Extensive medieval and Early Modern fi eld systems have been preserved in English countryside. The article aims at achieving synopsis on English research for the purpose of explaining similar traces of past agricultural activities in the Czech Republic. In England, majority of preserved fi eld systems consist almost exclusively of ridge and furrow, whilst in the Czech Republic strip lynchets and fi eld boundaries are mostly detected. However, local ridge and furrow is mentioned many times in Bohemian documentary evidence. Comparison with British fi eld systems already helped to put Czech research into a broader context (Dohnal 2003; 2006). The author therefore recommends employing British research in explaining Bohemian archive and iconographical materials on local ridge and furrow. The article describes the main results of exploring English ridge and furrow, its appearance, date of origin, purpose and variations. Other remnants of medieval landscapes (strip lynchets) are discussed as well. Special attention is paid to “reversed S” shape of many medieval fi elds, hardly explained phenomenon related probably to complicated maneuvering with plough teams.
The goal of the text is to sum up the existing works on religion and religiosity of the Gypsies in the Czech Republic and, to a certain extent, also in the Slovak Republic. We summarize the tendencies to be found in the academic texts on this topic and propose the positive way for the future studies and texts, which consists in the clear defi nition of the subject matter, and explicit use of the conceptual tools and theories.
The study summarizes the work of Maurice Bloch, especially his theory of ritual and religion. Focusing on Bloch’s concepts of rebounding violence, ideology and knowledge, it is argued that the cognitive dualism does not correspond to the fact of the entirety of the human mind, a unique constellation of specifi c biological, natural environmental, historical, social and cultural circumstances as well as personal and experiential conditions. When dealing with some analogies of Bloch’s thought, the assumptions of Marx, Freud and Rousseau are recalled. The recognition of the europocentric polarization also demands a mention of the Latin naturalis and supernaturalis dichotomy as well as the Greek sophistic duality of fysei and nomó. On the other hand, Bloch’s precise critique of functionalist and Marxist approaches allows moving towards deeper psychosocial processes within ritual.
The paper deals with the role of gender in the context of witchcraft. It focuses on the situation in a rural area in eastern Slovenia, where the author and her students researched witchcraft in 2000 and 2001. The meaning of a gender in witchcraft accusations is presented with respect to various levels and types of witch (social level – neighborhood witches, village witches; supernatural level – night witches; counterwitches). Among neighborhood witches (about whom people believe that they perform some kind of magic: placing eggs etc. in the hope that they will hurt neighbors; intentional praise), women are typically assumed to be guilty; men appear only in the subcategory of people with evil eye. Similar holds for all the subcategories of village witches, except for those who earned their reputation because of the assumption of their possession of a book of magic (where men predominate). Night witches (in the form of lights or vague presences which make it diffi cult for people to fi nd their way) are always female (they are spoken about using the feminine gender; when they are recognized as people from the village, they are always women). In contrast, the ratio of men to women among counterwitches, to whom people turned for help against witches, rises dramatically. The most infl uential counterwitch whom people visited in this area was a men. The relationship between the sexes can also be seen through an analysis of (migratory) legends about witches whereby many of them reveal a concealed misogyny.