Folklore, Literature and Culture; Legend, Folktale, Mask and Myth

Principal researcher: Ivan Lozica
Researchers and associates: Ljiljana Marks, Vilko Endstrasser, Suzana Marjanic, Marijana Hamersak, Maja Boskovic-Stulli, Zoran Cica, Ingo Schneider

Scientific monographs (crucial for Croatian cultural identity) on mythical beings and traditional masks do not exist in Croatia. The Old Faith of Serbs and Croats by Natko Nodilo, written at the end of 19th century, has not been subjected to a contemporary and detailed study. The recent folkloristic turnpoint from aesthetics to ethic/semantics seeks the reevaluation of previous mythological and folkloristic research, as well as opening new perspectives for studying the role of folklore in society.

Goals and hypotheses: research and systematic syntheses of previous insights and sources (legends, mythical beings, masks), critical analysis of Nodilo’s monograph, questioning and developing cultural botany and zoology approaches; the research of folklore and speech genres in Croatian written literature narratives: research of relations between children’s folklore and different cultural-historical representations of childhood, which be based on the hypothesis that adult and children culture relations produce and reshape children’s folklore according to their power relations.

Expected results: book The Pagan Heritage (previous research resumption), two dictionaries in manusript: Dictionary of Mythical Beings in Croatian Oral Legends and Dictionary of Traditional Masks in Croatia; concluded and defended doctoral thesis Mythical within Oral Literature – Following Nodilo’s (Re)construction of the ‘Old Faith’ of Serbs and Croats; written and defended M.A. thesis which will point out the relations between children’s folklore and childhood as a set of specific cultural discourses; a number of scientific papers on legends, mythical beings, mask and other ethnotheatrological issues, folklore and oral genres in written literature, and children’s folklore. During the research we will improve IEF’s Documentation with a specialized oral legend catalogue (data-base). Collected folklore forms and developed theoretical and textual frames will be the basis for future publications of oral legends.

Methods for checking results: comparisons with previous research, comparisons with sources used and collected during the research, as well as by a reexamination of methodological and theoretical research consistency.

Research significance: producing two syntheses important for folkloristics and Croatian cultural identity; previous research reevaluation and new research inauguration.