Slovak Heritage & Folklore Society International!|
Director and Editor Helene Cincebeaux
|Slovakia Magazine||Slovakia! Traditions New and Old||Slovak Pride|
|of SH&FSI||Book by Helene Baine Cincebeaux||Database of 30,000 Slovak names...|
The Slovak Heritage & Folklore Society International (SH&FSI)was founded in 1986 by Helene
Cincebeaux & Helen Zemek Baine. The organization provides and shares information on Slovak
heritage from history and culture to music, art, folk dress, folk art, customs, crafts and
Members receive four issues of Slovakia a year (96 issues have been published) and have the opportunity to communicate with 1,600 members with free queries and unlimited access to Slovak Pride contact information.
The quarterly provides information on Slovakia and tells of traditions and treasures there.
It publicizes people, events of interest, services, courses, gives tips on travel to Slovakia,
and helps with finding long-lost family. The Society maintains the Slovak Pride Database which
lists more than 30,000 Slovak surnames and villages of origin and has helped re-unite families
both in Slovakia and in the US and Canada.
Back issues of Slovakia magazine are available for $3 each; less if several are purchased.
FREE SAMPLE COPY SENT ON REQUEST!
* Helene Cincebeaux; 151 Colebrook Dr, Rochester NY 14617
Toll free: (888) 529-7150 or (585)-342-9383; Helenezx@aol.com
Slovakia! Traditions Old & New
By Helene Baine Cincebeaux
Reviewed by Ginny Parobek
We saw Slovakia change from a rural and relatively poor land to a thriving modern nation, but this book celebrates the old days and the old ways! (p. 15). Prediction: this new book by Helene Cincebeaux may very well become a Slovak Bible of sorts to you. Why? Because within its covers are 40 years of research and travel memories from Helene, who has packed a multitude of color photos, maps, original art work, embroidery and vintage postcards into it. Along with running commentary on everything from azu, a spicy meat dish, to zincica,sheep's whey, which incidentally, Americans often have trouble digesting. One thing that you will notice right away is the color red is very prominent in all sorts of imagery throughout the book. Why? Because red is considered a protective color, the color of blood and life. The text of Slovakia! isn't bogged down in technical or academic-speak; it's written in everyday speech (you can almost hear Helene talking directly to you).
It is divided into six chapters: The Year Begins/Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter and Carrying-On Traditions.
A bibliography at book's end has good-to-know resources about Slovakia and diacritical marks are consistently present throughout the text. This treasure trove, an 8x11, glossy. soft-cover book features many colorful, full-page photos and paintings (with a few older, interesting b&w prints as well).
The introduction to the book is very interesting indeed and tells how Helene became fascinated with Slovakia in the first place. She had her first glimpse of Slovakia when she climbed up on Giewont Mountain in Poland in 1959. Mysteriously intrigued by this taste of Slovakia, she re-turned some ten years later. Return trips in 1972 and 1975 followed and then, every year since! Helene and her mother, Helen Zemek Baine would flip a coin to decide whether to head east or west, pointing our Skoda toward remote villages at the end of the road (p. 13).
ISBN 978-0-615-33848-4 c. 2010; 172pp.
Price $25.00 + $5S&H
This mother/daughter duo was welcomed with open arms wherever they traveled and everywhere,
we were regaled with stories and songs, legends, customs and traditions (p. 14). Folk dress
rained down on us, tossed from attics and lofts.” Likely, this was the impetus that spurred
Helene to collect kroje, folk dress, study folk motifs and become an expert on the subject.
Did you know that Slovaks have more than 12,000 sayings portents of signs of good luck, bad luck, etc…such as A girl gets prettier if she gets wet in the first spring rain. The concepts of magic and protection in Slovakia warrant an entire page. For instance, were you aware that the doorway and the hearth were considered the most important part of the home? Hence the protective symbols in that area of the house.
Helene's first Slovak festival was the Detva Festival in 1979 where she got acquainted with famed embroideress, Marta Rybarova. Marta and her family hosted large numbers of people in their home. Helene tells us of dancing and partying do rana (until dawn). The fujara, a shepherd's flute unique to Slovakia, hails originally from the Detva area.
An entire page
of information is provided on this instrument.
The Roma are not left out of Slovakia! There is a chapter devoted to a Rom family. And be sure to read Helene's amusing experience of hody, a feast, on page 116. She intersperses commentary throughout the book on what life was like in Slovakia 40 years ago, when it was the eastern part of then-Czechoslovakia and under communist rule. Did you know the communists forbade the wearing of kroj in many villages? This only hastened the decline of wearing kroj in general.
Be sure to check out the full-page color portrait of Helene, painted in 1983, by Slovak, self-taught artist Jan Siazik.The authorities wanted him to remove the filigreed cross she was wearing in the painting, but he refused. Slovaks had other ways of getting around Communist Party dicta, even during that oppressive rule, fresh flowers could be seen on almost every roadside shrine across the land! Of course, the book includes thorough descriptions of holidays and customs, including Fasiangy
(the Slovak Mardi Gras), and page 38 contains a discussion on kraslice (egg decorating).
Be sure to check out Kristin Cederquist's unique painting of Jansky ohen, St. John's Night.
A printer's error left some paragraphs dangling here and there in the book, but this doesn't detract from the whole. And so, what's next for our ever-busy Helene? My next book will focus on kroj, she states. And, as we all know, she is more than qualified to write the definitive text on Slovak dress, linens and motifs.
So, go ahead and see if my prediction doesn't come through for you and your family. This book may become a Bible, or reference text, on all things Slovak. At a mere $25 per copy, it's a veritable bargain and would make a delightful Christmas gift!
By Helene Baine Cincebeaux
Price $23.00 Incl. S&H
The Slovak Pride book has helped re-unite Slovak-Americans with their long-lost relatives in Slovakia and sometimes even re-connected families in the US. Your surname are welcome!!!!! E-mail or send to address below.
Slovak Pride is 128 pages with 28,000 surnames listed alphabetically and villages of origin, Genealogy tips, Coats of arms of historic counties and towns, locations of the Slovak Archives, and the Slovak National Anthem
25 Useful Sites for Slovak Genealogy" by Lisa Alzo
"How Can I learn More About My Ancestors?"
"The Fascination of Slovak Surnames: What Does My Name Mean?" by Helene Cincebeaux
Where Are Your Roots?" PLUS
Maps, historic and contemporary photos and paintings of people and places of Slovakia from castles to quaint villages and onion domed churches in three sections devoted to Eastern, Central and Western Slovakia, a glimpse of Slovak folk dress and more!
Obtain your copy of Slovak Pride: Send a check for $23 including S&H
151 Colebrook Dr. Rochester NY 14617 Telephone: (585) 342-9383 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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