Rus Articles Journal

How to be saved from evil spirit by means of a hairbrush? Traditions of our ancestors

Of course, first of all hairbrushes, crests and combs were necessary to our ancestors for combing of hair. But for ancient Slavs the crest was not only a sanitary product. For example, it was perceived as a female and erotic symbol, and also the boginok etc. was attribute of mermaids. And even more: treated objects - apotropeyam, that is magic and, in particular, oberezhny.

It corresponded to magic of hair, as if had force to prevent sorcery, a malefice and damage. However at the same time was considered that the crest can not only protect, but also do much harm, transferring evil intentions from the witch to the victim. Echoes of the similar relation can be read in fairy tales. So, “the sorcerer thrust a crest in the head to Finist to the Clear Falcon, and he fell asleep a deathlike sleep“ … But initially the plate symbolics with teeths was connected by

with beams of the sun and streams of a rain. However, some authors (in particular, Schneider) add to it communication with boat symbolics, but it is too difficult question unambiguously to accept the similar point of view.

Owing to not exclusively household, and magic and oberezhny mission the crest was used in a large number of ceremonial actions which accompanied as the solemn, sign moments, and everyday life of our ancestors. What?

of the Homeland and christening

was considered by

aspect of a female symbol Here. To newborn girls the umbilical cord was cut through a crest. It was supposed that in this case she in the future will become the good spinner that is very valuable to country life. On christening the grandma transmitted the baby to the godmother through a crest, but not through a threshold as it needed to be done with boys, and godfathers, leaving the house, had to step the right leg on a crest.

Maiden fortune-telling

Are red

maidens, going to bed, put a crest under a pillow with the words “the promised, masked, come to scratch the head“ and expected to dream about it. And if suffered from one-way love or stayed in separation from the beloved, then lamented: “A hair - a hair, a crest - a comb, inspire in darling my love. Day in a day, night in a night, let remembers me and misses me, and soon again welcomes“.

the Wedding

of the Bridesmaid, having unplaited her hair, combed a crest hair. It meant their farewell to it in girlhood, her hair will be hidden in a marriage under a headdress. At a wedding threw a crest through a threshold for protection newly married from evil spirit. The bride was given for luck a crest with seven teeths and the image of two skates (but not everywhere as in some places, for example, in Pskovshchina, in ancient times of married women shaved bare).

But if the bad person wanted to prevent family happiness, then did “a wedding otsushka“: secretly put two combing crests on both sides of the road and when on it there passed young people, connected. It was considered as an infallible remedy in order that the husband and the wife or all life quarreled, or left.

In some regions a crest put the Funeral over the dead and lit on it candles to protect the house in case he becomes a ghoul. Getting up the dead man, he was combed, and the crest used for this purpose was subject to removal from “live“ space. In different districts the ways were used.

It could be put in a coffin together with the cut hair, previously having broken off so many teeths how many residents remain in the house. These teeths placed or in the shelter for cattle, or put on an apple-tree branch. Other way was directed to that, “that the death departured somewhat quicker“, and therefore the crest was thrown to the river. In other places it, having broken, burned or charged to those who washed the dead, to throw out to such place where nobody goes etc.


baged the Crest with sowing material or seeds before crops that the harvest was “frequent“ as its teeths stirred slowly with it; the wool which is combed out at sheep was thrown into the sheep shelter that wool to a hairstyle was more dense.

Protection against wolves


One of rituals was similar to “a wedding otsushka“: the cattle was banished between two crests, and then they were connected and hung out over an entrance to a shed. Other way was that under Christmas Eve two crests connected teeths (“locking a mouth to a wolf“) and till the Epiphany of the woman should not have touched them. Two crests connected and in case the cattle was lost.


the Female crest combed hair to the sick person or a pet (for example, a cow) and abandoned him on a pear or an apple-tree (for 1 - 2 weeks), then got, combed again sick and washed. At the same time the crest with seven teeths was preferable. On the Christmas-tide the crest was taken out from the house, it was considered as protection of the owner and members of household from snakes, and cattle - from diseases.

Protection against sorcery

did to

For an identification of the witch “otsushka“ with two crests too. If the suspect really was a sorcerer, she just could not be with a request to separate because in the connected situation they caused it intolerable pain. And at fear of prosecution travelers threw a crest behind themselves.

In how many fairy tales heroes acted this way, and is more often - heroines, and behind them the impassable wood grew! And you know why? The crest representing the wood was a danger symbol (the wood was considered as the dangerous place). Thrown back, it left this danger behind.

of the Rule of the address

to us can seem to

amusing now, but in old times in the people again bought crest at first combed a dog (later - a cat) or … a pig. It was supposed that after that teeths will longer not break as “the evil will chip in together“. Besides, the crest could not be held on a look at all and even when using to put on a table, on a window, the slouch or a tub (and that “the angel will not sit down“). Right after a combing it needed to be put in the secluded place.

Here as!