The Paths of Folklore
Essays in Honor of Natalie Kononenko
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Slavica Publishers
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Introduction, Part I: Before Canada
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In Canada, Ukrainians who immigrated to North America after the Second World War are often called “third wavers.” In contrast to earlier “waves,” these émigrés were distinguished by a high degree of professionalism and a respect for learning. These qualities accompanied Natalie Kononenko when,...
Introduction, Part II: Natalie Kononenko’s Folklore Activities at the University of Alberta, Canada
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Natalie Kononenko had an international reputation in Ukrainian folklore long before she came to the University of Alberta in 2004. See, for example, her books: Ukrainian Dumy (1979), The Magic Egg and Other Tales from Ukraine (with Barbara Suwyn) (1997), Ukrainian Minstrels: And the Blind Shall Sing (1998) as well as dozens of journal articles....
Discussions on the Ukrainian Duma “Ivas’ Konovchenko”
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In the Ukrainian minstrel tradition, the epic song, or duma, “Ivas’ Konovchenko” was one of the most popular (Kononenko 1998, 247–52). Pavlo Zhytets’kyi (Pavel Zhitetskii) noted at the end of the 19th century that “this is the most lasting duma. It’s been preserved in numerous variants, and it is even being sung on the right bank of the Dnipro where, generally speaking, dumy...
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Many Ukrainian literary and historical scholars1 have wondered how byliny, dealing with the Kyivan princely court, have been discovered in the White Sea area of Russia but have disappeared from Ukraine, where they obviously had their origin. Hrushevs’kyi (1923, 301ff.) cites examples of bylina themes in...
Ukrainian Folkloristics in the 1920s and the Destiny of Lucien Lévy-Bruhl’s Theory
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I would like to say a few words about Natalka not as a Western scholar but as a Ukrainian folklorist. Without a doubt, her contribution to Ukrainian folkloristics of the late 20th century is just as great as the contribution of any Ukrainian scholar. Natalka’s knowledge, due to her origins, of Ukrainian language,...
(Cross)Roads and Folk Beliefs about “Bad” Death: Ukrainian Culture within a Wider European Context
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In many European, as well as non-European, cultures, roads used to have a sinister reputation: they were regarded as dangerous places associated with various negative phenomena like evil spirits, magical rites, or abnormal deaths. A simple explanation for this might be that, devoid of signs in the old...
Evliya Çelebi’s Travel to Özü Province and His Encounters with Kozaks
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Evliya Çelebi1 (1611–82) is a prominent historical figure who traveled the Ottoman realm and beyond. He collected his 40 years of travels in his major work, Seyahatname (Book of Travels). Evliya belonged to the upper echelons of society through his father, who was a goldsmith at the Ottoman Porte. He, therefore, received a good education in theology, poetry, literature, and music...
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The Snegurochka story, one of the most popular folktales in Russia today, has the simple grace and stark development characteristic of most folktales, yet beneath a snowy blanket of time and Christianization, also offers a remarkably detailed view of Russian traditional culture. The Snegurochka story reflects an underlying belief system also found in agrarian rituals traditionally performed in the period between the winter and summer solstices, in...
Gender and Fortune-Telling in Russia Today
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In a book published in 1998, I argued that over the period from the second half of the 18th century to the Russian Revolution fortune-‐‑telling literature became the property of women, while simultaneously descending the social scale. As men retreated from fortune-‐‑telling, it became increasingly stigmatized, assisting in the view of women as feeble and irrational. Despite this,...
Folk Legends in F. M. Dostoevskii’s Tale of the Merchant Skotoboinikov and L. N. Tolstoi’s “Godson”
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Folk legends appealed to both F. M. Dostoevskii and L. N. Tolstoi as expressions of the moral ideals of the Russian people, and both writers incorporated them into their art (see Pletnev 1961; Lotman 1974; Zaidenshnur 1979; E. S. Afanas’ev 1978; and Jahn 1990). A widespread legend about a great sinner enters Dostoevskii’s tale of the merchant Skotoboinikov, which is inserted...
Saints, Sinners, and Spirits: Women in the Russian Legend Tradition
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Тhe legend in all its forms is historically one of the most popular genres in Russia. Tellers use the genre to confirm and to express dissent with core societal and state beliefs. The legend genre, classified within the Russian scholarly tradition of folkloristics as predanie, legenda, bylichka, byval’shchina (heroic legend, religious legend, memorat, fabulate), reflects not only folk Orthodox...
Ritual Purity or Blaison populaire in the Literature of Kievan Rus’
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In teaching or analyzing texts of the medieval period one often comes upon passages or references whose meaning is obscure or totally incomprehensible. Consider these two passages from the Primary Chronicle (Povist’ vremennykh lit)....
Teaching Slavic Folklore in Israel
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Teaching Slavic issues in the Middle East, as in any other culturally remote region, has the impact of estrangement and prompts for reflection on both personal and academic levels. Why are these subjects taught? Who chooses them? What are the main challenges that we face? And not surprisingly this topic has been raised in several recent publications (Fialkova 2010; Quenoy...
Between the Past and the Present: Patriarchal and Matriarchal Myths about Berehynia
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While the origins of the term berehynia have not been established, it is difficult to find a more popular Ukrainian word associated with the old mythology. In Ukraine, a radio program, a well-‐‑known ethnographic journal, bookstores, kindergartens, and cultural and educational projects, not to mention a medical clinic in Kyiv, a shoe factory in Chernihiv, a furniture factory in Zaporizhzhia,
Eat, Dance, and Be Ukrainian: The Dickinson and Dauphin Summer Festivals
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Festivals are important expressions of community life in the North American Ukrainian diaspora.1 No systematic survey of these festivals has been conducted yet, though a partial list of recent annual festivals would include the ones at Dauphin, MB; Dickinson, ND; Dryden, ON; Ellenville, NY; Garden City, NJ; Gardenton, MB; Glen Spey, NY; Prince Albert, SK; San Diego, CA;...
House Altars: A Folk Religious Practice in the Rural Ukrainian Settlements of Brazil
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The fields of both folkloristics and ethnology have a number of terms that seem to be clear and straightforward, yet turn out in reality to be complex. This is due to the fact that different cultures use the same word to denote different phenomena. Furthermore, the meaning of a notion may change even within the same culture as it moves away—either spatially or temporally...
Meeting the New Shamans: Reintroducing Earth Spirituality to the West
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I contacted explorer Jon Turk after reading his article in Shaman’s Drum, “Reaching for Otherworlds: A Healing in Siberia” (2008). In it, he describes a healing he experienced by an old Koryak shaman named Moolynaut. Many years before meeting her, his pelvis was reconstructed with metal bolts and...
Liminal Agents and Structures in International Politics
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In the course of International Relations (IR) theory development in the United States, political scientists have borrowed concepts, metaphors, and explanations from a variety of other disciplines in order to solve vexing problems. As I have argued elsewhere (Holmes 2011a), each major paradigm of IR theory has, at various times, represented insight from other disciplines in innovative...
A Selected List of Works by Natalie Kononenko
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Publication Year: 2012