« 2019. № 4 (148)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2019, № 4 (148), 823—832

УДК 398.34(=161.2)





Doctor of Phylological Sciences, Corresponding Member

of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Leading Researcher of the Maxim Rylsky Institute

of Art Studies, Folklore and Ethnology

National Academy of Scienses of Ukraine

Mykilsko-Slobidska str., 2-B, 02002, Kyiv, Ukraine.

Contacts: e-mail:

Abstract. The article deals with the axiological aspects of labor, that in the traditional Ukrainian society served as the moral of the community, criterion of behavioral rules, family and social significance. The analysis of these questions relies on folk models, versatile ethno-poetic texts that in artistic and poetic form reflect the labor-centric range of values of the peasantry.

Moral and ethical aspects of labor were considered in the writings of the scholars of the past — M. Kostomarov, V. Antonovych, G. Bulashev, P. Zhitetsky, M. Sumtsov, Khr. Yaschurzhynsky and others. Folklore about bondhold, servitude studied M. Drahomanov, I. Franko. Subsequently, these questions were analyzed by M. Gaidai, M. Pasyak, L. Dunaevska, A. Britsina, L. Mushketyk, G. Dovzhenok, I. Hlanta, I. Razumtseva, N. Skrypnyk and others in their studios. In addition to folklorists this topic was interested to ethnologists, philosophers, teachers, and others.

The central category of peasant morality of labor is diligence, with time — efficiency, property appears as accumulated diligence. In the bulk works the principle of mutual aid and charity operates. Mentions of group work and crafts are echoed in folk songs.

The work was primarily a guarantee of the peasant’s existence, therefore, in folklore the land acquires sacredness, a mythical life-giving force in people’s representations, because the cult of land, agricultural labor, as a factor of survival, was the basis of the worldview of a Ukrainian peasant. The components of peasant ideal are also the idea of independence and security, stability, which also provides the land.

The bread echoed a haslo of sacredness in ritual and others folklore. The basic peasant thesis: «Bread — to the whole head», that is, the basis of life, survival, well-being, which is rooted in the ancient agricultural practices of the Slavs. In narratives, signs, paremas, bread appears as a sacred thing, often identified with wealth, goodness, life. Life and rye are matched, merged into beliefs, bread is valued more than gold.

Consequently, labor-centered values in the Ukrainian traditional culture have a moral and ethical content and are a measure of human morality, its social prestige, places in the community, and serve as a means of upbringing a new generation. Their reception is found in various genres of folklore, both prose and song.

At the same time, in folk works condemns forced hard labor, as well as laziness, idleness, which is composed of the impossibility of paramyas.

Keywords: folk culture, morality of labor, folklore, behavioral roles, diligence, earth, bread.

Received 16.05.2019


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