Volume 24: Mazovia part 1

The COMPLETE Works vol. 24: Mazovia part 1. Wrocław – Poznań 1963, pp. XII+356, three color plates. Photo-offset re-edition; first edition: Cracow 1885.

It is the first part of the ethnographic monograph on Mazovia, the largest, in respect of the area, province of Poland, and, at the same time, one of the most thoroughly investigated and described regions by Kolberg. Living in Warsaw since 1871, Kolberg was associated with Mazovia for 57 years of his life. Here he undertook his earliest field research (from 1839), and here he was able to conduct it the longest and most comprehensively. The whole monograph of the Mazovia region, totally of seven parts, consists of five volumes published by Kolberg (parts 1-5, vol. 24-28) and of two volumes published from manuscripts (parts 6-7, vol. 41-42) published, for the first time, from the manuscripts within the edition of ‘The Complete Works’. The first part of the monograph covers the western part of Mazovia on the left bank of the Vistula River, the so-called Mazowsze Polne [Field Mazovia]. In four chapters: The Country, The People, Customs and Rites, Kolberg included a historical and topographical description of the area, pertaining particularly to Warsaw and its vicinity, an ethnographic description (outfit, food, houses and occupations), an extensive and detailed characteristics of annual customs from Christmas through all of the months of the year, richly illustrated by occasional proverbs, and, finally, a description of family rites (birthday, funeral and nine weddings). Within the chapters on Customs and Rites he included 208 songs (not all of them with melodies) and melodies without texts, of which 128 are wedding songs. The material that comes from Kolberg’s own, relatively early field research, he supplemented, particularly in the ethnographic description, with numerous bibliographic information, quotations and excerpts from printed works, mainly, from the publications of L. Gołębiowski, K. W. Wójcicki and K. Kozłowski, and from Warsaw daily and research press. He added an extensive section of Notes to it in which he quoted from various literature on the subject. They include, among others, legends concerning Warsaw and a few texts of bonfire songs. Three color plates of folk costumes from W. Gerson’s pictures illustrate the volume.