Whom did the bear have to ancient people? Symbolics of an image
Continuing conversation on symbolics of an image of a bear in ancient cultural tradition, we will consider two more important aspects.
The progenitor and the cultural hero
the Bear was a totemic animal of many Slavic tribes. The Old Russian name of a bear - Bor (from here “ den “ i.e. Bor`s den). Of it words are not casually derivative: to protect, protected, preserved. The relationship subject with it is reflected also by nicknames: father, grandfather, uncle, Mikhail Potapych, owner; mother, the grandmother, the old woman, Nastasia Petrovna, etc.
of the Data about “ people - bears “ contain in hettsky texts. Inhabitants of Asia Minor Arkady considered themselves as descendants of the grandson of a she-bear too. Oguz is the khan, the ancestor of oguz, according to the legend, was a son of a bear and had bear shoulders.
Indians kvakiutl trust in the origin from marriage of a she-bear with the progenitor - the man. Bear roots see in the history of tribes of a gurona, mohawks and other Indians. So, one of the names accepted in the Indian tribe of Crowe is translated as “ it is a lot of bears “. One of the Welsh tsars was called “ Son Medvedya “. Further this tradition was transferred to surnames: all over the world there live Medvedev, Bermana etc. of
Mythological ideas about ancestors - bears are known at Kets, Evenks and Evens, Nivkhs. According to legends of Mansi, the she-bear gave birth to the first woman, in later versions, the bear was a progenitor of people of the Time. He acted as the cultural hero and the patron of the people which transferred it fire and onions.
Similar beliefs are available for the Nenets believing that fire was received from a polar bear. Ob Ugra store the myth about mother - a she-bear who, having trained the daughter how to handle meat and bones of the Bear, left on the road up, having become constellation of Small Medveditsa, and connect finding of fire with a brown bear.
The perception of identity or similarity of the person with a bear is especially visually looked through in ritual of bear hunting which is the center of a cult of a bear at a number of the people of Siberia and, according to archaeological data, was once characteristic of Europe. On same idea of ability of the most powerful shamans to address a bear is based (or an elk, an eagle).
With ideas of relationship with “ owner of the wood “ having a divine origin and capable “ on - related “ to patronize people, recognition of its canines and claws was connected by the magic attribute keeping bear energy, and their use as charms, and also force signs. In particular, the people of the Komi conformed to the rule: if to the place of the bear killed on hunting with even the beaten-out canines and not chopped off claws the stranger came, he acquired the right for a share when sharing production.
The Scandinavian soldiers are bears, berserka, assimilated themselves to the primogenitor. They not only used as sacral objects of a bear body, but also sewed up special herbs in the top part of a board, and before or during fight brought themselves to the state inherent in anger of this progenitor and cultural hero, taking a bite of them and accepting thus anesthetic and a stimulant. The British hero Beovulf was a person too - a bear.
“ Bear “ means were used also in traditional medicine, at some people they even admitted the most reliable for healing (bear fat, for example).
Dedication of a bear to Artemis who in addition, patronized virginity and motherhood led sacred marriage to ideas of a classical antiquity that the she-bear is a symbol of the best maternal qualities. From here and the myth about Atalanta thrown on the mountain soon after the birth by the father dreaming of the son who was raised and trained in hunting business by a she-bear. And the piece of bear skin in Hellas was used as protection against love hobbies.
In Russia the bear attributes were applied in wedding ceremonies. On a skin of this animal seated young people, laid them a bear cavity. On Volga as Russians, and other people, had a ritual on which the infertile woman for healing got through between hinder legs of a manual bear, imitating intimate relationship with it. The mention A.S. Pushkin about a bear who dreamed Tatyana Larina is not casual too, - in the people was considered that it to a wedding.
Our ancestors, as well as at many people, had a set of legends about marriage or sexual relations of the woman with a bear, men with a she-bear, and work of posterity by them. Latently marriage plot is present at fairy tales “ Three bears “ or “ Masha and bear “ is more transparent it is presented in a plot “ Ivashka - the Bear Ear “ where from the similar union the great athlete was born. Up to the 20th century in remote villages for achievement of favor “ owner of the wood “ (for example to protect cattle), in the wood took away and tied to a tree the beautiful girl as the bride for it.
The bear Osh of the people of the Komi, on beliefs, differed in the fact that kidnapped women, kept them in a den, fed and cared, could make the wife and turn on posterity. So, the folklore hero Kudy - Osh, on one of versions, was born as a result of cohabitation of Osh to his mother Ptsvsin.
On the other hand, national legends tell also about opposite option: an origin of a bear sort from human. At the Komi - Zyrians it is history of Mikhail who went to the wood and for some reason begun to go on all fours on a wooden pack. The wood goblin who saw it turned the joker into a bear, that kidnapped the woman and began to live with her in a den, the animal bear tribe resulted.
Perhaps, echoes of this story remained in the Russian culture in the form of sayings: “ To the Bear wood goblin brother “?