XIX Открытая конференция студентов-филологов в СПбГУ

Social function of wandering beggars in tradition of Eastern Borderlands of Poland

Анна Данута (Anna Danuta) Ситко (Sitko)
магистрант 1 курса
Ягеллонский университет (Польша)

14:40 - 15:00

Ключевые слова, аннотация

The presented work reviews the subject of functions and roles of wandering beggars in Eastern Borderlands of Poland. Wandering beggars, as people from the «other» world, were often considered as holy messengers («holy fools»), outlaws, mediators and had an important role in sacral life of traditional communities. On the other hand — many of them had thrilling and obscene songs in their repertoire presented in taverns and during fairs.
The presentation reviews both of wandering beggars' profiles giving an analysis of themes of their repertorie, as well as their mediating role in the society.


The presentation will be divided into two sections. The first one will give an outline of social role of a wandering beggar («dziad wędrowny») in traditional societies of Eastern Borderlands of Poland. The second one will provide a selection of structural and subject classifications of wandering beggars' songs. On the basis of analysis, the author will present her own attempt of creating functional classification of the beggars' musical repertoire.
During the first part of the presentation the author will provide an overview on the category of «the other» and follow up with the ambivalent definition of «sanctity» in the folk culture. Those definitions will be supplemented by the etymological analysis of the ambivalent word «dziad» (rus. «дед»), depicting wandering beggars as avatars of the ancestors, and, to complete the image, as poor outlaws and scoundrels.
The ambivalence of «dziady», as well as their sanctity, will be depicted and analyzed on the chosen examples of folk customs and rituals, where the presence of wandering beggar was enhancing the power of ritual and was very well seen, if not necessary. This part will be followed up by examples of special songs, blessings and prayers.
The second part of the presentation will provide classifications of wandering beggars' songs — regarding either their structure and themes — made by leading researchers of this subject (Michajłowa K., Grochowski P.) and analyze difficulties in their precise definition. The author will describe and outline of poetics and subject of wandering beggars' songs (supported with examples) and present her authorial attempt on creating a functional classification of the songs of «dziady». According to the classification there will be two major categories: «profanum» and «numinotic» (from «numinosum» term by  Rudolf Otto, the scholar of comparative religion).
The presentation will be concluded with a short overview of the current state of wandering beggars' traditions in the present times. The author, basing on her research and interviews, will provide an outline of the contemporary mythologized memory of wandering beggars' and will present examples of today's institutions and people trying to reconstruct or continue the tradition of sacral nomadic musician.
The examples of wandering beggars' song will be given in Polish, Ruthenian, Ukrainian and Belarusian — the content will be explained briefly in English, and, in case of questions, also in Russian.