The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 22, 1988, Page 10&11, Image 10

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    In the hustle and bustle
of college life, we all need a
place to relax. So...give yourself
a break. Come to Lincoln's
only Coffee House.
7:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Mon-Thurs
7:00 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Fri-Sat 477-6611
3:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday 1324 "P" Street
DAY '88
»slt with om 100 lepreeentatlves Irom Business Industry ano Government
K' saa DRESS FOR SUCCESS style show at 3 00
i. . attend DAVE SWANSON saminars at 9:00 a m . d 00 p m
and 3 30 p.m.
«»«. < REE caraar information available
LIE AWAKE 3 Big Nights
Sept. 22-23-24
Post Game Victory Dance
Saturday Night with LIE AWAKE
Only a! Chesterfield’s
Chesterfield s Open Sunday Noon-11 PM
Serving Beer and Wine at Noon
Burger Two Fers All Day Sunday
Any Two For Only $5.25
All Ages Welcome
Folklore provides expkins,tions rich in history ©o* I
By Mark Main
Staff Reporter
1 Humiliated only by the pale light
of the harvest moon, a pile of dry
leaves rustles, and then is lifted,
spiraling on the wind Lingering in
the chilly evening air, the bitter
sweet aroma of wood smoke floats
|| through the blue-black sky. It’s a
^ night like a million others, yet
i something in the air whispers ol
excitement, and perhaps a bit of
danger. , .
It’s a scene and a feeling as time
less as autumn itself. As summer
fades, it seems almost as if society
comes closer to its traditional roots..
Autumn and the harvest are limes
especially rich in folklore, and at
this time of year, the storehouse of
< our ancestors’ myths, traditions and
' beliefs come closer to the surface.
“Fnllflnr<> are ihnse materials
which arc transmitted informally in
\ our culture, primarily by word of
mouth," said Roger Welsch Ne
' braska author and folklorist. “It’s
not necessarily false or old; we all
have folklore in our lives. It’s as
new as automobiles and satellites.”
“Folklore would be the equiva
lent of literature, in a broad sense,
of a non-literate society," said
Oyekan Owomoyela, a University
of Nebraska-Lincoln English pro
fessor. “Folklore still exists in a
modern culture in things such as
I superstitions, songs and beliefs.”
f olk heritage has a major impact
on the present. The traditional ways
of our ancestors still shape and in
fluence our day to day life.
“The culture, as you have it to
day, grew out of something'
Owomoyela said. “It s nice to be
able to see it in the context of what
is still real and not completely out
Although many folkways have
not been “outgrown,” some are
now archaic. Autumn and the liar
vest were very important times
among ancient civilizations, and
often a specific deity was con
nected with the time. In ancient
Japan, the goddess Talsula-Hitne.
whose name means “lady who
weaves the brocade,” was respon
sible for coloring the leaves. In
Russia, the last ears of grain were
left for Veles, the god of the harvest
Among Scandinavians, special
sacrifices, known as disablot, were
made at harvest lime to pacify the
Disir. or harvest goddesses. Rise
where in Scandinavia, great feasts
were held in honor of the god
Ukko, culminating in a ritual pres
entation of the crops at a sacred
Although Ukko and the others
may have been long forgotten,
some of the practices, notably the
ritual gathering, have remained ir
regardlcss of cultural boundaries.
The native Nebraskans traditionally
celebrated two harvests, one in
August, and a main harvest in Octo
ber. The Hidatsa had special feasts
at this time accompanied by com
munal corn husking.
Virtually all Huropean cultures
retained the; ancient harvest feast.
In fact, it seemed to be one of the
few common elements among the
various ethnic groups of the early
settlers. The autumn festival was
one last social event before winter
trapped the pioneers on their
homesteads. Often, these social
events were fairs, in which crops
would be displayed in celebration
of a bountiful harvest.
“It’s something that’s been done
lor a millennium,’” Welsch said.
“There’s nothing in the Bible that
says anything about bringing all
your stuff together and having a
competition for the largest zuc
chini, but that’s the way it’s hap
As Europeans immigrated to
America, they brought with them
their folk beliefs, and many of those
who settled in MeDrasKa main
tained their harvest traditions, sev
eral of which are still alive.
Autumn was considered an es
pecially active time for witches and
demons, preparing for the advent
of 1 lalloween. Thus, it was impor
ures. The remnants of this can be
seen in the bonfire. Although the
purpose has changed from fright
ening away evil spirits to roasting
marsTimallows, the roots are the
The Cornucopia, or horn of
plenty, was also an idea brought to
tant to take protectionary meas
America by immigrants. An annual
favorite for 3rd grade art projects, /
the horn of plenty stems from the >
ancient Greek myth of a magic goat (
whose horns produced grain and ]
An ancient folk craft, the weav
ing of dolls from grain stubble, also
can be seen today, as a visit to any ^
arts and crafts store will prove. In \
the British Isles, it was believed i
every field had its own protective
spirit. The rippling of the grain was
caused by the spirit walking about, ]
and not the wind as commonly ‘ jj
believed. At harvest lime, the spirit jfl
retreated to the last standing sheaf
of grain. Dolls were made from this^JB
sheaf, in which the spirit would live'\W
until spring.
Many of these old folkways are ffl
less consciously preserved today. J||
based primarily on family activity, ■
they are annual traditions kept alive
through the generations by passing
along the techniques and practices
connected with it. Welsch said
among many of Nebraska’s Czechs,
there is a tradition of preparing a
duck for the harvest feast. Folk
crafts, such as hunting and the
making of duck blinds, are also
products of this type of tradition,
Welsch said.
“There are some things that can
only be learned through the obser- U
vations of your father or mother or L
whatever," Welsch said. f
Whether the folk tradition in
volves sacrificing a calf to the grain
goddess or making caramel apples, \
autumn remains somewhat of a ,
yearly time-warp in which the an
cient and the modern are in greater
haimony than at any other time
ft 4
$ These and
cos Many Others -
at the Lowest Prices in Town
14th & 0 . East Park
477-6061 _46441275^^
Schaefer . warm mu, Returnable bottles I
Regular only, *1.20 Bottle Deposit required *4.99
Busch.. warm case . . '6.49 I
Miller Ref, Light, Draff, warm case *8.49 i
Black Label . . warm case . . . . i
Barries & Jaymes
All fltvort, 4 pt<k.*2.65
Testi Asti Spumante 750 ml *4.99
"Red Hot" Schnapps 750 ml *4.99
I Southern Comfort 7$o ml. • *5.99
. . . . and much, much more thru 9/28/88.
North*of 27th & Vine 477-7516