« 2019. № 4 (148)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2019, № 4 (148), 867—877

УДК 572.9

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2019.04.867

HEAD-RELATED TEXT IN THE TRADITIONAL SLAVIC CULTURE (BASED ON THE MATERIAL ABOUT SPELLS)

TEMCHENKO Andriy

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, Tcherkasy, Ukraine.

Contacts: e-mail: temchen@ukr.net

Abstract. Introduction. The «head» takes an important place in the Slavic mythology. This anatomical structure is perceived as a system of signs, which form cultural text.

Problem Statement. This text is reconstructed by representatives of various humanitarian branches; however, the issue has not been sufficiently studied in the Ukrainian ethnology.

Purpose. To reproduce the mythological meanings of the head-related text.

Methods. Understanding the text as a mega sign involves using structuralism methods, where the text appears as a system of binary oppositions.

Results. The structure of the head-related text is formed on the basis of associative comparisons of elements of the human face with the natural or landscape phenomena. The secondary simulator system is the ability to perform comprehension actions associated with qualitative characteristics of the glance, facial expressions and words. As a result on failure to meet the standards, there is a «deterioration» of the initial qualities of the glance and the word, which explains the emergence of the «evil eye».

It is established that the structure of the head-related text is formed on the binary principle, where the pair of «nose-ears» (passive perception) is opposed to the pair of «eyes-mouth» (perception + transmission of information). Besides, the «head» is a model of the vertical structure of the mythological universe: «top-eye» / «middle-nose-ears» / «bottom-mouth».

The main focus is on the mythology of the face parts — eyes, breath, mouth, and lips. In particular, the symbolism of the «eye» is combined with the situation of visibility, which in mythology acquires an ambivalent meaning, which explains the origin of beliefs that the soul is hidden in the eyes, as well as the rules of «regulation» of the glance. The «throat-breath» serves as a portal through which «enters» the Spirit, which feeds the body, and through that the last breath «goes out», which explains the beliefs about the lethal conditions. The lips and mouth is the «door» that regulates breathing in and out, silence and speaking, as well as arbitrary physiological reactions. In healing texts, the semantic gradation of the following concepts can be traced: «mouth» / sky → »mouth» / earth → »jaws» / other world.

Conclusion. The head-related text makes the branched structure of mythological meanings, built on the principle of binary oppositions, which is similar in Slavic cultures.

Keywords: mythological worldview, head as the structure, eyes / glance, feelings / ears / nose, mouth / jaws, healing ceremonies.

Received 16.05.2019

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