« 2024. # 1 (175)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2024. № 1 (175), 30—41

UDK 930.2:[398.332.416/.42:398.47:133.4](=1:477.86/.87+83)”18/20″

DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2024.01.030



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1039-2920
  • Candidate of Historical Sciences (= Ph.D. in history).
  • Senior 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. The aim of the offered article is coverage of the layer of customary and ritual, worldview phenomena associated and related to the custom of «polaznyk» on the territory of Boyko’s region, introduction into scientific circulation, systematization and analysis of new information.

The object of the research is the traditional worldview and customary, ritual culture of the residents of Boyko’s region, and the subject is the archaic custom of the «polaznyk», which lived among the Boykos. Attention was drawn to the origin of the custom, various ideas and beliefs about the figure of the «polaznyk» («first visitor»), the annual calendar holidays of his vi­sits were revealed. Varieties, local differences, beliefs, customary instructions, ritual taboos, peculiar motivations of the custom are characterized. Also interesting are the data on the personal quali­ties of the «polaznyk», belief in his magical abilities, functional similarity to the caroler, etc. Examples are given that confirm the close connection of such a ritual guest with the cult of ancestors. This is manifested in the generous gifting of visitors, who were perceived by the people as mediators between the worlds, the personification of the souls of the dead. Actional and verbal levels of the researched custom are revealed. The analysis testifies to various types of original magical rites of protection, production and marriage direction by the first visitor and the owners of the house. It should be noted that beliefs in a man-«polaznyk» is a later phenomenon. This is due to the movement of the folk calendar (from spring to winter), which caused the transformation, a change in the essence of the original custom, the replacement of the symbolic bullock-«polaznyk» by other animals, including unsuitable for agricultural work.

The basis of the article are the materials of the field research, works of the second half 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, typological analysis, comparative-historical, comparative, reconstructive, structural-semantic).

Keywords: polaznyk, Boyko’s region, world views, beliefs, guidelines, taboo, magic.

Received 4.01.2024


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