1. bookVolume 69 (2021): Issue 4 (December 2021)
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1339-9357
First Published
30 Mar 2019
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4 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

Women as Folk Song Collectors in Slovakia. From Romantic Nationalism to the Beginnings of Modern Research

Published Online: 24 Jan 2022
Page range: 570 - 588
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1339-9357
First Published
30 Mar 2019
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Collecting activities were an important cultural and social phenomenon in 19th century Europe. Women also participated in these activities, although in many cultures their role and the results of their collecting work have not yet been adequately evaluated. Taking the example of Slovakia, it is possible to highlight the contribution of women in collecting folk songs, while encompassing those features which are specific to the regional circumstances. Women took part in all important collecting projects of the 19th century in Slovakia. Reconstruction of their socio-cultural background highlighted the fact that at the inception of these projects women of the aristocracy and gentry were active collectors. The majority of female collectors came from families of the Slovak intelligentsia, who belonged to the middle class. By the end of the 19th century many such families had become part of the contemporary elite of Slovak society. We focus on two research questions: 1, how did the gender category of the collector condition the record of song material (an aspect of the collection concept); and 2, what contribution did women’s collecting activities make to the study of traditional song culture (an aspect of the collected material). A definition of women’s concept of collecting, with primary orientation on song lyrics, was deduced from the 19th century preference for the national language and the role of Slovak women in its diffusion in private as well as public life, and from analysis of the genre structure of the collected material. The romantic concept of collecting in Slovakia is compared with an early concept of documentation at the beginning of the 20th century which derived from abroad, although some of its elements were beginning to take effect also in domestic collecting activities.

Keywords

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