The ceremonial band from Strykowice Górne, a village near Zwoleń, was formed in 1978 on the initiative of Wanda Krawiec, a Strykowice resident from a family of musicians and folk singers. Joanna Tęcza and Adolf Krzemiński were in charge of the group for many years.
The group’s original line-up included 17 women. From the beginning they were accompanied by a folk band consisting of Franciszek Lewikowski (fiddle), Kazimierz Zdrżalik (fiddle), Tadeusz Mazur (accordion), and Stanisław Lewikowski (drums). After Stanisław Lewikowski died he was substituted by Henryk Lewikowski.
They collected songs, stories, descriptions of old customs and ceremonies from the oldest inhabitants of Strykowice and the neighbouring villages. The group prepared artistic treatments of reconstructed customs and ceremonies: Pieczenie Chleba (Bread Baking), Okrężna pierzowin (Feather-Plucking), Praczki (Washerwomen), Żniwa u sołtysa (The Village Chief’s Harvest), Śmigus Dyngus, Chrzciny (Baptismal Celebrations, Gaik) (the tradition of carrying pine tree branches across villages at the beginning of spring), Zwyczaje wigilijne (Christmas Eve Customs), Sobótka (Kupala Night) and Wesele (Wedding Celebration). The group performs in original folk costumes from Strykowice and the Tczów area.
In the early 80s, the musicians Kazimierz Jaroszek, Jan Lewikowski, Kazimierz Molendowski, Witold Krawiec, Jan Kustra and Sławomir Zdżalik became members of the group.
The group presents ceremonial performances, songs and dances at regional and community events and at Polish competitions and showcases. The group has performed three times at the Regional Parliament of Theatrical Groups in Tarnogród (1984, 1987, 2002). In 1985, the group's dancers won a special prize and the group’s dance pairs won two awards at the Polish Traditional Folk Dance Competition in Rzeszów. In 2000, the ceremonial group together with the Strykowioki band received a Golden Tower at the Festival of Folk Bands and Singers in Kazimierz. At the 2001 Traditional Polish Dance Competition in Rzeszów the group received a special award for presenting social dances and the dance pair Janina Lewikowska and Jan Lewikowski received the main award – the Dance Circle.
The group graces festivities and annual celebrations at the Museum of the Radom Village, such as for Palm Sunday, the honey harvest, the bread holiday, and the harvest festival. Since 1981 the group has participated in the Folklore and Folk Art-Related series of presentations. Since 1991, the group has also participated in the Folklore Academy educational programme which is realized at the Resursa Obywatelska Centre for Art and Culture in Radom. The group’s output has been recorded on video and in manuscripts and periodicals.
Author: Adolf Krzemiński. Source: www.nagrodakolberga.pl, transl. MK, December 2014