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KLynx
07-13-2011, 04:04 AM
I've been looking at folklore sites, google-ing, wiki-ing etc. You know, the usual.

I live in Mexico, and there's a dearth of books in general here (even in the Capital, sad to say). Ordering them online is like to see them stolen as get here, so I'm limited to net resources :/

Anyhow, I was reading about superstitious behaviors practiced by Russians. One of them that interested me in particular was that if you're walking with someone and an obstacle appears, you should walk on the same side of the obstacle instead of letting it come between you. There wasn't an aside to this as to its origins, so I wondered if it was because something ill would happen to the relationship, or to one of the people. I imagined one of them ending up somewhere else and disappearing.

Is there some equivalent in Russian/Slavic folklore of wandering into the realm of other beings or deities on accident?

Also, is there some Russian/Slavic folklore equivalent of deals/bargains struck with spirits/faeries/demons (whatever you want to call them)? I know Baba Yaga makes a sort of deal with Vasalisa, but it's mostly an "I'll let you go" kind of a deal. I'm looking more for a tangible benefit or power in exchange for whatever it is the spirit/creature wants. If such a thing exists.

As an aside, if anyone knows any good reads/watches on Russian cultural practices during the late 1800s (court life, especially) that would be a great help too. It doesn’t have to be non-fiction as long as the basic every day life things are somewhat accurate.

backslashbaby
07-13-2011, 09:40 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavic_mythology#Folklore_traces

Check 0ut the links, t00. The web is actually pretty nice f0r researching f0lk0re, I think. Just keep digging :)


(My 0 key is kaput. S0rry!)

NewKidOldKid
07-13-2011, 11:53 AM
I've been looking at folklore sites, google-ing, wiki-ing etc. You know, the usual.

I live in Mexico, and there's a dearth of books in general here (even in the Capital, sad to say). Ordering them online is like to see them stolen as get here, so I'm limited to net resources :/

Anyhow, I was reading about superstitious behaviors practiced by Russians. One of them that interested me in particular was that if you're walking with someone and an obstacle appears, you should walk on the same side of the obstacle instead of letting it come between you. There wasn't an aside to this as to its origins, so I wondered if it was because something ill would happen to the relationship, or to one of the people. I imagined one of them ending up somewhere else and disappearing.

I lived in Russia for a few years and yes, you're not supposed to let an object "cut in" when you're walking. It's a bad omen for the friendship/relationship (you'll fight, break up, etc.). It's just a fun superstition, though. Not everybody follows it.

Diana_Rajchel
07-13-2011, 07:06 PM
For some reason, at least in English, there isn't a lot out there for Slavic folklore. Most people point me to fairy tales when I ask about it. The book Slavic Sorcery details some specific beliefs about house spirits, and I understand that the Polish and Russian were animists. Along with Baba Yaga, there was a sun god/god of the hunt called Dazhbog. While indirect, you may also want to look into Polish herbalism practices because it did seem interlinked with the animist beliefs.

I'm going to mark this thread. Slavic folklore fascinates me, in part because it's so hard to find.

KLynx
07-14-2011, 04:25 AM
For some reason, at least in English, there isn't a lot out there for Slavic folklore. Most people point me to fairy tales when I ask about it. The book Slavic Sorcery details some specific beliefs about house spirits, and I understand that the Polish and Russian were animists. Along with Baba Yaga, there was a sun god/god of the hunt called Dazhbog. While indirect, you may also want to look into Polish herbalism practices because it did seem interlinked with the animist beliefs.

I'm going to mark this thread. Slavic folklore fascinates me, in part because it's so hard to find.

Exactly, I had previously looked at the links someone mentioned earlier. It's why the first line of my post was that I had already done the precursory internet and wiki search.

As animists they must have a huge variety of spirits (much like the myriad of Japanese spirits and mythological beings). It's just finding them in English that's difficult. I wish I knew a Russian person.

backslashbaby
07-14-2011, 06:11 AM
I followed the links and ended up at professors' pages, complete with class handouts, etc. And a society you can join who has an annual journal, archived on the site (looks like back to 1996). It's good stuff, with tons of figures described.

Here's just one issue:


Vol 15 (2010)

Folklorica

Table of Contents

Articles

St. Stefan of Perm’: A Dialogue between Traditions and the Tradition of Dialogue Abstract (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4023) Pavel Limerov
Spirit Possession in a Present-Day Russian Village Abstract (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4024) Olga Khristoforova
“An invincible Czech horde”: Political and Social Implications of Abstract Moravian Folklore in Milan Kundera’s The Joke Abstract (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4025) Edwige Tamalet Talbayev
The Distinctive Features of Belarusian Traditional Funeral Repasts Abstract (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4026) Tadevush A. Navahrodski
An International Tale-Type: “The City of Babylon” Abstract (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4027) Valeriia Eremina
On the History of the Term “Ethnomusicology” Abstract (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4028) Bohdan Lukaniuk
Reports

Notes from the Field: Contemporary Folkways in Slovenia: Personal Practices of Commemoration at Cemeteries, Public Monuments, and Unmarked Mass Graves Details (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4029) Veronica E. Aplenc
Forays into Ukrainian Canadian Folklore Today: A Snapshot from Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) Details (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4030) Robert B. Klymasz
Reviews

Douglas Rogers. The Old Faith and the Russian Land: A Historical Ethnography of Ethics in the Urals (Culture and Society after Socialism Series) Details (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4031) Faith Wigzell
Rouhier-Willoughby, Jeanmarie. Village Values: Negotiating Identity, Gender, and Resistance in Contemporary Russian Life-Cycle Rituals. Details (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4032) John W. Hill
Красиков, Михайло (ред.), М.Ф. Сумцов: Дослідження з етнографії та історії Слобідської України. Вибрані праці . [Mykhailo Krasykov (ed.) M. F. Sumtsov: Research in Ethnography and History of the Sloboda Ukraine. Selected Writings] Details (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4033) Svitlana Kukharenko
Oldfield, Anna C. Azerbaijani Women Poet-Minstrels: Women Ashiqs from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Details (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4034) Natalie Kononenko
Patty Wageman, (et al. ed.). Russian Legends. Folk Tales and Fairy Tales. Details (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4035) Hanna Chuchvaha
Klaniczay, Gábor, and Éva Pócs (eds). Demons, Spirits, Witches. Details (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4036) Svitlana Krys
Obituary

In Memory of Alla Vasil’evna Kulagina Details (https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/article/view/4037) Bonnie Marshall





https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/folklorica/issue/view/324

Diana_Rajchel
07-19-2011, 01:54 AM
I followed the links and ended up at professors' pages, complete with class handouts, etc.


SUCH a cool find! I can't wait to explore myself!

Fresie
07-25-2011, 10:17 PM
I'm Russian, and a superstitious one at that, but I've never heard about this one! There are similar things, like to never shake hands, kiss, or hug in the doorway, but this obstacle thing could be of the same origin (you'll be separated, the way the doorway separates you). having said that, I've never encountered anything like it in all my 40-plus years in Russia.

Deals with the devil --yes, sure, plenty. In the Russian folklore, it's usually a soldier or a blacksmith who acts as the devil's adversary. Usually, he fools the devil by either signing the deal with chicken's blood, or outwitting him, or just using plain crude force. Usually, the devil can only get out of the deal by performing three tasks for the hero. Stuff like that.

Not much in the Internet, I agree, but I've found a few links that you might find useful:

http://www.archive.org/stream/soldierdeathruss00ransiala/soldierdeathruss00ransiala_djvu.txt

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0361.html#neverwash

Hope it helps :)

http://www.guidetorussia.org/russian-culture/russian-beliefs.html

L.C. Blackwell
07-27-2011, 10:39 AM
I'm Russian, and a superstitious one at that, but I've never heard about this one! There are similar things, like to never shake hands, kiss, or hug in the doorway, but this obstacle thing could be of the same origin (you'll be separated, the way the doorway separates you). having said that, I've never encountered anything like it in all my 40-plus years in Russia.



:)

Please do correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the door or threshold of a door considered a liminal space? I'd gotten that impression from reading about the bannik, the bath-house spirit (and the idea that to encounter him in person, one had to stand half-in, half-out of the doorway alone at night).

Lucy
(still chasing the details)

L.C. Blackwell
07-27-2011, 11:07 AM
http://www.archive.org/stream/soldierdeathruss00ransiala/soldierdeathruss00ransiala_djvu.txt



And that one just makes me pause--it's not your typical fairy tale, is it? Rather deep and philosophical...and sad.

Thank you for sharing the link.