Annual Nature Cycle vs Human Life Cycle: Female Ritual Singing in the Seasonal Cycle Among Russians | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online


The article elaborates the following theses: 1. The fact that the seasonal songs are performed mainly by women of different age groups, is related, in our opinion, to the dominant cult of earth among Russians as an agricultural people, for whom earth is associated with the feminine side and motherhood (hence the idiomatic expression mat' sïra zemlya – 'damp Mother Earth'). 2. In Russian folk culture, the annual nature cycle is conceived by analogy with the human life cycle; this is manifested in the tradition to correlate seasonal ritual genres to particular age groups of performers. 3. The mode of vocalization and performance of seasonal ritual songs depends on the singers' gender/age status and on the perception of their singing skills.


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