Lithuanian and Masurian members of the Fellowship Movement in the face of superstition, “fairy tales” and “ugly things”
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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Online publication date: 2018-10-09
Publication date: 2018-10-10
Corresponding author
Justyna Prusinowska
KMW 2018;301(3):481-508
Lithuanian and Masurian members of the Fellowship Movement (gromadkarze) were described by their contemporaries as extremely pious, honest, humble, righteous or obedient. They were strangers to all worldly joys, which they themselves called “fairy tales”, “sins” or “ugly things”, and those things associated with them, amongst others singing (with the exclusion, of course, of religious songs), dance, music and other pagan remnants. There are no direct sources that would clearly outline the attitude of the members of the Fellowship Movement movement to folklore and people, and the materials touching this sphere of their lives collected by strangers are very scare and mainly concern folk songs. This article focuses on the issue of the presence of superstitions in the lives of people and tries to determine whether the public disapproval of superstitious beliefs reflected their real views, or whether it served only as a veil behind which they hid their real faces. This information was taken from folkloristic collections, archival materials of scientific expeditions and fiction, documenting life primarily in Lithuania Minor and from the last witnesses of the activities of Lithuanian members of the Fellowship Movement. Information gathered at different times and places is convergent: the piety of the members of the Fellowship Movement, mainly peasants, was based on a strong foundation of Christian faith entwined with paganism, which could not be completely eradicated, and without which their faith would not be as strong. The article was created within the framework of the research project “Modernybės ir tradicijos sampyna: surinkimininkų judėjimas Mažojoje Lietuvoje” (“A Plexus of Modernity and Tradition: The Fellowship Movement in Lithuania Minor”) financed by the Lithuanian Scientific Council (Lietuvos mokslo taryba), Contract No. S–MOD–17– 10.
Review: Inga Strungytė-Liugienė (sud., par.), Moderniųjų iniciatyvų ir tradicijos dialogas: surinkimininkų judėjimas Prūsijos Lietuvoje. Straipsnių rinkinys, 2019
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