Die litauischen mythischen Wesen Laimė und Laumė und die frühe Ontogenese des Menschen
Litovski mitološki lik laimė in laumė in zgodnja ontogeneza ljudi
The article deals with the processes around procreation, childbearing and birth as they are described in Lithuanian tales, legends and customs. It asks the question at which moment the fetus or child aquires a soul. Mythic beings related to the early ontogenesis are laimė ‘fortuna’ and laumė ‘fairy’, who have been often mixed. It is shown that the changeling brought by laumė refers to the custom of making a doll and exchanging it with the newly born or baptized child. Thus, laumė is heavily involved in the process of delivering and may be responsible for getting a soul. Contrarily, laimė begins to act only after the delivering, she may be similar to a God mother of the child. An explanation is offered off the changeling as a result of belief in metempsychosis which should ensure the passing of a soul from the tree to the child.
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