« 2022. # 5 (167)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 5 (167), 1121— 1132

UDK [398.332.416:398.4:393](=161.2):642.732.24

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.05.1121



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1039-2920
  • Candidate of Historical Sciences (= Ph.D. in history),
  • Research worker at the department of the Modern Ethnology
  • of the Ethnology Institute
  • of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: o-sereb@ukr.net

Abstract. The aim of the offered article is coverage of the layer of customs and rituals and worldview phenomena associated with the divination about the death with spoons; introduction into scientific circulation and analysis of new information about traditional memorial motifs in the mantic customs of Ukrainians during the period of holidays from Christmas to Epiphany.

The object of the research is the traditional world view and the custom and rite culture of the inhabitants of Ukraine, and the subject — the mantic ritual actions with spoons, which carried out during the period of holidays from Christmas to Epip hany. In addition to local beliefs, signs, customary prescriptions, ritual taboos related to predicting life expectancy, predicting the harvest, etc. are characterized.

The basis for the article are the materials of the field research, local history essays and works of the middle of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries.

The methodology of this work is based on general scientific methodological principles and the basic requirements that apply to the works of historical and ethnological direction. The author uses various methods (field observation, comparative-historical, comparative, reconstructive, structural-semantic).

The analysis of ritual actions with spoons testified to the clear preservation of the manistic basis of the period of holidays from Christmas to Epiphany. The results of fortune-telling were made based on various notable signs: turning over, rustling, knocking, the arrival of a fly, traces on flour, etc. Divinations were carried out in various places, in particular, mythologically marked ones.

Keywords: mantic actions/practices (divination), Ukrainians, spoons, life, death, ritual nutrition, soul, ancestry.

Received 19.09.2022


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