« 2023. # 2 (170)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2023. № 2 (170), 442—447


DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2023.02.442



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5421-1004
  • Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor,
  • Associate Professor of the Kharkiv State Academy of Culture,
  • 4, Bursatsky Descent, 61000, Kharkiv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: art-red@ukr.net

Abstract. The article studies the concept of «afterworld food», which is directly related to representatives of the other world, but has a direct impact on folk creativity and ritual actions. Usually, in everyday life, it was forbidden to eat such food, but during ceremonies, in certain cases, such prohibitions and taboos were removed.

Therefore, now it is impossible to definitively state what should be fed, what food should be consumed by a traveler in order to be able to get to the afterlife.

The topicality and scientific novelty of the topic are determined by the appeal in the question of the origin of afterlife food to the division of worlds into the real and the afterlife, which was overlooked by previous researchers who studied the mythological worldview of ancestors.

The object of research is the mythological worldview and its remnants, which formed fairy-tale plots and ritual actions, and the subject is afterworld food. The motive of feeding the hero of magical tales, who travels to the other world, by the witch Yaga is studied; cooking and consumption of dishes during the rite of funeral repast, which is the part of the funeral cycle; the rite of feeding ancestors on Christmas Eve, which replaced the great holiday commemorating the cult of ancestors existing in pre-Christian times. The difference in attitude towards the living and the dead, those who live in this world and the other one, is studied. It is established that in the process of sacralization of reality with the help of otherworldly energy, the driving force behind the rites of family and calendar cycles are antinomies, which also belong to two different worlds — reality and the afterlife. In his study, the researcher turns to Indian, Egyptian, Sumerian, Iranian, and ancient legends.

As a result, the author comes to conclusion that the otherworldly dish, which consists of food and drink, solid and liquid, for the Ukrainian national tradition can only be kutia, kolivo, kanun, which in their essence are one and the same dish.

Keywords: Ukrainian ritualism, funeral rites, folk tales, ritual dishes, kutia.

Received 23.12.2022


  • Propp, V.Ya. (2000). The historical roots of a fairy tale (P. 162). Moscow [in Russian].
  • Sedakova, O.A. (2004). The Poetics of Rite. Funeral rituals of the Eastern and Southern Slavs. Moscow [in Russian].
  • (1877). Proceedings of an ethnographic-statistical expedition to the Western Russian Territory, coll. P.P. Chubinsky (Vol. 4). St. Petersburg [in Russian].
  • Veletskaia, N. N. (2009). Symbols of Slavic paganism. Moscow [in Russian].
  • Ilarion, mytropolyt. (1994). Pre-Christian beliefs of the Ukrainian people: hist.-relig. monogr. 2nd edition. Kyiv [in Ukrainian].
  • Yakovleva, O. (2005). «The Otherworld» in the ideas of ancient Ukrainians. Folk creativity and ethnography, 3, 78—85 [in Ukrainian].
  • Hnatiuk, V.M. (1912). Resources for Ukrainian demonology. Etnohrafichnyi zbirnyk (Vol. 33) [in Ukrainian].
  • Baiburin, A.K. (1993). Ritual in Traditional Culture: Structural and Semantic Analysis of East Slavic Rites. St. Petersburg [in Russian].
  • Skurativskyi, V.T. (1996). Mermaids. Kyiv [in Ukrainian].
  • Vovk, F.K. (1928). Studies in Ukrainian ethnography and anthropology. Praha [in Ukrainian].
  • Borysenko, V.K. (1997). Everyday food and ritual dishes. Kholmshchyna and Podlasie: Historical and ethnographic study (Pp. 215—222). Kyiv [in Ukrainian].
  • Bohatyrev, P.H. (1971). Magical actions, rites and beliefs of Transcarpathia. Questions of the theory of folk art (Pp. 167—206).Moscow [in Russian].
  • SCH[elokovskaia], V. (1899). Food and drink of the Little Russian peasants with some related customs, beliefs and omens. Ethnographic review, 1—2, 266—322[in Russian].
  • Kukharenko, O. (2018). Funeral Ceremony in the System of Structural-Functional Studies of Family Objectives. Paradigm of Knowledge. Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal, 2, 132—144.


Our authors
Maternity ritualism by volhynians in publications of the second half XIX to the early XXI cc.
In the article have been considered some basic landmarks for fixing and publication of ethnographic materials on the maternity rites of Volhynia with analytical study in ritual elements, their kinds and territories of origin. The article has also raised a problem of gaps in studies of maternity rites of Ukrainian historio-ethnographic Volhynia.
Read »

On field exploration of russian and belarusian ethnologists and etnolinguists in Ukrainian Polisia 1945—1980s
In the study based on a wide range of literary materials have been comprehensively characterised field research in Polisia of Ukraine, performed by Russian and Belarusian ethnologists during 1945—1980s as well as Moscow ethnolinguists and other researchers from ethnologic centres of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in the course of realization of Ethnolinguistic Atlas of Polisia program. Particular attention has been paid to geography, methods, themes and research results of scientific projects.
Read »

On bessarabian and moldavian ukrainians in the studies of historical ethnography
The article has thrown some light upon a sum of scientific findings got during XIX to XXI cc. in historio-ethnographic studies of Bessarabia and Moldavian Ukrainians. In the pre­sent paper has been given author’s answer to the problem of lacking progress as for the numerous themes concerning Ukrainians. State and achievements of the research-works in Ukrainians’ material and spiritual culture by the scientists of Moldavia and Ukraine through the years of independence has been exposed.
Read »

Traditional folk clothes of velikobychkovsky hutsuly of XIX — the first half of XX century
In the study based upon numerous field materials, literature sources as well as ethnographic, historio-cultural and regional museum collections has been performed complex analysis in traditional folk clothes by Hutzul population of Velyky Bychkiv village in Transcarpathian region. Detailed descriptions of femi­nine and masculine clothing complexes of the mentioned area have been presented. In characterizing of those main attention has been paid to the detail of cut in separate components of dress; cut of feminine shirt has been added as an illustration.
Read »