Team III, July 5- July 16, 2012

Location:Belarus, Brest province, Berioza district, Sporovo village
 Rendezvous point:Minsk, Belarus End point: Minsk, Belarus Cost:$1300 (US Dollars)

   One of the branches of our research program is documenting and comparing the folklore traditions of two sets of villages:   Siberian villages settled in 1906-1916 as part of the Stolypin land reforms, and the Belarusian villages where the settlers originated.

On our 2010 expedition to the Belarusian-Siberian village of Turgenevka we recorded a number of old Belarusian songs.  In 2011 we traveled to Turgenevka's mother region, the Berioza district of Belarus, looking for local variants of the songs and local relatives of the Turgenevka settlers. (See the expedition reports in our Completed Expeditions section.)  In 2012 the search continues, this time centered in the village of Sporovo.

Sporova is known for its many fine singers and special sense of humor.  We have timed the expedition in order to document the local celebration of Ivan Kupala (John the Baptist day) -- an ancient holiday, filled with fire and water symbolism, with roots in the pagan summer solstice celebration.  But our work in Sporova will mainly focus on visiting singers in their homes, recording their oral histories, and recording songs.  In addition we will be photographing and documenting examples of local architecture, handicrafts, foodways and other folklore.

We will also visit the city of Brest and the famous Brest fortress, site of heroic, doomed resistance against the invading German forces of Operation Barbarossa in 1941.

This expedition is the part of American Friends of Russian Folklore program. Please, have a look at -
A detailed briefing and itinerary are available if you send a request to:

of Alberta
Dr. Natalie
University of
Wisconsin Dr.
James Bailey
University of
Colorado at
Boulder Dr.
Laura Olson
University of
Dr. Rouhier-