Our Collections

Józef Obrębski’s Macedonia Research from 1932–1933

In late 1932 and early 1933, Józef Obrębski conducted intensive eight-month ethnographic research among the inhabitants of the Macedonian village of Voltshe in the mountainous region of Poreche. Inspired by Malinowski’s functional method (Obrębski did his doctoral programme under Malinowski’s supervision at the London School of Economics and Political Science), he studied, among other things, the mutual interactions between the system of local beliefs and magical-religious practices and the rural social structure.

The presented materials are just a small part of the collection from the Amherst Library, showing a sample of Józef Obrębski’s methodological skills and instruments, the way he prepared field notes and ordered them, his preliminary conclusions and the early versions of written work on magic, religion and beliefs of the inhabitants of the Macedonian village at that time. The notes are written in the local (Macedonian) dialect and are often supplemented with Polish titles, comments and translations. The writings are in Polish and English.