Jonas Basanavičius Folklore Library, Vol. 11
Miscellaneous Folklore from Collections. Collected by Jonas Basanavičius.
Vilnius: Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, 2002
The present volume consists of various pieces of folklore, which have not been included into the big collections edited by Basanavičius. Some of these materials were published in periodicals; a little part of them once formed a small book, while a portion of the folklore published here has hitherto been preserved in manuscripts.
The volume starts with folksongs that have accidentally happened to be preserved at a private archive, yet were fortunate enough to survive. Some of them were recorded by Basanavičius while he was still a gymnasium student (1866–1867), while others – over 40 years later, when Basanavičius, having acquired a phonograph for the Lithuanian Science Society, ventured recording folksongs again. The “Lithuanian Laments”, first published in 1926, are of truly outstanding value. The major part of them were recorded in Dzūkija region (southeastern Lithuania); nevertheless, variants from Aukštaitija (eastern Lithuania), recorded in the middle of 19th century and Suvalkija (southwestern Lithuania) are also included. Some pieces of folk prose are published too. The chapter “Stories and Anecdotes about Rev. Antanas Strazdas” consists of most prominent folklore texts, dedicated to an outstanding personality. Over 350 riddles are also published in this volume, having been recorded by Basanavičius still as a student and during later times too. One can find small bundles of proverbs, onomatopoeias, and an ancient game here as well. Basanavičius used to collect folk superstitions, charms, popular beliefs, some of which happened to end up in this volume. Besides, in a small booklet “Materials for Our National Pharmacy” (1898), which serves as a conclusion to this volume, he published folklore data on illnesses that he had previously accumulated: i.e., the names of the illnesses, symptoms, explanations of origins, and curing. Realistic observations and rational explanations are closely entangled here with fantastic images. Yet this is a significant source for investigation of Lithuanian folk medicine.
The eleventh volume of Jonas Basanavičius Folklore Library was edited by Kostas Aleksynas and Leonardas Sauka. The author of the foreword “Diversity of Folklore” and commentaries is Leonardas Sauka. Aspects of textual editing were discussed by Kostas Aleksynas, vocabulary compiled by Vitas Agurkis.