The author deals with the importance of memories in connection with historical buildings and sites. The theoretical framework of the study is the concept of space and place (mostly in approach of S. Low) and collective memory (M. Halbwachs). Abstract space is transformed through human activities, interpersonal relationships, communication, memories, etc. into a known place with sense and specific meanings for certain people. Collective memory (the social representation of the past) plays an important role in this process of change. On the other hand, the memories are bound to a certain place, that is to say they are spatially anchored. In this study, the author observes what memories are related to the buildings and the site of the old hospital in Topoľčany. His informants were its former employees, doctors and nurses and the main method used was ethnographic semi-structured interview.
In the late 1970s, Czech society was becoming increasingly aware of the worsening environmental situation. Officials in the Žďár nad Sázavou district agreed to begin revitalizing the “Opening of the Wells” ritual to educate people about environmental problems and as a partial solution to them. This paper examines how this revitalization occurred, focusing on the conceptual framework meant to legitimize this project (the topoi selected, collective memory, ideological proclamations) and ensure its continuation. Studying attempts to make local authorities hold “Opening of the Wells” ceremonies in the villages of this district also allows us to examine how certain mechanisms of power worked during the Communist era. It also helps us better understand how environmental issues were dealt with at the district level.
This study follows on from previous research on the “ancien time régime” (to around 1800) by R. Koselleck and A. Assmann. It examines representations of eternity in exempla, legends and other texts. The basic motif of these texts is the break with the time, i.e. the situation where the mortal man enters a different time regime (such as paradise) and spents there a seemingly a short time, while, in fact, hundreds of years have passed. The study describes the basic types of these tales (song of the bird, wedding, vision, etc.) and analyses their common motifs.
The study is focused on the motif of name taboo in European prose folklore (mostly focused on Czech folklore tradition). This taboo can be defined as a prohibition against uttering the name of a person or thing. The motif appears in folklore in several variants. This taboo may refer to the uttering of one’s own name or the name of dangerous being. The study examines the differences and similarities between the various forms of motifs and compares changes in its narrative and social functions over time.
The study focuses on the etymology and origin of the meaning of the term “race”, which was first used with a reference to a herd of horses with excellent (riding) characteristics and went on define human groups. Researchers
examining the etymology of the word race have come up with three established hypotheses as to its origin: the “Arabic”, “Greek-Latin” and “French” hypotheses. Here, the focus is on the French hypothesis, since if the French hypothesis is applied, then the word “race” comes from the French haras, meaning “herd” (of horses) with “aristocratic”, “noble blood origin”. The original meaning of the term race referred to the quality of “blood” (“origin”) of a unique “herd” of horses or dogs. The term gradually began to be used for a “quality family” (caste) from a socially “noble” group of people (knights, bishops or king), who spoke of themselves in terms of aristocratic, noble, family origin, thus in the sense of a noble “bloodline”.