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Old 05-25-2011, 09:50 AM   #1
Soldier of Macedon
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Default Marko Kostov Cepenkov, Macedonian Literature

Marko Cepenkov was a Macedonian literary figure and collector of songs and stories from Macedonia. He was born in Prilep in 1829, and from the age of 17 he resided in various places in Macedonia, including Struga, Krushevo, Ohrid and Bitola. From 1856 he began to collect folklore material, encouraged and influenced by two other contemporary literary figures from Macedonia, Dimitar Miladinov and Kuzman Shapkarev. Eventually, he followed in the footsteps of many of his Macedonian kinsmen and moved out of Ottoman-occupied Macedonia to the recently created Bulgarian kingdom.

During the 1800's the people of Macedonia and Bulgaria were quite often working together as a bulwark against the agressive policies of the Greek kingdom and Constantinople Patriarchate. They only had the choice of attending Greek schools aside from those with teachers that held private classes. The common 'banner' under which they resisted external efforts to turn them into peoples who were primarily Greek in speech, culture and identity, was the 'Bulgarian' name. This greatly assisted Bulgarian efforts at assimilating the Macedonians, which was further strengthened by the creation of an Exarchate Church (with Ottoman approval) to counter the influence of the Constantinople Patriarchate. It was in this type of environment and those circumstances that Marko Cepenkov grew up and lived his life. Therefore, as unfortunate as it may be, like many other Macedonians of his time, he too became indoctrinated with Bulgarian propaganda from his early years, which often prompted him to refer to his language as 'Bulgarian'. Of course, his language was not Bulgarian, but Macedonian, and his particular dialect is still in popular use in Macedonia and among Macedonians in the Diaspora.

He lives in the memory of the Macedonian people not for his support for the revolutionary struggle for freedom like Delcev or Karev, nor for his position on the clash between Macedonian and Bulgarian elements, but instead as a gifted literary figure, national revivalist and famous folklore collector. He died in 1920, alone and poor, and away from his motherland.

Here is the front cover and a page of his Zbornik, which was published in 1892. His dialect is almost identical to the way people speak today in Macedonian cities such as Bitola and Prilep.

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Old 11-17-2011, 09:21 PM   #2
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Here is an English translation of Marko Cepenkov's stories, which was done by Fay Thomev. It is in a PDF version and the clarity isn't the best, but still can be read:

http://www.mling.ru/etnolingvistika/.../folktales.pdf


This below is apparently from Aleksander Donski - The descendants of Alexander the Great of Macedon... pages 229 - 233. Does anybody have the works of Cepenkov so we can confirm and see the full text in Macedonian?
Quote:
“Consider, dear children, the great Tsar Alexander, whom we venerate until the present day!” - Marko Tsepenkov, Folklore compiler, 1899
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:59 PM   #3
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Here is a Macedonian version of Cepenkov's stories, in which there is reference to Alexander. Again, this needs to be downloaded on PDF:

http://www.mling.ru/etnolingvistika/...a/predania.pdf

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Old 11-17-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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SoM
Many thanks, great stuff, interesting tales. I'm reading through to see if there are any tales I can relate to that may have been passed on by parents and grandparents!
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:35 PM   #5
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I was thinking to do the same thing at some point, our literature and folklore is very rich, Macedonia has plenty of culture.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
I was thinking to do the same thing at some point, our literature and folklore is very rich, Macedonia has plenty of culture.
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Indeed Macedonia does have plenty of culture, I'm only just starting to discover how much of that culture I have been carrying around for many years without even realising it !!!!!!!!! Still, that is just one of the many benefits of the "Truth".....in particular the "Macedonian Truth".........even more particularly........"The Macedonian Truth Organisation".....for bringing it to my attention!
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On Delchev's sarcophagus you can read the following inscription: "We swear the future generations to bury these sacred bones in the capital of Independent Macedonia. August 1923 Illinden"
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:41 AM   #7
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culture & folkrore are things which attest to macedonian existence.We havent been just created since 1945.We are a lot longer than that.Look at the way our enemies have denied our culture,literature etc when one examines the truth & yes the mto brings out the best of the macedonian culture.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:43 AM   #8
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Some of the stories recorded by Cepenkov have interestingly set Alexander as a figure during Ottoman times, which would suggest that his legend was adapted in Macedonian folklore to suit the contemporary era. Below is one such example, but even more interestng is the way he describes both Alexander and Misirkov as Macedonians.

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Old 10-26-2019, 05:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
Marko Cepenkov was a Macedonian literary figure and collector of songs and stories from Macedonia. He was born in Prilep in 1829, and from the age of 17 he resided in various places in Macedonia, including Struga, Krushevo, Ohrid and Bitola. From 1856 he began to collect folklore material, encouraged and influenced by two other contemporary literary figures from Macedonia, Dimitar Miladinov and Kuzman Shapkarev. Eventually, he followed in the footsteps of many of his Macedonian kinsmen and moved out of Ottoman-occupied Macedonia to the recently created Bulgarian kingdom.

During the 1800's the people of Macedonia and Bulgaria were quite often working together as a bulwark against the agressive policies of the Greek kingdom and Constantinople Patriarchate. They only had the choice of attending Greek schools aside from those with teachers that held private classes. The common 'banner' under which they resisted external efforts to turn them into peoples who were primarily Greek in speech, culture and identity, was the 'Bulgarian' name. This greatly assisted Bulgarian efforts at assimilating the Macedonians, which was further strengthened by the creation of an Exarchate Church (with Ottoman approval) to counter the influence of the Constantinople Patriarchate. It was in this type of environment and those circumstances that Marko Cepenkov grew up and lived his life. Therefore, as unfortunate as it may be, like many other Macedonians of his time, he too became indoctrinated with Bulgarian propaganda from his early years, which often prompted him to refer to his language as 'Bulgarian'. Of course, his language was not Bulgarian, but Macedonian, and his particular dialect is still in popular use in Macedonia and among Macedonians in the Diaspora.

He lives in the memory of the Macedonian people not for his support for the revolutionary struggle for freedom like Delcev or Karev, nor for his position on the clash between Macedonian and Bulgarian elements, but instead as a gifted literary figure, national revivalist and famous folklore collector. He died in 1920, alone and poor, and away from his motherland.

Here is the front cover and a page of his Zbornik, which was published in 1892. His dialect is almost identical to the way people speak today in Macedonian cities such as Bitola and Prilep.


I believe Macedonians of this time period (1800’s) called themselves ‘Bulgarian’ at times as the term ‘Bulgarian’ was synonymous with ‘slavic speaker’ in ottoman times which is obviously leftover terminology from the Bulgarian empires that temporarily controlled Macedonia. It didn’t convey an ethnic meaning for most Macedonians which is shown through the people the Macedonians celebrated, being mostly the Ancient Macedonians and not Bulgar kings.

Some Macedonians called their language ‘Bulgarian’ as many Macedonians studied in Greek schools which called all slavic - ‘vulgar’. Macedonian intellectuals transcribed this as ‘Bulgarian’ as the term ‘Bulgarian’ was already synonymous with ‘slavic speaker’ in Ottoman times as previously stated. Macedonians also spoke of their language as just ’Slavic’ at times as Slavic and Bulgarian meant the same thing to them, so they used both.

Naturally the language/dialects they used were Macedonian but the Greek and later Bulgarian schooling influence made the Macedonians speak of their language at times as ‘Bulgarian’ and/or just ‘Slavic’. Pulevski is a prime example highlighting that the Macedonian language existed as he referred to his language as Macedonian in 1875. Cepenkov was just a product of the Greek and Bulgarian propaganda through the schools regarding what he called his language.

Last edited by Chicho Makedonski; 10-26-2019 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:18 PM   #10
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That's a pretty good assessment Chicho. It's just a shame that Pan-Slavism (as an idea and a political movement) was thoroughly prevalent in the people's consciousness during that time and influenced them to the point where they found it necessary to elevate this pre-supposed Slavic/Bulgarian commonality at the expense of their native Macedonian specificity and individuality. Nevertheless, I suspect the Slavic/Bulgarian idea must have been quite a recent thing among the general populace who I feel identified as simply Macedonian without the pre-conditioned ideas that were disseminated by an education system that was essentially run by non-Macedonians (i.e. Bulgarian Exarchate and Greek Patriarchate). This is evidenced by what contemporary commentators of the time noted about the Macedonians with regard to their self-declared national identity. Vasil Kanchov comes to mind here as a prime example. Although a biased Bulgarian nationalist, he commented that the "Bulgarians" of Macedonia in fact call themselves Macedonians. Other irrefutable examples include the tombstones in Steelton and Ford City, America, from as early as the late 1800's. These silent monuments speak very loudly about what the general population of Macedonia regarded itself during that time - as simply Macedonian.

Being products of the education system of the time, it's not hard to see how many of the "educated" Macedonian intellectuals of the late 18th and early 19th centuries were influenced by this Pan-Slavic concept and, no-doubt, viewed the terms 'Bulgarian" and "Slavic" as interchangeable and perfectly normal terms. However, there were some Macedonians that couldn't give a flying fuck for anything Bulgarian and in fact insisted on the individuality of the Macedonian people. One such example is Aleksa Popov from the Prilep village of Varosh. I contributed some information about Aleksa on another thread which I've copied and pasted some parts from below:

Aleksa was born in 1809 and died in 1912 at the ripe old age of 103. He was a teacher and an orthodox priest who served under the Bulgarian Exarchate Church. He was a Macedonian activist who fought to introduce the Macedonian language in his liturgies and is most notable for striving to establish a Macedonian school, even petitioning the Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid to that end.

He conducted his church liturgies and services in the Macedonian language and continued doing so even after he was directly prohibited by his Exarchate superiors, who demanded that he use Bulgarian. He is perhaps best known for his petition to the Turkish authorities in 1887 for the establishment of a Macedonian school and church, which he composed and signed as the main signatory together with co-signatories from Prilep.

“Proclamation”
We, the undersigned from the town of Prilep, loyal subjects of his Imperial Majesty, the Augustan Sultan Abdul Hamid II, wish to have a Macedonian national school. As we are not Bulgarians by birth, we do not recognize their church council and their schools. As religious patron we recognize the pope, however, without changes to the dogma of the Orthodox Church.
2nd July 1887
Prilep

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