Viktoriya Oliinyk


The article analyzes the basic processes of transformation animistic beliefs of the Ukrainians of Transcarpathia. тIt explored ways to rethink the question of duality in Zakarpats'ka folk tales. The ways and forms of interpretation demonological beliefs in fairy tales Transcarpathia are characterized.

As you know, to comprehend complex problem of becoming of people’s spirituality we must know everything about its development and acucmulation. The scientific exploration of many generations of researchers who not only factual material on folk beliefs and superstitions, but also expressed their attitude to him, revealing his own vision of the world, give us peculiarities of this process. That is why we appreciate the people's spiritual culture monuments as a source of national ideology well as a source of scientific thought. Based on this foundation of knowledge, modern scholars have concluded that these ideas are the complex webs of archaic beliefs.

According to this concept the structure of people's beliefs and superstitions is developed and adopted by modern ethnography. It includes three main types of beliefs and superstitions,each of them consists of subtypes. It should be stressed that in Transcarpathia the survival of natural and seminatural economic foundations, the dominance of patriarchal attitudes in family and social life have led to conservation in the region of ancient philosophical concepts, ideas and beliefs.

The folk beliefs are collected and published by F. Potyshnyak in "Literary Sunday". These beliefs consist of theancient beliefs with anthropomorphic and animistic views on the power and natural phenomena with people endowed with supernatural powers and possibilities; with dead animals and plants, inanimate objects and phenomena; with spirits and demonic creatures, magic acts, magic, divination, good and bad signs.

It is noted that in there are two ideas about the Devil in the folk traditions of Ukrainian Transcarpathia:They are an ancient folk idea and an Christian religious one. Though they have intertwined there a Christian dualistic discourse of religious ideas about the devil, as absolute evil, which is opposed to the good of the creator – God, dominated. Folk tradition attributes devils not only mysterious skills to damage people and nature but to do useful thing in exchange of the human soul.

In general folk beliefs about devils merge with notions of demonic forces. In the popular imagination devil is the usual demon, a mythological creature of the low level. Devil is the manifestation of evil forces and their aspirations, feelings and deeds. Walking inthe world and masquerading, deuces do evil deals. The devil can turn into a driver of the cart and drive peasants to the fair.

It is worth to note some popularity of the witches is in beliefs and fairy tales in Transcarpathia. In folk beliefs "devil-woman" is deceitful, demonic creature that embodies the dual earth and underworld. At present days in Transcarpathia people keep the belief that a witch can cause strong wind which can cut off the tree, rain, slush, clouds and heat;send diseases; turn into anything or anyone such as a cat, a dog, a snake, a mouse, a bat, a wheel, poker and etc. She anoint her hair butter, dissolves hair, sits on a broom, a poker, a mortar, or sits on a cart, drawn by a black cat, or sits on the strange man shoulders and flies and sporting with other devils. We should underline particular attitude to the heavenly things that reinvented in fairy tales as a higher world than a human world. From them the personified character of the fairy tales waits assistence in fighting against evil, the dark forces. In the tales of Transcarpathia the Sun usually acts as a living creature, turned into queen and overcomes evil. In folk proverbs and sayings people compare it – "Red like the sun". It was believed that before the wars, epidemics, the eclipse of the sun happened, which was a kind of warning to humanity and repent of people sins.

Folk tales associated the Sun’s eclipse with the activities of evil spirits and its struggle with the snakes. In this struggle, the Sun as divine power, always wins. On this occasion, Fyodor Potushnyak wrote: "... The sun appears positive force that helps to fight the forces of light against the forces of darkness. That’s why the Sun and at present days is portrayed on embroidery, carving (circle, cross, square, rhombus). In honor of the Sun people create a fire and sing. In the article "The plant in folk beliefs", the author describes how, time and place of the use and meaning of different magic acts, performed by means of plants. The magic act is always held between rivers, in crossroads or inaccessible locations.

In the implementation of magical acts the great roles are played by temporal definitions, south, north, before the sunrise and sunset, a weak month, holidays and the relevant ordinances. At St. George day as in the Green week holidays, peopleput brances on the houses. It symbolized the campaign of spring, worship of the "spirit tree" – their lifegiving force. Yuri also collect herbs pillows, usually in the evening, each plant must be touched by stick that could stop the witch. Near the herbs you should go to bed without fire encircling circle around youself to defence from the evil.

In ethnographic researches it is known that the unclean spirits (demons) are hostile for a man. According to folk beliefs they are hiding in the rocks, caves, callback, weeds, desolate houses, mills, on vacant lots, crossroads, over streams, in swamps, etc. All demons (evil) are among the lowest in the world. They have neither beginning nor end. Although they are slightly higher than men, but their souls are evil.

Folk tradition says that the man in form and spirit is much more perfect than demons. It is clearly revealed in the subjects of many folk tales Transcarpathia. Thus, for example the opposition to good personified in the image of a young man in a fairy tale "Ivan – son cow" who successfully opposed demonic "spirit", which in turn personified anthropomorphic or zoomorphic similarity. A fairy tale "Bear Ivanko" the protagonist confronts a demon image as the personification of evil worldview.

It should be stressed that the images demonological reflecting the ideological foundations of popular culture, through rethinking in fairy tales, legends, sayings broadcast code ethnocultural mental people. The opposition demonic forces are high spiritual characters in folk tales of Transcarpathia. It reproduces metaphorical eternal confrontation between two opposites, between two worlds – dark and light.


animist beliefs; demonology; Transcarpathian folk tales; image of the devil; image of witches