Josef and Vladimír Úlehla - Between education, biology and ethnography
J. Úlehla (1852-1933) - a teacher, headmaster of secondary schools and organizer of pedagogical life in Moravia, and his son V. Úlehla (1888-1947) - a biologist, musical folklorist and university professor, significantly influenced their fields of study, especially education, biology and ethnography. J. Úlehla promoted the use of folk verses, sayings, riddles and proverbs as well as frequent outdoor activities in the instruction of six- to eight-year-old children. Valuable ethnographical information on misery of Wallachian people, emigration to America and child labour is contained in Listy národopisné. Autobiographical information in the books by V. Úlehla Živá píseň and Duše lidu testify of author’s relation to Moravian Slovakia and its rich cultural tradition which inspired him to collect folk songs. He treated the collected information from the point of view of a biologist - e.g. when expressing his opinion of the age of folk songs. The aim of this essay is to answer the question: ‘how did teachers influence the lives of people and transformations of folk culture at the turn of the 19th and the 20th century?’. They helped to improve the quality of primary education, participated in clubs and societies; they took part in Národopisná výstava českoslovanská (Czechoslavic Ethnographical Exhibition), collected folk songs and engaged in local history research. At the same time, educational institutions (representing modern society) and the church came into conflict: the religious practices clashed with man’s freedom and his needs.
Česká národopisná společnost, z. s., Národní třída 3, 117 20 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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