Please send abstracts for the monothematic issue by 28. 2. 2022.
The editorial deadline for the submission of articles is 30. 6. 2022.

Estate inventories as a source of research into folk culture

 

Ethnological interpretation of the development of the earlier stages of rural culture has a very long tradition and is firmly rooted in the theoretical and methodological basis of modern European research. Developments in this field at certain university departments in Germany have proven particularly inspiring, namely, at the University of Münster (Alltagsgeschichte) and in historical anthropology at Kiel and Saarbrücken, where ethnological research has significantly contributed to shaping research into everydayness. Most notably, it was the ethnographer Ruth-Elizabeth Mohrmann, together with the historian Günter Wiegelmann, author of many works devoted to the study of homes and home furnishings, manufacturing workshops and the promotion and dissemination of technological innovations, who began successful collaborations in research into mutual influences between the town and the country. In a comparative study of the spread of urban innovations, particularly furniture, to rural homes, they effectively utilized estate records. In domestic research, the historian František Hrubý was the first to significantly draw attention to the importance of studying serf inventories. With the example of an analysis of the inventories of serfs and nobles, he demonstrated how detailed a picture this source is able to provide of noble residences and the standard of living on serf homesteads. Following up on this work, Josef Hanzal reiterated the importance of this source and its potential in research into the areas of agriculture and household equipment. With the aid of estate records, the ethnographer Karel Fojtík also reflected on traditional ethnographic themes, such as the social organization of the community and family and annual customs. In his day, his recommendation to study the earlier stages of folk culture was followed by many ethnographers.

However, nowadays, research on estate inventories or wills is primarily done by historians of the modern period. Work done by graduates of the University of South Bohemia, the Silesian University and the University of Pardubice has demonstrated that this subject remains relevant and continues to develop, even though the focus of attention is predominantly urban and noble. However, the rural environment, with the coexistence of villages and small towns, also offers significant interesting material.  Once the lesser availability of suitable sources and more demanding excerption has been overcome, it can provide a great deal of interesting detail in relation to clothing, households, houshold management, social structures and mentality. Therefore,we would like to devote Český lid monothematic issue 4/2022 to all these thematic areas and the reflections of ethnologists and historians in relation these themes.

Please send abstracts for the monothematic issue by 28. 2. 2022.

The editorial deadline for the submission of articles is 30. 6. 2022.

 

Martin Šimša (Guest Editor)