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  • Some White Ruthenian Folk-SongsAuthor(s): H. Iwanowska and H. OnslowSource: Folklore, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Mar. 31, 1914), pp. 91-109Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of Folklore Enterprises, Ltd.Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1255351 .Accessed: 16/06/2014 01:15

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  • Collectanea. Collectanea.

    being the case in the north of England, and is applied to the

    mewing of a cat and the wail of an infant. The Latin ululare is to cry as a wolf, and connected with this is ulfw the Suio-Gothic for a wolf, while ululae are screech owls, in Gaelic coinnil (Meyer). The connection of owls with women in Gaelic is shown in the name cailleach oidhche (the night woman). Coinnil (screech owls) are evidently so-called from cMinim (to complain, bewail), a word we find in the Manx caayney, caoiney (to bewail, to sing), the Welsh cwyno (to mourn or lament), the Cornish cwyna, and the Breton keina, keini. In Greek we have Kivvpos, and also utvtpos meaning to complain, the latter specially with a low voice, which

    suggests that the former has Kvtv as its root as has, for instance, KLva8os a fox; KlVVpos therefore is a whining, and with this com-

    pare the Latin cano (I sing) and canis (a dog). Primitive singing must have been a mere exaggeration of the rise and fall of the voice when speaking, rhythm being achieved by accompanying the outcry with clapping of hands. The Latin cano has possibly influenced the Gaelic canim, I sing. What we wish to make clear to our readers is that the lamenting of the " keener " after a death is the survival of an early form of what we now know as singing. The Bodb, the Banshee, the Caonteach, and the Vow are probably identical in origin, commemorating grief as expressed by the voice, and the Washer Woman tradition commemorates the clap- ping of the hands common both at keening and at clothes washing.

    The information I have used in writing this paper has been gathered from living reciters, and I would gratefully acknowledge much local information given by Miss E. M. Kerr, I37 Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh, formerly of Port Charlotte, Islay.

    R. C. MACLAGAN.

    SOME WVHITE RUTHENIAN FOLK-SONGS.

    i. Notes on the People. THE accompanying songs, which are both in words and music extremely characteristic, have been collected within the radius of

    being the case in the north of England, and is applied to the

    mewing of a cat and the wail of an infant. The Latin ululare is to cry as a wolf, and connected with this is ulfw the Suio-Gothic for a wolf, while ululae are screech owls, in Gaelic coinnil (Meyer). The connection of owls with women in Gaelic is shown in the name cailleach oidhche (the night woman). Coinnil (screech owls) are evidently so-called from cMinim (to complain, bewail), a word we find in the Manx caayney, caoiney (to bewail, to sing), the Welsh cwyno (to mourn or lament), the Cornish cwyna, and the Breton keina, keini. In Greek we have Kivvpos, and also utvtpos meaning to complain, the latter specially with a low voice, which

    suggests that the former has Kvtv as its root as has, for instance, KLva8os a fox; KlVVpos therefore is a whining, and with this com-

    pare the Latin cano (I sing) and canis (a dog). Primitive singing must have been a mere exaggeration of the rise and fall of the voice when speaking, rhythm being achieved by accompanying the outcry with clapping of hands. The Latin cano has possibly influenced the Gaelic canim, I sing. What we wish to make clear to our readers is that the lamenting of the " keener " after a death is the survival of an early form of what we now know as singing. The Bodb, the Banshee, the Caonteach, and the Vow are probably identical in origin, commemorating grief as expressed by the voice, and the Washer Woman tradition commemorates the clap- ping of the hands common both at keening and at clothes washing.

    The information I have used in writing this paper has been gathered from living reciters, and I would gratefully acknowledge much local information given by Miss E. M. Kerr, I37 Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh, formerly of Port Charlotte, Islay.

    R. C. MACLAGAN.

    SOME WVHITE RUTHENIAN FOLK-SONGS.

    i. Notes on the People. THE accompanying songs, which are both in words and music extremely characteristic, have been collected within the radius of

    9I 9I

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  • 92 Collectanea.

    a few miles of Lebiodka, near the town of Wasiliszki. They are

    probably representative of the songs sung in a much wider district; indeed, with the exception of a few variations, representative of those sung by the whole White Ruthenian people. Unfortunately they are fast being replaced by modern Russian and Polish songs, which the peasants who serve their time in the Russian army bring back with them to their native villages.

    White Ruthenia covers approximately the south and east of

    Lithuania, which was originally inhabited by peoples of the Sarmatian stock, who were divided into two branches, Lithuanian and Slavonian. The former included the Lithuanians proper, Letts, Old Prussians, and Yatzwings (now extinct); the latter the

    Bohemians, Ukranians, Poles, White Ruthenians, and many others. The White Ruthenians 1 of the present day contain, no doubt,

    some Polish and Lithuanian blood, as well as blood from other

    surrounding races. The landowners are more Polish than the

    peasants, and profess the Catholic religion, as do most of the

    peasants in the north, though those in the south, formerly Uniates,2 have been compelled by the Russians to join the Orthodox Greek Church (I839). The White Ruthenians occupy the present governments of Vitepsk, West Polock, Minsk, Mohylev, Grodno, and Vilno (except for a few districts in the north), where they are

    energetically carrying out a nationalist revival, in order to differentiate themselves from Poles and Lithuanians on the one hand, and from Russians on the other,-a policy which no doubt the Russian government has encouraged. There exist nationalist societies, the first of which was called Hromada. Another, whose name when translated means "The sun will look, and into our window,"3 deals more with literary than political matters. The

    language is Slavonic and totally unlike Lithuanian, (which is more

    closely allied to Sanscrit than any other European language), and, though unlike Polish, resembles it more than it does Russian.

    1 Sometimes called Byelorusses or White Russians, but incorrectly, since no White Ruthenian would ever allow himself to be called by a name which would imply that he was Russian.

    21.e., those who conform to the Greek ritual, but acknowledge the jurisdic- tion of the Pope.

    3 In White Ruthenian Zahlanie sonce i u na.,e akonce.

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  • Collectanea. 93

    The White Ruthenians must be carefully distinguished from the Red Ruthenians (Little Russians or Ukranians as they prefer to be called) of Ukraine and Galicia etc., whom they resemble

    closely in language. The Ukranians have an intellectual centre at Lemberg, where lectures are given and books published in the

    language.4 From the earliest times the White Ruthenians and the Lithu-

    anians have suffered oppression upon all sides, on the north by the Livonians, on the west by the Teutonic Knights of the Cross, on the south by the Poles, and on the east by the Russians. In these early days the Lithuanians lived in clans, separated from one another by tracts of forest. Ryngold (I225) first united them, and his son Mendog allied himself to the Livonians and conquered White Ruthenia. The language of the conquered race, however, became the official5 language, and spread nearly all over Lithuania.6 It was even spoken at the court and at many houses of the nobles. About 1325 Gedymin, who styled himself Rex mullorum Ruthen- orum, extended his conquests far into Poland and Russia. His son, Jagello, under whom Lithuania became Christian, contrived a union with Poland by marrying Hedwig, Queen of Poland. After this the histories of the two countries became identical, and Polish influence spread rapidly. It was not till then that the White Ruthenian 7 language became replaced by Polish.

    The great forests which still cover the land have had a profound effect on the character of the people. They are the last virgin forests of Europe, and in them stil