A record of the living Karaim folklore of Crimea. The copybooks of Yosif Kefeli

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Anna Sulimowicz

Abstract

Following the annexation of the Crimea by the Bolsheviks, traditional Karaim folklore found itself endangered by the ongoing process of Sovietisation which intensified after WWII and the deportations of the Crimean Tatars. Following a request from Józef Sulimowicz, a Polish collector of Caraimica, in the early 1960s, Yosif Kefeli (1900–1976), a Karaim from Simferopol, started to write down or copy various works of Crimean Karaim popular literature. He filled a few copybooks with popular songs, poems and proverbs as well as with theatre plays penned by Karaim dramatists such as A.O. Levi and A.I. Katyk. Written in the Cyrillic alphabet, Kefeli’s copybooks today constitute part of Sulimowicz’s collection of Karaim manuscripts. The present article provides a review of the content of these manuscripts, with particular attention paid to those works, which may be regarded as manifestations of the Karaim folklore that was still alive at the time.

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How to Cite
SULIMOWICZ, Anna. A record of the living Karaim folklore of Crimea. The copybooks of Yosif Kefeli. Almanach Karaimski, [S.l.], v. 5, p. 159–174, dec. 2016. ISSN 2353-5466. Available at: <http://karaimi.home.pl/_czasopisma/index.php/almanach/article/view/236>. Date accessed: 25 sep. 2017.
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