Title of the article:



Anna A. Plotnikova

Information about the author/authors

Anna A. Plotnikova — DSc in Philology, Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Ave. 32 A, 119334 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9154-5046
E-mail: annaplotn@mail.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 69


pp. 132–144


February 16, 2023

Approved after reviewing

April 10, 2023

Date of publication

September 25, 2023



Index UDK

811.163.41 + 135.1

Index BBK



This research was funded was by the Russian Science Foundation, under the project titled ‘Slavic-non-Slavic borderlands: funeral and memorial rite in ethnolinguistic coverage’, grant no. 22-18-00484, Available at: https://rscf.ru/project/22-18-00484.


The paper analyzes archaic and borrowed elements of the tradition among the Serbs in the south of the region of Negotin, where they live in the neighboring villages with Vlach ones. Over the past two centuries, contacts between the Serbs and Vlachs (Romanians by origin) have been so intensive that this has affected even the most conservative part of ritual and magical practice: the funeral and memorial rites. Among the archaic elements of culture the paper focuses on spells and ritual-magical amulets the analysis of which showed that in the verbal part of the spells the common South Slavic basis is preserved, and associates with the pronouncing of the dialogue-ritual by two persons — performers of the rite (which N. I. Tolstoy studied in detail). Borrowed vocabulary from the Romanian folk tradition appears in the funeral rituals and folk medicine. Such terminological vocabulary includes the designation of a participant in a ritual dialogue who witnesses the sending of food and water to the dead martula, marturija; names like padura that refers to the Romanian folk beliefs of the forest spirits, etc. The materials analyzed in the study were collected by the author during the field survey in March 2023 of the southern part of the Negotinsky region (the villages of Brachevatc, Roglevo, Smedovatc, Rayatc) in the Timok River valley: both from oral conversations with informants and from local history publications, which in one way or another highlight the language, folk culture, folklore and history of the region.


the Serbs, the Vlachs, Vocabulary, Ethnolinguistics, Archaics, Borrowings, Funeral and Memorial Rites, Timok Valley.


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