« 2022. # 1 (163)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 1 (163), 138—151

UDK 930.2:398.341-035.3(477.83+477.85/.87=161.2)

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.01.138

BELIEFS ARE CONNECTED WITH SOME CONSTRUCTIVE ELEMENTS OF HOUSING OF UKRAINIAN MOUNTAINEERS

Nakonechna (Hoshchitska) Tetiana

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

Abstract. Relevance: Housing in the popular consciousness of Ukrainians, as an ethnic group with an extremely long tradition of a settled way of life, was extremely important. It served not only as a shelter for man, which provided protection from adverse weather conditions, enemies, etc. The construction of one’s own home, the observance of living conditions was an important part of the social realization of the individual as a good host and worthy of respect for a member of the rural community. Accordingly, the process of its construction was accompanied by a complex set of ritual actions, which are commonly referred to construction rituals. Part of it consists of beliefs and ideas related to individual, important structural elements of housing, such as doors, thresholds, windows, slums.

In the proposed research, the author aims to highlight various beliefs and ideas related to some constructive elements of housing. Accordingly, the object of research is a complex of traditional rituals of the Ukrainians of the Carpathians, and the subject — the constructive elements of housing, which often acquire symbolic functions, a certain sacred significance. The main methods used by the author are structural-functional and comparative, as well as other methods of ethnological science.

Scientific novelty: Various beliefs and ideas related to household items made of wood are comprehensively analyzed, and the specifics of their existence in the traditional ritual culture of Ukrainian mountaineers are analyzed. The place occupied by certain constructive elements of housing in the traditional consciousness has been studied.

Conclusion: It was found that the most ritually significant door was the place of entrance to the house, a kind of boundary between external and internal, inhabited space.

Results: This was already evident at the stage of construction, when certain sacrificial objects were placed under the place of the future threshold. Also, the canvas of the door or the space around them was decorated with artistic carvings, with traditional apotropaic motifs (images of six-petalled rosettes, a cross), and the process of entering the house was regulated by a number of prohibitions and signs. Instead, the window, as in Slavonic in general, served as an alternative entrance, invisible to «evil forces», and, in the ritual sense, was a place of «communication» with the afterlife such as thresholds, doors, windows), which in the traditional ideas of the mountaineers acted as a kind of «borders» of home, inhabited space, and served as the main and alternative, «invisible» to evil forces entering the house, and were a place of «communication» with the afterlife.

Keywords: traditional rites, Ukrainian Carpathians, beliefs related to housing, doors, windows, threshold.

Received 18.01.2022

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