« 2023. # 4 (172)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2023. № 4 (172), 978—985

UDK [398.3:393](477.86)




  • Candidate of Historical Sciences (= Ph.D. in history)
  • Senior Researcher at the Ethnology Institute
  • of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • 15, Svobody Avenue, 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: e-mail:

Abstract. The fact that death is an integral part of every person’s life testifies to the relevance of this topic. Therefore, the purpose of the article is to consider the complex of ritual and worldview phenomena associated with the onset of death. The object of the study is the traditional worldview and customary and ritual culture of the inhabitants of Pokuttia, and the subject — beliefs, omens and instructions which were followed and which were taken into account at the time of death in Pokuttia. Among them are signs that could herald the approach of death (peculiar behavior of animals, observations of plant life, dreams, unusual sounds in the home, the appearance of ritual or everyday bread and a sick or dead person, the direction of smoke from a candle, garbage, etc. in calendar and funeral rites), measures to relieve agony (confession, communion, anointing with oil, promulgation of the last will and testament, praying for the sick, pouring him with holy or ordinary water, transferring him from bed to a bench, removing a feather pillow, covering him with consecrated objects, etc.).

The basis for the research are the materials of the author’s field research during 2013—2014 in the villages of Kolomyj­s’kyj, Horodenkivs’kyj, Sniatyns’kyj, Tlumats’kyj and Tysmenyts’kyj districts of Ivano-Frankivs’k oblast’, and works of the end of nineteenth and the beginning of 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 historic and ethnological direction.

It was found out that the ethnolocal version of the funeral customs of Pokuttia has specific Ukrainian features. At the same time it conserves the distinctive manifestation.

Keywords: omens, beliefs, death, agony, dying, sick, Pokuttia.

Received 26.06.2023


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