Tale of the sacred cat

Tale of the sacred cat. Photo: Alexander Cherkasov

As students collect folklore

The hero of the film "Prisoner of the Caucasus", the collector-dinner speeches Shura, during his practice had not time to get drunk, steal a girl and fall in love with her. Today, the tradition of student folklore expeditions popular in the USSR in the 60s, not dead. What are the difficulties facing modern Shura and what ancient legends and old ladies reveal their ancient elders, learned "tourist club."

Folklore expedition — part of summer practice students. But modern collectors (so called linguistic faculties of students who travel from village to village in search of forgotten rites and texts) to not travel alone. Usually, in a group of 5 to 20 people, which are divided into several sectors. The problem of young researchers — to bypass all the yards, to get acquainted with the oldest residents of the village and learn something new about the well-forgotten old.

— All interviews were recorded on tape collectors or on video. Sometimes we participate in religious ceremonies — weddings, Christmastide. The bride does not steal, but at Tiffany's on pancakes in-law meet — says student 4-year student of History and Philology RSUH Victoria Druzhinin. — Our trips often to the Russian North: in Karelia, Kargopol, Belsky areas Arkhangelsk region.
Rare, but there are students a unique inhabitants — a real storehouse of ancient legends.

— This year, we worked in the village Smolyanets came upon an old woman there, who knows the biblical apocrypha. Once in Russian folklore existed many biblical motifs, but then many of them were lost.

Now, this woman told us the legend of how, in Noah's ark mouse while sailing gnawed a hole, and the cat that caught the mouse. Therefore, a cat in many Russian traditions considered a sacred animal. The story is a continuation — a hole in the ark, progryzennuyu mouse tucked a toad. That's why in some Russian villages, you can not kill the toad — it is also considered a holy creature …

The same old woman in the conversation mentioned that Adam just left people claw. We made it clear what it means. It turned out, according to one of the legends of the body of Adam and Eve used to be covered with a skin, and the solid plates, like armor. After the fall, the LORD was angry deprived people of this hard cover, leaving him only from his nails.

In the donut hole

— I've been doing children's folklore, collecting customs associated with the birth and upbringing of children — continues to Victoria. — Once an ancient grandmother told me that when she was young, the sick children were treated in this way. Fashioned a huge roll, and push a baby in a hole. So he gave like a second birth.

Some treatments and parenting may shock. In Velsky area told me about "obmenyshey." Who are they? Here is a child born to a woman, she feeds him, feeds him, and he did not grow. Lies a little. So, evil spirits substitution of a child and want to prick the needle or hit a log, and it will disappear. And if not disappeared, then take to a doctor.

If the child does not speak for a long time, it is necessary to teach him … mother, and then he spoke. Many nationalities mat associated with magic, moreover, it is easy to "cling to the language."
But children can not be sent to hell, or forest grandfather take the baby to his parents from the shiftless.

— One day we were sitting in one granny — says Victoria is another folk "discovery." — We drank tea and listened to different jokes. Suddenly one of the girls wanted to get up. But caught her skirt down and to be free, the table pushed. Then Grandma broke out shouting: "Do not break the table".

It turned out not to leave the table before everyone ate. And the phrase "break a table" means interrupt feast. This phrase was included in our surveys.
Selfish interest

The so-called life-cycle rituals — funerals, weddings — most interested in folklore. So it is not surprising that Shurik accepted kidnap the bride. Participate in this colorful event — a rare chance for the researcher.

— Most of all, we are participating in Christmas time — says student 5th year RSUH employee lab folklore Vera Komarova. — Women dress as men, emphasize the male genitals — hang on a belt carrot or cucumber. Sometimes, deck themselves in hermaphrodites — bra worn over clothing, singing ditties erotic content.

Along with the "obvious" predictions, when the girls go out at night to the fence, throwing boots and watching which way the sock shows, there divination "non-obvious". Since Yule — is rampant evil forces, and these days it is easy to be encountered, and, as we know from the works of Gogol, the girls are trying to find out the future with this very evil.
For example, there is a fortune-telling. Take the skin of a slaughtered animal, at night with this girl's skin goes to the crossroads, sits on the skin and circles around the line. The task of the girls — to sit on the skin and listen to which side of the dog will bark or howl. So, on the side to wait for trouble or groom. But sometimes the tail hides outside the circle. For it's the devil catches and begins to "pull" the girl. This is very scary, and fun with evil spirits is a dangerous business.

— Usually all respondents say they do not believe in all these divination. In fact, everyone is superstitious. For example, we had a blind grandmother. Still not hear very well. Came to her our students — a boy and a girl. The old woman took them for some reason, the chairman and a guest from the field. All questions were answered, many interesting things said, including about magic spells. A stranger superstitious charms and magic rites do not tell, or they will expire. So, when the guys were leaving, my grandmother suddenly realized that for those not accepted them, scolded and kicked out of the house.

Oh my dog!

— Linguistic expedition unlike folklore study differences in dialects. Our expedition studied the local idiom peoples Khanty — says the graduate department of Theoretical Applied Linguistics MSU Yegor Cat. — Once we ask the grandmother of one, "How do you say" dog? ". And she says, "We have no such word." Appeared, at Khanty dog — a sacred animal, and refer to it only as a deity. Harm the dog Khanty never be. And if the dog got sick and should be put to sleep, they can not do it, and asked the Russian.

Today civilization penetrated even the most remote areas — anywhere there is an Internet, mobile communication. Except that sometimes catches bad phone, and you have to look prigorochek or climb onto the roof. However, local residents remember well the old customs.

— We arrived one day to the festival of Finno-Ugric peoples. We learned there to catch fish without a fishing rod, a bow, throw a noose on animals. Fish, for example, are caught in a fish tank, which is studded inside with sharp sticks. Big big fish, swim back to back can not swim.

But to get to the remote Siberian village is a problem. In the summer the road is, and in the winter only on the ice and you can drive. True, the ice machine often fail. In that case, the doors are always open in time to jump …

In winter, students have a difficult life. At -45 ° C, even the computer refuses to work. I had to sew covers for laptops from the building insulation.

— In the village of Hunt was a funny story. It was necessary to translate the phrase "warm water." This word, no one could remember. The word "hot" knew, "warm" in everyday life somehow did not stick. What to do? Took two cups boiling water poured into one to another — the warm water, and asked local poke a finger in one and in the second cup. The word "warm" recalled immediately.

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