6.   Lastovo the island of Lastovo

Besides performing as a part of the wedding custom, performing of a Kacic' songs is still an integral part of the Carnival event on the island of Lastovo and the coastal town of Novi Vinodolski [20].

The song [21] is one of the three songs that pokladari [22], the members of local carnival society, performed during the Carnival time. The common feature of all songs is A common tune that accompanied the verses, and a common refrain: trajle lajle la (onomatopoeic imitation of lijerica playing) as well as the same instrument accompaniment - the lijerica.  The lijerica (the three stringed, pear-shaped fiddle) had been irreplaceable as an accompaniment to all the dances of the local inhabitants, before the appearance of the accordion. In the living musical tradition at the beginning of the 21st century, the lijerica is in use in the Dubrovnik area (Primorje, Zupa, Konavle), the peninsula Peljesac, Neretva valley and the islands - Hvar, Mljet and Lastovo. Although there are attempts of revival, the playing of lijerica has died out on the other islands.

Despite the general view that folklore today lives only on the stage, it is noteworthy that one can still experience its full energy in the Carnival events. The Carnival event on the island of Lastovo is the vivid example, especially the performance of the chain dance - the pokladarsko kolo (Zebec 2000b:446). The pokladarsko kolo is a chain sword dance related to the neighboring island Korcula chain dances (kumpanija). The main person responsible for the dance is the kolovoda, or the leader of the kolo-dance. The members of the pokladari  society select their kolovoda - a skillful dancer, aged between forty and fifty, and authoritative person since he is responsible for all the pokladari.

Pokladari sing (shouting) the songs whilst marching through the narrow village streets. The lijerica player (sanatur, glumac) walks in the front of the group, holding the instrument on his left side. It is the only example of lijerica playing in standing position. Lastovo lijerica player often sings with the pokladari, another feature unknown to the other regions lijerica players. After the lijerica introduction, the whole group join in the singing. The custom demands that the pokladari stops in the front of the houses and perform pokladarsko kolo for the household.

The singing of the pokladari is a heterophonic diatonic singing in parallel thirds. In comparison with the other variants of singing of  Kacic' songs, the singing style of the island of Lastovo  belongs to newer singing styles. On the other hand, this style, diatonic two-part singing, is still able to stand against modern four-part harmonizing (klapa singing). 

Lastovo, otok Lastovo

(file wmv, 1'43", 664 Kb)

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