« 2023. # 3 (171)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2023. № 3 (171), 614—622

UDK 398.332.42(477.86=161.2)”185/202″

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2023.03.614

THE SPECIFICS OF WINTER RITUALS OF THE POKUTTIA PEOPLE: NEW YEAR’S CUSTOM «BULLS»

ROMANIV Mykhailo

  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0898-4350
  • Graduate student of the Department of Ethnology
  • of the Ivan Franko National University,
  • 1, Universitetska St., 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: romaniv0210@gmail.com

Abstract. The article is dedicated to the analysis of one of the characteristic features of the winter calendar and household rituals of the autochthons of the historical and ethnographic region of Pokuttya is the custom of «walking with bulls». Based on the author’s field ethnographic materials, the structure of the rite was reconstructed.

The New Year’s tradition of visiting villages by boys with wooden toy figurines «bulls» pursued two goals: wishing the owners well-being, first of all ensuring the offspring of livestock and divination for the coming year. The local specificity of the custom (depending on the specific area) is clearly expressed, which is manifested at different levels: from the manufacturing technology and artistic design of «bulls», their number, thematic spectrum and folk semiotics to methods of divination, symbolic theft of figurines and options for their further use.

It was also found that «walking with bulls» on the eve of the New Year had an important productive value, because it was aimed at breeding livestock, as the main symbol of the prosperity of the peasant economy.

The peculiarity of the custom is that it is widespread mainly on the territory of the former Snyatinsky district, partially in the Horodenkivskyi and Kolomoiskyi districts of Ivano-Frankivsk region. In some villages of Pokuttia, the New Year’s fortune-telling game continues to exist to this day, although local people interpret it primarily as a children’s game and a kind of entertainment.

Keywords: Pokuttia, Snyatynshchyna, Kolomyshchyna, Horodenkivshchyna, winter calendar and household rituals, New Year, «bulls», custom, divination.

Received 30.05.2023

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