Jonas Basanavičius Folklore Library, Vol. 2
Various Lithuanian Tales, book 2. Collected by Jonas Basanavičius.
Vilnius: Vaga Publishers, 1995
Book 2 of the “Various Lithuanian Tales” comprises folk narratives recorded from Samogitians and from inhabitants of middle and eastern parts of Aukštaitija. About 50 texts have been reprinted from periodicals and various minor publications, while majority of materials have been submitted by numerous volunteer collectors recruited by J. Basanavičius from different social strata, professions and levels of education. The book starts with texts recorded in Samogitia. 11 folktales and legends have been recorded by Russian linguist Aleksandr Pogodin in Kvėdarna, Laukuva and several other more remote parishes. Texts from Varniai, Rietavas, Mosėdis parishes in Telšiai County are also published. 10 folktales come from a book “Proverbs and Songs” (1889) by a prolific folklore collector Mečislovas Davainis-Silvestraitis, who mostly worked in Raseiniai County. Rather more to the east, in Pernarava (now belonging to Kėdainiai district) several folktales published in this book have been recorded by Jadvyga Juškytė, while Petras Virakas collected folklore somewhat more to the south, around Seredžius. Valuable materials from the former Šiauliai County were submitted to J. Basanavičius by an industrious folklore recorder Matas Slančiauskas, his co-worker Pranas Narvydas and a collector under an assumed name “Savage” (probably it was a poet Jonas Krikščiūnas-Jovaras). Some very good texts for this book were submitted by Liudvika Didžiulienė-Žmona, residing in Aukštaitija, Pasvalys parish. Over a hundred of folklore texts published in the second book of the “Various Lithuanian Tales” have been collected across the former Zarasai County thanks to the efforts of Žvaigždė Society. Quite a significant part of these tales came from Jūžintai parish, having been recorded by Juozas Otonas Sirvydis.
This book comprises many tales preserving the classical beauty of this genre. Some of them, subsequently reprinted in school readers, became kind of standard texts of Lithuanian tales. Among 250 pieces of folklore comprising this book almost 50 could be classified as folk legends.
The second volume of Jonas Basanavičius Folklore Library was edited, the textual principles of editing worked out, commentaries to the texts written and the vocabulary compiled by Kostas Aleksynas. The author of the foreword to the second volume of the “Various Lithuanian Tales” and folkloristic commentaries indicating types of the published texts in Lithuanian and international indices, discussing popularity of the published materials in Lithuania and abroad and also submitting other folkloristic data, is Leonardas Sauka.