Autograph Karol Wójciak “Heródek”

The autograph of Karol Wójciak ‘Heródek’a

It is difficult to decipher the content of the short text, written with a pencil on the pages of school notebook by Heródek’s hand, unskilled in handwriting. It is hard to say if it is a poem, a song or maybe a prayer. The religious oration referring to the matins, the early morning prayer, can be pointed out by the first and last words: velcome aurora (…) like to god (…) amen.

Karol Wójciak attended school for two years. It was enough to master the basics of reading, writing and counting only. Poverty in which he was born did not allow further education, he had to earn his living as a shepherd very early in his life.

When he grew up, he often used his ability to read and even improved it, reaching for occasionally obtained newspapers and religious handouts. He was remembered as a man ready to talk and sharing his reflections willingly. Many people recalling ‘Heródek’ mentioned the fact that he used to surprise, reciting long excerpts from the Bible by heart, interpreting them properly or the content of church sermons (see.  B. Kłobuszowska, Karol Wójciak Heródek. Portret ludowego artysty; A Portrait of Folk Artist, Polish Folk Art. „Polska Sztuka Ludowa”, 1972 issue 4, p. 210).

The autograph of Karol Wójciak ‘Heródek’ can be found in the Władysław Orkan Museum in Rabka-Zdrój.

 Grzegorz Graff