THE BRIDE’S TEXT IN THE WEDDING RITUAL OF THE MINING POPULATION OF BASHKORTOSTAN
Authors: Svetlana A. Moiseeva
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The article deals with wedding ritual in the Russian settlements in Beloretsk
district of Bashkortostan. The work is based on expeditionary material, recorded in 1938, 1965–
1969, 1993–2007 in the villages formed as peasant settlements at steel works in the middle of
the 18th and beginning of the 19th century: villages of Lomovka, Tirlyan, Inzer, Zigaza, Tukan,
Verkhniy Avzyan, Nizhniy Avzyan, Kaga, Uzyan.
The wedding is a special fragment of traditional culture where basic meanings of a local
mythological picture of the world are concentrated. They form in general the so-called regional
cultural text. This work is an attempt of translating basic meanings of regional traditional text
into Russian cultural context. The author determines the wedding ceremony as a fragment of
cultural text of the region, consisting of semantically related personal texts. A symbolic character
of the wedding ritual cycle is the bride. Therefore, the author focuses her attention on the bride’s
The text of this or that character is understood as a range of the ceremonial actions
performed by a particular participant of the ceremony at the verbal, actional and subject levels.
In the context of the wedding and ceremonial cycle, the girl is considered to be a bride until the
marriage or wedding registration, the fi nal transition from one to the other sociometric group is
fi xed by rituals of the wedding night.
The analysis of the local wedding tradition makes it possible to reveal that the rituals of
“separation” are the dominant in the text of the bride in the designated ritual period: the bride
said goodbye to unmarried girls, with a carefree girl’s life (freedom and beauty), with her parents
and the fold. During this period, the girl experienced the weakening and severing the former
ties, on the mythological level - a ritual-symbolic death. The author dwells on the text forming a
local variant rituals representing the threshold / liminal state of the bride: “mourning the parents’
doors”, “grieving the dawn”, “farewell to the beauty”, “bride selling / redemption”, “covering /
hiding Bride”, “checking the daughter-in-law “.