Volume 52: Belarus and Polesie

The ethnographic monograph on Belarus covers Polesie (also Volhynian Polesie) and the area of Grodno more thoroughly. Just like in most of Kolberg’s monographs, also in this volume, the customs of the annual cycle and the wedding rites with songs that accompany them (there are 489 songs in these chapters out of a total of 682 texts and melodies in this volume) are most numerously presented. A part of tales and songs, three descriptions of weddings, some short notes from other areas and all the melodies come from Kolberg’s own research. These materials are supplemented with the excerpts from the literature concerning the folk culture of Belarus which were collected systematically by Kolberg. In this way, the volume ‘Belarus and Polesie’ enables the reader to be familiarized with papers on the region, hardly available now, published in 19th century journals, and with works that were scarcely preserved in libraries (e.g., a collection of songs by R. Zienkiewicz, articles from ‘Tygodnik Wileński’ [Vilnius Weekly] of 1819, a study by P. Bobrowski in Kolberg’s translation, and other). The introduction by M. Olechnowicz provides a concise outline of the history of Polish ethnographic research on Belarus in the nineteenth century.