Ilona Vojancová – Restrictions during the pandemic and their impact on specific traditions in eastern Bohemia

Ilona Vojancová
Open-air museum Vysocina

Restrictions during the pandemic and their impact on specific traditions in eastern Bohemia

The Open-air museum Vysocina is engaged in research of traditional folk culture and is an Assigned regional specialised centre of care for traditional folk culture in the Pardubice Region in the spirit of the government resolution – Strategy of Improved Care for Traditional Folk Culture in the Czech Republic. It continuously monitors the Shrovetide door-to-door processions and masks of the Hlinecko area, which have been part of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2010. At the same time, it is engaged in research of other customs that have survived in some areas of the Pardubice region, “velikonoční vodění jidáše”, “kácení máje”, etc. In 2020 and at the present time, government restrictions made it impossible for these traditions to take place and we can observe how the Bearers of the Folk Craft Tradition (hereinafter referred to as “bearers”) themselves and the community cope with this fact. Our contribution summarizes the research of the response of bearers and communities in the case of the spring customs of 2020. During a time when the pandemic situation took everyone by surprise and quick solutions were sought. In 2021, we focused mainly on research of the approach of organizers and holders of the Shrovetide door-to-door processions and masks of the Hlinecko area. We observe how the fact that processions could not take place in a traditional form affects them and what solutions they sought. In the end, the paper focuses on the role of memory institutions in this – for all unusual – situation. It questions whether and, if so, how these institutions can help bearers and organizers in presenting the customs in another form. How open-air museums approach this on an example of the Open-air museum Vysocina.

Biography of the author:

1975–1980 Masaryk University in Brno, the fields of etnography and history.
In the year 1984 she got her PhDr. degree.
After the studies she has been employed at NPÚ ÚOP in Pardubice. Since 1. 1. 2019 has been this institution part of the NMvP as the Museum in nature Vysocina.
1980–1997: job title of etnologist.
1997–30.6.2020: director of the Museum in nature Vysočina.
Since 1. 7. 2020: scientific member and researcher.
The field of her main interest is the problematics of museums in nature (interpretation of the non-material cultural heritage), folk tradition and folk diet/food.