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Author: Subject: Wendish Folklore Portfolio Introduction
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[*] posted on 7-22-2014 at 09:07 AM
Wendish Folklore Portfolio Introduction

Wendish Folklore Portfolio Introduction

Translated by Elmer Hohle

Legends or myths and mythical forms provide us with an interesting insight into the world of thought and ideas of our ancestors. These evolved out of natural and social living conditions in past centuries. For the farmers of the Muskau meadows & forest living in the villages around Schleife, living conditions were extremely difficult.

They found natural conditions to be so inadequate, that they couldn't feed their families just by tilling the land. The sandy soil, the swamps, and the ponds of this area made it necessary for them to utilize the environmental domain of the forest- meadows. They used the forest soil as litter and the meadow grass as fodder for their cattle. They gathered berries, herbs, and mushrooms. They processed charcoal, boiled pitch, or engaged in forest-meadow bee keeping. Their wrestling with the forces of nature helped shape their concepts of fantasy about the world around them. These phantasies were passed down and embellished from generation to generation into the remnant we possess today.

Through these they maintained their focus and hope against the degrading feudal work and life-style imposed on them by the Muskau upper class rulers. These mythologies also provoked and promoted he nationalistic renewal of the almost exclusive Sorbian population living in the region at that time. The myths themselves and their mythical figures are an eloquent testimony to the Sorbs national self-preservation.

In the second half of the 19th century, these accounts and myths of the Schleife region were collected from all sources and recorded in writings by Adolph Černy' and Willibald von Schulenburg.

Today these belong to the native heritage of this terrain and enrich the spiritual and cultural lives of its Sorbian and German inhabitants.
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