Emil Bartoš

* 1938  

  • “The first one is laufr, then three dancers and then an old woman with a chimney sweeper, then two Jews and then a bear with…” “Bear keeper?“ “He is blue.“ “And someone else behind them? Is anyone going behind the bear?” “No, no, there is a bear and a keeper. And no one else. But you know, sometimes there were so many people following the mascaraed. But only a few today, people don’t keep it anymore. Sometimes there was a whole procession.” “And how did it begin in the morning?” “Well, in the morning, Zdenka knows that, she used to go and can describe it better. Zdenka!“ “Yeah, in the morning we used to dress up the girls in their masks, here in (the Czech – editor´s note) the house we met, and dressed them up. From the house they went to the upper corner, then down to the street, later they met here in the house, where we danced, then went on all through the village. And in the evening there was a laufr and there were many old women in the dancing place and us girls, we sat behind the table. And the laufr was carrying a liquor on a tray offering to women. Some threw a coin at him, some did not. And we also sat behind the table and gave coins to the masks and danced and all. It was nice.”

  • “There was a large wedding in the Husáks house, their parents. There were people in two rooms, rams were baked, and musicians were playing.” “A partition was thrown out.” “To make the room bigger. And back then there was no electricity, we had some from cooperative. And there was none at night, so we had to fill oil lamps and burnt them until the morning. The wedding was on Saturday and we danced all Sunday in the courtyard. I also haven’t got the picture at home, as Darko took it too… And it was, was musicians didn’t want to play anymore. Fráňa Finků refused to play in the evening.” “It was too much for them.” “Rams were baked, it was not like today, we had a cook, Husáková Amálka, who took care of it. We had a large family, so many of us. Shame that Darko took it away.” “As we were driven to get married, tell them.” “Yesterday I met the Bartoš boy after Bohouš, and he said: Uncle, they say you had a wedding in horse carriages. Well true, we went in carriages.”

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    Končenice, 30.07.2016

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Such was the pace of life

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Emil Bartoš
photo: Klára Brožová

Emil Bartoš was born on 5th September, 1938 in a village of Končenice in today´s Croatia. He comes from a Czech family; most villagers were Czech. For six years he went to local Czech school and then began working at their home farm, which he later took over from his parents. In 1958 - 1960 was in the army in Varaždin and Postojna in Slovenia. After returning home, he married Zdenka Husáková from Končenice. He remembers their wedding was the last in the village, where all wedding guests were driven in horse carriages. They spent their life together farming in the native village. They know habits and traditions kept in Končenice, they describe for example how carnival was celebrated. They are members of the local Czech association and always liked dancing and singing during festivities. They know many songs. They say they always claimed being Czech, but never got back to Bohemia.