'GIFTS OF THE LOCAL COUNT' AND 'THE LITTLE GOAT'S TRAVELS' IN THE BALTIC AND SLAVONIC CHANTS
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Children joke (play) songs 'Master's gifts' and 'Kid's (lamb's, leveret's) adventures' are extremely popular both in Baltic and in Slavic folklores. An author or a performer of the first song tells in a monologue form about his long-term service for a master (just for a master - not only in Polish, but also in Baltic and Eastern-Slavic songs!): every year he receives some fowl or some domestic animal, including a cow, a bull, a horse, an ox. In Latvian songs (where the performer - a master's servant worked longer than others) he receives a girl, a fellow, even a child, or a house or a whole country seat - in recognition of his service . The comparative uniformity of variants of all Baltic and Slavic folks is marvelling. Even the procedure of purchase of domestic animals is almost identical. The differences are found only in characteristic of domestic animals, which follows each new purchase. If in Latvian songs the practical meaning of someone or other domestic animal in a farm is accented, in Russian songs the animals are mostly characterized by use of sounds they emit or with quibbles based on assonance. Both Russian and Latvian folklorists agree that the considered song had been spread from Polish handwritten selections of the XVIII century, which already in that old times were willingly translated to Russian and widely distributed. This song has come to Latvian folklore from the Lithuanian one. Quite another distribution scheme is offered by another song, which origin is supposedly also the Polish folklore. In this song, the plot basis, which combines both Baltic and Slavic variants, is the dialogue of the point personage with his collocutor.The authors are offering a detailed considerations of similarities and differences of the Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian and Byelorussian versions of songs in question.. In their opinion, analysis of similar elements and peculiarities of considered songs of Baltic and Slavic folks gives at a researcher's disposal the invaluable material for finding out the distributing process of folklore formations, which have neither language nor any other barriers, as well as for finding out the ethno-psychological peculiarities of nations, which are invited now to live in new social and political conditions.
- B. Infantiev, Riga, Latvia (for details contact the journal editor)
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