De Doud is geyn Grüppe / Death is not a Limit

En med fröyde geit wy wyder med de doud. Der bünt best een bült vortellings um de doud, dårum is et ouk een oft vöärkomend tema up disse blog. De doud is wirklik geyn beteyknisvölle grüppe, so blikt mor eys vannys.

Mor grensen bünt seakers wichtig, vornåmlik dee tüsken leavenden en douden. Geysten bünt gruwlik, dår see neet heyldaal mensk bünt, mor ouk neet heyldaal neet. See swevet tüsken mensk en neet-mensk in, lykas see oaver boom hin swivved. Et likt net as dat disse weasens neet heyldaal up aerde höyrd: see beroort aerde neet, en ouk künt lüde höär meynsttyds neet beroren. Geysten bünt wirklik een tüskenkategory, lykas ik bepråt heb in eyrsten blogpost. En jüüst weasens uut disse tüskenkategorys bünt so gruwlik.

Grüppen bünt neet allennig wichtig tüsken mensk en neet-mensk, mor ouk tüsken land. Vöär boren was et doch swår wichtig, wår as de grensen van höär land bünt, en in Twente werden disse grüppen med steynen angeven, sognåmde låksteynen. Up disse wyse was et altyd düdlik ho as et land updeyld was. Mor good, as ju wat meyr land bekommen willen, dan kinnen ju ouk enkelt dissen steynen wat vorskuven vansülv. Weyl dy dårby een bült profit har in dit leven, kun dat doch slim faut gån in et leavent dernå:

Vorteller: “Mer doe zers doar van den loaksteen, dat hef mien moder wa es vertöln, vrower in Lemsel, wees wa, woar dat west is, wet ik nich, wat zien vader har weet, har doar ok ’s oavnds moal in n es loopn en doe har doar ineens n ding roopn, wees wa, dat har dan roopn, wees wa, “woar mö’k hem loatn, woar mö’k hem loatn?” en doe har he ok zegd, “breng hem woar s hem kregn hes.” “God lone oe,” har he doe zegd. ja den har den loaksteen ok, den har der met loopn, den har ok nich wetn, hes doe dat dan nooit heurd. He har nich wetn, he zol den steen verlegd hebn, den har nich meer wetn, wes wa, den har der wierloopn, zedn ze.”

Vorsåmler Engelbertink: “Den har zik onrechtveardig ground tooeigend. Dan könt zukke leu gen röst veendn in t graf.”

Kollektsioon Engelbertink, 13. map, 17. vortelling

Skyr detail: unse vorsåmler was wys med disse vortelling, dår hee höär kent uut et Overijsselsche Sagenboek van Sinninghe (1936, p. 49). Sinninghe hev vortelling låter ouk een motyv-nümmer geaven: SINSAG 404 – Wo soll ich ihn hinsetzen? Süms givt vortellers, dee döär Engelbertink intervywed wurdet, hum een halv anter, süms een heyle vortelling (as hyrboaven), en süms segget see, disse vortelling wirklik neet to kennen. Doch versöket vorsåmler Engelbertink hum et deepste uut de lüde to halen:

Vorsåmler Engelbertink: “Ie hebt a wa heurd van dee steenverzetters of nich? Ie hebt ja zukke loaksteenn, zukke … mer ja, dee verzetn ze ok wa es mangs.”

Vorteller: “Dee grenssteenn.” …

Engelbertink: “Hebt dee hier nooit loopn?”

Vorteller: “Nee, dat gelöaw’k nich, nee.”

Engelbertink: “Ok nich van verteln van vrower?”

Vorteller: “Nee, dat he’k nooit heurd, dat he’k nooit heurd.”

Engelbertink: “”Woar mö’k hem loatn?” “Doar woar’j vedan hebt kregn.””

Vorteller: “Joa dat wa, mer nee toch nich a’k dat no heurd heb, nee.”

Kollektsioon Engelbertink, 15. map, 6. vortelling

Et straffen um et vurdsetten van de grüppe kumt ofter vöär. Wy hebt et ouk al een mål seen in de blogpost um de glöynige, en ouk in Ostfreeskland givt et ouk een vortelling derum (wel halv up et Hougdüütsk):

De Gleinige Landmeter

Ein Mann hatte seinen Nachbarn um ein Stück Land betrogen. Nach seinem Tode sah man auf diesem Acker in der Nacht oft ein Irrlicht flackern. Sein Geist fand nicht Rast und mußte unaufhörlich das Feld ausmessen, das er veruntreut hatte. Und die Leute sagten: “Dat is de gleinige Landmeter!”

Wilhelmine Siefkes, Ostfriesische Sagen (1968), s. 91

Vöär een bült lüde kin een leavent nå de doud wat weasen um når uut to kyken – et bestån holdet neet up nå de doud, en al own goode arbeid sel belound wurden. Um desülvde readen kin et ouk een ard rechtvårdigheid geaven: see, dee kwåd dürend höär leavent düt, wurden in de nåloup dervan straffed. En hyr geit dat ouk up: see, dee dürend höär leavent lüde bedroged, kümt dernå wyder um såken good to maken. Dat seet wy hyr by de låksteyn, en de dyv dee disse up en andre stea set hev.

Geysten hyr blivt gruwlik, en lüde hebt höär der angst vöär. Mor disse angst givt ouk een morele lektsioon med. Wåk dy dervöär in dit leavent såken good to doon, sülvs dee såken dår dy een ander maklik vöär eygen gewin bedrogen kin, süks as et vurdsetten van een grüppe-pål. Düt det now neet, dår dy anders torüchkomen kinst van de doud, en een nåloup wurdet. Dat is wirklik neet as good as et klinget. En up disse wyse bewåket de gruwlike geysten höär de grüppe der morele orde.

With glee we happily continue with death. There are quite some narratives about death, which is why it is an oft-appearing topic on this here blog. Death is no serious limit, as become apparent once more.

Borders, however, are quite important, especially those between the living and the dead. Ghosts are terrifying, since they are not completely human, but also not not at all. They float in-between being human and not being human, just like how they float over the ground. It seems like these creatures do not completely belong on earth: they do not touch the earth, nor can people touch them most of the time. Ghosts truly are a category in-between, just as I discussed in the first blogpost. Especially creatures from these in-between categories are so terrifying.

Borders are not only important between humans and non-humans, but also between land. For farmers, it was extremely important to determine where the borders of their farmland is, and in the Twente region in the Netherlands these borders were marked by stones, so-called låksteynen. In this way it would always be clear how the farmland was divided. However, if you’re interested in gaining some more land yourself, then you could simply move those stones a little. While this might be profitable for you in this life, itcould go horribly wrong in the life hereafter:

“Narrator: “But you spoke about that låksteyn, my mother spoke about that once. Back in the day in Lemselo, you know, I don’t know exactly where, since her father knew; once he walked in the woods in the evening, and then something was shouting, you know. It had shouted, you know, “Where shall I put it, where shall I put it?” And then her father said: “Bring it there where you got it from.” “May God reward you,” it was said. Yes, it had the låksteyn, it walked with it, it also didn’t know, have you never heard this before? It hadn’t known, it had moved the stone, it didn’t know any longer, you know, it walked the earth again, they said.”

Collector Engelbertink: “He acquired ground unfairly. People like that cannot find rest in the grave.”

Collection Engelbertink, 13th folder, 17th story

Cool detail: our collector loved this story, which he knew from Sinninghe’s Overijsselsche Sagenboek (Book of Legends from the  Overijssel region in the Netherlands) (1936, p. 49). Sinninghe, some time later, awarded this story with its own motif number: SINSAG 404 – Where shall I put it? Sometimes the narrators, whom are interviewed by Engelbertink, give him half an answer, sometimes a whole narrative (as above), and sometimes they claim to not know the story at all. Even given this, collector Engelbertink tries to pull the most out of his interviewees:

Collector Engelbertink: “You have heard about those things moving stones, right? You have these låksteynen, these … but yeah, they move these sometimes.”

Narrator: “These border stones .” …

Engelbertink: “Have they never walked here?”

Narrator: “No, I don’t think so, no.”

Engelbertink: “Also no stories from back in the day?”

Narrator: “No, I’ve never heard about it, never heard about it.”

Engelbertink: “”Where shall I put it?” “There where you got if from.””

Narrator: “Yeah, I’ve heard about that, but no, I’ve never heard that, no.”

Collection Engelbertink, 15th folder, 6th story

Punishments over moving a border appears more often. We have seen it already in the blog post about the glowing one, and in East Frisia there is also a story about it:

The glowing land measurer

A man cheated his neighbour out of a piece of land. After his death, people saw on this farm land a wandering light flickering at night. His spirit could not find rest and continuously had to measure the field which he falsely claimed. And the people said: “That is the glowing land measurer!”

Wilhelmine Siefkes, Ostfriesische Sagen (1968), p. 91

For many people, life after death could be something to look forward to – existence doesn’t end after life, and all your hard wok will be rewarded. For the same reason it could also provide a sense of justice: those people who act maliciously during life will be punished afterwards. This is also what we see here: those who deceibed people during their life come back afterwards to set things right. We see that here with regards to the låksteyn, and the thief who moved it to somewhere else.

Ghosts remain terrifying, and people are afraid of them. But this fear is accompanied by a moral lesson. Act morally in this life, even in circumstances where it is easy to dwindle others for your own gain, like moving a border marker. Don’t do stuff like that, otherwise you can return from the dead, which is really not as good as it sounds. And in this manner ghosts guard the borders of moral order.

Spoukplåtkepråt

Um et måken van de foto

Eyn steyn. Eyn Grüppe. Grupkes en andacht vöär eygen ruumte. Umkyken når eyn knappe steyn is geyn perbleam vöär my tydens disse Korona tohuus-blyv tyd. Myn tune is seagend med vöäl skyre steynen, ik kreag se by et huus. Gunent van disse steynen binnen sülvs grëppesteyn. Naet tüsken de nåbers höär tuun en myn tuun, mor as umdenken vöär mysülv. Byvöärbild: Töt hyr kin ik myn planten setten en dårachter moot myn ladder stån as ik de kosynen varve. Dat binnen ouk wichtige grüpkes ;-). Mor good, vöär disse plåt bin ik drey stappen uut achterdöör gån. Eyn skyre, mooie steyn. Kinst altyd even komen kyken, mor den wel nå disse råre Korona tyd … vansülv!

Spooky Spectral Speculations

About creating the picture

A stone. A border. Limits and attention to personal space. Looking for a pretty stone is not a problem for me in this Covid-19 stay-at-home time. My garden is blessed with many stones, they came with the house. Some of these stones even function as borderstone. Not between our garden and the neighbours’ garden, but as a reminder for myself. For example: to this point I can plant my plants, beyond this point I need my ladder to stand when I paint my window seals. These are important borders too ;-). Anyway, for this picture I took three steps out of my backdoor. A nice, pretty charismatic stone. You’re welcome! Seriously, you’re welcome … after this Covid-19 thing … of course!

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