Uczeń i mistrz. Relacje Bogumiła Hoffa i Oskara Kolberga w świetle ich korespondencji
Student and Master: The Correspondence of Bogumił Hoff and Oskar Kolberg
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The article concerns the relationship between two eminent researchers of folk culture – the still largely unknown Bogumił Hoff and the “father of Polish ethnography” Oskar Kolberg. Their collaboration was analyzed based on their correspondence, which, although preserved and published, has so far not attracted much scientific attention. The author reveals the intricacies behind the relationship between the student (who later “discovered” the resort town of Wisła) and the teacher – author of the voluminous work entitled Lud, a study of Polish folk traditions. Their joint fieldwork in the Grand Duchy of Poznań, conducted in the 1860s, was planned to result in a separate volume written by Kolberg and illustrated by Hoff. Unfortunately, financial problems significantly delayed the release schedule and led to further misunderstandings. Kolberg took control over the drawings and refused to give them back to his debtor. And although Hoff continued in his efforts to support Kolberg’s plans, he never managed to reclaim his works. One thing he did get from his master was a research method, which he used in his work Lud cieszyński, jego właściwości i siedziby, an ethnographic study of the inhabitants of Wisła, a town in Cieszyn Silesia, located at the source of the Vistula – Poland’s longest and largest river. Despite their strained relationship, Hoff remained faithful to his teacher, with whom he shared a fascination with ethnography and music, a publishing venture, denomination, and a circle of friends. Moreover, both were descendents of polonized German protestant families, who came from Mecklenburg in the first half of the 19th century, and they both had a great impact on the development of Polish ethnography – Kolberg on a national scale, and Hoff on a local one.
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