & Nguyen 2003). In the context of entrepreneurship education students need assistance in recognizing the contents of these possible selves. These techniques for working with possible selves include for instance imagery and visualization (Fletcher 2000), narrative (Whitty 2000), and mapping (Shepard 2000). In this paper we are interested in the 'possible selves' as a narrative technique and also a view in the narrative research. Our claim is that the traditional theories of narratology (for instance Propp, Greimas) do not offer a proper basis for working with these 'possible selves', since they ignore the subject and the ideas of constructivism. In our analysis tool of narratives we try to combine the ideas of narratology and constructivism in order to build up a more useful tool also for different practitioners (teachers, counselors, students) for identifying and reflecting on the 'possible selves' as part of narratives.
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
At each stage in transmission of a tale from generation to generation, modifications take place but something remains. Thus there is a potential for material to be retained from the distant past, from a time that I shall call the cosmological period, when people lived in a conceptual world that embraced space and time and the organisation of society together with ideas about how their world came into being. I argue that the archaic cosmology in my study was that of both the Indo-Europeans and also other peoples in Eurasia who had the institution of kingship. This goes beyond the position of Georges Dumézil who saw the Indo-European area as self-contained in culture as well as language. It was meditating on narratives that has enabled me to posit a total cosmology and begin to understand the mythology more fully. There are points in common between Dumézil's views and my own. I shall look first at one motif where I follow on from Dumézil and extend his interpretation of a triad: the motif as known in Ireland of the birth of a boy who has three fathers (Lugaid of the Red Stripes). It can be suggested that this is not only an expression of trifunctionalism, but also hints at matrilineal succession to kingship. A well-known Greek story which tells how Pelops defeated Oenomaus in a chariot-race and became king on marrying his daughter, Hippodamia, forms a counterpart to it and deals with succession through marriage to a princess - a theme that resonates with folktales that tell how the hero married the princess and gained a kingdom. These themes deal with a recurrent situation, while another type of narrative deals with beginnings. Here I will draw es pecially on the Welsh instance of the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi interpreted as a theogony.
As part of my research on the songs of Yemenite women, I have studied the lamentations of Yemenite Jewish women now living in Israel. Lamentations about the dead, which I have collected and analyzed, are one of the genres of folklore, songs passed along orally. These women lived in a Jewish-Muslim-Yemenite cultural context and their creations are the result of their linguistic, cultural and religious setting. I will thus present these lamentations as an intersection of the cultures; they open a window on Jewish life in a Muslim context and on the connections between the two communities, with gender as one aspect of this study. By examining these lamentations in the light of the definitions of this genre, I found that although the lamentations of Yemenite women were certainly passed along orally, at the same time they constituted a complex system of both vocal and physical performance, as well as poetic text. In this lecture, I will use the theory of Lord, which deals with creation at the time of performance, to illustrate the way in which these texts are passed along orally, which allows for the assumption of passage between cultures. This is especially evident when the texts are still sung in Yemenite Arabic, despite the fact that the spoken language of these women in Yemen included Hebrew elements. (The poetry of Yemenite Jewish men, on the other hand, was written in both Hebrew and Arabic). I will present the prohibition common to both Judaism and Islam, where women are forbidden to lament their dead, particularly in cases where various bodily injuries are involved. In both cultures, the prohibition stems from the pagan background of this practice, and from the concern that the content of the lamentations might express criticism of God and a reluctance to accept God's will. There is evidence indicating the existence of acts of mourning common to both Jewish and Muslim women, such as placing crossed arms on the head. There is also evidence for the existence of professional lamenters among both Jewish and Muslim women and of reciprocal visits to comfort the mourners, notwithstanding variations due to geographical area and lifestyle. I will also touch on the question of gender specificity in the performance of the lamentations, mentioning the custom of Jewish men lamenting the death of Muslims who had been their official patrons. The attempt to point out Muslim elements in the songs of Jewish women does not stem from a desire on my part to assert whether this cultural product is Jewish or Muslim. The claim that cultures influence each other oversimplifies the infinite dialectical process existing in the contact between cultures; dichotomous distinctions generally simplify a complex situation. I therefore suggest defining this as a dialogue between the cultural elements of the respective groups, thereby trying to understand the processes these cultural products have undergone in Israel. This lecture intends to initiate discussion surrounding these issues, taking into consideration my limited access to Yemenite Muslim resources.
The University of Joensuu (in North Karelia, East Finland) was established in 1969. Today it includes six faculties and nine independent units. The University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight different fields (education, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, economics, forestry, theology, psychology). The University has over 7,200 students and the staff comprises about 1,200 people. The oral history of the university was published in August 2004. I have been working as an interviewer in the oral history project and as an editor and a writer of the publication. In the project, we have interviewed about 100 narrators: former and present students and staff (e.g. vice-chancellors, professors, teachers, assistants, researchers and assisting staff). The oral history of the University of Joensuu is one case study under analysis in my doctoral thesis. In the paper in Tartu I shall concentrate on how a university remembers. I ask: How do institutions produce and construct their own history? Is it the institution, the community or the narrator who is telling and remembering? Questions dealing with social, collective and public memory as well as how institutions think, remember and forget are relevant in my research.
Im japanischen Volksmärchen besuchen Menschen auf verschiedene Weise andere Welten. Das Referat soll zeigen, wie andere Welten im japanischen Volksmärchen erfasst und welche Vorstellungen ausgedrückt werden. Nach den Orten, als die diese anderen Welten erscheinen, lassen sich grob vier Gruppen unterscheiden: Fernwelten, Unterwelten (unterirdische Welten), Unterwasserwelten und Überwelten. Fernwelt ist im japanischen Volksmärchen - der Landesnatur entsprechend - meist das Gebirge. Der Held (oder die Heldin) gerät bei einer Wanderung in die Berge ins Jenseits, begegnet Jenseitswesen, macht dadurch irgendwelche Erfahrungen und kehrt wieder ins Diesseits zurück. Denn Menschen können nicht ewig in anderen Welten bleiben. Wenn der Held hingegen in Jenseitswelten eindringt, die er nicht einfach zu Fuß erreichen kann (Unterwelten, Unterwasserwelten und Überwelten), braucht er irgendwelche Mittel: Er wird von Führern begleitet, die der anderen Welt angehören, muss beim Übertritt vielleicht die Augen schließen, oder er braucht übernatürliche Wanderungsmittel. Die Erfahrungen, die Menschen in anderen Welten machen, lassen sie sich in drei Gruppen einteilen: positive, negative und ambivalente Erfahrungen. Durch die Analyse eines umfassenden Korpus von Volksmärchen, in denen von einem Jenseitsbesuch erzählt wird, möchte ich die Eigentümlichkeiten anderer Welten im japanischen Volksmärchen klar machen. Überwiegend scheinen männliche Helden von weiblichen Jenseitswesen in anderen Welten empfangen zu werden. In diesem Referat soll auch gefragt und zur Diskussion gestellt werden, welche Jenseitsvorstellungen als spezifisch japanisch anzusehen sind.
My paper deals with laughter as an expression of emotions in stories. I study laughter both as a communicative factor in fieldwork and as a stylistic means in narratives. When is laughter used as an effect in storytelling and what does this laughter mean? Is laughter always an expression of humor and comics? What else can it be an expression of? The stories that I use for analyzing laughter are personal experience stories of giving birth. In these stories the women use laughter in many ways, both in contact with me as an interviewer, together with me, and as a way of marking the meaning of the story. The women laugh often when they talk about corporeality, pain and difficulties during the process of giving birth, but also when they perform a self-presentation with elements that 'almost' happened during birth. What do they reveal or conceal with laughter in narratives and what can the laughter reveal about the point of their narration?
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
This paper is based on material collected between 2002 and 2005 during field work in Frassinoro, a small mountain community in the North of Italy. While investigating storytelling traditions, I was struck by the numerous references to the narrative technique and ability of a man named Patriarca, who had died in the sixties, becoming the village's last great storyteller. The interviewees, all well in their eighties, tried to piece back together the stories they had heard from him in their youth. The resulting versions of well-known international folk and fairytales were infused with references to the reality of the village in those earlier days. The interviewees defined these references as part of the ability to 'embroider', which they agreed was the Patriarca's greatest quality. I soon felt the need to further discuss the nature and function of those references with the interviewees. I began by asking them what the difference was between 'embroidering' and 'changing', and whether one could operate changes, in order to bring stories back into daily life without betraying the tradition. This paper outlines the interviewees' responses and analyses variation and change in narrative, as a means to create meaning for people and their lives, both as a community and as individuals. In the first part I will analyse the function of references to reality which created meaning for the community as a whole, such as street and personal names. Despite their anachronistic character, the interviewees regarded these references as fundamental parts of the structure of the tales, to the extent that they resisted the idea of replacing them with their contemporary equivalents. The resulting discussions revealed the interviewees' ideas of structure, genre and functions of narrative. In the second part I will look at references to the lived reality of the individual. Two sisters, after a long time, remember a folktale their mother used to tell them: two very different renderings mirroring their different life stories.
Stein R. Mathisen
The meanings and implications of belief narratives, and the relation between ethnic others and supernatural others have repeatedly been analyzed in relation to cultural identities and multicultural meetings. One aspect of belief narratives in inter-ethnic contexts is that they are seen as statements on a conflict arena, polarizing cultural and ethnic identities, and making borders between categories more visible and clear-cut. This is obviously one function that belief narratives might have. But narrative representations of belief can also be understood in more elaborate and dynamic perspectives. Examples can easily be found where narratives of belief and religion contribute to making communication between opposite and conflicting cultures possible, or to enhancing it. In this way narratives, and supernatural beings, as representations of belief, can have the capacity to make borders more unclear and categories less sharp. These two aspects of the narratives do not necessarily exclude each other, but may in different contexts depend on cultural signification, the distribution of power, and the strategies of the narrators. With a long history of ethnic meetings between Norwegians, Kvens and Sámi in Northern Norway, a large group of belief narratives are in some way or other associated with relations among the different ethnic and cultural groups. The aim of this paper is to discuss how these belief narratives can deepen our understanding of the historical processes leading to cultural change and identity transformation in multicultural Northern Norway. The way belief narratives make use of established social categories and people in their cultural and ethnic capacities, but also of supernatural beings in much more ambiguous roles, represents an alternative point of view to the understanding of inter-ethnic encounters. Through these equivocal supernatural agents, and the magic experts who can control the powers of the other side, possibilities for change, transformation and movement are narrated, conceptualized and represented in fluid and polyphonic ways.
Michael M. Mburu
This study is an examination of various means by which oral narrative is used to inject Kikuyu sagacity into the fallacious field of politics in the Mt. Kenya region. While legends and praise songs are used to show the elegance of power and the might it carries from tradition to tradition, the simple minds which form the majority are at the same time exposed to the more complex and fallacious use of proverbs. The study assumes that a scrutiny and critical analysis of the relationship between sagacity and politics as developed by use of folk narratives would set a clear picture of the state of Mt. Kenya politics as viewed against the background of rhetoric and genuine social agenda. The analysis indicates that folk narrative has been transformed rather than being able to transform generations. This has caused inter- and intragenerational gaps in the field of social responsibilities. The result has been over-saturation of social agenda, with the old generation leaving the youth with no place or way of becoming opinion leaders in the Agikuyu community. The emergence of new "rootless" languages like "sheng" has demolished the conceptual value of cultural dynamism within the set traditional values that make up a community. In view of this, it is easy to understand why there are no budding youths in the field of politics. The dynamism that has rocked our culture has created a generation gap between the youth and the more conservative older people. This thesis is a statement on the use of narrative rhetoric in fusion with the ageless sagacity to dominate the easy going youths in a turbulent sea of Agikuyu politics. By adopting this approach the study has shown that the political players are rhetoricians who use narration in the form of oration to communicate, in persuasion, the schemes and vision in their social agenda. This work would be a new input to the use of critical understanding in assessing the scope of folklore in perpetuation of social domination in politics.
Something very strange happened in the afternoon of July 7, 1996, in the vicinity of the famous megalithic Stonehenge monument. That morning a farmer had inspected his field of grain and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Neither did a pilot who flew over Stonehenge at half past five in the afternoon. But to his amazement, when he returned half an hour later, a huge crop formation of many small and large circles lay down in the field near Stonehenge. The magnificent formation now caused a true traffic jam on the A303 between Stonehenge and the crop circle. Nobody had seen people in the field that day, or any strange phenomena: the crop circle was just there all of a sudden. Soon, the crop formation was called the Julia-set, after the mathematical fractal it represents. This story is well-known among serious 'croppies', i.e. people who believe that (most) crop circles are not man-made, but have a supernatural or extra-terrestrial origin. Most of the time, the story is told to initiate 'non- croppies' and persuade sceptics. The story can be found in oral and written sources, and like a folktale, it comes in many variations, even if it is told by the same narrator. Some say that the crop circle had formed in less than 15 minutes, others say about 45 minutes. Sometimes it is the same pilot who flies over Stonehenge twice, sometimes there are two pilots: the second pilot is supposed to fly a fighter jet. The first pilot is supposed to be a crop circle photographer: in one version he just flies over Stonehenge, in another he circles around Stonehenge seven times. The number of circles within the Julia-set varies from 149 to 212. The crop circle is either situated slightly downhill or uphill. Apart from the pilot, all kinds of witnesses are mentioned: a farm worker, a gamekeeper, Stonehenge security guards and attendants, tourists, motorists... One feature remains stable, however: nobody knows the name of the pilot who actually discovered the Julia-set. Another detail is not mentioned very often: the farmer charged over a thousand visitors a two pound fee for entering the crop circle site. Rather than a (contemporary) legend, a story like the Julia-set narrative seems to be a tale of wonder and functions as an exemplum. It is a story told to prove a point. It is a tale about a complex crop circle that was formed in broad daylight by unseen forces in a short period of time. Physicist and croppie Dr. Eltjo Haselhoff says: "The explanation of a simple human hoax should be excluded." If we take the spiritual New Age world view of the various narrators into consideration, the crop circle tales propagate modern religious messages.
The purpose of this paper is to unveil the important role played by mythological beings - which at first glance appear unimportant - in the construction and consolidation of the annual cycle, i.e. the calendar system of stockbreeders. The paper is based on the folklore tradition of a mythical being, the Master of the Wolves, whose chief function was commanding or dividing up food among the wolves. He appears in many Slavic and other European legends, and some Southern Slavs also celebrate so-called "wolf holidays". A being with the same function appears in many incantations against wolves. Although the legends (and the associated holidays) and incantations exhibit many other common elements, their respective messages are diametrically opposed: while the legends speak of the coming and the setting free of the wolves, the incantations speak of their muzzling and departure. In establishing the times with which both are connected, it turned out that the incantations are normally connected with the first days of pasturing in the spring and the beginning of summer, while the legends refer to the last days of pasturing in the autumn and the beginning of winter. The belief that on the last day of pasturing in the autumn, the Master of the Wolves frees the muzzles of the wolves, which remain open throughout the winter (owing to which livestock must remain in the barns from that day forward), and again muzzles them on the first day of pasturing in the springtime (after which the livestock are again free to roam), binds the two halves of the year into a complete whole. The legends and incantations as well as the beliefs and customs clearly indicate the remains of a tradition, the intention of which was to explain the changing of time, the binary opposition of winter and summer, as it pertained to the annual cycle of Slavic stockbreeders.
The Journal of the Plague Year (1722) seems to be an authentic autobiographical report about the last plague in London (1665). The novel by Daniel Defoe, which appeared anonymously, was written following the news of a new black plague epidemic which had struck the city of Marseille in 1720/21 and which, via Amsterdam, risked spreading to England. In the novel the author also re-elaborates a form of "rumour", today also defined as a "contemporary" or as an "urban legend". This first report together with the analysis permit a new reflection on a genre of oral folklore, its terminological designation and its age.
The aim of my presentation is to give an idea about the ethnic narrative genres of Setu folklore. The analysis is based on seven interviews made with a talented Setu narrator and singer Ksenia Müürsepp (1911-2004) in the years 2001-2003. These interviews include a lot of metafolkloric reflections. There are enormous discrepancies between Ksenia's "genre system" and the analytic genre system of folkorists. The only narrative genre with a distinct name is jutus. It contains fairy-tales and jokes which were considered fictional (but not all stories that a folklorist would call fairy-tales and jokes are jutused). There is also a special verb that denotes telling fictional tales (jutust ajada). The non-fictional tales can be viewed along a scale: at one end there are narratives the activities of which took place in the distant past, on the other, narratives about events that took place "in Ksenia's time" (in her own words "in my time"). Saint legends, some belief legends and some fairy-tales belong to the first group, memorates, some belief legends and some jokes belong to the other. Some tales fall between the fictional and non- fictional tales. About these stories Ksenia said that "the old folk" told them, but she was not sure if they were true. In my presentation I endeavour to show how Ksenia's "genre system" reflects her "worldview" (the ideas about the world and the human and nonhuman beings who inhabit it), and how the preferring of some genres reflects her personality traits. I will also introduce some examples of genre shifting that occurred during the interviews, and speak about some poetic devices that Ksenia used in her narratives.
Alan Dundes (1934-2005) was a giant of international folkloristics, the perfect proof that proverbs are not universal truths, for he was indeed a "Jack of all trades and master of all". Whatever he touched with his keen mind, his polyglot comparative approach, his ability to amass references, and his incredible interpretive gift turned to scholarly gold. Alan Dundes was a great communicator, a person who never tired of championing folklore as a science that offers answers to some of the most complex questions of humanity. But no matter what project Alan Dundes dealt with, proverbs always entered into the discussion as formulaic signs strategically employed to express what he called worldview. This basic concept informed much of Alan Dundes's work on proverbs for more than four decades, as can be seen from such articles as "Thinking Ahead: A Folkloristic Reflection of the Future Orientation in American Worldview" (1969), "Slurs International: Folk Comparisons of Ethnicity and National Character" (1975), and many others. There are also such theoretical articles as "Proverbs and the Ethnography of Speaking Folklore" (1964, with Ojo Arewa), the incredibly influential "On the Structure of the Proverb" (1975), "On Whether Weather 'Proverbs' Are Proverbs" (1984), and "Paremiological Pet Peeves" (2000). His essay volume entitled The Wisdom of Many. Essays on the Proverb (1981, with W. Mieder) has also had a significant influence on proverb studies. Of special importance is Alan Dundes's controversial book with its proverbial title Life is Like a Chicken Coop Ladder. A Portrait of German Culture through Folklore (1984) with its many examples of German proverbs and other folkloric and literary sources that are interpreted as a provocative picture of the "German national character". And his book on The Art of Mixing Metaphors. A Folkloristic Interpretation of the "Netherlandish Proverbs" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1981, with Claudia Stibbe) contains 115 interpretive essays explaining the origin, history, and meaning of the proverbs and proverbial expressions illustrated in the painting, finally making sense of this chaotic picture by going beyond mere identification of the images to an interpretation of their deeper meanings as statements of the follies and foibles of human life as they existed in the sixteenth century and survive to this day. These contributions and many more will be discussed in this tribute to Alan Dundes as a major force in the international field of paremiology.
The predominant anti-hero in Maltese folk narrative is Gahan (/'djahan/). He is the wise fool, popular with one and all in contemporary Malta. However, in the first half of the twentieth century there was a historical undercurrent which, through children's literature, has manipulated and bowdlerised the discursive richness of Maltese folk culture to the extent of framing Gahan as a "light-headed" fool, at times defining his anecdotes, brimming with sagacity, slyness, guile, cheats and deceits, as "stupidities". It is the aim of this paper to show how through his research and publications the present author has challenged this pseudo-scientific assertion which has been crystallised in the native language of the Maltese archipelago. Humour is not only a device to uphold interest in the tale. Above all it also facilitates the comprehension of the progression of events, thus heightening effectiveness and efficiency of the narration. Although artificially indulging in anti-social behaviour, the Maltese wise fool semantically also takes the role of a social critic in his farce as well as that of an interceder for the injured and the insulted. He is a poetic vehicle to express folk wisdom, often putting the fool’s cap on himself. His tales are a kind of "ritual of rebellion" which represents an institutionalized way of expressing antagonism towards authority. His anecdotes, better known in Maltese as "praspar" (/p'ra:spar/), constitute the temporary subversion of a conscious, symbolic order in the interests of a pleasure-oriented subconscious. Gahan's duty is to change chaos to its inverse, cosmos, social disorder to order, the indistinct to the distinct, disequilibrium to equilibrium, to create life and the symbolic universe of our life.
How did rural people adapt to modern society? How did folk schools reorganize the borders of the public and the private spheres in agrarian villages? Were new educational ideas resisted? Might people have even overturned dominant ideas through parody and humour? Modernization and popular education have been previously analysed mostly from the per spective of the cultural elite and their ideological goals. The purpose of my presentation is to examine these processes also from the perspective of ordinary persons. In Finland, primary schools began to be built starting in the mid-1860s. In principle, the new public school contradicted the fundamentals of the old estate system: the aim was not to train children for specific jobs so that they could occupy a particular niche in society, but to provide a general, civic education so that ordinary persons could now participate in social life more fully. In schools, the ideas of the elite received their ritual and performative forms, but at the same time they were also shaped by local conditions. In my paper I shall briefly analyse the tensions between the ideological educational ideas of the elite and the ideas held by the ordinary people. My research material consists of recollected narratives written by agrarian peasants and labourers. These source materials illuminate the causes and means of resistance against modernization. In the recollections of ordinary people, argumentation against the public school system and other reforms is characterized by an attempt to preserve a conventional worldview, way of life, and social order. Resistance to public schools was linked to the fact that they posed a clear threat to the traditional status system of the community. Just as public schools affected everyday life at the level of mentality, practices and social activity, criticism and resistance took place on several different levels.
In course of a research project focusing on the investigation of the 19th century Hungarian popular literature (primarily almanacs and other popular prints), I have encountered several printed narratives that are in some way interrelated with folklore texts. The character of this relationship may vary: since the Romantic era several literary texts emerged in popular literature, which Romantic literary texts clearly aimed at "re-producing" certain features of popular (folk) culture and oral narration. These narratives can basically be assigned to the genres of tale, legend or heroic poem. These genres in the contemporary Hungarian literary canon were regarded as novelty and their reception was accompanied by harsh disputes. Whereas elite literature was engaged in arguing for or against the legitimacy of such narrative genres, of the possible utilisation of folklore genres and discourses, popular literature in the meantime integrated all sorts of novelty. This integration was coupled with an effort to harmonise these new narrative genres with former, well-established narrative traditions. What do these narrative traditions mean? In 18-19th century Hungarian popular literature, in almanacs and other popular prints several such genres had flourished, which narrative texts (historical legends, anecdotes, jokes, riddles etc.) later were collected by folklorists from oral folk tradition at the end of the 19th century and then in the 20th century. The publishers of the popular prints not only made use of oral tradition but also affected it, since presumably these popular prints in the second half of the 19th century considerably influenced peasant folklore. In Hungarian literary and folklore studies distinguished attention has been paid to these interrelated connections between written and oral tradition - primarily focusing upon lyric genres (analysing both texts and tunes). My own investigations intend to point out similar tendencies and mutual effects with regard to narrative genres (either in verse or in prose), which interrelations are to be illustrated in the presentation with some characteristic textual examples.
Margaret A. Mills
Columbus, Ohio, USA
In both the Shi'a passion plays, ta'zieh, and in the formerly widely performed secular romances designated dastan, the heroes and their allies sing poetry, either in part or at all times, whereas their adversaries speak in prose. In the passion plays, the two sides interact in their respective registers, whereas in the case of the dastan, the "bad guys" are strategically incapable of hearing or understanding the poetic utterances of the heroic side. Thus the songs of dastan become a kind of restricted code accessible only to the virtuous. This paper will explore the somewhat problematic relations of the poetic portions of prosimetric performances in different genres to the cultural ideals of mystical poetry in Persian, and to the supremely honored Arabic of the Qur'an, which is regarded as the most sublime verbal expression, but also "not poetry".
This paper is concerned with:
1) folk materials from the beginning of the nineteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century (written down in Vuk Karadzic's collections; in the periodical publications; in the archives of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts), with an exception of a tale found in a manuscript from the end of the fifteenth century;
2) the second source consists of materials from the field collections recorded in the middle of the twentieth century (in the regions of south Serbia and Kosovo and Metohija.
3) the third source deals with the most recent texts dated from the last five years (recorded in the area of central Serbia - Shumadija).
Although the old material dictated to the collector, or memorized by him does not preserve the information about "the folklore in action", it can be compared with the new recordings in many distinctive traits. Through the method of text analysis it is possible to observe a given period, cultural and social environment, different mythological layers as well as parts of patterns of deeply-ingrained conventional codes; psychological characteristics, the common understandings of symbols and representations, the semantic system. Of primary importance are the structure, the theme and the motifs of the tales, their formulaic system. The subject of this paper is limited mainly to the narratives which have corresponding numbers in Antti Aarne & Stith Thompson's catalogue The Types of the Folktale are AT 460-462; and AT 930-934. The results of the investigation show that the awareness of the need of "adjustment" to the genre makes visible the evolution of the genre and the general problem of the concept of genre in each concrete performance of the tale. The special role in this "adjustment" belongs to the legend. The legend becomes a kind of storehouse for other genres, mainly because of its spiritual, psychological and cultural determination, and its persistence.
There was not any necessity to tell about rites and rituals in traditional society, while participating in the events, every generation learned the intangible heritage spontaneously. However, nowadays narratives about rituals are mostly connected with special interests of individuals in kinship relations, or in more unique occasions connected with interests of scholars. In this paper I would like to examine the transfer of socio-cultural behaviour from the dimension of human life into the verbal dimension, and the consequences that this transfer from one dimension into another have on the material described. After transferring from the medium of speech into writing a narrative becomes concrete. My paper concerns the problem, what this 'material described' represents. My examples represent narratives of adult respondents, with texts about celebrating weddings among the Udmurt and Bashkir people. Variations show whether the particular story concerns a person's private life or it is impersonal. According to this subdivision, they have features of different genres. The narratives about rituals characterize integrity of ritual disregarding whether the story is detailed or very short. It has good structure, namely by talking about the beginning of the ritual and by revealing its end in the conclusion. Earlier rites were part of the informants' everyday life and also part of their practical knowledge, or at least they were considered by them as practical knowledge. This is the reason why these narratives represent special phenomena.
Mahendra Kumar Mishra
Folk narratives as oral tradition in Indian society represent the cultural expression of collective mind. India as the country of unity in diversity perpetuates cultural tradition in various expressive forms incorporating change across time and space. Folk narrative like purana (myth) Kavya (epic) and katha (tales) reinterpreted by the people with changing social order. Continuity of folk narrative is made possible through the traditional storytellers and professional singers/ caste genealogists. But with social change the profession of story telling and the epic singing tradition has been affected seriously. Modernity and education, socio-economic change has brought a drastic transformation in folk and tribal society. People accepted techno-economic change for their sustenance and accordingly their narrative singers also changed their profession. They mould the narratives according to the need of their patrons. They also mould the texts independently to make them more acceptable to the audience with logical purpose and meaning. On the basis of these premises, the aim of my paper will be to study continuity and change in tribal folk narrative in Orissa. The castes and tribes of Orissa have rich narrative traditions. Their content and context is interwoven in aesthetic and ritualistic aspects. However, contemporary social context directs the creative mind of the singers to change the content as per the social need. Folk Narrative of the Bhunjia and Saora tribes of Orissa represent the above premises. If on the one hand the Saora have been deeply influenced by Christian literature and remoulded their native folklore, the Bhunjia have been deeply influenced by the Hindu puranic texts and have tried to acculturate themselves with the greater Hindu society.
New Delhi, India
Pabuji ki Phad is an audiovisual performance of folk narratives in Rajasthan, India. Phad or scrolls are painted by the Chipa and Joshi castes. The Bhopas use these paintings as visual aids while singing and dancing to illustrate the legend of their hero Pabuji. These paintings have very strong religious and community connotations. They have a symmetrical composition, as they are meant to be placed in the house shrines for meditation. Pabuji ki phad depicts incidents from the life of Pabuji, a prince who lived in the early 14th century. He is a folk hero of Rajasthan and is worshipped as the incarnation of god. The phad or scroll is about ten metres long. Bhopas are invited by the local villagers to perform in their areas during times of misfortune. Bhopa men sing the ballad and the women show the lamp and highlight the painted area which is being elaborated in the song. They play the ravanhatta or the string instrument, the dholak or the drum and other musical instruments accompanying the audio-visual performance. With the painting rolled up on two shafts of bamboo the Bhopa travels from village to village with the intent of singing the liturgical epic of the exploits of the hero god Pabuji. This performance is the principal ritual of the cult of Pabuji. There are only two temples dedicated to Pabuji in his native village of Kolu. So rather than the worshippers coming to the temple to honour their deity, the bringing of the par painting to the villagers represents, in a sense, the temple coming to the worshippers. The Bhopa is assisted by his wife, his son, who may be an apprentice or other person, who points to the scenes on the phad about which he is singing. The scenes in the epic tend to be of martial nature. The recitation and singing and dancing continue all night long. Just before dawn, the ceremony ends and the phad is rolled up.
The curious wonder-narrative in the apocryphal Acta Petri as a theme with a paradox phrase became popular already in medieval Europe. It found its way to the legends of salvation, as well as to the medieval manuscripts of the apocryphal Evangelium Nicodemi. These late manuscripts are not sources, but a documentation of this well-known popular tradition (spread first of all in the vita and miraculum literature). The investigated Judas-story occurs only in two manuscripts. Not only these two manuscripts, but even the type in general was never translated into any other languages. The study tries to follow this strange process: a narrative from an apocryphal source acquires variants from another apocryphon in the course of transmission, and becomes an explanatory legend of oral nature at the end of the twentieth century.
New Dehli, India
From anthropological to psychoanalytical and from the study of the 'traditional' to that of 'contemporary', folk narrative theories have emphasized a conjunction between lore and life of the folk. This paper moves away from this position to identify post-modern and post-colonial folklores - those whose practice expresses not an essential unity between folklore and reality, but disjunctions between the lore and life of folk. This paper presents neither traditional nor contemporary, but post-modern and post-colonial realities of folklore. Shifts in folk narrative theories and practices are related to the ever-changing reality of folklore. In the course of the twentieth century, wars, migrations, and multinational trade have created unprecedented relationships between folk and lore, whereby disjunction is neither a corruption of the traditional, nor the creation of contemporary, but rather the defining aspect of a new relationship between folk and lore. Folk narrative theory in 21st century requires major shifts so as to include the post-modern and post-colonial expression of folklore and study the disjunctions.
Seit 1885 hat Takejiro Hasegawa "Chirimen-bon" (Crapepaper books) herausgegeben. Das Wort "Chirimen" stammt eigentlich vom seidenen Kimono-Stoff, der sehr feine Fältchen hat und weich ist, und "-bon" bedeutet Buch. Chirimen-bon besteht natürlich aus Papier, das auch sehr feine Fältchen hat. Nachdem man Text und schöne kunstvolle Holzschnittbilder auf das japanische Papier gedruckt hat, verarbeitet man das mit einer speziellen Technik, so dass das Papier Fältchen bekommt. Da das japanische Papier sehr zäh und weich ist, nimmt es dabei keinen Schaden, sondern wird noch weicher. Auf diesem kunstvollen Papier wurden japanische Volksmärchen und Gedichte auf Englisch, Deutsch, Französisch, Spanisch, Portugiesisch und auch Holländisch gedruckt. Am Ende des 17. Jahrhunderts (Anfang der Edo-Zeit) hat sich das Bakufu, die japanische Regierung, nach aussen hin fast ganz abgeschlossen, und 1867 wieder geöffnet. Japan musste schnell ausländische Sprachen lernen und sich die Wissenschaften der Neuzeit zueignen. Andererseits waren für Ausländer solche kunstvolle, teure japanische Bücher mit Volksmärchen und Gedichten eine gute Methode, Japan besser kennen und verstehen zu lernen, und zugleich auch gute japanische Souvenier. Heute gibt es nur wenige Chirimen-bon in Japan, ungefähr 15 bis 20, darunter am meisten Englische, Deutsche und Französische jeweils etwa 12, und von anderen Sprachen noch weniger. Der Inhalt der Bücher ist derselbe, nur die Sprache ist verschieden. Es gibt inhaltlich zwei Gruppen, eines ist die Volksmärchen-Serie, die etwa 8 oder 9 Märchen enthält, und die andere besteht aus einigen einzelnen Büchern, die damalige Gedichte oder Literatur enthalten. Ich behandle hier "Kojo, Schiragiku" (Fräulein Weissaster), das Tetsujiro Inoue im chinesischen Stil gedichtet hat, und Karl Florenz ins Deutsche übersetzt hat. Dieses Buch enthält ausserdem noch einige Gedichte, ein davon aus dem 12. Jahrhundert, und andere neuere aus der Meiji-Zeit.
Claude Lévi-Strauss, a prominent structuralist, advocates that if we take a corpus of myths in a given culture and analyze their underlying structure, we would be able to decode the hidden messages sent from the ancestors to our generation. This paper thus aims at analyzing how various Tai myths told among the Thai-Tai peoples in various areas in Southeast Asia reveal the messages sent from Thai-Tai ancestors. Black Tai and White Tai in northern Vietnam are now still non-Buddhists whereas the rest of the Tai speaking peoples mentioned here, namely, Dehong Tai in Dehong, Tai Lue in Xixuangpanna, China; Shan and Tai Khoen in Shan State, Myanmar; Laotian in Laos and Thai people in Thailand are all Theravada Buddhists. The structural analysis of various Thai-Tai myths reveals that the messages the ancestors are trying to convey to our later generation concern the conflicts in their minds whether to continue respecting the Nature Gods or to adopt the later introduced religion, Buddhism. The case of the Rice Myth is an example. Versions of Black Tai and White Tai Rice myth indicate the state where the Rice Goddess, one of the Nature Gods, still had power over human beings and was still being highly respected. If we look at the Rice Myth of Dehong Tai, Tai Lue, Tai Khoen and northern Thai people who are Buddhists, we find that they not only have the story of the Mighty Rice Goddess as do the Black and White Tai, but they also have another story in which the Rice Goddess and the Buddha were rivals, competing over who would command more respect from the people. This is an indication of "negative discourse" between the indigenous beliefs and Buddhism. This kind of story reflects the reluctance in the mind of Thai-Tai ancestors, the question "Who should we worship: the Nature Gods or the Buddha?" The Laotian versions, however, pick up another theme which reflects a more oppositional discourse: the story treats the Rice Goddess as equally important as the Buddha by telling the development of the size of the rice grains in parallel with the stories of the four Buddhas in the history of Buddhism. This, then, reflects a more integrated aspect of the two religions. Several other myths will also be used to decode similar messages concerning religious conflicts that existed in agricultural societies, where people tried to harmonize Buddhism into their ways of life in rice culture where their Nature Gods have been deeply rooted.
Laramie, Wyoming, USA
Over the last twenty-five to thirty years, the fairy tale fashion emerging in late seventeenth-century France has received due critical attention. Critics have analyzed the production of literary fairy tales in the 1690's as a complex socio-cultural and literary phenomenon. The contes merveilleux by Perrault and other seventeenth- century authors, most of whom were women, assumed very strategic functions in the production of meanings in the context of the literary quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns, which marked the history of seventeenth-century French literature. Perrault is not only known as the author of Contes de ma mère l'oye, but also as the champion of the Moderns. Significantly, the fairy tale fashion occurred during and in the wake of the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns. Given that Perrault was a major protagonist in the literary quarrel and the creation of a new genre, i.e., the conte merveilleux littéraire, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that he conceived of his fairy tales as a literary model in support of the modernist cause. Although the literary fairy tale per se has its origin in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy, the contes merveilleux attest to a distinctive style of imitating folk narratives; a style that has significantly molded the genre as we have inherited it, i.e., a hybrid form consisting of both folkloric and literary elements. By evoking and playing on the purported folkloric origins of the contes, as opposed to the classical genres, Perrault created his own version of simple and naïve tales. Interestingly, just as the contes merveilleux served as a model of modernist literature, many seventeenth-century French tales subsequently became models of narrative for new methods of interpretation bearing on new critical theories.
Dass "einfache Leute" zur Feder greifen, um "ihr Leben aufzuschreiben", bildet in Deutschland noch die Ausnahme. Geschieht es doch, wollen die Schreiber/innen in der Regel Kindern und Enkeln Nachricht hinterlassen, "wie es früher war". Daher werden diese meist handgeschriebenen Lebensberichte gewöhnlich in der Familie aufbewahrt. So gelangen sie nur selten zur Kenntnis der Öffentlichkeit, und falls doch, dann in Drucken an eher abgelegener Stelle. Erst in den letzten Jahren hat ein wachsendes Interesse an "wahren Schicksalen" eine Reihe solcher Autobiographien ans Licht gebracht. Sie dienen zumeist nur als ansprechender Lesestoff, stellen jedoch neben ihrem erzählerischen Gehalt auch eine wichtige Quelle für sozial-, kultur- und mentalitätsgeschichtliche Studien dar. Hier werden lebensgeschichtliche Fakten und Motivationen ansonsten eher "stummer" Sozialschichten im gesamtgesellschaftlichen Kontext greifbar. Das anhand von Autobiographien "einfacher Leute" in Deutschland herauszustellen, ist das Anliegen meines Kongressbeitrags.
The paper is based on an ongoing doctoral dissertation research on the formation of gender ideology among youth workers in Finland. Through oral interviews, written recollections and publications on youth work, the study seeks to produce information on the meanings assigned by youth workers to gender in their work. In Finland the law obliges municipalities to organise youth activities. Also non-governmental organisations and religious communities are active in this field. The relevance of youth work lies considerably in its ability to create informal learning environments. Due to this characteristic, much of the education in youth work takes place in the interaction between youth workers and the youth themselves. This would suggest a hidden curriculum, which is present in the narration of the youth workers. In this paper youth work is preliminarily defined as a historical ethos, a tradition that conveys pedagogical, human and cultural meanings. Gender is viewed as a narrative motive within this tradition. Philosophically, the research is guided by phenomenology. The aim is to find a dialogue between theory and practice and to see what questions and challenges the empirical material may pose for the paper's phenomenological approach, which then may need to be readjusted. The study employs methods from both textual analysis and visual arts. In this paper, some of the prospects of a combination of phenomenology and arts-informed narrative research are discussed. To shed light on these, examples are drawn from a pilot field project that was carried out in a youth club in Helsinki. Other empirical material referred to is a corpus of written recollections by Finnish youth workers. Interviews and written materials include verbal narratives; arts, however, provide visual ones. The pilot field project included both verbal and visual methods of collecting narratives, such as interviews and photography.
Columbus, Ohio, USA
As James Scott reminds us, the plain speaking of truth to power is a rare, charismatic occurrence. Rather, the political communication of subalterns depends on various strategies of indirection, notably folk voice, a mode of communication that depends on symbolic coding and the overt acceptance of subordinate status to achieve a hearing in the public sphere. This paper examines the emergence of localist voice in seventeenth century Languedoc, just after the Wars of Religion, when the defeated region is seeking to reconstruct itself and to win royal favor under the new absolutist regime. The The ater of Béziers, in competition with other carnivalesque performances throughout the region, constructs a distinctive set of local personae through whom the community's concerns may be voiced to the center. As the stylistic features and communicative parameters of these personae are modified over time, they take on a more restrictive character, anticipating what in the nineteenth century we will recognize as folk voice. Increasingly the local speaks only when spoken to, called into being by an apostrophe from the center. Moreover, to be understood the local now requires an interpreter, the provincial intellectual, who is the historical ancestor of the folklorist.
Susanne Nylund Skog
In Sweden, as in other European countries, there seems to be a growing anti-Semitism, or at least a more visible one. In a study that I recently began, I investigate the consequences of this situation for Jewish women, born in Sweden. Many of these women choose freely and selectively when to identify and present themselves as Jewesses. My interest concerns, when, how and with which arguments they make such choices. The aim of the project is to make an empirical investigation of how Jewish women, in their life stories, handle and understand their heritage and the identity categories that surround them. Furthermore, I investigate how recent changes in Swedish society affect their identity formation. My attention is therefore directed toward how societal norms and interrelated mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion help to shape Jewish female identity. In this paper I will concentrate on the motivations behind, and consequences of, when the women break the silence about their Jewish heritage, and choose to identify as Jewesses. Many of the interviewees have agreed to participate in my project because they find it vital to share their experiences as Jewesses. They also argue for the importance of transmitting experiences from earlier generations of Jews, so that the suffering of the Jewish people not will be forgotten or denied. At the same time, they are concerned that this makes apparent existing conflicts and contradictions between Jews in Sweden. There is in the words of one interviewee "a high price to be paid for breaking the silence".
Diarmuid Ó Giolláin
Perspectives on folklore and popular culture have tended to move between "populism" and "miserabilism". The populist approach emphasises the harmonious collective values of a traditional social order as a model for that other collective, the nation. The miserabilist approach sees the value of development and education in prising individuals loose from traditional cultural values and allowing them to attain their potential in modern society. One of the supposed characteristics of traditional society is orality, so that the more literacy is present in a community, the more the individual stands out at the expense of the collective and the more the shorter historical time stands out at the expense of the longue durée. The question of public opinion in traditional society is a particularly interesting one. The notion of the bourgeois public sphere presupposes rational debate among like-minded individuals who shape the opinions of the collective. Can we find a similar process at work in traditional societies with their supposedly collectivist ethos? Artistic creativity is in ways a similar phenomenon, insofar as it deals with the relationship between an individual and a collective. The nature of artistic creativity has been a fundamental question in the history of folklore studies from the Grimm Brothers onwards, and the collective nature of that creativity has been emphasized at the expense of the individual. The question of artistic creativity today cannot be separated from the question of ownership. But if variability is one of the characteristics of folklore, can the concept of ownership exist, and if ownership, can copyright exist in folklore? Traditional cultures are often understood in terms of commons, in which farmers shared their seeds and storytellers shared their tales. The recording of traditional cultures is a form of alienation since it nearly always involves the establishment of a copyright regime. The extreme copyright regimes of today have made artistic creativity within a traditional collectivist aesthetic particularly difficult to define and to defend. In that sense the identification of folklore has never been more problematic.
Jewish pilgrimage to the holy land became possible from the 12th century. The first Hebrew itineraries, documenting Israel at the time, provide invaluable information for historians. Yet, looking at travelogs from a literary point of view indicates that this travel literature constitutes a genre comprised of literary conventions, rather than an accumulation of independent, impressionistic writing. Early Hebrew itineraries, written during the 12th-13th centuries, mainly those written by Benjamin of Tudela, Petahya of Regensburg, Yaakov son of Netanel haCohen and Shemuel son of rabbi Shimshon of Provance, will be discussed. These writers differ in their places of origin, social and economical background, reasons for coming to Israel, descriptive ability and talent. Their works, in addition to being written in Hebrew, share three thematic principles, however:
1. All itineraries are based on ancient regional lists of holy places in Israel.
2. Despite their keen interest in the exotic and exceptional outside the holy land, they disregard Israel of their time, seldom describing its people, geography, flora, fauna, etc.
3. The depicted reality is restricted to holy places - tombs of saints and wise men - and the legends on their miraculous abilities.
The comparison of these three principles with the norms used in Christian and Arabic travelogs of the same period reveals that they function as fundamentals of the Hebrew itinerary. Indeed, this literary genre was meant to strengthen the spirit of its readers and to express the national-religious craving of the Jewish people, rather than to depict travel routes, or the land itself.
In der bisherigen Forschung der Kinder- und Hausmärchen (KHM) - besonders nach der Dekonstruktion des Mythos der mundartgetreuen Märchenaufzeichnungen der Brüder Grimm - bilden vor allem die kontinuierlichen Textumschreibungen durch Wilhelm Grimm sowie mögliche französische Einflüsse durch die Hugenotten die Hauptgegenstände der meisten Kritiken. Es kann zwar einerseits wie ein Widerspruch gegen die Grundprinzipien der KHM aussehen, wenn die Brüder Grimm "aus eigenen Mitteln nichts hinzugesetzt" und die Erzählungen mit verdächtig "fremdem Ursprung" ausgeschieden haben. Im Hintergrund des Umarbeitungsprozesses und der Auswahlkriterien der KHM scheinen aber anderseits die sogenannte Begriffsverschiedenheit "des Einheimschen" zwischen den Brüdern Grimm und ihr eigenes Bild "des Natürlichen", "des Poetischen", "des Deutschen", "des Nibelungischen" und "des Altertümlichen" zu existieren. Dabei spielt der Begriff des "Waldes" eine große Rolle. Dieser Aufsatz hat den Zweck zu präzisieren, dass das mit den untergehenden "Wäldern" verglichene Naturpoesiebild bei Jacob Grimm und das "einheimisch" gewordene Kunstpoesiebild bei Wilhelm Grimm im Hintergrund der Umstilisierung der KHM und ihres wissenschaftlichen Lebens als eine Idee existieren. In 96 der insgesamt 200 Erzählungen (außer den Kinderlegenden) der KHM (7. Aufl.1857) kommen Darstellungen von Wäldern vor, die durch die Umschreibungsprozesse ergänzt und dadurch immer detaillierter wurden. Am Anfang des 19. Jhs., als sie Volksliteratur gesammelt haben, gab es aber, forstwissenschaftlich und vegetationsgeographisch gesehen, in gesammten Deutschland nur wenige Wälder, mehrere abgeholzte Einöden und teilweise schon aufgeforstete, junge Wäldchen. Dieser Kontrast zwischen der Anwesenheit der großen Wälder im Text und ihrer realen Abwesenheit motivierte meine Forschung. Nicht nur die KHM, sondern auch die anderen Werke der Brüdern Grimm als Geisteswissenschaftler wie Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm wird hier als Text eingesetzt. Jacobs Wissen von der Geschichte des Verhältnisses zwischen Menschen und Wald bei seinen Weisthümer[n], Deutsche[n] Rechtsalterthümer[n] und Deutsche[r] Mythologie wird vor allem als Argmente bei meiner Forschung verwendet.
Oladele Caleb Orimoogunje
This paper studies the roles symbolism plays in the verbal arts used in Yoruba indigenous healthcare practices. It also probes into how various scholars have employed symbolism as a critical concept and tool in their analysis of literary works to depict the relevance of symbolism to literary texts and the outside world; this makes it possible for the study to establish the fact that symbolism is unavoidable in man's daily activities among the Africans in general and the Yoruba in particular. An attempt is also made to show how symbolism is related to time, place, object, and character in Yoruba indigenous healthcare practices. This explanation shows how the time, place and character in their health-related verbal arts make them to be in close contact with practical and applied cultural values of their society. The psychological dimension as affecting the users of these verbal arts is also investigated. Furthermore, a more elaborate analysis is given on the symbolic characters in this study by suggesting various classes of characters with the ideas they symbolise in the health-related verbal arts among the Yoruba. The symbolic analysis in this study is discussed at the meta-symbolic, meto-symbolic and phono-aesthetic levels.
Max Lüthi pointed out in his 1947 book Das europäische Volksmärchen that the fundamental characteristics of European ordinary tales are one-dimensionality, depthlessness, abstract style, isolation and universal interconnection, sublimation, and all-inclusiveness. In 1969 I translated Lüthi's book into Japanese. After the translation I edited with a college a material collection in 27 volumes from all parts of Japan and also visited many storytellers in Japanese villages. When I sought to analyze Japanese ordinary tales using Lüthi's conception, I found almost the same style of telling, though motifs, happenings, and characters are different. How can this be explained? The stories were told to be heard: for the ear, things must be clear and simple. Otherwise the audience cannot picture in their own minds the scenes they heard. This abstract style must have been formed during the process of oral transmission. Today in Japan there are many storytellers who learn folktales from books, where they are presented in a style fit for reading. Abstract style has disappeared. Since I believe that storytellers and parents should learn the original simple and clear style, in 1992 I established the Märchen Akademie in different cities throughout Japan. Today it can be found in 54 cities. The central curriculum is the study of the theory of Max Lüthi, and textual analysis derived from his theory. In my paper I will give an overview of the entire curriculum. After three years of the fundamental course, I began to teach an advanced course, where students practice retelling the text with an abstract style in the meaning of Max Lüthi. I then publish then the retold folktales at my folktale institute. At present, 18 volumes have been published. The theory of Max Lüthi thus demonstrates its importance in lands, where the practice of the traditional storyteller has declined.
The Finnish Cancer Patients, the Finnish Cancer Association and the Finnish Literary Society collected stories about cancer in 1994 under the title: "When I fell ill with cancer". During this writing competition people were asked to express their cancer-related experiences, thoughts, and feelings. As a result, altogether 594 women and 67 men from Finland shared their personal experiences. As all people are different, there exists no such thing as a typical cancer story, but there are themes that are persistent in all of the data collected. The present paper describes four themes that are pervasive in the stories about the cancer and more likely are generally common to the stories of illness. [EXPLANATION] The emotionally hardest and most important in these stories is the moment of diagnosis. It may be described as a moment, when a person is turned into a patient. Because of the narrative structure and content this is described as the peak of experiences. [COMPLICATION] The second important theme is the impact of illness. It may be the symptoms of illness, the process of treatments or the methods of coping with it. Depending on his/her needs narrator chooses the approach. This is the explanatory part of narrative. [RESOLUTION] The third theme appearing in stories observed is the view of death. The ways of naming it are different and most likely dependent on the patients' view of life. As psychologically it is the hardest subject for patients, in the narrative death is hardly mentioned directly, here the narrators often use various poetical expressions. [MORAL] The fourth theme concerns the philosophy of life and deals with the meaning of illness. Here the patients/narrators usually evaluate their illness experience. Typically this part of the narrative concludes with some sort of concrete wisdom or saying.
The first Hungarian proverb collection is the Adagiorvm Graecolatinovngaricorvm Chiliades Quinque by the Strassburg graduate Szekelyvasarhely schoolmaster Janos Baranyai Decsi, published in Bartfa in 1598, comprising about one thousand proverbs and idioms, including:
1. Universal proverbs, found all over the world. ("No smoke without fire.")
2. Proverbs originating in the Graeco-Roman classics. ("Let the cobbler stick to his last", Pliny the Elder.)
3. Biblical proverbs. ("You see a mote in your neighbour's eye but fail to see a beam in your own.")
4. Proverbs from Mediaeval Latin. ("Do not look a gift horse in the mouth.")
These can be found in many European languages, and may have got into Hungarian via German speaking students studying in Western universities and from one of the editions of the Adagia of Erasmus. Other types:
1. German proverbs. ("He who sits among the reeds can make a whistle of his choice.")
2. Proverbs related to Slavonic languages. ("Rust does not affect gold", "A clever pig extracts a deep root".)
3. Slavonic variant of a European proverb. ("A good priest learns until his death.")
4. "A lyer is caught sooner than a lame man." (later Hungarian wording: "...than a lame dog"), having Italian (Piemontese, Bolognese), Old French, Catalonian, Spanish equivalents.
5. "A cheap meat yields a lean broth" also found in Turkish, Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak and Czech. "A cheap fish yields a lean soup" is common in Cheremis, Estonian, Finnish, Zyryan and Ukrainian, "Cheap meat is eaten by the dogs" is found in different Slavonic and Baltic languages.
6. "One stone is sufficient to (frighten) one hundred crows" - found in Bulgarian, Turkish and Persian.
7. "There's no packed hay-cart unable to carry one more forkful of hay." No known relationship.
Alma Makovska was the best contemporary narrator of the Latvian folk-tales known by Latvian folklore researchers. Since 1987 more than 60 folk tales have been recorded from her onto audio and video, a great number of them in multiple, repeated versions. Alma Makovska had an excellent memory and narrative talent; her repertory included several hundreds of different narratives - local legends, ghost stories (including her personal experiences), tales based on dreams, anecdotes and funny stories, as well as the history of her family, recollections of ancient traditions, festivities, crafts, folk medicine, including also songs (ca. 170), riddles, games and folk dances, etc. The informant had inherited her tales mostly from her father (1889-1963), but also from her uncle, grandfather (1790-1890), as well as her mother. Some of the tales she had heard at school or read in textbooks. The author has succeeded in finding some texts similar to Ms. Makovska's tales first published around 1896. At the end of the 1980's Alma Makovska performed her tales in front of larger audiences; several times she participated in TV and radio programmes. Alma Makovska told her tales in the local dialect. In a written text very many performance details are lost, e.g. intonation, changes of speech rhythm and loudness, not to mention gestures, mimics, non-verbal dialogue with the audience, etc. The paper will
1) characterise the most significant peculiarities and "secrets" of her performance;
2) show how facing the live tradition helps a researcher to "hear" and better understand written records of tales, found in archives and publications;
3) discuss how the recordings of the informant's tales have been used to teach both children and adults how to perform, to tell tales.
Video samples will demonstrate the way Alma Makovska performed her narratives.
I understand ethnography to mean a description of empirical material that is so meticulous that it constitutes part of the scientific analysis. An ethnography of narrating thus would include thorough descriptions of both the act of narrating itself with all its cultural, social, communicative, and emotional aspects, as well as of the narratives, their form, contents, meaning, function, and aesthetics. Katharine Young's idea of describing a narrative situation as consisting of a number (three, four, or many) of worlds or realms (Young 1987) has proven to be extremely useful and productive. Its analytical strength lies in its ability to provide links between text-centered and performance-centered analyses, especially concerning the roles taken by participants during different phases of the narrative event. When applying Young's model to a short excerpt of a tape-recorded life history, its potency of reproduction becomes obvious. First, the speaker appears to set up not one, but a number of parallel taleworlds, occupying different positions in time and/or space. Complicated liaisons are established between temporal and spatial elements of these taleworlds. Second, inside Young's "Realm of the Ordinary" (or, possibly, parallel to Young's "realm of thought", "realm of interaction" or "social world") there seems to be need for a "Realm of Experience", where all the not- yet-verbalized actions take place. Furthermore, some taleworlds seem to belong to realms of dreams and imagination, while others are situated in the future; still others (letters, diaries) typically are not performed inside live narrating sessions, but appear in frozen form. At different macro levels we find the taleworlds of the grand narratives. (Young, Katharine Galloway 1987. Taleworlds and Storyrealms. The Phenomenology of Narrative. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.)
St. Petersburg, Russia
The presentation deals with the problems of symbolic, ritual and narrative resources which allow a social group or a local community to consider a certain material object to be sacred. "The elementary forms" of local cults of holy places can be observed within some vernacular religious traditions in Russian countryside where family and even individual shrines exist (or at least existed) which can either disappear or not after their worshipper's (worshippers') death. However, since a shrine comes to "communal possession", its symbolic meaning becomes more complicated and reflected in a wide range of narratives and ritual practices. Even at this level, it can be the matter of competition between various families and/or ritual specialists. In urban culture and environment, every sacred place is perceived and worshipped in different ways by various groups of believers. At the same time, the multicultural nature of contemporary urban environment allows more or less peaceful coexistence of various religious discourses related to the same shrine. The paper deals with a number of examples of the cults of local holy places in contemporary Russia.
A local legend transcribed in several versions during fieldwork research in a small east Aegean island forms the crux of the present paper. The "story" talks about the habitation of the island by two brothers, Elias and Nicolas, some 200 years ago; their descendants' families remain on the same lands to the present day. The variants of this particular legend are usually considered as reliable - or not reliable - historical sources; in this sense they touch upon oral history and contribute to the construction of a consistent identity of the island's inhabitants. A closer and more attentive approach to a group of legends connected to the "main" one reveals a second semantic level, with obvious connotations: the cavern inhabited by the two brothers, the symbolic weight of their first names, the fraternal conflict underlined by the antagonism between agriculture and livestock rearing, accompanied by the division of the grounds etc. The principal questions this paper attempts to answer are: how the story corresponds to real events and facts and to what degree it conveys and mutes preexisting mythological elements, in relation either to surrounding Modern Greek mythological traditions or possible mythological relics from a remote (local) past, the latter partially revealed by archeological research. In this paper it is argued that the position of this legend draws heavily from its own and limited cultural context. Although it is an "independent" narration describing precise historical facts and personae, it has nevertheless developed in a consistent exchange with other narrations, beliefs, and representations. It is thus proposed that the "Nicolas and Elias" story is part of an entire, but restricted, mythological system inside the borders of the miniscule island.
This study aims at recording and presenting the genres of Greek narratives classified according to their central theme. In the Greek classification system of these cultural creations, one distinguishes four categories: a. Legends; b. Funny stories; c. Myths; d. Tales. Besides these, another large category must be noted: the proverbial expressions. Proverbial expressions, however, are not independent like proverbs, which are more general and colourful though they are classified together with proverbs, because they have in common figurative expression, frequency of use and popular character. Our study will try to give the causes and effects of the distinction between these narrative genres, their characteristics and provide analysis of each genre respectively. The study will also contain the subdivisions of each genre, e.g. for the first genre: a. Legends:
1. Old Legends (Oral History);
2. Lands and Places;
3. Submerged Places and Towns;
4. Death and the Underworld (Hades), Charon;
5. The Dead and the Souls;
7. The Fates and Destiny;
11. Animals etc.
Through the classification the various types of narrative, their content and their function will be depicted. An attempt will be made to locate the basic theoretical areas which differentiate the narrative genres, to present their relation to Worship, History, Philosophy etc. and eventual literary unities, as well as to approach the thematic of locality and systems of representation (magic, myths etc.). We will try to approach the sector of social analysis and social morphology, of methods and techniques of research. Other factors to be taken into account are the spectrum of ethnographical research in relation to narratives, the investigation of functional spaces (e.g. the agricultural, the urban space etc.) and processes of social change with reference to groups historically and culturally connected with the narratives.
The subject of the paper is an extended research project which has been running for a number of years now (involving a group of university students) in a Roman Catholic, ethnic Hungarian community in Romania, called Gyimesközéplok. Our aim is to do a full exploration of the religious life of a population of approximately 4,000. Within this connections between official and popular religiosity form an important part of my research, along with additional connections between religion and magic, signs of the extinction of a traditional belief system and popular religion, the forms in which they live on and the emergence of new forms under the pressure of globalisation and secularisation. My paper discusses how these processes are reflected in the narrative tradition known to the community, in the textual and contextual changes of narratives. The typical characters of local narratives of the supernatural are the deities, saints and demons of Christian mythology, the demonic creatures of traditional popular belief (incubus demons, fairies, forest spirits, dragons), as well as the dead of the family; ghosts of dead persons with no status as such and persons of supernatural power (witches and witchdoctors, healers, fortune tellers and the figure of the Romanian priest). Within this, dominance has been gained by the narrative tradition related to the figures of Christian mythology (the Virgin Mary and the devil), and characters of traditional folk demonology (which mingle with the figure of the Christian devil), and foremost of all, the figure of the returning dead of the family, along with the theme of witchcraft. The last two areas are also being permanently reinforced, in different ways, by Christian teachings and the activity of the Christian priests. This narrative tradition is also part of the religious system: a partial survival of folk belief is related here to the fact that religion is (still) a very important system of norms in this area. In terms of genre, the most important categories of narratives range from myth, legend, taboo legend and exemplum through to accounts of dreams and visions. During fieldwork we noticed that belief tends to appear embedded in family histories and rumours as opposed to the traditional genres of folklore. As far as the actualisation, construction and context of these narratives are concerned, it is characteristic that legends, whether Christian or non-Christian in content, are usually only recited in ethnographic fieldwork situations. In the context of the non-Christian demonic creatures of the folk belief an increasing role is played by statements of and discourses on belief and disbelief, as well as by negative legends. The remnants of the supernatural world of traditional folk belief are best invoked by the tragedies, crises and emergencies of everyday life. When there is a death in the family, the need to communicate with the dead of the family actualises the narratives of the returning dead. In everyday situations of emergency the living belief in bewitchment brings to light witchcraft narratives. These are usually stories of personal experience; on the other hand, they also play a role in constructing family histories and rumours circulated within families of friends.
Juri Lotman (1975) has mapped out what happens when narrative appears to be entirely absent, as in scientific articles and timetables. Plotless texts affirm a particular world and its ordering. They are organized according to the principle of binary oppositions which establish fixed frontiers, while plotted texts cross the boundaries set up by the plotless texts. Events take place whenever a character leaves the space which is his or her own and enters some alien space. Personae can cross the forbidden border both physically and mentally, and they can also be moved to spaces which are not their own. Movement within the character's own space and changes which do not involve boundary crossing are not considered events. This paper considers songs used in England to scare birds as examples of this kind of plotless narrative. "Rook starving", as it was called, used to be a rite of passage into working life for many children in rural England. A number of songs and charms used for this purpose were collected between 1851 and 1978. In addition, there are numerous circumstantial accounts of the practice from the eighteenth century onwards. As documented, the songs of the birdscarers are mostly short. They generally start explosively with a line like "Shoo all you birds" or "Away you black devils away", but after that they develop differently. Because of their functional nature, the songs have a simple or cumulative structure, involving constant repetition. As such, their circularity resists narrative development. However, some of the songs have dynamic subtexts which explore aspects of powerlessness and the possibility of disrupting established hierarchies. While many simply threaten the birds, others make common cause with them. Some mock the landowner who had sent them there, or other local farmers. In this way, they may indeed be transgressive and, like the birds, cross forbidden boundaries.
Life historical research has typically been interested in the thematics of life history narratives. This is understandable not only because of the prominence of social sciences in life-history research, but also because the subject, life history, is vague as a genre: is it a genre, collection of genres or not a genre at all? In this paper I am concerned with the poetics of life-history narrative in light of the unity of action in narratives. The starting point for my exploration is Aristotle's remarks about the plot in Greek tragedy. According to Aristotle a "good" plot consists of incidents internally connected to each other in a way that changing their mutual place would obscure the story (Poetics 1451a). In ideal tragedy parts of a story are motivated from the unity of action, not from some other principle. A "bad" plot is an episodic one, in which there is only a temporal connection between events of the story - a case of post hoc instead of a case of propter hoc, causal connection between events (1452a). This holds true also for history writing and Homeric epic. An interesting parallel case is one person's life: life history told as a temporal line of events would certainly not have been accepted as an example of good plot by Aristotle. Plots based on one central figure are also bad plots. According to Aristotle, "Unity of plot does not, as some persons think, consist in the unity of the hero. For infinitely various are the incidents in one man's life which cannot be reduced to unity; and so, too, there are many actions of one man out of which we cannot make one action" (1451a). So, if we are going to apply Aristotelian ideas about plot to life histories, there seems to be a tendency to treat life historical narratives as narratives with no (good) plot at all and life historical emplotting as a secondary phenomenon. However, life histories do not usually seem to be plain inventories of incidents. What kind of plot structures or elements of emplotment can we find in life histories? What is the relation of the unity of action with other kinds of principles of coherence, especially with the unity of person (Ich-Erzählung) typical for life histories and other kinds of textual coherence? What is the relationship of textual coherence with "cultural" coherence (cf. Linde)?
Leonard Norman Primiano
Radnor, Pennsylvania, USA
Borrowing terms suggested by British Marxist literary critic and historian, Raymond Williams, I explore in this paper how such designations as "residual" and "emergent" help to delineate vernacular religion's ambiguous and complex character. Such an understanding, I argue, leads one to a richer appreciation of responses to power within contexts of vernacular religious expression; moreover, such a framework allows for comprehending religious life as the sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic amalgamation of both conformation and contestation. Such work also highlights the theoretical contributions that contemporary folkloristics and religious studies can make to each other, and how this act of distilling the two disciplines into a cross-pollinating theoretical and methodological approach suggests trajectories for future theoretical exchanges and applications.
History is always a problematic and incomplete reconstruction of that which no longer exists. Concentration on everyday life of "common people" as well as on the subjectivity of life experiences is generally typical of the histories of everydayness. Although the objective circumstances and subjective behaviour seldom overlap, the real tension between them creates an unusually interesting research field for the interpretation of historical processes in life stories. It has been shown that in attempting to understand how people interpret their histories, it is not sufficient only to examine objective strengths and structures. Those that cause essential changes to the social constellations, which immediately concern a man himself, are not given beforehand. The relationship of external and internal factors has to be determined constantly and afresh. A micro-historical view offers an opportunity to map exactly this interface in which the seeds of a society's dynamics are being sowed. In an attempt to understand the present, one can get to a paradoxical situation: we know a lot about it; however, we do not know something essential about it, because cognition requires intervals. This applies mainly when one wants to create a picture of a political event. Here, one often tends to easily interchange the direct experience (either active or passive) of a contemporary person with cognition (we interpret an event according to ideological or moralistic schemes). Only later from a distance does one find out that it was completely the other way around. That, which we consider to be understood, later appeared to be an illusion. The era in which we lived until 1989 was more or less exactly identified (socialism, real socialism, developed socialism, and socialism with a human face). A citizen could and did not have to identify with it as well as enter to a different extent into "the committed building of socialism". However, the identity of a socialistic citizen was more or less defined, as it was also supported by certain social certainties secured by the socialist society in the field of employment, health care, education, social welfare and accommodation etc. Persuasion about non-perversity of socialist development was also fed the public awareness through the disseminated idea of the irreversibility of a historic progress. November 1989 dealt this persuasion "a lethal blow." The idea of a progressive headway towards a better future and rightful society encoded in the social ideal appealed to a common man and a return to capitalism was generally considered as unreal. Therefore, even after 1989 "democratic society", "public against violence", "civil society", "market society", "transformation", "transitions" and "reform" etc were very often publicly discussed. Nevertheless, an authorised denomination "towards the capitalistic yesterday" proved to be real. A common citizen starts to lose orientation in this conceptual chaos because they can not identify their era and thus can not identify with it properly. They start to feel as if they were "excluded" from the historical line. There is a danger that they will be alienated from the period goals of their cohesion, and their civic involvement is growing weak. In Czechoslovakia, fifteen years after 1945, there was a reinterpretation of histories and an increase of knowledge about a number of secret activities of the communist regime and secret police; archives containing items of secret collaborators of the regime were opened. Ordinary people do not only feel put off, but are astonished even by their own "common" past. Communist ideals which they we propagandistically "absorbing together with maternal milk" and thus necessarily "had got under their skin" show as their own historical mistake, in which they participated. There is the threat of a crisis of identity. "After all, they cannot deny their own life!" Current historiosophical chaos subconsciously forces an individual to escape from their own personal philosophical-historical shell, where they try to put together a convenient version of their own life story. Social energy of common people does not apply to "a better future" any more (we have rung it out with the keys on the squares in 1989) but is invested into the present. Philosophy of the period of stagnation and the "carpe diem"-crisis gets the floor. The media seizes public opinion and the thinking of the majority through "reality shows", which "suck" the people into the imaginary world of a virtual reality. The generation of constructors, devoted heroes, rioters and rebels is replaced by the generation of hedonists, people enjoying their lives and spectators. Instead of people doing great deeds, there are "million girls", dancers, models and sportsmen etc. History is divided into Before November (during totalitarianism and communism) and After November. Although this division appears to be objective, it is measured by personal, subjective criteria i.e. experiences, individual events but mainly by values. People in their life histories confront the past and present in order to seize their own identity as well as define the old and the past-November identity. The current era can be characterised as a period of searching for an identity but also as an escape from it. History in many cases turns inside out, which can lead to the loss of continuity and integrity of personalities. A narrator talking about his or her own life history presents and at the same time confirms, and defines himself in a concrete version of his own life story. Simultaneously, he provides us with a new look at historical events and their reflection in "small histories", in micro-history.
The genre diversity of narrative folklore is represented in the internationally accepted classification of tales and legends proposed by Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson. However, the preparation of national catalogues based on AT system encounters problems, given that there exist narratives with contradictory genre particularities and they do not easily fall into the limits of the one genre group. In her search for more objective criteria for classification, the compiler of the revised "Catalogue of Lithuanian narrative folklore" Bronislava KerbelytP has taken the above-mentioned imperfections into consideration. She has worked out an innovative structural-semantic analysis of folk texts, based on the investigation of structural traits and on underlying semantic features of folk narratives. Structural-semantic analysis shows that complex narrative plots are made up out of structural segments, - the so-called elementary plots (EP). The structure of every EP is distinguished by three compulsory elements: the initial situation, the hero's act (that is, the acts of the hero and the antipode), and the result. When the hero's trail is portrayed, the fourth structural element - the command act (the antipode tells the hero to perform a certain task) - is mandatory to the structure of EP. The hero is the character whose fate is of interest in the EP while the character who collides with the hero is the antipode. Thus, the EP shows a collision of two characters (or two groups of characters) when the hero strives towards a certain goal. The result of the hero - antipode collision depends on the nature of the hero's behaviour, which can be of three kinds: correct, incorrect, or neutral. The paper aims at disclosing main structural and semantic peculiarities of Lithuanian novelle tales by means of structural-semantic and comparative method of research. The theoretical statements are illustrated by the so-called "Tales of Fate" (AT 930-949), which define some aspects of an attitude towards fate and death in Lithuanian traditional culture. The assumption is proposed that structural-semantic analysis enables one to define the function, the boundaries, and the development of the folklore genres more precisely.
The presentation relies upon a decade-long research project that has been carried out in Nagykrös, a medium-sized market town in central Hungary. Nagykrös has been one of the eminent fields of investigation for Hungarian sociocultural research from the 1940s on. According to the presumption of this researches, between the two world wars, owing to the successful and intensive, large-scale agricultural activity, the townspeople had a good and model-like opportunity to enter middle class. The experiences and analysis of fieldwork material pointed out that the agricultural producers of Nagykrös (whom the vast majority of the local population belonged to) existed in a sort of transitional status; they were no longer proper peasants; neither did they belong to working class or bourgeoisie. Although in economic terms the local society was determined to leave peasant mentality behind owing to up-to-date modes of production, general wealth and achievements in productivity, in practice local society remained extremely hierarchic, feudal-like, tradition-preserving and closed. Economic opportunities and achievements were contradicted by the cultural and social order. After nationalization was carried out, Nagykrös became a centre of food industry in the Socialist era. The primary question that the second-phase researches sought to answer was how the local society changed in terms of economic activity, walk of life and mentality in these decades. One of the main outcomes of these investigations was that workers of the local food industry continued agricultural activity as well, and in their leisure time grew agricultural produce for market, but former peasant mentality was in the process of disappearing. The presentation intends to share the outcomes of the above-mentioned third-phase research project that commenced in the middle of the 1990s investigating in what way local society has altered after the change of regime (1990), when such fundamental challenges had to be faced as re-privatisation and drastically increased unemployment. The presentation is based on the analysis of a corpus of extended life-story interviews made with the workers of six local factories between 1995 and 2004, with a view to trying to point out what survival strategies workers had at their disposal in the period of post-Socialist change, transition, uncertainty and new opportunities; what sets of values oriented their choice; how they try to interpret their own history, present status, choices and values, and what narrative strategies they apply to establish a coherent life-story as an essential basis and condition of self-representation and formation of identity.
The anecdotical cycle about Maksja Jogor is found in settlements of the Ust-Kulomskiy district of Komi Republic (Russia). The prototype of the character is a historically real person who lived in the village of Ust-Kulom in the first half of the 20th century, and was a participant in the First World War. Many characteristics, portrait features, and life circumstances of the historical person have found reflection in the anecdotal story. Good and interesting story-tellers of these jokes are, first of all, elderly men. It is preliminarily possible to discern 18 plots. Usually informants tell some yarns about adventures in which the hero is a merry fellow-joker by the name of Maksja Jogor, who swindles simple people and representatives of authority. Undoubtedly, reasons for the occurrence of oral histories were that the original character and life circumstances of a real person differed from standard rural behaviour. The further destiny of stories was defined by other factors. The image of Egor became folklore and extended over a wide territory: the real person frequented nearby villages where they wrote down oral stories about his adventures. In due course there was the typification of the image which kept features of its prototype, but came to bear generalized national representations. Insufficient data on the "real" Maksja Jogor's life complicate revealing the facts thought up by people. The anecdotical cycle about the adventures of Maksja Jogor thus makes for an exclusively interesting phenomenon in Komi folklore culture. Oral histories persisting into the present testify to the viability of folklore tradition (in particular Ust-Kulom's tradition) which is capable in conditions of globalization to generate new texts of oral creativity and to help preserve collective memory.
In my presentation, I will compare some narrative genres available in the folk belief repertoire of both Orthodox and Lutheran inhabitants of Central and Western Ingria. The overall crucial point of the topic is the narrating of life experience in which different kind of genres are combined as an intertextual macro-genre. My data were compiled during field work sessions focusing mostly on life experience narratives performed by elderly Ingrian women from Kupanitsa and Spankkova parishes as well from the Votian villages located between the Kurkola and Soikkola peninsulas in Kosemkina parish (called also Vaipooli) in 1997-2004. A considerable part of the narrative motifs are connected with the critical events of memorable history, mainly the period of mass evacuations that began in spring 1943. At least three different kinds of narrative plots could be explicated. One of them is based on the apocryphal motifs or lay prophesies. The second one is connected with the dream-telling or visionary tradition. And finally, there are belief legends containing different omens and warnings. Each of these types characterizes the functioning of the narratives and narrating as a traditional part of crisis-solving strategies actualized especially during the times of trouble. It is interesting to mention that a remarkable part of the telling corpus of the local Lutheran Finns has a correspondence in the belief legends or, in some cases, some other narrative tradition of their Orthodox neighbors. One of the most widespread plots is about the warning activities of the guardian spirit whose unusual behavior reminds the household family of unstable future events. The spirit appears as a house animal (cat, coat etc.) or might be heard as an unpleasant voice throughout the night. These events could have been taken place already long before the social cataclysm or during the last night before the forced leaving of the household. Another motif of an obviously Orthodox origin is about a huge cross rising upon the whole village to prevent the total damage of it in the course of the future battles. This motif is present in dream-vision as well. One of the most interesting dream-motifs - which seems to be of the Orthodox origin as well - concerns checking some strange currency, predicting travel to a foreign country. In the Orthodox environment, the very Saints (Virgin Mary) have been met and sometimes even heard weeping just before the evacuating activities began. The very Christian symbol is also the appearing of the red cock which foretells the victory of the Red Army. The fact is that this kind of themes could easily also be transmitted by Orthodox Christian legends. First of all the Orthodox folk mentality is characterized by the extremely powerful motifs from apocalyptic narrative episodes. This partly belongs to the tradition of fortune-telling as a part of the religious practice called obmiranie, falling into a cataleptic state of consciousness. The prophetic modalities appear in stories performed by elderly women (often aneled by priest already). However, these stories could be told also by men as a kind of entertainment rather than prophesy. The motifs regarding the struggle between the fathers and their sons, the flood cataclysm or the stories about deserting the land and flames burning the whole world are partly biblical by their origin (e.g., the Book of Revelation, the Gospel of Luke or the Book of Esra in the Old Testament). However, a remarkable part of these plots goes back to the long-lasting tradition of apocryphal writings very familiar to the Orthodox lower level mentality in Russia. (Cf. Vitkovsakii & Vitkovskaya 2001). In Ingria, among those plots an extremely popular one comes from the apocryphal Books of Sibyl and deals with the catastrophic events taking place at the end of the world when rocks crash down and fireballs fall from the sky (see also Korhonen 1938). It is rather probable that the interest towards this kind of narrative plots with a rooting in the Orthodox apocalyptic consciousness (so-called potaennye knigi) had already increased in Ingria during the Swedish-Russian war activities and thereafter. However, a new wave of the telling-tradition of these motifs may be connected with the popular chap-books containing different apocryphal themes that were published in Finland from 1850-ies up to the beginning of the 20th century. The latest stratum broke out in the course of the First and the Second World Wars. Summing up, a narrative stratum common to different Lutheran and Orthodox groups in Ingria can be observed and needs further historically-focused genre analyses.
Tale Type AT 700, named 'Fingerling', is presented as a narrative based on female psychological mechanisms. The underdeveloped figure, who never leaves home or separates from his parents, is presented as an expression of maternal-symbiotic needs, motivated by the desire to preserve the mother's symbiotic relationship with the infant. The immaturity characterizing this figure may be understood as the experience of maternal immaturity, projected through the child. This idea is supported by evidence taken from three sources:
1. Different versions of this tale type from different cultural regions: The versions reveal the close affinity between Fingerling and his mother. Some of them also emphasize the fact that the mother herself suffers from early childhood deficiencies.
2. The hero pattern model, presents the circumstances surrounding the birth of heroic protagonists of legends and myths as being very similar to those of the tiny heroes in fairy tales. The major difference is that in legends and myths, the heroes grow up to be heroic characters, who achieve their own separate identities. This difference raises the possibility that the fairy tales about Fingerling express a maternal, pre-oedipal point of view, in contrast to legends and myths.
3. Female dream narratives deal with pregnancies and women giving birth to tiny babies, which symbolizes maternal immaturity and the lack of a father. The possibility of seeing the fairy tale as a feminine genre is presented not on the basis of the protagonist, but by referring to the female point of view at the root of the narrative. This point of view might be revealed through a comparative re-reading of fairy tales and female dream narratives. Such a comparison teaches that the tales about Fingerling can be interpreted as the story of the dependent, immature mother.
The experience of childbirth is without a doubt a very important event in a woman's life, which finds attention in every culture. In some places birthgiving is considered a rite of passage, marking a change of social status and admission to society. In this way it is understandable that women again and again remind and describe this event to their friends, family, or even to almost strangers. Talking about how it felt to give a birth is also an important way to work through this experience; verbalisation or written recording makes the experience easier to handle. Lately, following the model of other countries, birthstories have also spread on the Internet in Estonia, where their authors are anonymous. These stories are mostly self-interpretations of limited social groups; on this basis it is untimely to make any far-reaching inferences. In this report I describe and analyse birthstories of Estonian women and attempt to find the differences and similarities between them. I also pay attention to the formal side (length, structure, manner of writing) and to the content (what is described and emphazised, what is never discussed, etc.). I also consider reasons why these stories are so popular and why women nevertheless write them down for strangers to read.
Although legends about church-buildings are mostly based on international models and seem to be similar, deeper insight reveals considerable regional peculiarities. The situation is very different in Lutheran Estonia and Orthodox Setomaa district, but there are some less noticeable peculiarities also within Lutheran area. Areas of comparison are mostly West-, Central- and South-East Estonia. This paper discusses popular motifs connected with immuring people in church walls, as well as motifs about giants. Church legends are often constructed as explanations of church names. Regional peculiarities of legends reflect differences in traditional economy (the importance of ploughing) and give evidence of historical cultural contacts. There are differences also in the spread of Catholic features in oral tradition. For example, the parish names in South-East Estonia are not based on Saints' names, but in the legends the name of the immured person is derived from the name Saint of the church. In the southeasternmost corner of Estonia it is not possible to speak of the demonization of Catholic symbols (Saints, monks, nuns), as in case of monks in Western Estonia.
Modern communication offers its own rules of game. On the one hand, it raises serious claims conditioned by advertising, management, rivalry, and professionalism. On the other hand, meeting many requirements, it endorses and encourages the orientation to values. Value is discovered when the need for meaning is presupposed. In this context attention is drawn to semiotics, an area of scholarship investigating what is before and after the sign and perceiving the meaning as a process. In general, according to Algirdas Julius Greimas (1917-1992), semiotics should be referred to as a scholarly project rather than scholarship. Greimas is famous worldwide as a semiotician; he is a founder of the so-called Paris school of semiotics, a professor of l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales of Paris, where he was at the head of the semiolinguistic researches at that school for many years. On the basis of structural semantics he created the theory of text semiotics and adapted the premises of narrative grammar for mythical texts and miraculous fairy tales and stated that deciphering narration reveals the ideology of axiology. Is semiotics still in vogue? The new semiotics extended the boundaries of the narrative in the research of film, art and advertising, thus emphasising the popularity of narratology.
The animal trickster in African, European and Asian tales is generally a small and weak creature, who by his wit and cunning defeats stronger and more powerful animals. He pursues purely selfish goals and in doing so he breaks the rules and conventions of social order. He is also an ambiguous character: if he cannot control his instincts and desires he will act in a stupid way and thus himself become deceived. The function of trickster tales has been described as illustrating the necessity of limits and order in society, as they show the resulting chaos when these are absent. The trickster uses a number of different strategies in order to reach his objectives. They all have in common the fact that false play is involved, and that ethical rules such as reciprocity and confidence are broken. In AaTh the trickster's actions are described by verbs such as "to pretend, to disguise, to sham, to cheat, to steal, to play dead, to force, to push, to feign, to lure, to use false words, to flatter, to persuade". Among these "to flatter" and "to persuade" are purely verbal strategies. In my paper these two verbal strategies of persuasion and manipulation are examined by using a number of trickster tales as examples. It will be shown that there are certain psychological factors on the side of the trickster's partner which the trickster by empathy realizes and subsequently exploits. By showing successful strategies of persuasive communication, the tales impart basic rhetorical knowledge to their audiences.
Immigration is an inherent part of human experience in the modern era. In Jewish-Israeli history nationalism and nation-building have played major roles starting from the mid 19th century through several waves of immigration to the Land and State of Israel since 1882 to these days. In its first phases, nation-building also involved an intensive culture-construction in terms of socio-economic principles, education systems, language, arts, and other aspects of life. Since then, the people matured and their ideologies moderated, until we reached a more pluralistic approach, which gives voice and ear to several narratives at the same time.
By now, Post-Zionist scholars are engaged in exposing the myth-making and hero-manufacturing accompanying this process, as well as the significant rates of emigration following every immigration and the negative phenomena during both, such as workers exploitation, commercial prostitution, sexual and other abuse amongst the most ideologically renowned circles. Pro-Palestinian scholars and politicians stress the tragedy of the Palestinian people throughout the Zionist Era and especially since 1967. More recently, a complaint about the imposition of European values on Jews coming from Islamic countries is being formulated.
It is interesting to note the differences in treatment of this claim by various disciplines. Historians study specific cases such as the founding of agricultural villages, or development towns, or immigration from specific countries or areas, but they refrain from making general accusations against the absorbing authorities or Israeli society. By contrast, literary and cultural scholars do formulate such accusations on the basis of text analysis, but with little attention to socio-historical considerations. On this basis, this paper offers a cross-analysis of the disciplines and claims involved in the Israeli-Orientalist claim, as well as synoptic analyses of relevant oral narratives and histories.
The paper gives an account of an unexplored folklore genre, the secret story. This term means an anonymous patriotic narrative about some important events in the existence of the nation (the people), which glorifies fighters for national and/or social liberation and exposes crimes of foreigners ruling in this country or of traitors. The secret story has been disseminated in a way "for you as a friend"; it was intended for like-minded persons. The author and/or oral narrator of a secret story, when describing enemies, uses devices of national (ethnic) "laughter culture". Defending himself in case of disclosing his authority by enemies, on the one hand, and activating the listener's perception on the other, he uses Aesopian language and the mode of "no names called". This model for the genre specificity of the oral secret story can be reconstructed through its embodiments in ancient literary texts. Some traits of the secret story may be found in "The Secret History" ("Anecdota") by Procopius from Caesarea (6th century) and in the anonymous "The Secret Story of Mongols" (13th century); one can also see reflections of old Slavonic secret stories in narratives about Avar's invasion and "Khazar tribute" in The Russian Primary Chronicle (11th century). In full the traits of the secret story are demonstrated by the two works of literature: the Old Russian "New Tale about the Fames Moscow Kingdom" (1610) and the Old Ukrainian "News about the Cossack Rebellion in 1630" (1630). Investigation of these patterns of the secret story allows one to arrive at a conclusion about its sacred roots. For example, the taboo regarding calling the names of the leaders of the rebellion served the purpose of securing their safety from infernal attacks by hostile deities.
Manchester, United Kingdom
The increasing popularity of alternative therapies is introducing many people to alternative spiritualites, often for the first time. One example of this is to be found among sufferers of Myalgic Encepalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), a condition for which scientific medicine has been unable to produce a cure. Although many people with ME/CFS remain hopeful that medical research will eventually determine a cause and provide a remedy, their reliance on science is far from absolute. Lacking a cure, many people seek alternative therapies where the emphasis is on the holistic healing of body, mind and spirit. However, those following this path often face difficulties in accommodating Christian beliefs with the beliefs of the alternative spiritualities that they encounter. The material presented in this paper is grounded in my own experience of ME/CFS and developed through a case study drawn from work in progress. In this case study Nancy, an older woman, describes her negotiation of the tensions between traditional religious belief and an emerging belief in new age spirituality. In conclusion I argue that in this self-narrative can be seen the working out in lived experience of wider cultural changes in vernacular spiritual beliefs.
Why does Ms Ramsay, the protagonist of Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (1927), read to her son "The Fisherman and his Wife" by the Grimm brothers? Two early 16th century Italian "poemetti" can help to explain this. They bring to light a very early form of the tale-type 515 and allow to reconstruct its genealogy and historical transformations. The central theme is the setting of desire, which structures the balance of the sexes.
I present an analysis of a videotaped interview which was made in 1998 in Helsinki of two sisters aged 9 and 7. This analysis is part of my larger study of local fan cultures of the Spice Girls, a phenomenon that broke through young girls' cultures in Finland in the latter part of the 1990s. In the interview, the girls tell about two rather traditional practices that relate to the fancying of pop idols, collecting items and playing games inspired by the media narrative. The repertoire of a small group of girls' indoor games, play with dolls and imaginary and role games appears to be the relevant cultural context of fancying pop idols. The girls apply ingredients of the media narrative selectively and creatively in their spontaneous games. The media narrative is translated into play narration, and further into the verbal narration in the interview. In the interview, different embodied voices carry differently voiced narrators. An active "I" narrator tells about collecting as a hobby. The hobby, with its contents of gathering an individual collection, comparing it with those of others, and consuming and exchange, builds up a subject position of an individual "I" and an individualistic identity. A narrating "we" produces the playgroup, a societal subject, and a group identity, as well as the pride in all of that, the feeling of "we the girls". I describe the internal differences and polyphony of a vocality that is defined as girlish in an oppositional structure, as heard against men and women's voices. A speaker who masters different voices and narrator's positions realises the polyphony as a means of creating varying attitudes and perspectives in a negotiation of the reception of the media narrative and its application in the construction of identities in girls' groups.
Somalis - like the majority of immigrants with refugee background - have lived in Finland mainly since 1990's. At present, there are approximately 7000 Somalis living in Finland, and 430 of them live in Turku (a city on the western coast of Finland). Hence, they are the largest black minority group of the city. My ongoing ethnographic Ph.D. research within the disciplines of comparative religion and women's studies examines gendered ideals and everyday practices described by Somali Muslim women in Turku. The focus of my presentation is the multi-layered social dynamics of gossip. Based on the ethnographic material (field diaries and interviews), I will first discuss definitions of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour for young Somali women (clothing, leisure-time activities, dating etc.). What kinds of morally loaded meanings do these gendered ideals and representations have in relation to evaluations of Finnish culture and cultural continuity? Because of their position as a small ethnic minority in the city, Somalis almost without exception know each other by appearance. Thus, in the second instance, I will concentrate on the role of social networks and socio-spatial informal control in the city space of Turku. Thirdly, I will link these two themes to gossip, which is a recognised social phenomenon among Somalis in Turku. What kinds of meanings do the interviewed women attach to gossip? What types of issues are gossiped about? Is gossip gendered? What kinds of motives do gossipers have? And finally, how does the possibility of becoming a target of gossip influence young women's behaviour in public and/or non-domestic spaces (e.g. in the city centre or in social events such as weddings and other festivities)?
The first decades of the 20th century were a period with many dramatic events in the history of Finland. It was also a period of transition in the history of communication. Many old media, such as broadsheets and hand-written newspapers, had their "last heyday" and gained new meanings during the periods of censorship and political oppression. At the same time new media such as telephone, gramophones and radio started to get established. Narrative genres of oral tradition had a rich interaction with these new media. In my paper I discuss this period of transition among the young people in the small industrial community of Karkkila in Southern Finland. The paper is based on my doctoral thesis Self-education and Rebellion (2004). The most important materials are the editions of a hand-written newspaper written by these young people from 1914 to 1925. My theoretical background is derived from both folklore studies and book history. Inspired by the research of Robert Darnton, I have outlined the communication circuit of the working-class youth of the early 20th century, discussing the position of the manuscript tradition (hand-written newspapers, minutes, and letters) in relation to the printed texts (books, newspapers, broadsheets) and the oral tradition. In my paper I focus on the narratives of love in the manuscripts written by working-class youth. How do they work with the ideas and narrative genres and themes adopted from the printed media and the local oral tradition?
Our attitude to death, both individually and culturally, can be seen, for example, in the way we relate a death event. Although death has lost its social status, and thus also its common interest, we still have an apparent need to speak about our loss, a dear person's death, and about the events prior to or after the actual death. It is, however, not only a narrative about the deceased; it is also a narrative about the relations between the family members, and a story about the narrator himself. In the present study, members of one family are narrating about the mother's death; the father and the two daughters are telling the same story from their own perspective, but they are also speaking about the new role each of them was forced to take on due to the mother's illness and her subsequent death. According to Michael Foucault, power is a relationship between people, and this relationship is manifested in different ways in different situations. My aim is to study how the grief over the wife's/mother's death is given utterance in the family members' narratives, and how their personal experiences reflect different relationships: to the deceased, to each other, to other mourners, to public institutions, and to me - the interviewer. I will demonstrate that networks exist, for example, of the relative strengths between a husband and a wife, parents and children, sisters, and between the one who knows and the one who does not know, and I will show how this pattern alters depending on the narrator's own agenda; his/her need to beautify or to deny certain aspects of the death event or of his/her own actions. Power relations are definitely present, and active, in the narratives, in three different structural "hows" and in three different aesthetical "hows".
Mikael Valentin Sarelin
Loud music, black leather, spikes, and artists soaked in blood. This is the first sight that meets the observer at the "typical" black metal concert. When the researcher enters this extreme arena as an outsider and starts documenting the ongoing communication between artists and fans, he takes on a communicative role, the role of the researcher. Black metal is a musical culture with its roots in heavy metal. During the 1980's heavy metal gave birth to thrash- and death metal, two quite extreme genres of metal, which in their turn gave birth to the even more extreme black metal, as a protest against the ongoing commercialisation of thrash- and death metal. Naming their satanic culture black metal, the fans wanted to make sure that this new culture would stay underground, out of reach for the major record labels and the television. Within the framework of my research, where I look at the cultural contexts of black metal, and contexts such as individualism, gender, violence, racism and respect, I attend black metal concerts in order to witness the ongoing communication between musicians and fans. With me I bring my notebook and my camera, I usually shoot pictures of both fans and musicians during the ongoing concert. From my partaking in the concert arise questions about the ethics of field research. How does the presence of an outsider influence on the behaviour of the fans and the artists during the concert? As they know that there is an outsider present during the concert, taking photos and interviewing them, do the fans put on a role to ensure the stereotype of the black metal enthusiast? As a researcher I have my own role, as have the black metal fans. Does the researcher have responsibilities towards the objects of his research, in this case black metal fans, and to which content is it acceptable to expose the individual and his integrity? These are questions that I want to discuss in my paper.
Die Untersuchung zeigt, dass unter "Kindermund" verschiedene Arten von Kinderaussagen verstanden werden:
1) Witze, die als Helden meist stereotype Kinderfiguren haben, wie Klein-Fritzchen, Klein-Karlchen, Klein-Erna. Bei näherer Betrachtung erweisen sie sich als wohl von Erwachsenen erfunden und hauptsächlich für Erwachsene erzählt.
2) Witze, die Kinder meist für Kinder erzählen und die ebenfalls gern Kinderhelden und Erwachsene kontrastieren.
3) Tatsächliche Aussprüche von Kindern gegenüber Erwachsenen, die diese belustigt. Diese dritte Gruppe steht im Mittelpunkt der Untersuchung.
Die von den Kindern ernst gemeinten Aussprüche lassen sich in die Hauptgruppen "Mangelnde Sprachbeherrschung", "Nicht-Durchschauen der Welt der Erwachsenen", "Fragen" und "Schlagfertigkeit" gruppieren. Es soll diskutiert werden, in welchem Maße diese "Witzchen" weiter erzählt werden, das Alter der Kinder von Belang ist und vor allem, in welchem Verhältnis sie zu den allgemeinen Witzen stehen.
Kristinn H. M. Schram
Is identity a product of political authority or a more dynamic cultural construction? Drawing on my fieldwork among Edinburgh taxi drivers, I will present a case study suggesting that everyday narrative has a greater influence in defining who we are than does the formal discourse of national politics. A prolific arena in the shaping of national, local and personal identity can indeed be found in the complex constructions of everyday life, such as in its familial and occupational contexts; the latter being the focus of this paper and its underlying research. Through their formal and informal knowledge of the city and extensive interaction with its locals and visitors, the cultural life of taxi drivers poses a worthy subject of research both on an individual basis and in the context of the dynamic but communal culture of folk groups. This paper therefore discusses how in an occupational context the identity and cultural environment of individuals is negotiated and represented in their oral and visual narrative. With this aim I have focused on the in-group narrative of taxi drivers, researched through reflexive participant observation, audio-visual documentation and qualitative inquiry into the informants' own conceptualizations of the significant cultural scenes, settings and events of their everyday life. I argue that narrative is an important part of the taxi drivers' canon of work technique e.g. in redefining and managing their urban environment; an endeavor significantly influenced by the interrelationship of their personal, local and national identities, as expressed in the various contexts and narrative events. Concurrently I exhibit the methodological benefits of reflexive and dialogical approaches and contextual narrative research as an alternative to hegemonic perspectives in under standing cultural representations of identity and its negotiation in everyday life.
The German minority is the second most significant one in Hungary since the 18th century. After the Second World War, in compliance with the principle of 'collective guilt', the majority of Germans usually living in villages were expatriated from Hungary. Although the German villagers of the settlement under survey escaped expatriation, they were deprived of their movable and immovable property and they were practically treated as outlawed citizens until the beginning of the 1950s. The local German society vividly preserved and transmitted the memory of fear, denial of rights, hardships and disappointment as part of individual life stories and family stories. With the transmission of these narratives the Local German society preserved and integrated these experiences into its ethnic identity, which reinforced certain elements of ethnic identity, i.e. the awareness of German origin and solidarity. Nowadays the ethnic identity of the various generations of the local society is constituted of different elements, which is reflected in the difference observable in the narratives related by members of various generations about the period of ordeals. The presentation intends to account for this difference in the constituting elements of ethnic identity of the various generations on the basis of an analysis of life story interviews and related narratives.
My paper is inspired by M. M. Bakhtin's ideas about genre and the possibilites they offer for approaching and interpreting chain letters. Though a marginal phenomenon of written folklore, chain letters - especially the ones that have emerged along with the spread of e-mail - pose several interesting questions to folklorists, particulary to the ones like myself, who are struggling to give up classifying. I have thus come to treat chain letters as a kind of a mental puzzle, enabling one to practice thinking about folklore genres and the concept of genre in folkloristics in terms other than fixed, pre-existing categories. Since Bakhtin stresses both the importance of genres in all spheres of life as well as the need to recognize the historic nature of all genres, his views on genres offer valuable points of reference here. I have found two of Bakthin's works to be especially useful: "The Formal Method in Literary Scholarship" presumably co-written with P. N. Medvedev in the late 1920s and "The Problem of Speech Genres", an essay from the early 1950s. In my paper I aim at synthesizing genre concepts elaborated in the mentioned works: relying on concepts of primary and secondary genres, I combine them with Bakthin's and Medvedev's ideas of genres as complex systems and means for conceptualizing and controlling reality.
Syktyvkar, Komi Republik, Russia
In 2003 the Finno-Ugric Society in Finland supported the carrying out of an international web-based project on the past and present fieldwork at the Finno-Ugric peoples in Russia (project leader A. A. Survo). Currently, the website Fieldwork (available at http://www.komi.com/pole) features a historiographical series of articles about fieldwork and expedition reports by scholars of Finno-Ugric studies in Russia and abroad, and some unpublished materials held in the regional and central archives of Russian and foreign research institutions and museums. Users of the site can sort images and texts by authors, regions, research topics, or conduct complex searches. Future plans include adding a cycle of historiographical overviews and biographical data about the scholars studying the traditions of Finno-Ugrians, and expanding the selection of modern audio-visual materials. The preparatory work at the electronic publication was carried out by members of research institutions in Russia (Izhevsk, Kudymkar, Moscow, Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg, Perm, Petrozavodsk, Syktykvar), Finland (Helsinki, Joensuu), Estonia (Tartu) and Japan (Tokyo). In the course of the project, preparations for the publication of an article collection on the history of Komi ethnography in the 19th-20th century were carried out. The surprisingly long discussion on the practical purpose of publishing the collection in the Institute of Language, Literature and History of the Komi Centre of Sciences at the Uralic Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the partly justified criticism of the collection's international board of editors are suggestive of the topicality and productivity of the methodology and discourse on methodology of folkloric and ethnographic studies in the Finno-Ugric areas of Russia. In 2004, the project of an electronic encyclopaedia Readings of Nalimov was financed by the grant of the President of Russia. The encyclopaedia is dedicated to the intellectual heritage of the Komi ethnographer V. P. Nalimov (1879-1939) and aims to make available the scholar's biographical and historiographical work, the electronic corpus of his published works, but also the less known excerpts from his unpublished manuscripts on Finno-Ugric cultures (from the files of the Department of Ethnography, Institute of Language, Literature and History of the Komi Centre of Sciences at the Uralic Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences). Among the project objectives is the organisation of the 3rd Readings of Nalimov (Syktykvar 2005) and prepare the first collection of V. Nalimov's research articles for publication. The collection will include articles about the life and creative work of the scholar, his correspondence with his colleagues in Russia and abroad, and criticism of his works published during his life (including the unpublished reviews of his work by academician D. K. Zelenin). The collection also discusses the problems of fieldwork and includes approaches to methodology proposed by V. Nalimov in the 1920s-1930s. The presented projects are a logical conclusion to the popular online encyclopaedia The Traditional Culture of People Living in the Northeast Part of Russian Europe (available at http://www.komi.com/folk, project supervisor N. D. Konakov). It is important to remember that the presented projects aim to construct dynamic hypertextual databases that can be updated, edited and restructured, rather than to construct static descriptive models. The application of hypertextual and hypermedia solutions enables to combine a chronological, geographical and thematic approaches, i.e. to freely organise the selection of corresponding information corpora (textual, graphic, audio, video). The projects under discussion thus form a so-called "information pyramid", with educational resources targeted at the general public on the top, and founded on the vast corpus of systematised archive and museum materials and research results. We have reasons to believe that the body of electronic folkloric and ethnographical resources will be effective in presenting and popularising scientific research results, but will also enable to construct a specific method for studying the culture of Finno-Ugric peoples in Russia.
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
In north-western Europe questions regarding how legends travel have been a growing area of methodical study since Christiansen's book Migratory Legends, and have been prominently featured in earlier ISFNR conferences. There have been numerous studies on individual Migratory Legends, exploring their history, development, and geographical/cultural distribution, and giving rise to fruitful insights and suggestions regarding their transmission across various boundaries since at least medieval times. Further recent studies have addressed classification within specific legend genres, leading to further questions as to which legends migrate and why. The past two centuries have been a time of large-scale voluntary or forced migrations, some originating in north Atlantic Europe and frequently documented, that have provided new opportunities for investigating how folklore, including legends, has survived and changed during mass population movements. In the case of the Scottish Gaelic diaspora communities established in North America during the Highland Clearances, few retained their traditional cultures intact past the middle of the twentieth century. Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, where oral storytelling traditions have been extensively recorded, is a notable exception, and provides a unique opportunity for ethnologists to study survival and adaptation of various folklore genres through comparisons with those surviving in the Highlands from the early nineteenth century. In the case of international tales, a strong continuity has been demonstrated in the post- migration repertoire, reflecting a high degree of cultural conservatism over five or six generations. Legends, however, differ from the above in some important respects. This paper will examine the kinds of legends that have travelled over the Atlantic; how they have adapted; legends that have sprung up in the new environment; and what distinctive new developments have appeared in post-migration tradition.
Christine Shojaei Kawan
Snow White is one of the most widely known tales, made world famous by the Grimm brothers and later by Walt Disney. At the same time, the Snow White tale type is represented by a comprehensive international corpus of folktales with independent traits. Since the first manuscript version (1808) up to the second edition of their Household Tales (1819), the Grimm brothers made significant modifications of their tale concerning, most notably, the figure of the antagonist, the expulsion episode and the resuscitation. If the heroine they presented to the public, a girl "as white as snow, as red as blood and as black as ebony", is not an entirely new creation - similar images appear earlier in Basile and in various Perceval versions - it was through the impact of the Grimm collection that this type of beauty became a stock picture in fairy tale imagery. At the same time, considering the overwhelming success of the Grimms' Snow White tale, it is remarkable that so many folk variants remained uninfluenced by the Grimm tradition. A striking example is the episode of the prince's mourning for the beautiful maiden which has remained a typical feature of folk variants although the Grimms, who had adopted it for their first edition (1812), omitted it in the second one, introducing instead the now well-known quick solution by accident. Snow White also offers an opportunity to reconsider Walter Anderson's concept of self-correction, formulated in the 1920s, from a long-term perspective: apparently, inherent conceptions are corrected over and over again when they have been altered, as shown by the rendering of the wood house episode in the folk variants and in more recent derivatives of the book tale (and/or Disney) tradition (jokes, films, parodies). Traits that appear to be innovative may thus in fact be traditional.
The great myth-theories created by the German romantics and evolutionary theoreticians in the nineteenth century, and by many well-known researchers in the twentieth, have guided the manner in which folklorists have understood the nature of myth and also identified myths of the Finno-Ugric tradition. Classical theories of myth basically present five main directions. These are:
1) Intellectual examination methods which consider myths an explanation of the world and an expression of the world view (the nineteenth-century evolutionists, James G. Frazer and E. B. Taylor);
2) Viewpoints which emphasise mythopoetic thought (Max Müller, Ernst Cassirer);
3) Psychological interpretations (Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung);
4) Theories which emphasise the bonds to society, among which belong the basically functionalist viewpoint of myths as texts of a rite (Émile Durkheim and Bronislaw Malinowski); and
5) Structuralist interpretations (Claude Lévi-Strauss). (Cf. Percy Cohen refers to seven main theories of myth in his "Theories of Myth", Man 3/4, 1969).
Although classical theories of myth are sometimes represented as in opposition to each other, it is characteristic of them that they are partly overlapping and complement each other as e.g. Lauri Honko has stated (Honko "The Problem of Defining Myth" in A. Dundes (ed.), Sacred Narrative, 1984). Myths are in fact many-dimensional and may be approached from many angles, whose appropriateness depends on the object of research and the given material. Myths are narratives, poetry, but not merely poetry. Mythology recounts how the world order began, and what sort of forces are behind it. It does not however contain a fully fledged religious philosophy or normative dogmatic system. Although myths deal with problems and preconditions of existence, they do not necessarily offer explanations, nor do they require explanation. In the manner of poetry they are open to various possible interpretations. For this reason myth and fantasy readily merge with each other. The particularity of myths lies in their ability to contain within themselves both the eternal and transcendent, the temporally bound and immediately present (cf. Th. Gaster "Myth and Story" in A. Dundes (ed.), Sacred Narrative, 1984). Today the viewpoints of mythic researchers are more multifarious than ever. In addition to new methods of examination developed out of the five historical directions presented above, myths are approached for example on the basis of cognitive theory and gender perspective. We may ask: how do myths depict the historical and cultural processes of their cultures and the changes in the ecological environments? What do they tell about linguistic and cultural contacts? And what do they tell of thought patterns derived from afar, and how those ways of thought are accommodated when constructing a culture in transformed social contexts? In this presentation I take three different but complementary methodological approaches, which can be applied on the basis of different theoretical interpretations. These are:
1) comparative research,
2) investigation of the corpuses of myth of small communities, and
3) mythic dicourse-analytical or textual research.
Knowledge of folk medicine is today widely used in production of "natural" medicines; proof has been found that folk medical herbs are pharmacologically active. The Estonian Folklore Archive holds up to 5000 texts on Estonian herbal folk medicine, dating from the 19th century; to date this material is poorly analyzed, mostly because of its unevenness and variety of interpretation possibilities. According to their information density the texts could be divided into four categories:
1) short statements (the most represented),
2) descriptions of preparation of herbal remedies;
3) descriptive texts, that make visible some of the religious background;
4) detailed analysis of phenomena from the perspective of informers.
All these texts could be "read" differently, and indeed, there is no methodology for analyzing them so far. Sometimes it is difficult to tell who talks to us through the text - is it the individual or the community? Or in fact the researcher, who draws from the text the information that he/she can or wants to see? The text, even the short one, is a communication process; thus herbal folk medicine could be looked at in the light of Jakobson's model of communication. What makes the herb "own"? When can one draw a line between "own" and "alien" and how does this affect narration? Transmission of information on an herbal remedy is affected by its position in folk religion, usage in the home, and the personal expectations of the transmitter. The text could be viewed as an insect caught in a web of narrations coming from nature and culture, the future and the past, hopes and expectations. In the paper the author proposes a semiotic model that helps to read the message itself as well as the context of Estonian herbal folk medicine.
The "Greek term mythos signifies an utterance, speech, 'telling a story' - hence, a folk tale, or a legend. Mythos, the uttered word or story, begins with Man's first spoken word, which is literally the 'first mythos'". Kirill V. Šistov explains very clearly how and why literary folklore and language are more closely connected than literary folklore and literature are in general. From a historical perspective, even the beginning of the world's oldest literatures cannot be located earlier than four thousand years in the past. The beginnings of literary folklore, however, go back to the time when human speech began to emerge, one hundred thousand years ago. The distinction between literary folklore and literature as such has developed gradually at a time when literature finally began to take its shape. With many nations we see their literature coming into existence almost before our very eyes, as it were. As a popular Slovenian saying goes, every village has its voice. The numerous dialects and varieties of the Slovenian language correspond closely with the geographical diversity of its ethnic territory on the cross-roads of three distincly different geographical units of the European continent - the Alpine world, the Mediterranean basin, and the Pannonian plain. Our ancestors adapted differently to this varied environment, especially in the borderlands, where they came into daily contact with new neighbours. They got to know their customs and ways of living; with time, certain elements from these neigbouring cultures were invisibly sifted through and fused into their own, creating new cultural mixes that gradaully merged and combined in the three most characteristic segments - the alpine, the mediterranean, and the pannonian. These characteristics have created a unique imprint on the culture and lifestyle of the entire Slovenian ethnic territory, the borderlands as well as central parts of the country, and have significantly influenced Slovenian literary folklore. Voices (Glasovi) is a collection of folk tales from our time. Over the past decade they have evolved into a unique book series. The key principles for the publication of the series have remained unaltered since its inception:
1. Its confines itself to oral tradition in prose.
2. Only materials that have been gathered locally after the year 1945 and have not been published yet (with the exception of school and company bulletins, and local newspapers) can be considered.
3. Ideally, written versions should be transcripts of audio-taped recordings, but it is probably unrealistic to insist on this at all costs - hand-written record and at times even recapitulations and retold variations have to be taken into account.
4. The lexis and the syntactic structure must be retained in minute detail, whereas from the phonological aspect it has to be determined individually for each book how far we are allowed to stray from the literary standard so that the book can still be of interest to readers who are not familiar with the dialect.
Having a correctly transcribed text in the dialect version printed next to its standard written form would certainly be the best solution, and we were able to afford this in three cases (for the regions of Porabje, Prekmurje, and Austrian - Carinthia), where most of our general readers would be at a loss when faced with only the transcript of the dialect. Half of twenty voumes were collected by school teachers, eminent professors, and by students of Slovenian studies; but we also had a priest, a painter, a veterinarian, a journalist, a precision mechanic, and some retired people among our authors. Collectors usually set out with considerable scepticism as to the possibility of finding any such mateials in our day and time. As the work approaches its completion, however, it becomes clear that it would be impossible to finish it without harbouring a guilty conscience, for there is still so much that remains unwritten. More often than not they really deserve to be praised for the heart and effort they have pun into in it.
Lidija Stojanovic Lafazanovska
Dieser Beitrag befasst sich mit den "narrativen Transpositionen" individuellen Lebensgeschichten makedoniker Einwanderer im Hamburg, und fokussiert sich auf wichtigsten und markanten Bestimmheiten verschiedenen Lebensstile. Alle diese Bestimmheiten werden von Aspekt der Habitustheorie und Feld (Pierre Bourdieu) analysiert werden. Konkret wird die innere Urbanisierung, d.h. "die Stadt im Kopf" (G. Korff) aus einzelnen Lebensgeschichten vorgestellt, mit dem Ziel, ihre Vielgestaltigkeit bei allen Kategorien Migranten zu erweisen. Fragen der mentalen großstädtlichen Zeit- und Raumaneignung und -wahrnehmung prägen schließlich einen Komplex von konzeptuellen Überlegungen zu Urbanität und Mentalitätswandel. In diesem Sinne, viele narrative Transpositionen beschreiben eine wesentliche Diskrepanz zwischen Habitus und Feld, und geben uns zu viel Belegen von "einem großstädtischen industriellen Raum und Zeit" als eine ganz neue Erlebniskategorien und Werte. Dies resultiert im ersten Period des Aufenthalts als eine mechanische Aneignung der ganz neuen und "unverständlichen" Handlungen und Gewöhnheiten. Wie wird das Geburtsort erlebt und wie verläuft die narrative Transposition dieser Erfahrungskonstellation? (d.h., makedonische Städte wie Skopje, Strumica, Stip, Ohrid, Prilep, Bitola). Hier sollte die Bedeutung von "Wohnung", "Nachbarschaft", "Straße", "Verwandschaft", "Kneipe", sowie die Arbeits- und Freizeitmodelierung untersuchen, die im Vergleich zum Hamburg als zwei kulturelle Grammatiken funktionieren. Wie funktionieren und wie reflektieren sich in Lebensgeschichten die zwei zentrallen Gefühlen: Apathie und Energie, und wie werden die typischen "soziallen Phobien und Euphorien" erlebt und erzählt? Und endlich, ist es möglich im Lebenslauf einer Generation eine totale Transformation des Habitus und Über gang von einer gemeinschaftlichen mechanischen zur einer industriellen gesellschaftlichen organischen Solidarität?.
Today's western culture and consumer society - call it post-modern, as I and many others have, or whatever - is relentlessly obsessed with naming. Objects, in order to increase their consumer-appeal as products, are given names alongside with constructed symbolic universes which have little to do with the material functions of these products as objects. These proper names quickly multiply; they are all too often slightly modified, or supplemented to the point where they are almost unrecognizable and no longer derivable from their earlier versions. Uncountable amount of names refer to different products which have unrecognizably small differences in material function.
This situation may lead to some interesting generalizations if given a perspective of the theory of naming. My paper tries to explore how different theories of naming and reference (e.g. Saul Kripke's or Bertrand Russell's) can be applied to the description of the post-modern society and how do names and the constructed symbolic universes behind them function if they are used in the interest of maximum consumption. The paper incorporates philosophy of language, cultural theory and examples from literature.
In the consumer society, the basic intuition is oriented towards differentiation, not towards the essence. And this is clearly reflected in what has happened to many proper names around us.
All living beings are mortal - from the moment of birth, metabolism causes changes that end in the disharmony of synthesis and decomposition - the arrival of death. Death has always been treated as unnatural, and awareness of its unavoidability results in the tragic perception of life, fuelling philosophical and religious concepts, first of all that of the soul and immortality - that is, a state with no death. Christianity connects death with sin. Religion, uniting sin and transience, representing the living human as separated from God with His transcendental and eternal-ontological basis (God, the Creator), frees human beings from the coils of death and gives them eternal life. Naturalist and materialist concepts of men deny individual immortality. The continuity of a living being is possible only in its progeny and as a species, or in an indirect sense also as a memory in the minds of the younger generation. Traditional tales based on popular religion and related to either concurrent or proximate dates of birth and death have a significant role in contemporary Estonian family lore. While the religious tales of a traditional society interpreted this coincidence as positive in the vein of the soul's migration or reincarnation, the contemporary tradition, ousting death and everything related to it from everyday culture and turning it into a medical subject and/or a taboo, has related these narratives to various bad omens. The paper analyzes these narratives within the perspectives of religion theory and philosophy, taking its authentic sources from the Internet forums and chat rooms of various family magazines of recent years.
Interessanterweise gibt es zwei Paare von Märchen aus Japan und Deutschland, die über die klimatischen, geographischen und geschichtlichkulturellen Bedingungen hinaus einander ähnlich sind: das erste Paar ist "Der Gevatter Tod" (KHM44) und das japanische Brettltheaterstück von Encho dem Ersten Der Tod, und das zweite das Märchen "Der singende Knochen" (KHM 28) und das alte japanische Märchen "Der singende Schädel." In diesem Referat werden daher diese zwei Paare analysiert und die Topologie dieser Märchen aufgrund ihrer Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede betrachtet. Zwischen dem japanischen Brettltheaterstück und dem Grimmschen Märchen gibt es 5 Verschiebungen:
1. Kein Auftritt von Gott und Tod,
2. Der Tod spielt Ratgeber,
3. Die Hauptperson verwendet einen Zauberspruch,
4. Die erste Kranke ist die Tochter eines reichen Geschäftsmannes. Der zweite Kranke ist einer der reichsten Herren der Hauptstadt Edo,
5. Das Honorar besteht aus 3000 alten Goldmünzen.
Außerdem gibt es zwischen dem alten japanischen Märchen "Der singende Schädel" und dem Grimmschen Märchen "Der singende Knochen" 4 Gemeinsamkeiten:
1. Der Auftritt der zwei Männer, eines guten und eines bösen, beide haben dasselbe Reiseziel,
2. Der böse Mann ermordet zu seinem eigenen Nutzen den guten,
3. Der Knochen des guten singt ein Lied,
4. Infolge der Wirkung des singenden Knochens wird der Böse bestraft. Auf diese Weise wird die kulturelle Umgebung eines Märchens bei seiner Verbreitung in einem anderen fremden Land in den folgenden 7 Punkten in eine andere kulturelle Umgebung versetzt: 1) in der Religion, 2) bezüglich der Personen, 3) in den Lösungsmitteln, 4) in der Lösungsweise, 5) im Beruf der Personen, 6) in der Belohnung, 7) in der Art und Weise der Strafe. Allerdings bleibt das wesentliche Motiv eines Märchens bei der Verarbeitung in anderen Ländern meist gleich. Nur bei W. Grimm ist die Beeinflussung durch die starke Symbolik der Flamme so eindringlich, dass das Hauptschema etwas verändert erscheint.
Seventeenth-century witchcraft trials in Estonia revealed poignant ideological and religious divergences on the folkloric werewolf concept. On one side there was the worldview of homo Christianus - judges as representatives of the state authority and clericals as proponents of the ecclesiastical ideology - and on the other the animistic folkloric philosophy of homo naturalis - the accused, mostly peasants, who lived in close contact with nature. The ruling Christianity clashed with the suppressed folk religion. This brought to light different concepts of law and justice, of ethics and customs, which accounted for the differences in the interpretations of werewolf beliefs. The world of homo Christianus had at its centre God, who had appointed man as the ruler over the whole creation. From this perspective, the idea of man turning into an animal was tantamount to repudiation of the law of God; it was amoral, unacceptable and incorrect. Furthermore, it was impossible, for it would have required a miracle that went beyond man's powers. As the common people earnestly believed in this "miracle", however, the issue of the authenticity of the metamorphosis was explained in theology as an illusion and was reduced to the devil's lie and delusion. The exposition of that, as well as the condemnation of and penalisation for witchcraft, was fair and just, and even obligatory for a Christian, on the basis of the Bible. The common people, who represented homo naturalis, had been joined with the Christendom through baptism. As appeared from the witchcraft trials, however, their understandings of Christian ethics and the Biblical views on witchcraft and magic had remained ambivalent or had been pushed to the background. In everyday life the people turned to folk magic, which also included the werewolf concept. They were guided by the magical mentality of the former folk religion, which lacked a distinct and unambiguous boundary between the ethical categories acceptable-unacceptable.
The Finnish nation state building occurred in the 19th century, when Finland was attached to Russia as an autonomous Grand Duchy, although the struggle for independence was at its hottest in the turn of the 20th century. At the same time Finnish art achieved unparalleled international success. It was then that Finnish artists created works of an international standard. Many artists then combined national themes and expressed "a national spirit" with international influences. In addition "folk culture" and Kalevala played an important role in the nationalistic movement, thus the characters represented in art and in other cultural texts were mostly examined and interpreted in a nationalist light. The aim of my presentation is to explore the politics of an old female body in nationalistic context in Finland at the turn of the 20th century. Nationalisms are depicted here as masculine, built up collective narratives, discourses and presentations in which a nation and gender orders are constructed as natural and self evident matters. As many scholars studying gender and nationalisms (e.g. Yuval-Davies; Moghadan, Novikova, Valenius) have interestingly pointed out, women play special roles in nationalisms, but not always in the same way. Therefore, I will explore the role of special women - aged women - and the figures representing them in few popular paintings created by famous Finnish painters at the turn of the 20th century. In this preliminary introduction I try to conceive possible ways of interpreting these figures by outlining the uses of the old female body as a marker of cultural and political aspects.
The paper discusses genre formation and modes of narrating beliefs in Estonian newspapers, magazines and internet forums that address supernatural topics, such as energetically charged places, sightings of flying saucers, haunted houses, poltergeists and contacts with the other world. In this vernacular discourse about the supernatural, beliefs tend to be ascribed to anonymous "others", to the "superstitious folk", whose ideas are contested and ridiculed. On the other hand, some people explicitly accept beliefs and confirm them by telling narratives about supernatural experiences. The points of view of believers and disbelievers challenge each other but both contribute towards building up the system of vernacular beliefs, either imagined (ascribed) or "real" (accepted). Different parties tend to use elements of scientific discourse - to provide empiric facts, numbers, and to introduce reliable witnesses. Narratives and certain genres (e.g. conversion memorates) function as powerful tools of building up worldviews.
Katrien Van Effelterre
Which castles of Limburg were haunted by ghosts frightening curious intruders? What kinds of witch stories were told by the inhabitants of Maasmechelen? In which farms of Hasselt did a fireghost leave its black fingerprints? Which crossroads were the scene of encounters with the devil? Why did the helpful dwarfs leave Tongeren? Before the year 2003 answering these questions would have cost Flemish scientists a lot of time and effort. From now on just a few seconds are enough to display the Goat riders, wizards, freemasons, wildfires and other blood- curdling creatures from the mysterious world of the "Jenseits" on your computer screen. In the forties of the twentieth century prof. dr. K. C. Peeters from the K. U. Leuven started a tradition of legend research, which was continued by prof. dr. S. Top. The fieldwork of dozens of students preparing a thesis on folklore resulted in a huge collection of approximately 70,000 legends from all over Flanders. A mass of paperwork with transcripts of original stories as they were told in the local dialect of the informers was stored in the archive of the Seminar for Folklore and Ethnology of the K. U. Leuven. In order to make this unique collection of legends accessible to everyone who is interested the project "Op verhaal komen" [Breaking the story] was launched on 2th May 2002. Thanks to the financial support of the Vlaamse Gemeenschap in the context of permanent in crease of accessibility and study of cultural heritage in September 2004 already more than 21,000 legends from Limburg and West-Flanders were digitalised and presented on a website called www.volksverhalenbank.be. Since October 2004 visitors to the website are offered the possibility to react to stories and to tell variants of the stories that are mentioned. On October 15th we also started a second project that involves the digitalisation of numerous recordings of interviews with the storytellers. The aim is to preserve this precious material and to integrate a selection of the sound fragments into the website.
The reflexive turn in anthropology and folklore studies has posed questions concerning the nature of field recordings and it has initiated heated debates on the problematics of representation. In this context much attention has been paid to the issue of producing (or inventing) research material, that is, to certain metadiscursive practices applied in shaping the ethnographic descriptions and/or the folklore texts. In my presentation I will delineate various strategies of textualising knowledge about vernacular religion of Votians, the small Balto-Finnic ethnic group, as this was done by Paul Ariste (1905-1990), the most outstanding scholar of Votian language and folklore of the 20th century. In 1942-1980 Ariste made 25 field trips to Votian villages and compiled a 5499-page manuscript collection "Vadja etnoloogiat" (Votian ethnology). Ariste's intention was to document and study particularly the archaic heritage of Votians and thus his field recordings were evidently past-oriented (the contemporary religious context was manifested only in his field diaries). Ariste preferred informants who were on the one hand religious but at the same time also superstitious personae. Due to his research interests we can find from his collection material about unique old-type religious concepts, supernatural phenomena and other manifestations of Greek Catholic village Christianity. In my analysis I will concentrate on the recurrent structures in folk belief accounts, memorates and belief legends as well as the descriptions of ritual practices found in the collection of Paul Ariste. In addition, my aim is to discuss the ways of transmitting religious folklore within the tradition group through a variety of genres and the role of the researcher in moulding these genres.
Francisco Vaz da Silva
Since Berlin and Kay's classic study on Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution, several authors have examined the universal chromatic triangle of white, red and black in several perspectives, regarding different cultures. The involvement of eminent anthropologists (such as Rodney Needham, Marshall Sahlins, and Victor Turner, to name but a few) in discussing the semantics of the chromatic triangle indicates the importance of this topic for the study of traditional symbolism. But so far, attention has mostly been focused on ritual, and sights have been set on non-European cultures. Differently, this paper addresses the problem from the perspective of European fairytales. Twelfth-century Chrétien de Troyes has famously let us know that the sight of three drops of blood on snow reminds Perceval of his sweetheart. Seven centuries afterwards, the Grimms still knew that a queen looking at three drops of her own blood on the snow was bound to think, "Would that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window-frame" Nowadays, we do not really know much about the underlying symbolism. Still, the image is so vivid in the fairytale world that the time seems ripe for a theoretical contribution from folkloristics.
Traditional letter has been an important means of written communication. E-mails are going to or probably have already fulfilled this function in our postmodern cyber culture. Nevertheless, they not only function as a medium of personal and official communication, but also convey entertaining texts, pictures, audio or video files. In the framework of a research project in 2004 I started systematically collecting all e-mails that I received via a distribution list created especially for non-personal and non-official e-mails, mostly with funny or shocking contents. My presentation focuses on re-sent or forwarded texts and certain types of fixed texts. The number of the collected text-content e-mails exceeds 500. The collection of material has not yet been finished; therefore the corpus is being extended permanently. Among these texts such jokes, proverbs, riddles and other texts emerge that can be assigned to several different epic or lyric genres. Although e-mails exist in a medium of written communication, they bear strong similarity to oral tradition. Almost without an exception the e-mails of the corpus were forwarded, thus the authors are unknown, and several of these texts can also read in numerous variants. E-mailing is a postmodern way to transmit anonymously various works of folklore, which used to spread as part of oral tradition. The material was collected in a group consisting of 30 members. The members work at the same team of a multinational company, which provides IT support for other companies. At this site of support no IT knowledge is required, only a good foreign language skill, thus the members have different intellectual backgrounds and interests. Although this distribution list is used by a relatively small group, I expect and believe that these data may present a wide range of generally preferred types of texts mostly circulating in mailboxes and sometimes even at websites.
Rehepapp (http://www.folklore.ee/rehepapp) is a database containing (and being added to) legends (digitised within the government program Estonian Language and National Memory) and other tradition digitised within different research projects. Currently the database contains 18,000 digitised and proofed, orthographically corrected narratives. The number of digitised texts exceeds this many times, but since the textological pre-release preparations are in progress, these are not open for public access. The present paper gives an overview on the technical solutions, meta-data, research opportunities and a case study of the database. Technical solutions (FreeBSD-based freeware database), manner of presenting meta-data (location, time, author, collector, performer), legal info (copyright, being open for free use for research and study purposes), main goals such as convertability, long-term storage, access are similar to those of the database LEPP (Portal of South Estonian heritage; cf. e.g. http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol27). The database attempts exhaustively to cover Estonian heritage material on selected topics and mythological beings. In the present case, heritage on fairies, mythological diseases, location-related folklore (lakes, trees; inc. sacred places), spells, cosmology, etc. is included. Attempting to encompass Estonian heritage on these selected topics, Rehepapp includes folklore texts from different archives, (19th-20th c Estonian, 19th c German thematic) publications and oral history (specifically, material recorded in the 1920-1930s). Generally, texts integrated into Rehepapp represent principally different material corpora: digitised manuscripts, transcriptions of audio records, oral history accounts, digital-born texts and printed texts. As other big corpora, the database allows for broad-base research: intertextual relations, intertextual studies, textology, different methods of linguistic analysis, inc. Labov-Waletzky analysis, maping motives, typology. The influence of published texts on heritage as well as to an extent the spreading and way of presentation are easily observed. Later theoretical analysis is unlimited and full of possibilities for the user. The opportunities offered by the database are demonstrated on the example of heritage on lendva (an old concept among many peoples of a disease or witch's arrow sent by a witch to kill a specific person or animal). The concept of lendva was on the decline already at the end of the 19th century, but sudden death and illness as associated with it even in mid-20th century. This paper is an outcome of the ESF grant No. 5117.
Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Russia
The analysis of Udmurt spells has revealed that their image system is directly connected with the knowledge of a speller. The images of a profane world figure in the texts written from ordinary representatives of the traditional culture. Those who have special "abilities" intersperse sacral information as well as the information about the world structure into the spell context: the sky pole èíü-þáî , the hub of the universe ìóçúåì ãîãû, the white/sacral spring òäüû îøìåñ. The suggestion that the private sacral knowledge is reflected in a spell text, first of all - image system, can be proved by the fact that in the Udmurt spelling-conjuring tradition there are no identical spells. During the conjuring act the healer ïåëëÿñüêèñü recreates a unique text with a unique image combination according to traditional spell formulae. This rhythmically organized text is given a magic power by the healer. The case of spontaneously created spells is also confirmed by the fact that those who practice healing often declare they have never been given the texts of spells by anyone before. The spell casted whispering over a patient has a special significance for the healer himself/herself, the influence on a percipient is rather indirect one. Most of people who have ever addressed ïåëëÿñüêèñü mention that they didn't hear/didn't understand the words casted during the conjuring act. Ïåëëÿñüêèñü gets into contact with the beings of the other world, lays down irrational conditions for them. Researches have already noted the Udmurt spells have a correlation with the narratives of sorcery learning (Bogayevskiy 1890, Vladykina 1998). These narratives contain sacral information that was considered not to be divulged. According to these narratives the ability to conjure is given by higher force or another healer/conjurer after the elected learner has passed a range of tests. The narratives contain an evident thought: it is necessary to have initial abilities to get the sacral knowledge. If the learner lacks the abilities he/she can go mad during the learning. Having passed tests and got the knowledge ïåëëÿñüêèñü puts his/her own barriers before the spirit of disease, travels with it around the infinite Universe. Investigation of the image system of the Udmurt spells in the light of conceptions about the ways of getting knowledge could help to explain their "unusual" nature.
Database is today a much-cherished keyword in conversations about folklore. Digitization is a similar fashion term. Quite a few years ago, the words "computer" and "morphology" have shared the same fate. They are "in the air", and everybody is eager to get "database" to her/his institution. I am old enough to remember the overall use of the terms "structure/structuralism" and "morphology" in folklore research of yesterday (or even of the day before yesterday). However, there is a difference in using the words "database" versus "structuralism" or "morphology" in folklore studies. The second and the third is a term, referring to a methodology, theoretical assumptions, etc. The first is but a label of a product, a "trademark" without any deeper theoretical background. We know, great folklorists (Propp, Dundes, Mihai Pop etc.) used the term "morphology". "Structure" and "structuralism" was a key term in the works of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Elli-Kaija Köngäs, Pierre Maranda, E. M. Meletinsky, Claude Bremond, Heda Jason and others. Well known anthropologists and folklorists have used those terms, and their entire books were written about our topics. But what, indeed is the "database"? The word is like a "nylon stocking" or "winchester" - a trademark. It is a practical, and not a theoretical naming. Nobody knows, from where and by whom we have heard first time about it. It is like a folklore motif: it occurs everywhere and it is nowhere explained. However, in my paper I try to give some hints: what could be the outlines of a theory of database in folklore research.
The online database "Estonian Droodles" (available at http://www.folklore.ee/Droodles, contains 7,200 droodles) includes a number of longer doodle riddles (about 430 text variants, 79 types). The question component of the sc. narrative droodles, or droodle tales, is a verbally transmitted tale visualised by a pictorial image. The performer of a droodle sketches the image during narration and the story ends with a pun question. The close interrelation of riddles and the narrative genre is illustrated by a particular type, which etymologically derives from the tale type 1579 of the international Aarne-Thompson-Uther tale type index. My presentation will discuss the plot of tale type ATU 1579 and its forms which originate in traditional folklore genres. In addition to (i) the narrative genre and (ii) the riddle genre, the plot has been widely applied in the form of (iii) an interactive computer game. The different forms and goals of a type plot may be regarded as points of contact of folklore and the revival of folklore.
(i) In folkloric form the plot of ATU 1579 occurs in traditional folkloric context (in the pre-computer period). The plot is passed on from generation to generation as a piece of traditional folklore in the form of a narrative and a riddle.
(ii) The revival of folklore takes place when the plot of ATU 1579 is used as an instructional tool for students of information technology. Here the folkloric text forms a basis where the solution to the question is already known and a computer programmer's task is to transpose it into a visually attractive form of an interactive computer game by technological means.
(iii) As an online strategy game the plot has once again entered the folkloric context. Interactive dialogue is held between the programmed computer (performer of the droodle) and the player (solver of the droodle). The game's spread is physically limited to the computer. At least two folkloric domains occur - firstly, the domain of players as a new folklore group and, secondly, the user may spread the plot in the form of traditional oral/written folklore.
Arguably, the most conspicuous development to have happened in Kenyan popular music over the last fifteen years is the marked Americanization of its forms; the rubric 'Kenyan hip hop' is now a common place. While the Americanization of entertainment cultures globally is passé, what is not is the rich discourse on local identities that this phenomenon fosters. Popular urban music in Kenya is a platform upon which some of the issues at stake might be interrogated. The predominant terms by which Kenyan youth culture is debated assume a unidirectional impact by African American expressive culture (principally hip hop fashion and decor) acting upon local youth music. However, a look beneath the surface of Kenyan youth music reveals that the understanding upon which such an assumption is founded is at best superficial, ignoring as it does the crucial aspects of agency and adaptation in cultural process. Even as they remain quite versatile at making such appropriations, young people still see a clear demarcation between 'foreign' forms and "what is ours" ["Ismarwa!"]. Kenyan youth rappers appropriate the surface representations of African American youth culture not to speak to American themes per se but more crucially to explore local social space. Their practice evinces a particular concern with anxieties of an identity especially in conflict with the broader narrative of the 'Kenyan identity'; subversion is key to this process. Based on selected texts by popular rappers, my paper examines the processes of appropriation and contestation at work in Kenyan youth music and interrogates youth understanding of the dynamics of cultural and self-identity.
Several folklorists, like Linda Dégh or Katalin Horn, maintain that narrating folktales in general serves as a therapeutical and educational means to drive away boredom, apathy, aggression, and fears, or stress their indispensable means for relaxation. But do these generalizing statements really hold true for all narrative genres - not only maerchen, tall tales, parodies, jokes, and anecdotes - but even gruesome legends or terrifying rumours? The above interpretations may be correct, but where is the proof that this is really so? Very few efforts have been made to go beyond the stage of speculation or hypothesis. One means of getting closer to a solution is the presently neglected method of experimental folk narrative research that is characterized by a planned, systematic, and controlled approach. Ever since it first started at the beginning of the 20th century, experimental narrative research focused mainly on the process of oral transmission, the most famous study probably being Walter Anderson's experiments on the transmission of legends. The results of this side of experimental research finally led to the conduit theory by Linda Dégh and Andrew Vázsonyi that stated that only tradition bearers, who have expertise or much experience with a particular genre, will pass on a text without major alterations. Another focus of experimental folk narrative research involves the relation between the narrator and his narrative, a research area dominated by psychologists. What to my knowledge has not been done yet is experimental research on the impact of folktales on an audience. For this reason I have conducted a pilot study, in order to verify one of the two opposing hypotheses which claim that
1. the telling of legends, rumours, and related genres leaves one pessimistic or at least pensive or
2. that such genres improves one's mood.
The description and results of the study will be the main issue of my paper. The outcome of the investigation hints that story telling as such has a therapeutical effect on most people. This effect may not necessarily depend on particular tale types, contents, or genres but may be caused by the very act of telling and listening within a group. Listeners as well as tellers may show these effects that can be characterized as soothing and relaxing, as suppressing (or maybe solving) problems, and as a feeling of diffuse wellness. In addition, storytelling may create or enhance joie de vivre and build new energy.
Hehe Abuka of the Manchu nationality and Mi Luo Jia of the Zhuang nationality are both great Goddesses, the creators of the world, who made all things of creation. "Hehe" means mummy in Manchu language and "Mi", mother in Zhuang language. These two Goddesses who created man are the first great ancestral Goddesses of their respective nationalities. The following are the 5 differences between the two Goddessess:
1. The Difference of Birth between the Two Goddesses: Hehe Abuka was born from bubbles while Mi Luo Jia was born from flowers.
2. The Discrepancy of Superhuman Strength: The air of Hehe Abuka bore all things on the earth: her light bore all things of creation, and her body gave birth to the 10,000 things of creation. The lower body of Abuka bore Hehe Banamu, the mother of the earth and her upper body bore Hehe Woleduo, the Buxing Goddess. Then the three Goddesses pooled their efforts to create man. Mi Luo Jia wetted the earth and then moulded human beings with the wetted earth. She picked fruits and threw them to the masses. When she picked hot peppers, she could turn them into men, as she gathered carambola (star fruit), she could make them women, and she might create birds and beasts by scattering mud into the sky.
3. The Divergence of Divine Character: Hehe Abuka pulled the meat out of her own body to make Ao Qin, a goddess with 9 heads, some of them asleep and some awake. Hehe ordered Ao Qin to keep watch over the mother of the earth who was addicted to sleep and not let her fall asleep. When Ao Qin rushed out the heaven gate, Hehe threw to Ao Qin two stones which were in her own body. One of the them became a horn on Ao Qin's head and the other became the male genitals, so Ao Qin turned into Yeluli, a queer god of bisexuality, who gave birth to a large, number of strange gods, who went up to heaven and down to the earth to bully the goddesses there. Led by Hehe Abuka, the goddesses had many a fierce fighting against Yeluli and vanquished him at last. Thus, Hehe became the main Goddess in the vault of heaven. Mi Luo Jia gave birth to man and seed grain with her own milk, so she became the mother both of human beings and 5 ceriais.
4. The Diversity of Belief among the People: Hehe Abuka sent Yingjiang to be the first female Sa Man who passed on the divine drum and the Sa Man religion. In the mythology of the later stage of Manchu history, the heaven Goddess evolved into the heaven God Abukaenduu. But now in the Manchus some of their surnames still show homage to the heaven Goddess. In the mythology of Mi Luo Jia, several statements are compatible: a) She made human beings, mountains and rivers, and all things on the earth on her own; b) She and Buluotuo the God created human beings, mountains and rivers, and all things of creation together; c) She was the mother of Buluotuo; d) She was the wife of Buluotuo; e) She turned into an old woman of flowers who grew flowers in the flower mountain, bestowing both white flowers and red flowers to people to make humans and those who had got both kinds of flowers would bear boys and girls Mi Luo Jia planted a white flower together with a red flower, turning them first into a man and a woman and then a husband and a wife. After the death of people, she returned them to flowers; f) In the rooms of the Zhuang puerperae are elected the spirit tablets of the old flower women, decorated with mountain or paper flowers, and in the Zhuang area there are temples of old flower women in many counties. g) The Grandfather's Ancestral Hall in Mount Ganzhuang in Tianyang County, Guangxi, offers sacrifices to Buluotuo while Rock Mu Niang offers sacrifices to Mi Luo Jia. h). The Scriptures of Mo Religion 'Classic Poem of Buluotuo' hants: "When you ask Buluotuo, he will speak. As you ask Mi Luo Jia, she will say." Both the God and Goddess would show you how to extrieate yourselves from calamities.
5. The Difference between Sa Man Religion and Mo Religion The Sa Man Religion is the religion among the Manchus and also the religion of the imperial court of the Qing Dynasty, which has the scriptures in the Manchu language. The Mo Religion is the religion popular among Zhuang people, offering sacrifices to the god of the Zhuangs and the Taoist god of the Hans, creating its valgar characters by borrowing the Chinese method of associative compounds and pictophonetic characters and copying its scriptures. Solely-respected goddess à equally-revered god and goddess à goddess' achievements of creating the world. Their alienation into a god of protecting children reflects the history of human evolution in which goddesses waned in power. The rice-planting culture gives us expression to the divine achievements that Mi Luo Jia created man and cattle, found ox soul and seed grain, and brought up man and grain strain, etc.
In the Judeo-Spanish oral tradition, the repertoire of the Sephardi childhood offers a singular example of minimal narrative with performances which fall between speech and music. I will refer to a repertoire that is an integral part of the oral repertoire of the Sephardi Jews in their vernacular language, called "Judezmo" in the Eastern Mediterranean communities, and "Hakitia" in those from Northern Morocco. This is the repertoire used by the Sephardi children as accompaniment for their games or performed for them by their elders. With a series of Video examples from the repertoire that our informants remembered from their childhood, I will present various characteristics of this particular repertoire, in their texts and in their musical aspects as well as some remarks about their social function. The examples to be presented belong to the traditions of Rhodes, Tetuan, Alcazarquivir, Saloniki and Izmir.
That the bed may be the most important place in our life, was, as it is well known, highly preferred by witches in folk beliefs. Throughout Europe and over the world, old narratives give us a lot of evidence for the nature of this connection. In my presentation I shall take this relationship out of the complex traditional system of bed-bedding- sleep-habits-customs-beliefs and produce a couple of texts to exemplify some historical trends and changes of the subject matter in Hungary. The first narrative is a passage of a witch trial report entered on record in 1618, the second one is a belief memorat sound recorded in 1972, the third one is a part of a life story, taken up in 1997, with special attention to the changes in sleeping customs. These narratives inform us not only about attacks of night witches but the traditional forms of bed made on the floor and bedsteads. Studying the constellation of beds and witches from 1618 to the end of the 20th century we have more and more knowledge about beds, meanwhile these beliefs are slowly diminishing.
Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Roger Abrahams' Deep Down in the Jungle exists in a precarious position as a book both foundational and widely influential, so closely tied to the historical circumstances of its creation that it is quickly losing relevance in contemporary scholarship. It is a product of the same era in American race relations that produced The Negro Family: A Case for National Action - The Moynihan Report; and like that document, it stands in some respect as a testament to the then-progressive notion that African-American family structure is, in some sense, pathological. Abrahams himself admits this of the first edition of the book (1964) in the introduction to the second (1970), but even in the second edition, his revised analysis cannot escape this pathological theoretical framework. The point that I wish to illustrate in this paper, is that despite this - despite the fact that Abrahams' thesis has become increasingly incompatible with recent trends in the social sciences - the data that he presents is not without its relevance. The narratives that Abrahams collects and the ethnographic information that he provides can, with only a small amount of reinterpretation, remain useful to scholars interested in folklore as a social event, and narration as process rather than product. Using elements of the methodological frameworks pioneered by scholars like Dell Hymes, Elizabeth Fine, and Ibrahim Muhawi, it is possible to retranslate Abrahams' narratives, so to speak - to reorganize them on the page in such a way that they begin to reveal certain elements of the style of oral performance. Then given thisinformation, it becomes possible to understand something of the way in which the texts were not simply a conglomeration of words, but a catalyst for a historically specific, distinctly African American discourse.
The paper will examine the concepts of narrativity and fictionality implied in the Homeric epic. The Homeric epic has been studied mainly for its poetic practice, and the various meta-poetic statements scattered along the text have been read mainly as a means to reconstruct the genetic process of the text itself. Much less have they been understood as a chapter in the history of meta-poetic thought. The dominant concept of poetry in the Homeric epic is that of the poet as a person chosen by the gods, whose poetry is the fruit of a direct intervention of the Muse, and thus it has very little to do with his own choice or consideration. But alongside this dominant view, there are also opposite ones, regarding the poet as a craftsman, who works according to his professional competence. This concept, which turned out in the course of time to be the dominant one (cf. Aristotle's 'Poetics'), exists in the Homeric epics only as a marginal and hinted one; however, it can be systematically traced. In the framework of this conception several quesions can be raised about the narrative consciousness implied in the epic. What is the function of the narrator in the construction of the plot? How is he supposed to cope with special narrative problems, such as simultaneity or parallel events? What is the nature of the represented world as related to the narrator's existence: is it conceived as fiction or reality? What is the function of the listener, and how are his or her responses taken into account in the construction of plot (concepts of tension, curiosity, identification, etc.)? These issues will be discussed mainly through an analysis of the dialogue between Telemachus and Penelope in 'Odyssey' I, and the Demodocus scene in 'Odyssey' IIIV, and will be supported with various short references, scattered along the 'Iliad' and the 'Odyssey'.
Bibliotherapy is a therapeutic method within the field of art therapy, which suggests that the therapeutic dialogue focus on a literary text, either written or read, which then functions within the therapeutic dialogue as a "third voice", added to the voices of the patient and the therapist as an autonomous interlocutor. The idea of such a "third voice" is based on the assumption that a literary text has therapeutic qualities of its own, which can be applied in therapeutic processes and contribute to their progress. The use of fairy tales in this context has a special place. Within all cultures fairy tales have an important role in the process of socialization, a function which has major therapeutic implications. When a fairy tale is involved in a therapeutic dialogue, it should be taken into account that it enacts not only the patient's personal identity themes, but also the central themes which construct the psycho-cultural substratum of the society in which that tale has developed. The fairy tale should therefore be regarded as bringing into the clinic not only the personal subconscious, but also an entire socio-cultural substratum. This common substratum, however, does not discard the individual differences between various readers-listeners who respond to it. Fairy tales are originally intended for all ages; nowadays, however, the fairy tale is identified mainly with children. Rereading a fairy tale which we have heard as children, provides an opportunity to return to significant parts of memories connected with the situation of our first encounter with it. This possibility is therapeutically valuable, since it enables us to have a dialogue with our past from an adult viewpoint. This paper will present a group experience based on rereading "Cinderella", and analyze various responses to that encounter. The responses will be discussed according to the main themes of the tale: orphanhood and humiliation, supernatural aid, and escape