« 2023. # 4 (172)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2023. № 4 (172), 951—963

UDK [392.51:635.054](=161.2:292.451/.454)

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2023.04.951



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8596-8974
  • Doctor of Philosophy, researcher fellow
  • of department of Historical Ethnology
  • of the Institute of Ethnology
  • The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 15, Svobody ave., 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: hoshchitska.tetiana@gmail.com

Abstract. Introduction: The traditional wedding ritual of Ukrainians in general, and of the Highlanders in particular, was one of the most important parts of family rituals, it was a complex of actions, resistant to transformations and saturated with various archaic features. Problem Statement: An important and comprehensive attribute of the traditional wedding rituals of the Ukrainian highlanders was the wedding tree, which on the one hand acted as a symbolic embodiment of the individual in the ritual, and on the other, played the role of a kind of «bridge» or «road» between the world of the living and the afterlife. In the area of the Ukrainian Carpathians, it lived not only in the form of a decorated tree, which is familiar to us, but also in alloforms (wedding banner and loaf of bread), which, although different from the outside, carried a similar semantic load.

The purpose of the proposed exploration is an attempt to comprehensively outline the picture of the existence of alloforms of the ritual tree in the marriage rituals of Ukrainian highlanders, to determine the degree of local specificity in the all-Ukrainian context, and to investigate their semantics.

The object of the study is the wedding ritual of the Ukrainian Carpathians, and the subject is the aloforms of traditional wedding tree, as its important attribute.

The scientific novelty in that for the first time an attempt was made to comprehensively examine the habitation of alloforms of the ceremonial tree in the area of the Ukrainian Car­pathians.

The main methods used by the author are structural, typological analysis, historical reconstruction and comparative methods. Results: From the analyzed materials, in the wedding rite of the Highlanders we see a combination of a loaf and a ceremonial tree, even a fusion of their images in traditional representations. All this, in our opinion, points in favor of the statement about the embodiment of the symbolism of the world tree in this attribute, a certain ritual «center», a kind of reference point, which was necessary for the functioning of the ritual.

Keywords: ceremonial tree, wedding banner, loaf of bread, wedding rituals, family rituals, Ukrainian Carpathians, Bojky, Lemky, Hutsuls.

Received 21.06.2023


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