2005/4 Summaries


Een lied in zijn functionele context herplaatst: “De dood te gast genood”

Summary: A song replaced in its functional context
A West-Flemish manuscript dated around 1757 holds a version of the popular song about a dead who’s invited to a feast (Aarne – Thompson 470 A: The Offended Skull). The composition of the volume (religious songs, prayers and meditation material) indicates the function of this song for the author of the manuscript.
The song had to inspire a pious way of life and religious contemplation.




Microtechnologieën van volkscultuur. Europese etnologie in Vlaanderen tussen sector en discipline.

Summary: Micro Technologies of popular culture. European ethnology in Flanders between sector and discipline.
This article examines the fast changing relationship between popular culture and heritage (as sector) on one hand  and history (as scientific discipline and education) on the other hand. While the concept of ‘heritage’ takes on a more and more generalizing meaning within the cultural sector, some universities are looking for an answer to the  question of professionalism and expertise of the subsequently developing job market.
That question undoubtedly offers opportunities and interesting challenges – e.g. interdisciplinary collaboration – but it equally represents certain dangers. From the educational point of view, the option history threatens to become more job focused and less critical, whereas the conceptual aspect risks to diminish from the research point of view. Essentially, the problem can be reduced to the definition of the educational and research object, namely culture. Heritage workers and ethnologists from the sector apply a cultural concept, which (cultural) is of little use to historians. Through the heritage concept, culture is being reduced to a fabricated and negotiable part of customs, meanings and artefacts of which the many historical layers are being neglected. Further association with the social changes in the field of heritage has to be the subject of a quite critical study before the time-own and ideologically biased image of mankind upon which the current cultural concept is based.


I. STROUKEN, De opportuniteit van het Jaar van de Folklore:

De opportuniteit van het Jaar van de Folklore: repliek op Marc Jacobs

Summary: The expediency of a Year for Folklore: reply to Marc Jacobs
The Dutch Centre for Popular Culture (het Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur) is one of the leading organizers  of ‘2005: Year of folklore’. In the latest issue of Volkskunde (2005) nr. 3, Marc Jacobs, of the Flemish Centre for Popular Culture, questions the expediency of organizing such a year. In his article Marc Jacobs described folklore in terms of a vampire like phenomenon. In this article, Ineke Strouken, the director of the Dutch Centre for  Popular Culture, calls for a more detached way of looking at folklore. Folklore is a very popular paste time in the Netherlands. There are at list more than 1500 groups and organizations who perform folklore as a hobby. It is a form of experiencing heritage.
During the preparations for the year, the organizers argued extensively on the use of the word ‘folklore’, because of its somewhat negative connotations in the Netherlands. The organizes were well aware of this and asked themselves if ‘living history’ were not a better and more modern term to describe the activities of the groups. But in the end it was decided to preserve the term folklore because it’s the term used by the groups themselves to describe their activities. The Year of Folklore, wants to make visible for the public at large the very many activities which are being organised under the umbrella of folklore. But there is more. Performing and presenting culture calls for specific skills and accomplishments. The Year of Folklore is meant to highlight this and organize activities to improve the quality of the performances and in this way give a more positive image to folklore in the Netherlands.


Het ontstaan van de Vlaamse volksfilm: regionale cinema, populaire cultuur en de strijd om de Witte (1934).

Summary: The origine of the Flemish popular film: regional cinema, popular culture and the battle for de Witte (1934).
De Witte (1934) by Jan Vanderheyden is commonly considered to be a milestone in the Flemish cinematic history. However, there has been little research into the production and meaning of this classical Flemish movie.This, apparently innocent, pre-war film based on the novel by Ernest Claes is still a common point of reference and an icon of the popular cinematic culture in Flanders. In this article, which shows de Witte as an  interesting example of the growth of the European regional popular cinema after the introduction of sound, we concentrate on the ideological struggle of the meaning of this picture. Through a historical reception study (press,  original correspondence, journal entries and other material) and the film itself we will relive the controversy that surrounded the meaning and production of de Witte.
When the film had its premiere years ago it was a ‘media event’ of the biggest order. More than anything, roducer  and director Vanderheyden was a smart businessman who, as no other, knew to bring his first film production into he spotlights. Even before the first scene was shot, De Witte was already a media event, which made the film into a play ball of commercial and ideological influences from outside. Our analysis shows that the film, more  than the original work by Ernest Claes, presents a conservative and nostalgic image of Flanders. The film shows how a traditional community is being threatened in the background by a modernistic urban culture.



Uit het repertoire van een Antwerpse marktzanger (18e E.)

Summary: From the repertoire of an Antwerp market singer
The 18e century Ms. In the central library of Ghent University which is here analysed, has once been the cherished possession of an Antwerp singer who goes by the name of Joos, but whose full identity is not known.
It contains thirty-four songs, a few of which are date 1718 and 1765. The Antwerp origin of at least some of these songs is testified to by explicit references to events that took place there.
A remarkable characteristic of the collection as a whole is the rather unusual complete absence of religious songs and the preponderance of love-songs. The latter are seventeen in number, i.e. more than half of the contents. The remaining ones cover a wide range of topics. At least five items were borrowed from broadsides printed in Antwerp by J. Thijs and the widow of H. Thieullier, but the others are found only here.
In the present paper a detailed survey of this manuscript’s contents is given, followed by a transcription of some of the more interesting songs, e.g. a song for Lent, two new Year songs and one against ‘evil tongues’.