Some White Ruthenian Folk-Songs

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<ul><li><p>Some White Ruthenian Folk-SongsAuthor(s): H. Iwanowska and H. OnslowSource: Folklore, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Mar. 31, 1914), pp. 91-109Published by: Taylor &amp; Francis, Ltd. on behalf of Folklore Enterprises, Ltd.Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1255351 .Accessed: 16/06/2014 01:15</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>Folklore Enterprises, Ltd. and Taylor &amp; Francis, Ltd. are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve andextend access to Folklore.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from 195.78.108.60 on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 01:15:25 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=taylorfrancishttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=felhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/1255351?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Collectanea. Collectanea. </p><p>being the case in the north of England, and is applied to the </p><p>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 </p><p>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- </p><p>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. </p><p>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. </p><p>R. C. MACLAGAN. </p><p>SOME WVHITE RUTHENIAN FOLK-SONGS. </p><p>i. Notes on the People. THE accompanying songs, which are both in words and music extremely characteristic, have been collected within the radius of </p><p>being the case in the north of England, and is applied to the </p><p>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 </p><p>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- </p><p>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. </p><p>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. </p><p>R. C. MACLAGAN. </p><p>SOME WVHITE RUTHENIAN FOLK-SONGS. </p><p>i. Notes on the People. THE accompanying songs, which are both in words and music extremely characteristic, have been collected within the radius of </p><p>9I 9I </p><p>This content downloaded from 195.78.108.60 on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 01:15:25 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>92 Collectanea. </p><p>a few miles of Lebiodka, near the town of Wasiliszki. They are </p><p>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. </p><p>White Ruthenia covers approximately the south and east of </p><p>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 </p><p>Bohemians, Ukranians, Poles, White Ruthenians, and many others. The White Ruthenians 1 of the present day contain, no doubt, </p><p>some Polish and Lithuanian blood, as well as blood from other </p><p>surrounding races. The landowners are more Polish than the </p><p>peasants, and profess the Catholic religion, as do most of the </p><p>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 </p><p>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 </p><p>language is Slavonic and totally unlike Lithuanian, (which is more </p><p>closely allied to Sanscrit than any other European language), and, though unlike Polish, resembles it more than it does Russian. </p><p>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. </p><p>21.e., those who conform to the Greek ritual, but acknowledge the jurisdic- tion of the Pope. </p><p>3 In White Ruthenian Zahlanie sonce i u na.,e akonce. </p><p>This content downloaded from 195.78.108.60 on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 01:15:25 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Collectanea. 93 </p><p>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 </p><p>closely in language. The Ukranians have an intellectual centre at Lemberg, where lectures are given and books published in the </p><p>language.4 From the earliest times the White Ruthenians and the Lithu- </p><p>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. </p><p>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 still linger a few Zubr or European bison. Up to the fourteenth century they afforded the inhabitants a means of evading their enemies, and caused them to be untouched by the civilisation and Christianity which swept over the more accessible countries, so that they were one of the last peoples in Europe to be robbed of the glories of paganism. Their </p><p>4 Sevcenka, the Ukranian national poet, has been translated into Russian. 5The Statut Litewski (1588) declared that all Acts must be drawn up in </p><p>White Ruthenian, and as late as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries White Ruthenian was taught in the schools of Lithuania proper. </p><p>6 Lilwa i Biaiorus, by Leon Wasilewski. 7 There is a difficulty in the nomenclature, for the White Ruthenian language </p><p>was called Ruthenian in Poland, and Lithuanian in Moscow. </p><p>This content downloaded from 195.78.108.60 on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 01:15:25 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Collectanea. </p><p>religion was nature-worship, symbolised by trees, fire, and serpents. Within the puszcza (virgin forest) the Znicz,s or inex- </p><p>tinguishable fire, was tended by virgins, and it was there also that the high priest, Krive Kriveyto (the judge-of-judges), used to worship, and under him seventeen different orders of priests. </p><p>Trees are even now held in mysterious reverence by the peasants, and in going from cottage to cottage an earthen saucer of milk may still occasionally be seen on the door-step, which the owner says has been put there for the snake 9 who will bring bad luck if he is not fed, for it is believed that these snakes are descended from some ancient and once sacred breed. </p><p>The people retain many ancient beliefs and practices. In the marshes dwells a spirit called Dziadika Balofny (" Uncle of the marsh "), who either assists the hunter in the pursuit of his quarry, or, if evilly inclined, leads him to the deepest parts of the marsh, where he will lose his way, even in the places he knows best. The lucky poacher is always supposed to be helped by the "Uncle," but, if asked whether it be true, he always denies it emphatically. </p><p>The Dziadika Lesny (" Uncle of the Forest ") behaves similarly to those who are in pursuit of elk, stags, or other forest creatures. There are werwolves who devour children, and special spirits, believed to have the semblance of alder trunks, who have power over horses. A horse that is a favourite with them is in good condition, and works well, because they feed him and groom him in the night. Other horses, however, that are ill groomed and cannot work, have been ridden all night by these spirits. In many stables may be seen a dead magpie hung from the ceiling by the beak, as a charm to prevent any mishap befalling from the spirit. </p><p>In certain remote villages, on Midsummer day, the young men make fires in the open, through which it is their practice to jump. On Midsummer night also it is possible to find the "blossom" of a fern, which glows in the dark like a jewel, and which brings the finder his heart's desire; but its quest is fraught with great danger. </p><p>8At Vilna in the cathedral lies the stone on which the Znics was kept burning, and outside stands the tower from which the Krive Kriveyto used to address the people. </p><p>9 The common green water-snake. </p><p>94 </p><p>This content downloaded from 195.78.108.60 on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 01:15:25 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Collectanea. </p><p>Another curious practice at this time is for the young men and maidens to weave wreaths of flowers, with lighted candles affixed, which are then set afloat on some open piece of water. The </p><p>meeting of two wreaths indicates a marriage, and the extinction of a candle death. At the commencement of harvest it is customary for one of the reapers to cut and bind the first two swaths of </p><p>rye, which she takes home with her, and in September the same two swaths are placed cross-wise on the ground, and covered over with soil, after which the sowing begins. On All Hallow E'en, in certain districts of Lida, the peasants still perform a </p><p>ceremony called Dziady, by placing food and drink in the church or cemetery at midnight, in order to supply the spirits of the dead, who rise and consume what is placed there for them. </p><p>All the peasants have a superstitious dread of fire that has been caused by lightning, and they will never make the slightest attempt to extinguish it, even if it is their own homes that are </p><p>being consumed. The peasants also will evince the utmost </p><p>dismay if anyone should aim a gun at the sun, stars, moon, or even the heavens. It is considered most unlucky to praise a </p><p>neighbour's live-stock, but, if any one does so, the owner may avert the ill by spitting at once. The worst harm is done by the praise of a person who is at heart envious of the object of his praise, a </p><p>superstition which affects other objects as well as animals. A belief in " the evil eye" is very common, not only among peasants but also among landowners. Dark people, and especially women with dark eyes, are believed to cast their spell on live-stock. A new-born foal, therefore, must never be shown to strangers, unless they be dobryje wocy (good-eyed) or lohkaja ruka (light-handed). But, if it should become necessary to show an animal to s...</p></li></ul>