Folk Songs of the Macedonian Bulgarians

Folk Songs of the Macedonian Bulgarians[1] (Serbian: Народне песме Македонски Бугара, Bulgarian: Народни песни на македонските българи,[2] Macedonian: Народни песни на Македонските Бугари)[3] is an ethnographic collection of folk songs collected by Stefan Verković, considered to be his most valuable contribution in the field of Bulgarian folklore.[4] It was published in Serbian in 1860, in Belgrade.[5]

The cover of the "Folk songs of the Macedonian Bulgarians".


The book contains 335 folk songs that are lyrical and were therefore called female by Verković. The songs were collected by him during his time as a Serbian ethological agent in then-Ottoman town of Serres (today in Greece). The collected material was from the eastern parts of the Macedonian region.[6] The title, preface, notes and explanations of the songs are in Serbian, and at the end there is an explanation of some unknown words in Serbian. However, the songs are in their original form. In the preface, Verković states that he called the songs "Bulgarian" as opposed to Slavic because "if you ask a Macedonian Slav "What are you?", he will immediately answer to you: "I am Bulgarian and I call my language Bulgarian".[5][7] He also clarifies that the Macedonian Bulgarians were formerly called Slavs in the books of Cyril and Methodius and their disciples, and only later in the First Bulgarian Empire, did they adopt the name "Bulgarian", which was more a political and state name, rather than an ethnic name.[5][8][9] Verković states that he was planning to publish a second volume of the collection. Due to his involvement in the Veda Slovena debate, he was unable to publish the second volume and the materials he collected were published as "Сборникъ Верковича. Ι. Народныя пѣсни македонскихъ болгаръ" (Verković's Collection. Folk Songs of the Macedonian Bulgarians) in 1920 in Petrograd.[10]


Although Verković didn't describe in his collection any presence of Macedonian identity then,[11] in 1961 the book was re-published by Kiril Penušliski in Skopje under the title "Македонски народни песни" (Macedonian Folk Songs).[12] All references to 'Macedonian Bulgarians' and the original foreword explaining the Bulgarian ethnicity of the Macedonian Slavs were removed from the book.[12] According to Bulgarian sources, its goal was: "the obliteration of the Bulgarian historical and collective memory and building a new Macedonian national identity on its place."[13]

The book was re-published for the second time in Bulgarian by Petar Dinekov in 1966. In addition to the original text, a translation into Bulgarian of Verković's preface was made and an introductory study was added.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Verkovich, Stefan. Veda Slovena In: National Romanticism: The Formation of National Movements: Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe 1770–1945, volume II. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2007, ISBN 9786155211249. <>.
  2. ^ Tодоров, Делчо. Българската етнография през Възраждането. София, Издателство на Българската академия на науките, 1989. стр. 129-130.
  3. ^ Стефан Верковиќ ја издал во Белград, истата година , својата помала збирка македонски народни песни под наслов "Народни песни на македонските Бугари", истакнувајќи го во предговорот отсуството на македонска самосвест во тоа време. For more see: Stojan Pribičević (1990) Makedonija: nejzinite luǵe i istorija. Viduvanja na Makedonija. Makedonska kniga, ISBN 863690126X, str. 128.
  4. ^ Тодоров, Делчо. Българската етнография през Възраждането. София, Издателство на Българската академия на науките, 1989. с. 129.
  5. ^ a b c Народне песме македонски Бугара. Скупио Стефанъ И. Верковићъ. Кньига прва Женске песме. У Београду, Правителственомъ кньигопечатньомъ, 1860.
  6. ^ Dimitar Bechev, Historical Dictionary of North Macedonia, 2019, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 9781538119624, p. 116.
  7. ^ Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics, Cornell University Press, 1988, ISBN 0801494931, p. 310.
  8. ^ Bulgarian researchers of ethnonyms reasonably assume that during the First Bulgarian Empire the ethnonym "Bulgarian" developed a social meaning of "master", i.e. "nobleman", opposite to the ethnonym "Slav", which meant "peasant", and so "Bulgarian" became a political name. (Веркович 1860 , XIII). сп. Български език, Том 48, Институт за български език. Издателство на Българската академия на науките, 2000, стр. 40.
  9. ^ As the historian Richard J. Crampton has noted, the legacy of the disciples of Cyril and Methodius, Clement of Ohrid and Naum of Preslav helped the Bulgarians develop a national consciousness during the 10th century which, although far from modern nationalism, was strong enough to preserve the concept of Bulgaria and the Bulgarians, as a distinct entity through the centuries. For more see: Hugh Poulton, Who are the Macedonians? C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2000, ISBN 1-85065-534-0, pp. 19-20.
  10. ^ Тодоров, Делчо. Българската етнография през Възраждането. София, Издателство на Българската академия на науките, 1989. с. 130.
  11. ^ Stoyan Pribichevich (1982) Macedonia, Its People and History; Pennsylvania State University Press, ISBN 0271003154, p. 111.
  12. ^ a b Chris Kostov, Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900-1996, Peter Lang, 2010, ISBN 3034301960, p. 94.
  13. ^ Ana Kocheva (2020) On the Official Language of the Republic of North Macedonia, Publishing House of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, p. 32, ISBN 6192450811.
  14. ^ Народни песни на македонските българи. Събрал Стефан Веркович. Под редакцията на П. Динеков. 2. изд. София, 1966.

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