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Two Serbian Songs about a Hero’s Burial in the Woods from the Region of Beli Timok (Eastern and Southeastern Serbia)

Folkloristika 5/1 (2020): 9–27
Author: Zoja Karanović
Text: PDF


The paper discusses valuable records of two Serbian folk songs which the Author, together with Vesna Djukić, noted down in the village of Ošljane in the Region of Beli Timok, in 1997. The song is related to the similar thematic-motivic and content variants gathered in the broader area of Eastern and Southeastern Serbia, where they can be traced during the 20th century. There are melodic notations of the song as well, and melodic records posted on the Internet demonstrate its popularity. Significant clues of the song’s life point to the once great wealth of the Serbian oral poetic tradition in the examined area.  They also testify to its genre and poetic dynamic and flexibility, and particularly to the fact that it is intrinsic to the Serbian folk poetry in the whole. 
Keywords: Serbian folk heroic songs, The Region of Beli Timok (Eastern and Southeastern Serbia), death in the woods, grave in the woods, field records, process of deheroization, decreasing of epic intensity