Krasnodembskaya N. G. The songs of the bull carts’ drivers and their place in the Sinhalese folklore

KRASNODEMBSKAYA — Doctor of Historical Sciences, Leading Research Fellow, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia, St. Petersburg) 


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УДК 398(548.7) 
DO I 10.31250/2618-8600-2019-4(6)-12-31


ABSTRACT. The author explores the history of recording and scholarly study of the Sinhalese folklore. The Sinhalese have got the deep cultural traditions, they love and value their folklore. The folk poetry is performed at almost all the stages of their life and daily work. Some sections of this folklore are dedicated to children and young people, while others to time of love and motherhood, etc. The parts connected with calendar and household as well as with different traditional employments are very rich. A significant amount of folklore texts has already been accumulated, mainly due to the efforts of enthusiasts. The coryphaei and experts, Hugh Neville and G. Parker began to collect these texts in the late XIX - early XX centuries. Nowdays, the Sinhalese regard the popularization of their folklore as a patriotic action. But the theory of Sinhalese folklore is still insufficiently comprehended. The author focuses on the karatta kavi (the songs of the bull carts’ drivers) and draws upon the literary materials, her own fieldwork experience, and the consultations of some Sri Lankan historians and philologists. She analyses about thirty songs and provides their Russian translation as well as the detailed commentary on them. The author argues that the main functions of the songs are magic and emotional, and they are very important for Sinhalese etiquette and exorcism.


KEYWORDS: mobility, the Sinhalese, Sri Lanka, folklore, karatta kavi Nina G.



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