« 2022. # 4 (166)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2022. № 4 (166), 827—835

UDK 392.1(161.2:292.451/.453):582.091

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2022.04.827

A TREE IN THE BIRTH RITE OF UKRAINIANS OF THE CARPATHIANS

NAKONECHNA (HOSHCHITSKA) Tetiana

  • 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 Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: hoshchitska.tetiana@gmail.com

Abstract. Introduction: The rituals of the traditional birth ceremony of the Carpathian Ukrainians constitute a complex of customs and beliefs, in which protective motives and efforts to ensure the fertility of the child in the future were dominant. Problem Statement: In this part of the ritual culture, beliefs related to trees were reflected and alloforms of the ritual tree were used. First of all, such an interesting relic of the pre-Christian worldview as the symbolic correlation of a child and a tree, a certain «anthropomorphization» of it, and an attempt to transfer some of its qualities to a child attract attention. Unfortunately, this aspect, as well as the alloform of the tree, which is also present in the birth rites of the Carpathian Ukrainians, has not yet attracted the attention of researchers, while it is an interesting page of the ancient beliefs of our ancestors, and contains significant research potential. The purpose of the article is to systematize the available information about these phenomena, study the peculiarities of their functioning, state of preservation, and attempt to clarify their semantics The object of the study is the traditional birth rites of the Ukrainian highlanders, the subject is the functioning of alloforms of the ritual tree and various beliefs related to trees, which in one way or another were reflected in the traditional birth rites of the Ukrainian Carpathians. The main methods used by the author are structural and comparative. Results: Beliefs related to trees and alloforms of trees in this area of the ritual were studied. Conclusion: The symbol of the tree in the birth ritual, in comparison with other parts of the life cycle ritual, is expressed the least. But in this case, we see clearly expressed ideas about the anthropomorphic nature of the tree, the correlation of the child, its growth and the tree, which was manifested in the recorded customs of planting a tree in honor of the birth of a child, and in the belief that certain families trace their lineage from the tree. Also, under the tree as a symbolic «mediator» between the worlds, the first baptismal font was poured, and sometimes the placenta was buried. We also traced the life of the alloform of the tree — the wedding braid.

Keywords: birth rites, rite tree, Ukrainian Carpathians, family rites, fights, Lemkos, Hutsuls.

Received 4.08.2022

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