Collection

Ethnographic and dialectological materials

The collection contains fragments of conversations with the inhabitants of Belarusian villages in the Grodno region (Radziwoniszki, Wawiórka, Surkonty, Papiernia, Feliksowo), recorded by prof. Anna Engelking, Katarzyna Dąbek and Justyna Straczuk during field research in the years 1992–1999.

The conversations concern mainly the faith in the life of rural residents – they include reflections on the lives of saints, the Last Judgement, the relationship between language and faith, the difference between Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism, and the poor spiritual condition of contemporary people living in the countryside. An important part of the collection are reflections on believers and atheists, conversations about death and rituals when burying the deceased, and recording fragments of songs performed by the interlocutors (mourning songs, "for the time of the Way of the Cross", "on the Baptism of the Lord”.

The recordings contain folk ideas about punishment, blessing and the end of the world, spellcasting, divination, and parental curses.

The collection also includes a rich collection of stories about everyday life, living conditions in pre-war villages, neighbourly help in the past and today, childhood games, and memories from World War II and a labour camp. The interviews raise some social problems as well: alcoholism, crime in a village. There is also the issue of perceiving people of different nationalities (Gypsies, Jews), religions, and mixed marriages.

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