The Science Work
Site is for sale:
Category: History

Religious factor of formation of economic and household traditions at the Stavropol peasants at the end of XIX beginning of the 20th century

yu. N. Kireeva


XIX - the BEGINNING of the 20th CENTURY

Work is presented by department of the social humanities of the Pyatigorsk state technological university. The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor V.A. Kaznacheev

In article the influence of religious practices on formation of hozyaystvennobytovy traditions in the country environment of the Stavropol province at the end of XIX - the beginning of the 20th century is considered

The author of the article considers the influence of religious rites on forming of household traditions of Stavropol peasantry at the end of the 19 * century and the beginning of the 20 * century.

The religion and the religious organizations are one of the most ancient forms of human community. Adapting to new types of social communications, they were always demanded by society. Preservation and maintenance of faith in God, i.e. a mystical component of religion, throughout centuries was only one of social functions of church. It helped, consoling in suffering or in a difficult life situation. Long since it bears on itself and many other duties, important for people. So, during epidemics which quite often arose in the 19th century the priests went to the people and told about precautionary measures at emergence of symptoms of diseases, bypassed houses in which there were sick people, tried to strengthen their spirit, trained in methods of care for patients. It is necessary to consider as well that in the studied time the peasants really believed in the curing action of prayers and plots. Each parishioner considered the duty to know initial prayers and also to be able to read the Creed. At the same time it is frequent on the illiteracy, learning prayers aurally in church or according to parents in the childhood, the simple people often distorted their true sense, putting in the address to God the representations and нужды&.

All process of agrarian production was closely connected with religion. Seeds before sowing were surely consecrated. Sometimes it became on a special prayer, and religious processions on fields were organized. As V.V. Sapronenko notes, all terms of agricultural works followed the orthodox menologion, and respect for religious traditions during the periods of field works was an obligatory element of all agricultural cycle. The Christian cult - extended also to livestock production. For example, on the eve of the holiday Baptism of the Lord the owner without fail sprinkled with holy water all livestock for the purpose of protection from diseases and providing with a healthy issue. For animal protection from any misfortunes the magic role, on belief of peasants, was played by icons of the Mother of God (for cows) and Georges the Victorious (for horses).

The given examples show that the people sincerely cared for performance of church charters and legends. The peasant will not enter the new house, will not pass by the Lord's temple, without having dawned on himself a sign of the cross. If there is misfortune, it hurries to the God's temple to implore to itself(himself) for pardon, there will be a joy, he will also put a candle svya-

ty as a token of gratitude. Thus, diligent visit of church, the okhotny and patient relation to sermons, the most strict observance of posts - all this speaks about degree of national piety.

If to address daily life, then the regulating religion role was most accurately shown here. Familiarizing with belief began at Christians with the procedure of a baptism of the child though that realized nothing yet. Was considered that prayers are the first that the child learned in the life, they were perceived as internal breath of soul. From them all began and came to an end povsednev-


ny affairs in life of the orthodox person.

The country people of the Stavropol province in the majority treated orthodox Christians. However its religious ceremonialism, as well as in other places of Russia, had the features and in something differed from official laws of Orthodoxy. It was reflection of original development of peasants who in reality had the most indistinct ideas of fundamentals of Christianity. "Simple people, - it was noted in "the Stavropol Diocesan Sheets", - in most cases has very vague concepts about the very first and essential truth of belief and morality and it is frequent zhiveg superstitions and a prejudice -

5 X

mi". Such statement was true though the religiousness did not suffer from it, and the belief was not weaker, than at priests.

Some scientists consider that the nature of beliefs in many respects was defined by the prevailing type of economic activity of the population. At representatives of the Slavic people which are closely connected with agriculture the agricultural cult in which the image of Earth mother was extolled was strongly developed. S.I. Dmitriyeva notes, in particular, that the earth at Russians was considered as a female being, and she could not be beaten. Especially the earth in the spring, on the Whit Monday and on the Assumption was honored. Such relation is connected with the fact that peasants completely

depended on the earth and treated it with undisguised respect. Believers had the whole assembly of Saints, a prayer as which was considered as very useful to development of economy. Mikhail Arkhistratig (on November 8), for example, treated patrons of a harvest. But to receive it and to keep, grain-growers addressed the Saint Virgin who, on their belief, averted

wreckers also helped maturing hle-


B. Among cattle breeders Saint Egory especially was honored, according to believers, he had to protect the cattle from animals, a bad eye and a kovdovstvo. Flore and Laurus, pigs - Basil the Great were considered as patrons of horses. Even hens had the patrons acting through Kuzma and Demyan. As V.V. Sapronenko notes, for disposal of the cattle of a case prayed to Saint Modest, and for exile of evil spirits - to the Saint Marufe*.

The orthodox cult was interwoven into life of country people throughout centuries and was connected not only with economic activity. For example, moving to the new house was made only on the date of Semyon-le-toprovodtsa on September 1. The procedure surely was followed by singing of a prayer and asperges of walls holy water. There was an opinion that the crosses drawn on doors and windows preserve against evil spirit. Houses of parishioners were an example of Christian diligence. In them there was a large number of the icons which are well written and if it is not magnificent, then skillfully decorated. For placement of icons the most available was always taken away and a foreground - "the first corner". Especially peasants of an icon of the Kazan Mother of God, St. honored. Flatterer Nikolay, St. prince-martyr Mikhail Tver-

9 T

sky. Icons of the house, a mogatgva and lamentation indicated that the thought of God never left the peasant. The sacred belief was the cornerstone of all his moral being. Taught by the ancestors of humility to the doctrine and charters of church, it inspired also in the children the same devotion to Christianity. With a prayer on lips it began the day of work and departed for sleeping.

It is known that in religious practices of peasants elements of primitive pagan beliefs prevailed. For example, commemoration of the dead instead of a humble prayer for the peace of soul terminated often in such revelry that comers on a commemoration quite often forgot for what they sobra-10

foxes. Peasants considered that soul and after the death of the person continues to live, eats and drinks that it can be embodied in any living being. It contradicted Orthodoxy as under the charter of church on a table at remembrance of the dead only the kolivo had to be put. However national traditions so strongly became stronger that many of them continue to be observed and now.

The religion held a specific place in the peasant's life also because not only everyday life, but also church holidays to which, as we know, the essential part in social and cultural development of the people is assigned and which represented one of the few pleasures of difficult country life were connected with it. Prepared for them in advance, removed, bleached walls, cleaned ware, washed clothes, sewed new clothes. Preparation and a holiday had moral value - the person was cleaned from filth and vanity. Same both posts, and a confession, and a communion promoted. During posts and confessions of people gave an assessment to the affairs and behavior.

New Year's holidays were the most desired time for country people. A Christmas-tide in the people was perceived as the period of the various abnormal phenomena which had mystical character. It is obvious that in consciousness of most of believers Orthodoxy firmly was associated with area rational, i.e. all those phenomena which gave in to a reasonable explanation. L. Berestovskaya specifies that the irrational area where ranked the fate of each person, on country concepts, entirely was in power of "dirty". Was considered that by means of Christmas fortune-telling it is possible a mustache -

to tanovit contact with this force and to send events to necessary for itself русло". Therefore, in a Christmas-tide "evil spirit" was opposed to God. In this regard on such holiday as Christmas Hris - * 12 those, the temple was always full to the people.

If to adhere to chronology, then the following holiday was Maslenitsa. Its sense came from a pagan era and consisted in a wire of winter and expectation of spring heat. One more big cycle of holidays easter fell on the period since the end of April prior to the beginning of June. It opened Easter week and came to the end with the Trinity. This cycle was entirely filled with Christian sense about atonement of human sins. Easter by right belongs to the main Christian holidays which threshold was rather long post. Peasants for the third day of Easter usually gathered several families, left to the steppe to the arable lands. There they watered with wine shoots summer that on them there was a rain more often and the harvest was good and sound. The Trinity was not less significant church holiday. It marked the end of spring.

During the summer period Ivan Kupala's celebration was the holiday deserving attention. The nature reached the highest blossoming at this time, maturing of fruits began, and for farmers there came turning point of an agricultural cycle a harvest. The fire was obligatory and, undoubtedly, primordial accessory of festive night. They were lit in honor of the sun as its terrestrial reflection. As V. Propp considers, fire served as means of clarification. Through fires both young and old peasants jumped, competing with each other to be cleaned spiritually and to get stronger physically before harvesting. Important attribute of a holiday were wreaths from wild flowers. At first they were put on the heads of girls, and at some point their all druzh - * 13 ^

but threw

into water. This day is known

among peasants as the most favorable

time for collecting medicative herbs as there occurred their full maturing and in plants concentrated the greatest number of useful natural substances. After day of Ivan Kupala in the village noted the Cover. In a month the villagers began to prepare for a holiday: hurried to finish field works, in each family sewed new things, women bleached the houses, and men cleaned the yards and streets. Thus, the village took prazdnichnsh a form. The strong pagan shade of summer holidays remained, perhaps, because of existence of direct link of the person with the nature. The cover finished the general festive calendar. Religious holidays were very loved by the people because united all parishioners irrespective of situation and a rank and took place colourfully, in a big way and special solemnity. They promoted formation of uniform social stereotypes and forms of behavior in life.

However besides holidays in religious life of the village there were also certain difficulties. In the North Caucasus, and in the Stavropol province, in particular, they were connected first of all with long lack of the independent orthodox diocese. In this regard rural arrivals developed generally independently, introducing in the spiritual image of the province the own elements reflecting origin of peasants and tradition of that region from where there arrived to Stavropol Territory residents of any given village. It is known that establishment of the Caucasian diocese took place in 1843 in the middle of the Caucasian war. At once after that it concentrated the main attention on the missionary -

sky activity among the indigenous North Caucasian people, having granted to the Slavic population the right and a possibility of independent formation of bases of spiritual life in quite difficult conditions of political opposition in the Caucasus for some time. Only in several decades the diocesan management closely dealt with problems of Christian believers. From the second half of the 19th century parish schools at which the representatives of clergy of local churches providing weight training and education in strict accordance with orthodox dogma were teachers everywhere began to be established.

Every holiday by all means was followed by visit of the temple, an action to which were going by all family, as they say, "to prove to be and to look at people". According to archival documents especially to many people was going to churches for big orthodox holidays: Easter, Trinity, Christmas and some other. That circumstance that the main were dated for the majority of these holidays is of interest

agricultural works. So, press-" 15

died, after the Trinity haymakings began.

In our opinion, it demonstrates that in life of peasants everything was ordered, each action took the place and time and alternated in close interrelation with historically developed foundations and spiritual beliefs. Most likely, it is also the cultural self-expression of the people based on centuries-old experience of interaction in community and with the world around.

1 State Archive of Stavropol Krai (SASK). T. 135. Op. 47. 5. L. 45.

V.V. Sapronenko. To a question of a condition of orthodox beliefs of peasants of Stavropol Territory in pre-revolutionary time//Scientific notes. Some questions of Caucasus studies. Issue I. Stavropol, 1971.C. 177.

1 GASK. T. 135. Op. 47. 5. L. 44.

Nevsky V.P. Spiritual life and education of the people of Stavropol Territory in XIX - the beginning of the 20th century. Stavropol, 1995. Page 87.

Stavropol Diocesan Sheets. 1904. Page 1391.

6 Village of Dmitriyev. I. Folk beliefs//Russians. M, 1997. Page 740.

GASK. T. 135. Op. 65. 1860. L. 16.

V.V. Sapronenko. Decree. soch. Page 178.

9 GASK. T. 135. Op. 64. 447. L. 50.

Speckled N. Selo New of St. George//the Collection of materials for an ogshsaniye of areas and tribes of the Caucasus. Issue 23. Tiflis: Printing house of Head Department of the Deputy Caucasian, 1881. C.40. L. Berestovskaya. On holidays and on weekdays. Stavropol: Stavropol book publishing house, 1968.

Page 45.

12 GASK. T. 135. Op. 48. 1. L. 6.

V. Propp. Russian agrarian holidays. M.: Labyrinth, 2000. Page 101.

14 GASK. T. 135. Op. 68. 342. L. 15. &

Corinthian And. National Russia. M.: M.V. Klyukin's publishing house, 1901. Page 150.

Betty Cornelia
Other scientific works: