Golikova S., Shkerin V. “Everyone seems to have him”: the image of Domovoy in mythological beliefs of Ural villagers

S. Golikova - Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural branch of the RAS Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation ORCID: 0000-0001-8272-4763
E-mail: avokilog@mail.ru

V. Shkerin - Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural branch of the RAS Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation ORCID: 0000-0003-3925-2873
E-mail: shkerin_uit@mail.ru


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ABSTRACT. The article is based on the field materials collected in the 2010s and considers the traditional beliefs of rural inhabitants of the Southern Urals about domovoy — his appearance, functions, qualities and abilities, as well as the practices of establishing relationships with him. The research has been conducted in the Russian village of Bedjarysh located in the southwestern part of the Chelyabinsk Region. The local folklore tradition presents notions of domovoy, which generally correspond to the all-Russian mythological system. His image is syncretic and causes contradictory feelings among the bearers of the tradition. Domovoy is a patron spirit that protects the peasant manor and all its inhabitants (people and animals) from misfortunes. However, encounters with him are undesirable and dangerous. For adult persons (unlike children) it is dangerous to hear and see domovoy, but a tactile contact with him is possible. Domovoy belongs to the other world, where time flows according to different laws. He knows both the past and what will happen in the future. But domovoy likes joking, that is why not all the signs given by him should be perceived as a premonition. Domovoy is an ancestor protector and perhaps even a progenitor, so he must be present in every house. His absence is fraught with troubles. Moving to a new place of residence, one should invite domovoy to join him. However, new house owners can also get him together with the house. Domovoy is a werewolf. He is able to appear as a human or an animal and can be visible and invisible. But anomalies in his appearance or behavior disclose him to people inevitably.


DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2020-2(8)-170-183
УДК 3 98(470.5)


KEYWORDS: domovoy, mythological tradition, guardian spirits, charcoal burner, industrial Ural



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