Studia mythologica Slavica <p><em>Studia mythologica Slavica</em> is international and interdisciplinary scientific journal covering the themes from the field of ethnology and folklore, history, archaeology, linguistics, religious studies, literary studies and philosophy. Founded in 1998, it is published by the Institute of Slovenian Ethnology at the Scientific Research Centre of Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and by the University of Udine.</p> <p>Print ISSN: 1408-6271<br>Online ISSN: 1581-128X</p> ZRC SAZU, Založba ZRC en-US Studia mythologica Slavica 1408-6271 <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">More in: <a href="">Submission chapter</a></span></p> Myth in Action? Figurative Images on Ceramics as a Source for Studying the Pre-Christian Beliefs of Western Slavs <p>The spiritual culture of Western Slavs is becoming an increasingly prominent research field in archaeology. The dynamic growth of material evidence allows archaeologists not only to expand the corpus of evidence used in their work but also to formulate new hypotheses that broaden the current state of knowledge, as well as to develop new research trajectories. The study of relics of cult-places and the material remains of ritual ceremonies play a particularly significant role here. Research into material culture, including iconographic sources, is of great significance. Both these research topics can be broadened by the studies of objects commonly extracted from the earth, namely ceramic vessels.<br>Moreover, not only the ritual behaviour that accompanies their production, or the symbolism of vessels, as such, or their forms but also about their ornamentation is of interest. Thus far, the issue of ornamentation has remained on the fringes of mainstream scholarly debates. Marek Dulinicz is among the scholars who have made the most substantial contributions to this field of research. However, since 2008, there have been no further studies on this topic. Although the corpus of completely preserved or fragmented vessels with figural depictions known today has expanded, the body of material with narrative scenes remains fairly small. New finds of vessels (or their fragments) with such imagery are found very rarely – even though numerous excavation campaigns are being undertaken – leading to the situation in which vessels with narrative scenes become rare and exceptional sources. This paper will specifically address this particular body of material. Around twenty different vessels will be considered here. Most of them are known from the area inhabited by the Baltic Slavs and the territory of modern-day Poland (Masovia and Silesia). One shard comes from Slovakia. The present paper seeks to provide answers to questions about the purpose of placing figural imagery on vessels, as well as to investigate the spatial and chronological occurrence of such finds, and the possible functions the vessels had in the everyday lives of their users.</p> Kamil Kajkowski Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-14 2020-09-14 23 7 – 34 7 – 34 10.3986/SMS20202301 Mit o “svetim trokutima” temeljenima na “sunčevom kutu” – analiza “astronomije” ranih Slavena <p>A number of interconnected scholarly publications discussing the phenomenon of the so-called sacred triangles have appeared lately. The authors who believe in the existence of this phenomenon argue that such triangles are based on a precisely determined value of the obliquity of the ecliptic. However, a detailed analysis of some of the key tenets discussed in their publications has revealed the gratuitous nature of this hypothesis, as well as its fundamentally unscientific character and the methodological flaws inherent in its overall development. Especially worrying is the falling into the pitfall of circular argumentation (circulus vitiosus) by the authors adhering to this hypothesis, their avoidance of any dialogue with relevant scholarly literature and their questionable understanding of fundamental phenomena upon which their hypothesis is built. A glaring example of the lattermost is the misunderstanding of the obliquity of the ecliptic on the part of the adherents of the so-called sacred triangles hypothesis.</p> Tomislav Bilić Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 35 – 50 35 – 50 10.3986/SMS20202302 The Theme of the Exodus in Russian Folklore: The “Pharaoh” Mythical Creatures, According to the Archive of the Estonian Literary Museum <p>In this article, we will consider the Russian folklore retellings of the Exodus, with special emphasis on the narratives about mythical creatures called “pharaohs”. The current analysis is based on a Russian collection of folklore. The data were collected in the 1920–‘40s in the territories of Estonia, Russia, and Latvia (Lutsi region, Estonian settlement) in the context of Slavic belief systems and legends about these characters. Currently, folklore materials are stored in the archive collection of the Estonian Literary Museum (ELM) (Tartu), and in the Skriptoorium. The article gives an overview of the most characteristic motifs, the origin, appearance, and habitat of these mythical creatures. The actions of the Pharaohs are described in more detail.</p> Elena Boganeva Mare Kõiva Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 51 – 68 51 – 68 10.3986/SMS20202303 Božična jama pri Novi Štifti (Gornji Grad) – primer antičnega jamskega svetišča <p>This article presents the archaeological and ethnological research of the Božična jama Cave in Slovenia, Styria region, as a possible shrine of fertility. The archaeological finds from the cave indicate that the cave was used for cult purposes. The authors point out the artificially built circle in the middle of the cave and suggest that it was probably devoted to establishing a cosmic space suitable for ritual purposes. The archaeological finds indicate the symbolism of the Sun, phallus and solar deity which are usually connected with fertility. The Božična jama Cave is thus far the only archaeological site in Slovenia to be confirmed as a Late Antiquity archaeological cave site that can be assumed to be a ritual cave connected with fertility.</p> Domen Češarek Pavel Jamnik Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 69 – 79 69 – 79 10.3986/SMS20202304 Ozelenela popotna palica svetega Krištofa <p>Christians have venerated St Christopher since the Middle Ages. His walking stick, used while crossing the river with the Christ Child on his shoulders, later sprouted and grew into a giant tree. Scholars prevailingly interpret the stick’s greening as a religious symbol. In this paper, I suggest a biological explanation, underpinned by the abilities of revitalisation inherent to many lignin plants species. Additionally, I show that planting the seemingly dry branch on a riverbank might hold environmental instructions about how to mitigate human-caused erosion or similar changes in nature. Being a patron of travellers, the ecological Saint Christopher might serve as a model for the needed greening of the fast-growing tourism industry.</p> Jurij Dobravec Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 81 – 97 81 – 97 10.3986/SMS20202305 Image, Function, Meaning, and Structure: The Role of Aphorisms in the Kazakh Epic Poem Kyz Zhibek <p>In this article, the function of aphorisms in folk song, which also contains lyrical and dramatic elements, is analysed and defined through cultural (mostly folklore) literature, and linguistic methods. The main purpose of this paper is to show the role of the gnomic words generated by folk creators in an epic poem’s plot, their main functions in the development of conflict and the aesthetic expression of the work. Therefore, the meaning of symbols has been interpreted in close connection with the actions, archetypes and metaphors inserted in the structure of the song. Using as an example the song “Kyz Zhybek”, which is a prominent creation in Kazakh folklore, and reviewing research papers on the subject, the present article follows the contrastive analysis in researching the echoes of archetypal traditions in a Muslim cultural frame. Ethnos in culture remains in an attempt to recover the identity of a group using what seems specific in folklore, history, and linguistics and to track them in an original ideology articulated on national and universal bases. <br>This paper may help researchers when studying folklore heritage, with understanding the scope of using the aphorisms and the main function actualised by them in folk literature. In addition, the role of aphorisms in a folk song is systematised, and their historical and identity significance is underlined.</p> Muhammadgali Abduov Nazilya Abduova Nicolae Stanciu Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 99 – 118 99 – 118 10.3986/SMS20202306 О мифологических мотивах в былине “Добрыня и Настасья” <p>This article deals with mythological motifs reflected in the bylina “Dobrynya and Nastas’ya” discussed in comparison with the Baltic, South Slavic, and Ossetic epic texts.</p> Maxim Anatol’evich Yuyukin Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 119 – 135 119 – 135 10.3986/SMS20202307 Čarovništvo – diskurz ali praksa? <p>This paper challenges a generally accepted view that witchcraft is always a matter of discourse, and the witch a fictitious person who is ascribed bewitchment but, in fact, performed none. It discusses the hints that point to bewitchments being, at least occasionally, a matter of practice and reality, and a “witch” indeed a practitioner of acts, perceived as harmful. It also challenges the etic difference between the “natural” and “supernatural” acts in the context of witchcraft accusations and argues that there is no clear difference between the former and the latter for people thinking within a witchcraft discourse.</p> Mirjam Mencej Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 137 – 158 137 – 158 10.3986/SMS20202308 The Role of Fire in the Posthumous Customs of Podlachia on the Border of Poland and Belarus <p>In this article, I would like to describe the role of fire in the customs of All Souls’ Day in the Easter period called <em>przewody</em> or <em>radunica</em>. The burning of the fires most commonly took place overnight at home and in cemeteries to illuminate the way for the transmigration of souls so they would not harm the living. The reflection of special respect for fire is known from the funeral rites from the area of Podlachia in the Middle Ages. It also served as a basic element of the ritual related to cyclical visits to the dead, as evidenced by the remains of charcoals or ash. Different kind of sources from the Middle Ages and modern times, from the region of eastern Poland (Podlachia and Belarus, in particular) shall be used to confirm that the rite lasted for many years.</p> Joanna Wawrzeniuk Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 159 – 170 159 – 170 10.3986/SMS20202309 Archaeological Sites as a Component of the Modern Religious Worldview of the Southern Ural Population (Based on the Example of the Akhunovo Megalithic Complex) <p>The present research examines the problem of the formation of new sacred sites around one of the most well-known archaeological complexes of the Bronze Age in the Southern Urals. To do so, the author applied the results of field research done of his own at the Akhunovo cromlech and analysed scientific literature and internet resources. Proceeding from the received data, the author traced the process of formation of sacred insight of the monument, determined the main reasons and participants of the sacralisation process and established probable negative outcomes of this phenomenon.</p> Ainur I. Tuzbekov Albert T. Akhatov Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 171 – 182 171 – 182 10.3986/SMS20202310 The Supernatural Beings of Belief Legends – Old Fears in a New Context <p>This paper examines the use of belief legends about witches, werewolves, and fairies at open-air festivals in Croatia today. At such events, traditions based on belief legends are invented with the idea of enriching local tourism not only as a source of income but also as a medium through which they portray their local identity. Additionally, the author argues that the concept of fear plays a significant role in the entire process. Visitors face the fear invoked by supernatural concepts, but within the monitored and controlled festival environment, which this helps them overcome their fears and learn how to control them. Furthermore, the author argues that people are increasingly turning toward learning and knowing about supernatural beings of belief legends because they offer an attractive explanation for the functioning of the current world and afterlife.</p> Luka Šešo Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 183 – 202 183 – 202 10.3986/SMS20202311 “Zoopoetic Dwelling”: The Ecology of the Connectedness of Animal and Human Homes and Dwelling Through Folklore and Literary Representations <p>The act of dwelling and physical dwellings is not an exclusively human domain: all spaces, environments and homes of various animals are included. The question of whether an animal merely exists or also lives and dwells forms the basis of the article. We examine the types of environment in which nonhuman animals live either together with people or independently and those where they build their dwellings. We look at the difference between dwelling and building. We will present three viewpoint models that consider animals, their dwelling and physical dwellings on the basis of folkloristic, anthropological, philosophical, eco-critical, and critical-animalistic findings. They are the anthropocentric, anthropomorphic, and zoo-centric models as they appear in the works of Fran Erjavec (<em>Domače in tuje živali v podobah</em>, 1868-1873), Richard Adams (<em>Watership Down</em>, 1972) and Iztok Geister (<em>Narava, kot jo vidi narava</em>, 2010). The way these works present animals and their dwellings, more or less closely reflecting reality, will aid in determining whether these dwellings are part of nature or culture. We will be asking, for example, whether the beaver’s dwelling is an architectural masterpiece or merely a result of instinctive behaviour. Our starting point is based on the understanding that animals are persons and, as such, are capable of dwelling and intentionally producing their physical dwellings.</p> Marjetka Golež Kaučič Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 205 – 234 205 – 234 10.3986/SMS20202312 “Petishism”, or Animals in the City and on the Islands: Case Study of the Island of Silba <p>The first part of this paper (by Suzana Marjanić) documents the fact that city authorities throughout Croatia do not encourage needed care for stray dogs and cats, specifically the construction of state and private shelters for abandoned and lost animals, as well as feeding stations. Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, does not have a shelter for cats. Also documented are exhibitions of animal studies in Croatia, two of which were organised in Zagreb in the same year: an artistic one <em>All Our Animals – Animals as Subjects in Croatian Modern Fine Arts</em> (Modern Gallery, Zagreb, 2017), and another from the aspect of ethnozoology and anthropology of animals – <em>Of Animals and Humans</em> (Ethnographic Museum, Zagreb, 2017), both of which also featured cats.<br>The second part of the article (by Rosana Ratkovčić) notes the fact that the number of stray cats on Croatian islands increases each year, as pets brought by tourists are frequently left behind at the end of summer vacation. On the example of the island of Silba and its only (eponymous) town, how the local population has self-organised the protection of the island’s stray cats is presented.</p> Suzana Marjanić Rosana Ratkovčić Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 235 – 252 235 – 252 10.3986/SMS20202313 Naš Triglav Boris Čok Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 255 – 258 255 – 258 10.3986/SMS20202314 Jiří Dynda, Slovanské pohanství ve středověkých ruských kázáních. [Slavic Paganism in Medieval Russian Homiletics] <p>Slavic Paganism in Medieval Russian Homiletics</p> Andrej Pleterski Copyright (c) 2020 ZRC-SAZU 2020-09-18 2020-09-18 23 261 – 262 261 – 262