Volume 27: Mazovia part 4

The Complete Works vol. 27: Mazovia part 4. Wrocław – Poznań 1964, pp. XII+400, illustrations. Photo-offset re-edition; first edition: Cracow 1888.

The fourth part of the Mazovia series brings an ethnographic picture of the so-called Mazowsze Stare [Old Mazovia], located in Masuria and Kurpie, that is, in a northern part of the region situated on the right bank of the Vistula and Bug Rivers and on the Narew and Wkra. Within the five chapters, typical to Kolberg’s monographs, he includes: a historical and geographic description of the country (Lipnowskie, i.e., former Ziemia Dobrzyńska, Płockie, Mławskie, Przasnyskie, Pułtuskie, Ostrołęckie, Kolneńskie), of the people (Dobrzyniaki, Masuria, Kurpie), with particular emphasis on inhabitants of Kurpie; an extensive chapter devoted to customs; a description of harvest festival; a characteristics of rites where besides baptism and funeral he discusses 9 weddings; as well as 266 universal songs. Totally, there were included 439 songs within the last three chapters. It is worth mentioning that Kolberg presents a broad picture of the culture of one of the most interesting ethnographic regions in Poland – the Kurpie Forest, whose various distinct cultural character constituted, even before Kolberg, a subject of studies for researchers (K.W. Wójcicki, A. Połujański, Z. Gloger, and others). The material in the volume comes basically from Kolberg’s own field research and from correspondents (P. Jahołkowski, R. Korbasinski, and others), and is supplemented with quotations from literature (K.W. Wójcicki, A. Połujański, W.H. Gawarecki, F. Kozłowski), particularly, in the case of the ethnographic description. The notes appended at the end were taken from publications and basically include information on the Mazovian history, as well as a few legends and songs.