« 2021. # 6 (162)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2021. № 6 (162), 1335—1348

UDK 398.3:2-183.5-557-853

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2021.06.1335/



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9873-6088
  • Doctor of Sciences in History, Senior Researcher
  • in the Department of Ethnology of the State Scientific Center
  •  for Protection of Cultural Heritage from Technological Disasters,
  • Peremohy Avenue, 56, 03057, Kyiv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: olena.boriak@gmail.com

Abstract. Idea of soul represents condition of a human being as religious and philosophical system. It is brightly presented in the pieces of literature, art, language, oral narratives. Soul is one of the most ancient and important concepts of spiritual culture of Ukrainians. But its complexity, multy-layerness and assessments result into poor research of all its components. In this regard of great interest is a new field material, foremost from Ukrainian Polissia. Potential of regional ethnographic materials, first of all from historical-ethnographic region of Polissia that still keeps archaic examples of polishchuks’ world-view, had been used by the researchers not enough. The goal of the article is the complex research of world-view of polishchuks conceptions, tied to the belief of soul existence. The object of the research is soul as a component of non-material beginning; the subject — features of soul as a visual image of reincarnation, locus of its location, contradictory-ambivalent nature of its essence, ways to «take care» about it etc. In the «earth» life soul lives in human body, and with exhaustion of its life resource other, much broader world had become space of soul. Therefore one has to provide water (food), to hang a towel, to lit a candle, to throw clothes, to lit fire. Soul is: given water, fed, led, transported, led through, put on (clothes), warmed up, taken care of, not disturbed. All these actions «diluted» boundaries between «this» and «that» world. The article for the first time proposes broad massive of fieldwork material, collected during numerous ethnographic expeditions as a result of interviewing of residents of the villages of northern rajons of Volyn’, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts that had suffered from Chornobyl catastrophe. The methodological basis of the study is the principle of systematic and structural-semantic approaches in combination with elements of descriptive-analytical component, synchronous-diachronic and contextual methods of analysis. Despite inevitable modification processes, proposed material still contain traditional archaic perceptions about the soul as extraordinary product of human imagination.

Keywords: Ukrainian Polissia, burial rituals, soul, body, mythological beliefs of polishchuks.

Received 27.08.2021


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