« 2022. # 4 (166)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 4 (166), 850—867

UDK 398.2(=16):[398.7:393]

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.04.850



  • ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3999-9459
  • Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor,
  • Associate Professor of the Department of the Ukrainian History
  • of the Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy,
  • 81, boulevard of Shevchenko, 18000, Сherkasy, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: temchen@ukr.net

Abstract. Introduction. The semantic opposition «dream-death», which is interpreted in the context of the mythological ideas of the Slavs, is examined in the paper.

The purpose of the publication is to reconstruct the semantic features of the semantic pair «dream-death», which depend on specific cultural contexts — historical, mythological and social.

Research methods accumulate the means of scientific knowledge used in other Humanities, in particular in Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology.

The results obtained. In the mythological picture of the Slavonic world, the «dream-death» opposition can be seen as a variant of the general semantic duality of life-death. Dreams with the dead are considered significant, which in their «structure» and «theme» resemble the mythological plots of the mythological hero’s journey to the afterlife. In this aspect, dreams are interpreted as a communicative channel that transmits information hidden from the uninitiated. Unlike other transitional states, in which the message «from there» is verbal, in dreams such a connection can be visual, in some cases tactile, which involves the dreamer’s automatic observance of certain rules governing the «format» of contact.

Of particular note are dreams that are interpreted as a warning of impending death or a dangerous disease. «Typical» motives are different in regulation and intensity of dreams with the participation of «messengers». Verbal or visual sessions are one-sided, i. e. the initiators of contact are representatives of «that» world. The function of «messengers» can be performed by relatives, acquaintances, imaginary people — living or dead, whose voices and images appear in a dream. In addition, dreams are considered significant, where cultural loci are visualized, which are classified in mythology as liminal.

An important factor shaping the cultural integrity of traditional society is the funeral meals or «sitting» near the deceased, during which a «new» biography of his «earthly» life was compiled.

Keywords: binary opposition, mountain, cemetery, bridge, myth, rite, deceased, messenger, burial, ritual, river, sacred, death, dream, temple.

Received 6.06.2022


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