Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Songs of the Lovara

Applicant: Ruzsa Nikolić-Lakatos
Province: Burgenland, Vienna
Domain: Oral Traditions
Year of inclusion: 2011

Songs are an important part of the Lovara’s cultural tradition. The history behind the name of this Roma group leads us back to their former occupation as “horse traders” (“Lovara”). Their songs are mostly about the family and community, yet the role of the individual and the former ways of life of the Lovara are also mirrored in them. These songs are like a reservoir for their language, as they contain phrases and metaphors typical of the Lovara, which have now (almost) become extinct in everyday life. The songs of the Lovara encompass two main genres: the slow, lyrical song and the dance song. Thanks to outstanding singers, such as Mongo Stojka, Ceija Stojka and the applicant Ruzsa Nikolic-Lakatos, new songs are continuously added to the repertoire.