Volume 73/1, 73/2, 73/3: The Cracow Region. Supplement to volumes 5-8

The Complete Works vols 73/1-3: The Cracow Region. Supplement to volumes 5-8. Collected from the manuscripts and printed sources and edited by E. Miller, D. Pawlak and A. Skrukwa. Poznań 2005, pp. CXV, 521+542+585, illustrations.

Available online: 73/I73/II73/III

Published under the scientific auspices of the Polish Academy of Sciences financed by the State Committee for Scientific Research and the Minister of Culture.

The four-volume monograph of the Cracow region was published by Kolberg in the years 1871-1875 as volumes 5-8 of ‘Lud’ [The People]. Presently it is supplemented with three volumes containing all the unpublished folkloric and ethnographic material from this region as well as, required by the editorial method, commentaries to the 19th century edition.

The introductory chapter addresses those events from the Kolberg’s biography which influenced the content of those supplementary volumes, f.i. the circumstances of his moving from Warsaw to Modlnica (near Cracow), his relations with the Cracow scientific community and the friendship with the Konopkas, the family whose members helped Kolberg to conduct his research in the Cracow region. Later discussion revolves around borders of the region fixed in the monograph, methods of a material collection, manuscripts and principles of editorial method adopted in this volume, as well as the characterization of the Kolberg’s editorial process.

The order of the supplementary material in volume 73 is similar to the one of any regional monograph content. The first part of this volume (volume 73/1) includes some notes on chapters ‘Lud’ [The People], ‘Zwyczaje doroczne’ [Annual customs], ‘Obrzędy rodzinne’ [Family rites] and ‘Pieśni powszechne’ [Universal songs]. The material related to the chapter ‘Lud’ includes, among others things, toponomastic notes which complement the rich material on this topic published by Kolberg in the first part of the Cracow monograph, as well as a list of names of domestic animals. The chapter related to annual customs consists of a long description of a wedding in Mogilany and numerous wedding songs from other places. The both mentioned chapters include more than 200 songs and melodies. Among songs, the most distinctive ones are ballads, which are presented in larger number than in the monograph from the 19th century, as well as a set of texts of songs collected by M. Szczurek in Mogilany, which probably constitute the whole repertoire of the author.

The second part of the volume (volume 73/2) contains chapters which are equivalent to those of the monograph: ’Pieśni szlacheckie i mieszczańskie’ [Royal and peasant songs], ’Tańce i melodie bez tekstu’ [Dances and melodies without text], ’Gry i zabawy’ [Games], ‘Świat nadzmysłowy’ [The supernatural], ‘Opowieści’ [Stories], ,’Zagadki’ [Riddles], ‘Przysłowia’. Zdania’ [Proverbs. Sentences] and ’Język’ [Speech]. There is additional chapter devoted to letters and speeches. The important fragment of non-folklore songs comprise of historical and patriotic songs. Kolberg collected in this region quite a number of those songs, yet he couldn’t publish them in the monograph of the Cracow region. A set of instrumental melodies is quite vast too; some of the melodies are provided with names of their performers, f.i. Kazimierz Kurek, a violinist from Modlnica. Altogether there are 1432 songs and melodies. The section related to the supernatural complements the description of beliefs from part 3 of the Cracow monograph. This chapter discusses the representation of nature, demonological beliefs, material on witchcraft, witches, charms and superstitions related to day-to-day living, sicknesses, weather etc. A description incudes stories that illustrate them. There are sixty texts in the chapter with stories; some of them include reference to the history of Poland. Kolberg was forced to omit such texts, to allow the Cracow monograph to be distributed under the Russian rule. There are regional and nationwide tales connected to a particular region or town, some of them with variants known in whole Poland (for example the one about Mr Twardowski or the dragon of the Wawel Hill); whereas others, were not popular in previous publications about the Cracow folklore. Some other texts include magical fairy tales, anecdotes and animal stories. Some of them are chronologically early and the earliest variants, however, some of them are unique and were not recorded by anyone before Kolberg. A peasant’s letter from 1870, which appears in the chapter ‘Inne formy’ [Other genres] is rather unique, because of widespread illiteracy in this part of the society and rather small interest of folklorists in this literary genre. The chapter ‘Zagadki’ [Riddles] consists of 69 texts and ‘Język’ [Speech] possess a dictionary that supplements the one from part 4 of ‘The Cracow Region’ and rather rich onomastic data from many cities from the region.

The third part of this volume encompasses ‘Raptularz Antoniny Konopczanki’ [The Diary of Antonina Konopczanka], ,’Przypisy źródłowe do Krakowskiego cz. I-IV’ [The commentaries to the Cracow Region parts 1-4], as well as a bibliography and indexes. The diary is miraculously survived original manuscript of interviews with a few inhabitants of Modlica conducted between the years 1868-1869. Konopczanka collected for Kolberg data on beliefs and tales. Later, texts underwent edition by both her and Kolberg. Hence the manuscripts allow reconstructing the original words of informants. The diary constitutes an individual chapter, because of its original form. 

The commentaries to four volumes of ‘The Cracow Region’ are in a separate chapter. They include descriptions of references used during the preparation of this monograph. They were elaborated on the basis of manuscripts and notes by the author, as well as his correspondence. Thus, the commentaries include all the information about the author, localization, data and content which was reconstructed during the analysis of manuscripts and in the query library which, in turn, was crucial for the correct interpretation of Kolberg’s text. References consist of all publications which were quoted or mentioned in ‘The Cracow Region’ and in the supplementary volume. Indexes (of geographic names and of first lines) encompass the whole data from this region, i.e. volumes 5-8 and 73 of ‘The Complete Works’.