Sheep shearing in the region of Kaszuby
This custom is linked to the welcome of spring, when shepherds put out their sheep to pasture near lakes and ancient forests, offered as a sacrifice wool, sheep and flowery garlands to their gods. Legend of the ancient Kaszuby has it that the custom started on a Saturday, 15 days before Pentecost (“Zielone Świątki” in Polish) and ended on the Wednesday before the day of the Ascension of Jesus (“Wniebowstąpienie”). Sheep were put out to a large clearing glade, they were then bathed in a river or a lake and put out to meadow once again for their wool to dry.
If the inhabitants of the village managed to shear a great amount of wool, they had every reason to celebrate the fact. They would have a good time, striking on a joyful and carefree note, and this is what our show is like. The inhabitants of the Kaszuby region would search newer and more diversified artistic forms in their customs. Apart from such games as “shepherd” (“owczarz”) “glemda” and ritual dances like “devil dance” (“diobli tańc”), we show dancing forms which are far more sophisticated, e.g. “krzyżnik”, “koseder” and “dżek”. Songs accompanying the custom are sung by dancers in the dialect of the southern region of Kaszuby. Typical instruments are shown, e.g. devil violin or rumbling basses (“burczybasy”). The whole programme of the performance, including traditional clothing, has been consulted with indigenous inhabitants of the region.
The show lasts 20 minutes.