The article provides a description of the history of committees for civil issues in the Czech part of the former Czechoslovakia between the 1950s and the 1980s. Two main data sources were used. Firstly, in-depth interviews were conducted with funeral professionals who conducted funerals in the time period under study. Secondly, handbooks for funeral organisers and civil funeral orators concerning funeral speeches and suitable forms of civil (socialist) funeral ceremonies were analysed. The author argues that members of committees for civil issues actively created new forms of ceremonies and played a key role in the spread of civil funerals in today’s Czech R. Such committees were hierarchically structured and centrally organised, and there were huge regional differences in terms of their activities. At the end of the 1970s and during the 1980s, they were more active in Moravia, where the numbers of civil funerals were lower and, thus, where the need for their promotion was greater.
As a consequence of economic globalisation, the Western Balkans has been experiencing massive boom in the building of houses. In rural and mountain parts of the former Yugoslavia, in some of the least expected locations, often in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, many imposing houses have been constructed. These are often larger and more extravagant than their models in western European suburbs and have been built largely on the basis of remittances from migrants in the EU or USA. It is not just “remittance houses” but whole new “remittance landscapes” that have come into being. This article explores the elemental spontaneity of this building boom. Many of the houses concerned have been built without project plans, architects or building permission and the new suburbs are developing without urban planning or infrastructure. I try to show some of the predictable but, above all, unexpected connections and results of the absence of rationalist planning and budgeting, and attempt to id
The paper shows that the stabilizing and anti-assimilationist elements of the Yazidi religion in Yazidi groups differ quite markedly by cultural-geographical units, i.e., – between Yazdis in Iraqi Kurdistan, Caucasian and Central Asian Yazidis, and also those in Western European diasporas. By means of examples from the main elements of the Yazidi religion, the article highlights their different social and religious stabilizing functions. The individual religious elements (and their functions) that Yazidis consider important vary quite significantly not only over time but particularly over geographical space. Those religious elements and injunctions (e.g., emphasis on marriage rules) that can significantly stabilize Yazidi society in Iraqi Kurdistan can, conversely, just as significantly destabilize Yazidi society in the diaspora (especially in Western Europe).
This paper presents the results of an analysis of beaded artwork from the collection of the Czech ethnographer František Řehoř. The collection is located in the Department of Ethnography of the National Museum in Prague and is currently being analyzed by Czech ethnologists in cooperation with Ukrainian experts. This collection provides an important source of knowledge for studying the first stage of the tradition of beaded decoration in Ukrainian folk costume (late 18th to late 19th century) of eastern Galicia and Bukovina, which were part of the Habsburg Monarchy at that time. The analysis of artifacts from this collection expands the knowledge of technological, typological, artistic and stylistic features of traditional Ukrainian beadwork within these regions during the 19th century.