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Man and Culture
Reference:

“When speaking of the wedding, even a withered scull is rolling” (to the question of the meaning of sheep’s head in wedding rituals)
Sharaeva Tatiana Isaevna

PhD in History

Senior Scientific Associate, Kalmyk Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences

358001, Russia, respublika Kalmykiya, g. Elista, ul. Tsagan Sar, 15

sharaevati@yandex.ru

Abstract.

The subject of this research is the semantics of sheep head in wedding rituals of the Kalmyks. In the the traditional wedding ceremony, offerings to various patrons, ancestors and sun bestowing prosperity and good life. Rituals with throwing the sheep’s head out of chimney among the Turko-Mongol peoples were aimed at requesting abundance in life of the newly married couple, childbirth, and blessing of the dwelling. In cultural traditions it was considered that sheep has “solar” nature, possesses cleansing, protective and fruitful power. In the course of this study, the author applies the comparative and problematic approaches, as well as semiotic approach in examining separate elements of the rituals and their interpretation. The conclusion is made that the a solar symbol smeared with oil on forehead of the bride is currently correlated with the idea of “solar nature” of a sheep, its sacrificial mission in the rites of offering, rebirth and request for protection, ritual “substitution” of a human. The offering of sheep’s head with cults to the senior generation was related to the cult of ancestors and the concept of “opening” of sacred channels for achieving the ultimate connection through the ritual actions.

Keywords: symbolism of the hearth, cult of ancestors, patron, solar symbolism, ram, wedding ceremony, turkic-mongolian peoples, the double of man, kalmyk, rites of offering

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8744.2019.5.27474

Article was received:

22-09-2018


Review date:

22-09-2018


Publish date:

07-11-2019


This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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