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Author(s): Starodubets S. N., Belugina О. V.
Section: Theory and history of culture
Year: 2016
Issue: № 4 (42)
Pages: 90-98
Index UDK: УДК 82´396+ 81´42
Index BBK: ББК 81.2(Рос)
Abstract: The article is devoted to the study of the structure and semantics of the ritual “Farewell to the mermaids,” which currently operates on the territory of the Bryansk-Gomel frontier. We considered two regional variants of the East Slavic “ritual text”— Russian and Belarusian. Russian regional version of the ritual is reproduced through the interviews with respondents, permanent residents of the village of Spiridonova Buda of Zlynka district of the Bryansk region, Belarusian one — by the method of shooting the ceremony and the interviews with the respondents, permanent residents of the village Osofsky Buda, Dobrush district, Gomel region. It is established that to the present day the structure of the rite has a traditional archaic character, the semantics of the ritual is projected by two components: subject-predicate meaning “farewell” and mythological image of the mermaid — spirit of the waters and fields. It is noted that the ambivalence of the image of mermaid is connected with its perception of Eastern Slavs as “constructive” and “destructive” at the same time. The paper describes a symbolic importance of the ceremony, representing protecting charm warding off disaster as well as “protection from harmful effects of insects and birds,” “prayers for rain,” “farewell of the spirit to the invisible world with the aim to get to God all the petitions of the people.”
Keywords: mythological representation, ritual, mermaid week, symbolic value, ambivalence.
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