Our rational for depiction of ethnographic zones

There are a few basic concepts behind our depiction of ethnographic zones based around our interest in traditional or folk cultures, not nation and national history.

  1. Music and dance in the community can change with fashions, however customs change less rapidly. So we are interested in the present and the not so distant past situations.
  2. We examine from the present into the past through an anthropological lens rather than tracing history from the past to the present.
  3. In the present time frame we are interested in the concept of ethnographic zones as some type of geographically bounded community and its relationships and communications with surrounding communities.
  4. We show the extent of ethnographic zones as the geographic area where the community actually lives nowadays rather than a historic or political boundary.
  5. Where a geographic zone has two partially ethnic population distributions we have overlapping zones for each ethnicity and do not show the “greater” zone.
  6. For place names we (mostly) follow standard academic practice of the current place name in the current country (the alternative ethnic name in brackets), but this can become troublesome, for example where an area is/was monoethnic with long standing place naming that has been changed by recent politics. Eventually alternative naming functionality will be added to the map code.
  7. We are only interested in “nation” where this influences the local traditions. Our use of ethnicities (Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Hungarian etc.) does not indicate a “nationality” with respect to a modern nation state construction, it is a statement of the community’s (past) mother tongue or ascribed identity.
  8. We do not see any credibility in the concept of relating current local folk traditions to a past national ‘empire’ and hence to the modern ‘nation state’. Previously this was part of the construction of many ‘nation states’ following independence from the Ottoman empire. Such myths are still propagating even though international academia has largely dismissed any such perspectives.
Published on 1st May 2020, last modified on 15th April 2023