FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTUREANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
RUS | ENG
Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 34
Perm State University
Vyatka State University
Abstract: The article investigates urban spiritualistic practices in peasant communities. The main data is from archival and field research materials of the 20th — early 21st centuries describing spiritism. One of the rituals is communication with spirits using а table (tablelifting, spirit-rapping) that emerged in folk culture as fortunetelling. An analysis leads to the conclusion that there were some mechanisms of folklorization of the urban spiritualistic rite. The figure of the medium is replaced by a village “stolovjort” (tablelifting man), recognized by the peasants as one of the “magical specialists”. The objects typical for the traditional divination became part of the rite, and the ritual participants say special spell words. Form and manner of making the table, the number of participants, and the time of the rite are regulated in the village more strictly than in urban spiritual groups. The list of questions asked by peasants is more limited, while the entertaining function typical for collective holy fortune-telling may be intensified. Peasants also use special terms to denote the table-lifting. The narratives about this rite are formed according to the plot schemes of folklore mythological stories (about fulfilled divination, punishment for breaking prohibition, etc.). Peasant memories of participation in such fortune-telling were recorded in the Komi Republic, Perm, Vyatka, Arkhangelsk, Kostroma, and Rostov regions. Apparently, the penetration of spiritual rituals into the local folk tradition is determined by their ability to adapt to the norms, concepts and ritual practices to new socio-cultural environment.
Keywords: spiritualism, table-lifting, Christmas-tides, fortune telling, Russian mythoritual tradition.
To cite: Korolyova S., Korshunkov V., ‘Narodnoe stoloverchenie (gorodskoy ritual v krestyanskoy srede)’ [Folk Table-Lifting (Urban Rite in a Peasant Community)], Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 34, pp. 127–155.
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