« 2023. # 3 (171)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2023. № 3 (171), 525—541

UDK [392.51:391.983:582.091](477.85/.87+83:292. 452=161.2)

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2023.03.525

THE CEREMONIAL TREE IN THE TRADITIONAL WEDDING 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, Svoboda Ave., 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail: hoshchitska.tetiana@gmail.com

Abstract. Introduction: The traditional wedding ritual of Ukrainians in general, and of the Highlanders in particular, was one of the most important parts of family rituals, it was a complex of actions, resistant to transformations and saturated with various archaic features.

Problem Statement: An important attribute of a traditional wedding was a ceremonial wedding tree.

The object of the study is the wedding ritual of the Ukrainian Carpathians, and the subject is the traditional wedding tree, as its important attribute.

The scientific novelty lies in the fact that for the first time an attempt has been made to comprehensively outline the picture of the existence of the ceremonial wedding tree in the area of the Ukrainian Carpathians, to trace its local differences and to investigate the semantics of the recorded phenomena.

The main methods used by the author are structural, typological analysis, historical reconstruction and comparative methods. Results: Having outlined the picture of her daily life, we see that the wedding tree was primarily a kind of symbolic embodiment of the individual in the ritual. Also, through all the wedding ritual, there is an attempt by the autochthons to attract the productive power of the trees and to transfer certain of their properties to the main actors of the ritual. However, the most interesting thing for us is the fact that it is precisely in this part of the ritual culture that the ideas about the tree as a «road» between the worlds, a universal mediator that connects the world of the living and the dead, were most vividly reflected.

 In general, the process of making, functioning, and destroying the ceremonial tree and its alloforms in the wedding rites of the Ukrainian highlanders shows all the signs of the process of inviting and «deporting» the spirits of deceased ancestors back to the afterlife.

Keywords: ritual tree, wedding rituals, family rituals, Ukra­inian Carpathians, Bojky, Lemky, Hutsuls.

Received 24.04.2023

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