Tradiční agrární kultura a její výzkum v české etnografii (etnologii)

Title: Tradiční agrární kultura a její výzkum v české etnografii (etnologii)
Variant title:
  • The agrarian culture and its research in Czech ethnography (ethnology)
Source document: Válka, Miroslav. Agrární kultura : o tradičních formách zemědělského hospodaření a života na vesnici. 1. vyd. Brno: Ústav evropské etnologie Masarykovy univerzity, 2007, pp. 21-42
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With the formation of ethnology as an independent field of study at the end of the 19th century, first works are written which consider the agrarian questions as an integral part of study of the traditional culture of the Czech village. The 1890s events, especially the Ethnographical Exhibiton Czechoslavic in 1895, played an important role. In the journal about the exhibition we can find a chapter Folk professions, first attempt to synthetically cover the agrarian questions in the Czech lands. Second such synthesis are the chapters in the compendium Die bsterreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild, volumes Bóhmen (1894) and Máhren und Schlesien (1897). Ethnography, as a newly constituted field, finds its basis in Czech Nation (Český lid), a magazine for study of the Czechoslavic nation, founded in 1891 by the cultural historicist Č. Zíbrt and archaeologist and anthropologist L. Niederle. The magazine also published sources for the agrarian studies. After World War I, the Czechoslovak Agrarian Museum, founded in Prague in 1918 as Institute for Study and Edification of Countryside, becomes the centre of scholarly studies. This institute was organised by professor J. Kazimour, the editor of the museum periodical Bulletin of the Czechoslovak Agrarian Museum, was its primary organiser. As part of the Czechoslovak Homeland Study, another synthesis of the Czech agrarian culture was published in the volume Ethnography (1936). Chapter on agriculture as a primary means of living of the Czech people was compiled by professor K. Chotek. After World War II, Czechoslovakia saw an unprecedented rise in the study of the agrarian ethnography. The university-level research was renewed; the Masaryk's University in Brno newly constituted the teaching of this field, when professor A. Václavík established the Seminary for Ethnography and Ethnology. In 1954, the Institute for Ethnography and Folkloristics with workplaces in Prague and Brno collaborated in establishing the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. The publication platform was found in the renewed Czech Nation, and Czechoslovak Ethnography and Ethnographical Bulletin Czechoslovak in the 1950s; the publication of the last one was, however, interrupted several times. The research during the second half of the 20th century has a strong conserving character, as many phenomena connected to the traditional way of life vanish due to the violent collectivisation of the Czech countryside. Based on the field studies, both the analyses of selected phenomena (e.g. ploughing tools, chalets) and the summaries of the current findings in monographs were carried out. Among the foremost post-war agrarian ethnographers was also J. Kramařík (1923-1974). His extensive research work (ploughing tools, cattle yoking) enabled him synthetic elaboration on the traditional forms of agricultural manufacture in the Czech lands in Czechoslovak Homeland Study III, volume Folk Culture (1968). Kramařík was also a promoter of ethnocartography and collaborated on Ethnographic Atlas I (1978). Another representative of the post-war agrarian ethnography, ing. Fr. Sach, partook in the production of the atlas. He was all his life most interested in ploughing tools. He followed the ploughing technique in Czech lands, in Europe and else in the world and created a valid typology of the ploughing tools. The extensive work of agrarian ethnographer ing. Z. Tempir, related to the Agrarian Museum, which is focused on the crops planting, the evolution of ploughs and hop growing. This was compiled in a monograph The Evolution of the Cereals Gathering Technique (1989). During the second half of the last century, the researchers focused also on the questions of the cattle breeding, especially the Carpathian chalets (J. Štika). V. Frolec followed a specialised area of the traditional farming - winegrowing. J. Šťastný and J. Jančář published monographs on regional forms of agrarian management. V. Vondruška published a lexicographical handbook Dictionary of Old Farm Tools, Instruments and Machines (1989). Its aim was to unify the extant terminology. The last work about agrarian culture of the Czech ethnic group is Folk Culture - Ethnographical Encyclopaedia of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia (2007). It presents in individual entries the current state of knowledge of this integral part of folk culture in its traditional, usually historically closed, forms.