Rus Articles Journal

Slavic ceremony of “child`s perepekaniye“: on a shovel - and in the furnace?.

“Terrible“ places in national fairy tales when the Baba-yaga tries to put the wicked creature on a shovel and to put Tereshechka / Ivashechka in the furnace, actually - an echo of an ancient ceremony of “the child`s perepekaniye“ which, despite the antiquity, was very hardy and in other places remained up to the 20th century, and even longer.

Besides records of ethnographers and historians, also literary mentions of this action which was very widespread among our ancestors remained. For example, Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin, according to V. Khodasevich who left us the biography of the classic was exposed to it in the childhood. However, procedural details are not specified there.

So, “the child`s perepekaniye“ - an ancient ceremony. In one places resorted to it in case of the birth of the premature, sickly baby, in the presence of rickets (“a dog old age“), an atrophy and other illnesses. In others - sent to the furnace of everyone of newborns. What for? Here we will also talk about it.

Was considered that if the child was born ahead of time if he is weak or sick, then it means that “did not ripen“ in a maternal belly. And time so, it is necessary to bring it to “the necessary standard“ he not only survived, but also found necessary vital forces.

The furnace in tradition of ancient Slavs represented some kind of reflection of the Universe as triune world: heavenly, terrestrial and beyond the grave, as well as place of communication with ancestors. Therefore addressed its help to rescue the neduzhny child.

At the same time assimilated the child`s birth to baking of bread, and therefore in classical perepekaniye option of the baby previously covered rye (and only rye) the test, leaving free from it only a mouth and nostrils. Dough, by the way, too was not simple, and on the water brought at dawn from three wells it is desirable - the grandma - the healer.

The baby covered with the test was stacked on a grain shovel, tied to it and sent for a short time in warm three times (not hot!) the furnace in which there is no fire. In one places it was entrusted to the grandmother - the midwife, in others - mother, in the third - the oldest woman in the settlement.

Never the perepekaniye was carried out alone and was always followed by special speeches. But if to the grandmother - the midwife (at whom the assistant consisted to remove the child from a shovel), was to pobormotat something it seems enough: “Pripekis, pripekis, a dog old age“, in other cases was assumed obligatory dialogue of participants of process.

Its sense consisted not only in the pronounced words - allegories, but also supported a rhythm in which it was necessary to send and return from the child`s furnace that he did not choke. For example, if on ritual it was necessary to work with mother`s shovel, then doors could have a mother-in-law.

Entering the house, she asked: “What do you do“? The daughter-in-law answered: “I bake bread“, and with these words moved a shovel to the furnace. The mother-in-law spoke: “Well, pitches, pitches and not perepek“ also went beyond a door, and the mother got a shovel from the furnace. Similar dialogue could happen to the woman who, having three times bypassed a log hut on the sun course, got up under a window and led the same discussion. By the way, sometimes under a window there was mother, and at an oven the healer was active.

* * * the Russian ovens becomes

less. Child mortality, whatever you may say, is much lower, than in age-old times. Babies are not perepekat today (unless put in an incubator). Why to remember “hoary antiquity“? And you remember how in the fairy tale geese - swans stopped a pursuit of children only after those got into an oven?

The oven can be conditional … Process of a perepekaniye was not only medical procedure, but also in not smaller degree - symbolical.