Esthetic, ethical and structural features of Moslem epic songs in Behar 1900-1912
Every oral creation has been the result of a cognitive labor by a single human being that can be extremely talented. There have been tens of them in the Moslem epics. The greatest among them have been: Avdo Međedović, Mehmed Kolaković, Salko Vojniković, Bećir Islamović, Pašo Guta, Murat Kurtović and the others. Among the names aforementioned there have been the minimal number of those who were true authors. There have been more of them who could be described as average in the way they transmitted the epic heritage. Most of them were poor improvisers. When comparing the epic poems commented upon in our paper (and that had been published in the Behar journal), and their chanting with the poems that had been previously published in the classical collections by Hörmann and Marjanović, as well as the mentioned Sanjak Schedules, it is our judgment that the singer of the songs in the Behar journal was of a relatively low quality, somewhere between an average and bad improviser.
In the epic song's stages (where one can distinguish certain stages from a very act of creation and shaping, through a process of losing, declining and their variants, to the stage of grouping them under typical labels, and, finally, to their recording), it is our judgment that the songs from the Behar have emerged in the contamination processes of linking each other. The definite process of epic retardation followed. The epic singers of songs from the Behar came form the southern source, from Herzegovina. The abundant Bosnian and Herzegovinian epic sources, their encompassing motives, developed versification and the complex epic structure (a double and even triple action in the same song) have just inspired them.
The poems published in the Behar retained little from the highly developed level of oral literary culture, and with the tens of characters contained in the single epic text. The singers of songs published in the Behar did not have enough cog- nitive potentials to continue, and let alone imitate, the highly achieved level of the Moslem epic song in terms of style and composition. That song had reached the heights of epic having become a curious feature in composition and the Homeric challenge. It displayed the local style and composition. Out of ten songs, only the few of them succeeded to reach the true creative inspiration. Nevertheless, the Behar epic songs' singers cannot be denied a personal succinctness in shaping the epic contents, the rich obser- vations of Moslem social and customary life, although at places it appeared as superficial and even shown incorrectly, a succulence of local South Herzegovinian color, and, at places, some dramatic qualities of epic scenes.
The linguistics aspect of the epic songs published in the Behar is worth a further research. One can find in them many orientalisms, a commentary of stylematic features of provincialisms and the unfinished process of jotovanje (palatalization), that had been characteristic for the wider area of Bosnian and Herzegovinian speeches.