A linguistic and cultural image of the manor in Lithuania Cover Image

Językowo-kulturowa wizja dworu na Litwie
A linguistic and cultural image of the manor in Lithuania

Author(s): Krystyna Rutkowska
Subject(s): Cultural history, Local History / Microhistory, Oral history, Lithuanian Literature, Polish Literature
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Smalvos district; dialectal narratives; manor in Lithuania; mental map of the borderland;

Summary/Abstract: The aim of this article is to provide a description of the linguistic-cultural vision of the manor on the Baltic-Slavic border. The object of the analysis is autobiographical narratives of the oldest residents of Polish villages in the districts of Meikštai and Smalvos in north-eastern Lithuania, on the border with Belarus. The people living there have perfectly retained the memory of old manors and estates, local nobility, and the relations between the peasants and the manor. The article aims to present their memories about the manor, the impact of the manor on the formation of their personalities and attitudes towards the surrounding world, and to characterise the places important for the formation of a multi-ethnic, multicultural borderland and its unique character. The analysis of the conceptualisation of the manor and the landlord by the residents of Smalvos district is based on the general assumptions of oral history, especially those concerning the narrator’s position, his/her worldview and his/her relation with the described reality. The reconstructed vision of the manor, based on the autobiographical narratives, is clearly positive. The described behaviour of the landlord to the peasants dispels the established stereotype of the landlord as a ruthless exploiter and the myth of relations with the peasants based on exploitation. Although cognitive definitions of the concepts under consideration describe the manor as a place distinct from the countryside, at the same time, however, it was a place where peasant children were welcome, taught prayers and the basics of reading and writing. The landlord is described as an educated, tolerant and understanding person who took care about his peasants and supported them.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 42
  • Page Range: 151-172
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Polish