In 2011, the folklorist Jan Lazorik published a collection of short dramatic sketches based on traditional Slovak stories. One of them, The Family Council Election, was quickly put into production by a folk group from the town of Krivany, who performed it at a series of festivals from August 2011, and picked up several runners-up awards in the process.
The 20-minute piece concerns a local community’s annual election of a ‘family council’ with jurisdiction over the local young people. The simple story concerns how hunters steal some of the local livestock and then serve them up at a feast to mark the occasion of the election. But one incidental sequence concerns the council’s disciplinary functions, and in particular its responsibility for authorizing the use of corporal punishment. And in the course of the sketch there are two people who really need to watch out. Here they are in the Krivany performance:
The chap on the right is sentenced… but it’s a miscarriage of justice. Fortunately for him, and us, this is discovered moments before sentence is carried out. And in the next picture, we see the true miscreant getting her just deserts!
And in case you’re wondering, that’s a belt he’s whacking her with.