TATRA AREA RESEARCH GROUP
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Newsletter for February & March 2007
Ahojte (welcome) to all our TARG members!
The article about the Tatra Highlanders for the Spring issue of "Nase rodina," the CGSI's quarterly publication, was finished and I am told the printer is done and those issues will be mailing out this next week. I have not seen the final version with all of its edits nor know which photographs will be included. I do know they were planning on using the map I created of the Tatra Highlanders' range. A color version of this map is now on the homepage of the TARG website at www.e-TARG.org. Go have a look!
-- Paul K. Bingham
1. TARG's official website: http://www.e-TARG.org!
2. Helene B. Cincebeaux's new 2007 Treasure Tours Schedule is out! Go to her
website at: www.Our-Slovakia.com
3. Genealogical Publishing Company's page on "Polish Roots" at: http://www.genealogical.com/products/Polish%20Roots/983.html
---Hi Paul, I hope all is well. It isn't like you not to publish a newsletter in so long. Since I had not received one and your web page hadn't been updated, I became concerned about your well being. Take care, God bless, and best of health and happiness for the coming holiday season and New Year.... Barb B.
***Hi Barb, A new TARG Newsletter was posted in November. Check it out on the TARG website at: http://www.e-TARG.org/Resources/index.html. Since a number of people complained about the length of the e-mails when the e-newsletter is attached - and also the number of bounced e-mails I get when I send them to everyone - I've gone to just posting them on the website. You will see we are now up-to-date again! Thanks! - Paul
---Hi Paul, Glad I visited the TARG site. What is the source for the map on the TARG site? You don't list it. I also like the new posting page format. Easy to scroll down and check for names. Congrats in advance on the article. - Karen from PA
***Hi Karen, Thanks for the kudos...the article will be out "sometime in March" they say. I have no idea how it will be edited and turn out in the end. I know a lot of photos and a couple of tables I wanted to use were rejected. Nearly any mention of Poland was, too. (It all had to be Czech or Slovak oriented.) So we'll see. I'm sure if you joined and asked to have your subscription start at the issue with the Tatra Highlander article they would know which one you meant. The Front cover will be one of the photos I submitted and it is the lead article. I created the map. As sources I used eight different maps I have from various out-of-print documents, books and articles I have accumulated over the years. The map is a work-in-progress, though. I'm sure it will change as new info comes to light, but it is a good starting point I believe. - Paul
---Hi Paul, I am currently researching the FURCA family (from Galicia circa 1880-1920). I have identified the Furca's in the USA that are part of my family (almost all are from the same family) and would like to find records in Poland of our ancestors. Can you help or put me in touch with someone who can? The three village names that pop up in their records are Ochodnica, Mizerna, and Nowy Targ. Thanks. - Dr. Jane from NC
***Hi Jane, In the most recent Polish phonebook I have there are three Furca families listed in Ochotnica Gorna (none in neighboring O. Dolna, though) and four in Nowy Targ. There were none listed in Mizerna or neighboring Czorsztyn. I would be happy to send these people's contact information to you. - Paul
SLOVAK SURNAME MEANINGS (Part 2)_________
Continuing what we started last issue, here are more Tatra family surnames and their meanings. As mentioned before, surnames are derived from a physical characteristic of the early ancestor, their profession, their place of origin or perhaps something from their natural surroundings. Here are more Tatra Highlander surnames and their Slovak meanings. Once again, some of them are pretty colorful!
KROK = footstep
KURCAK - a 'kurca' is a chicken
LABUT = swan
LAPSANSKY - likely coming from the village named 'Lapsanka'
LATKA = cloth or fabric
LAJAK = downpour
LIS = a press
LOJEK - 'loj' means tallow
LOPATA = shovel
LOS = elk
LUKA = a meadow
MAKOVSKY - 'makovy' are poppies
MALINA = a raspberry
MASTALSKY - a 'mastal' is a stable
MLAKA = a puddle or pool
MODLA = idol
MRAVCAK - a 'mravec" is an ant
MRAZ = frost
MUDRAK - 'mudry' means wise or clever
NALEPKA = a label or a tag
NEMEC = a German
OBROKTA - 'obrok' means fodder
OCHOTNICKY = amateurish
ODROBIN - an 'odrobinka' is a crumb
OLEJAN - 'olej' is the word for oil
ORAVEC - Orava is the region just west of the Tatras
OSTROVSKY - an 'ostrov' is an island
PACH = a smell
PALICA = a stick or club
PARA = steam
PASTRNAK = a parsnip
PISARCIK - a 'pisar' is a scribe
PLEVA = a husk
POMPA = splendor
POTOK = a brook
RAK = a crayfish
RYS = a lynx, also a drawing or sometimes a feature
TATRA MOUNTAINS BOOK - PART 11__________
Chapter 5 "Folk Dances":
"The bagpipe called a 'kozba', used to be a popular instrument and the Tatra robbers were accompanied on their expeditions by bagpipers as well as fiddlers who played for them their favorite tunes. But nowadays it is scarce and most bagpipe players are old men. The name 'kozba' or 'koza' means 'she-goat'; it comes from the small wooden head of a mountain goat with which Goral bagpipes are adorned at the top.
"Goral music differs considerably, in spirit and form, from the Polish lowland melodies. Though all Goral dances are also songs, the reverse is not true, and there are quite a few tunes unconnected with dancing. Local melodies are usually subdivided, apart from the already mentioned dances, into marches (which are not danced), wedding tunes and the so-called 'Highland' ('wierchowa') and 'slow' (ozwodna') times which serve to open the dance and give the party an opportunity to warm up to the coming quick movements by the slower-timed 'Goral Dance', forming the choregraphic equivalent of these 'times'. All these tunes may be either traditional - 'old-worldly', as they are called - or 'new', the genuine Robbers songs and dances and the compostitions of the older local musicians, such as Sabala or Obrochta*, being classed in the first category.
"The musical phrase and period show some interesting features. Thus, in the 'slow' tunes we meet almost exclusively with five-bar phrases, subdivided into two parts of three and two bars respectfully. To this is added a five-bar sequel, which gives a ten-bar period, a form extremely rare in folk music. In the 'hewn' and 'small-step' dances the period of two four-bar phrases is the prevailing pattern. In many melodies the whole is extended to several five- or four-bar periods through the addition of variants. The harmonization is hard; the style of the melodies is stern and primitive, but natural and spontaneous in expression. Among intervals we find in the upper parts the very characteristic augmented fourths; and perfect fifths and thirds in the middle register; while perfect octaves, fourths and fifths are the rule in the bass. Syncopation, both symmetrical and asymmetrical, is an outstanding rhythmical characteristic, and the accentuation of certain beats gives special prominence to the rythm of the Goral tunes. Appoggiaturas are frequent in the upper parts, but there are no trills. The sound of Goral music, based as it is on especial tonality, is not always pleasant to an unaccostomed ear, used to the normal tonal system. But its originality and spontaneity will appeal to anyone with wider musical interests.
*Note: Obrochta used to play to the last Tatra robber chief, Wojtek Mateja, who took a fancy to him, and on several occasions he accompanied his band on its southern forays."
(Chapter 5 "Folk Dances" concludes in our next issue.)
This is the "column" in which I share printed sources of information about subjects of interest to those researching their roots in and around the Tatras. This month I will tell you of one of the standards researchers use when looking for Polish roots. This is a book published by Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore, MD in 1993 entitled "Polish Roots." The author is Rosemary A. Chorzempa and in these 240 pages she instructs us through her 25 years of experience as a genealogist in this region where to find records and how to read them. The book is an excellent resource with many examples and an extensive glossary of terms. While there is no index, the table of contents at the front of the book is extensive. This paperback book should be available through any of the bigger used booksellers online for less than $20.
To contact the TARG Editor, the new e-mail address is: TatraAreaResearchGroupgmail. Our "snail" mailing address is still TARG, P.O. Box 3533, Escondido, CA 92033. use it for sending in orders or photos and anything else you want to share with the group. (If for some reason you are unable to contact us at the new address above, go ahead and use the old address targ_nethotmail by clicking here.)
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