« 2022. # 3 (165)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 3 (165), 685—690

UDK 398.47:[392.51:636.5](477) 

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.03.685

«NOT A ROOSTER STEPS, BUT YOUR DESTINY…»: MARRIAGE FORECASTING BY BEHAVIOR OF DOMESTIC BIRDS IN THE WINTER RITUALS OF UKRAINIANS

SEREBRYAKOVA Olena

  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1039-2920
  • candidate of Historical Sciences (= Ph. D. in history),
  • researcher of the department of Modern Ethnology
  • of the Ethnology Institute
  • of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: o-sereb@ukr.net

Abstract. Folk divination is an important component of the ancient and traditional culture of Ukrainians in particular of calendar ritualism.

The aim of the offered article is coverage of the layer of customs and rituals, worldview phenomena associated with the divination about the marriage with the help of domestic birds.

The object of the research is the traditional worldview, the customs and rite culture of the inhabitants of Ukraine, and the subject — the marriage mantic ritual actions by the behavior of domestic birds, which carried out during winter calendar holidays. The basis of the article are the materials of the field research, local folklore articles and works of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries.

The methodology of this work is based on general scientific methodological principles and the basic requirements that apply to the works of historical and ethnological direction. The author uses a various methods (field observation, comparative-historical, comparative, reconstructive, structural-semantic and method of cross-cultural comparisons).

Attention is drawn to the prophetic abilities of the rooster and the chicken, which have been known since ancient times. Mantic actions (for example, with different symbolic attributes etc.), local beliefs and signs related to predicting marital destiny based on observation of the behavior of domestic birds du­ring the winter calendar holidays of residents of different regions of Ukraine are analyzed. By interpreting certain signs, unmarried people tried to predict who will be the first to get married, who will «manage» the family, what will be the character of the marriage partner, how family life will turn out etc. Mostly such mantic actions were performed by girls, less often by boys or collectively. Similar calendar matrimonial divinations and beliefs existed in other Slavic peoples.

Keywords: mantic actions/practices (divination), Ukrainians, cock, hen, grain, water, coins, mirror, bread, coal, marriage.

Received 30.05.2022

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