The folklore peculiarities in Sintautai area: some insights

Povilas Krikščiūnas

The article is aimed at discussion on peculiarities of song repertoire that attracted the author while working with archive sources. The attention is focused on peculiarities in song content, style and geographic spreading. It was observed whether the songs popular in Lithuania attained certain local features, how and why their sense was changed; moreover, it was tried to find connections of ballades fixed here to the analogues of other nations.

In summary it should be noted that the regional repertoire peculiarities are caused by both subjective and objective factors at different levels from village community to the international repertoire. The songs are observed to undergo textual actualisation based on changes of personal or place names. This is typical not only of Lithuanians, but it is also met in the repertoires of different (village, district and ethnic region) communities. Such a change (as if inessential) in the sense of a text enables the author or a singer to find and underline himself as a member of a certain social sphere. Here it should be noted that, the more abundant is a community a real text, several texts or a whole genre is actual for which, the more probable is its expansion to the neighbouring areas. For instance, the couplets about village dwellers contain clear improvisational core that is often caused by real traits and situations; there are no universal models created, thus the versions do not fit for classification into more numerous groups, although they reflect well the peculiarities of communities in the songs.

Such a striving for social community is especially often observed in the creations under the pressure of literary tradition. This creative process becoming often anonymous burst into the folklore at the end of the 19th century, inciting national consciousness and bringing new ethical imperatives into the social and personal life. All this is well seen in the texts related to the Sintautai township, its population and church, especially after the fire in 1907. An author of a versed creation, at the same time spreading certain ideology or real pragmatic aims, often used to implement his objectives in a form characteristic of folklore traditions.

A folk ballade “Ponia poną nudaigojo” (“Mistress did in /killed/ master”) is used to show the international connections of songs. This song is though to have reached other Slavonic nations exactly from Polish area. So, we can observe how it was established in the Lithuanian repertoire as a neighbouring one without any intermediates. Statistical data given in the article show very clear spreading of this song in the boundary regions close to the Polish populated areas. This just confirms the hypothesis of earlier investigators. But having reached Lithuania this ballade was changing. Based on the texts available, we can say that epic character typical of the Slavs was declining in Lithuania and conforming to lyrical tradition that is more typical of Lithuanian songs. This is a peculiarity caused not by a place or genre, but by a general body of Lithuanian singing folklore.

In conclusion, it should be said that the folklore in Sintautai area is a favourable material for local investigations as it is affected by several traditions at the same time. Therefore, researchers should come back to this subject, as well as the whole layer of Suvalkija folklore again.