Accepted Paper:

Folk costumes and traditional attributes in the ritual of the Sad Wedding: Slavic parallels  

Author:

Oksana Mykytenko (Institute for Art Studies, Folklore and Ethnology)

Paper short abstract:

In case of the death of an unwed person, in some Slavic countries there are folk practices which set forth formal and symbolic similarities between wedding and burial rites. In case of an "untimely" death, this condition is ritually codified through the dressing of the the body as if for a wedding.

Paper long abstract:

In case of the death of an unwed person, in some Slavic countries there are folk beliefs and practices which set forth formal and symbolic similarities between wedding and burial rituals. In case of an "untimely" death, this condition is ritually and symbolically codified through the dressing of the the body as if for a wedding (wedding dress, wreath, head scarf, wedding attributes, etc.).Therefore, in the context of a "sad wedding" (Ukranian: sumne vesilia; Russian: oonilaya svadebka), the semantic function of the attire gains a specific importance.

The representation - and the social treatment - of the actual death through a ritualistic one is a common tendency of burial rites, and in fact the practice of dressing the dead as for a wedding code during the burial complex acquires ritualistic and even magical aspects. Represented in objects, acts and speech, this symbolic treatment marks the whole connotational field of the burial rite, thus becoming a culturally meaningful and respresentative element of folk beliefs and practices.

Panel Heri004
From folklore to intangible heritage