We took an early train to Stockholm and visited the archives of Nordiska museet looking for songs and histories related to Blekinge. It’s fun to see how people of different times structure material, and what is considered being valuable. The trainride was used to make a striking plan for our three main goals.
- To get a picture of what material is collected from Blekinge.
- Collect everything we could get about the tradition of Majvisor and Majsjungning (May singing).
- Find old descriptions of the dance mazurka in order to prepare our workshop at the Festival Mazurki in Warszaw in May.
In order to get the best out of the trip some new methods were used.
Astrid found many things related to her research about majvisor. It is an medieval Danish tradition (Denmark used to include the southest parts of Sweden) and is now practiced in only a handfull of places. The traditions conisists of singers walking from farm to farm singing/begging for eggs and money. She wanted to find as many majvisor as possible, but also all the information about what and how they traded the eggs and money, by adding extra verses etc.
Kristin was thrilled to find proof of the dance halling in Blekinge, after having spent the last eight months arguing that ”there must be something, please listen to the tunes”! This was celebrated to such extent that we were seconds from failing to get off the train in Uppsala…
The second day was spent at Dialekt och Folkminnesarkivet (dialect and folklore archive) in Uppsala. We were welcomed by really dedicated researchers who helped us out and with whom we made some future plans. It’s always thick (”fett”, as we say in Sweden) to handle 200 year old handwritten songbooks, even though many of them are the size of post-it notes!
More Majvisor and cool dance tunes were collected and we started to get the good candy box feeling we always get when we visit the archives. They’re like boxes of chocholate!! Unfortunately we promised each other to NOT EAT ANY CANDY BEFORE FESTIVALMAZURKI! (Who cares for beach 2012 when we can aim for Festival Mazurki 2012?!)
The last day was spent at Eesti Maja planning and having lunch with Sofia Joons and Kristiina Ehin. Thanks to delayed trains we had time to finish some application and administration work on our way back, motion sickness demands motion!