Title of the article:



Svetlana D. Sinchuk

Information about the author/authors

Svetlana D. Sinchuk — PhD in Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor, Stavropol State Pedagogical Institute, Svobody pr., 14, 357430 Zheleznovodsk, pos. Inozemtsevo, Russia. E-mail: svetlana.sinchuk@yandex.ru 


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 54


pp. 140–159


May 23, 2019

Date of publication

December 28, 2019

Index UDK


Index BBK

71.05(2) + 85.113(2)


The paper suggests a hypothesis about a figurative-semantic correspondence in the archaic folk beliefs between architectural appearance of the hut and horned animals, once acting as a construction sacrifice. During the hunting period it was deer/elk, whose horns crowned the roofs of the North Russian huts. Due to the antiquity of these animals`cult, one should not only search traces of pagan ideas about them among archaisms of the ancient Slavic culture, but also turn to traditional hunting cultures of the peoples of the North and Siberia. Given the substitution of hunting for domestic animals in the era of transition to agriculture, the cult of deer/moose was displaced by the cult of the bull/cow, close to them semantically. However, in the context of the Christian religion the horns have acquired a negative meaning, so that their placing on the roofs became unacceptable. That is why the image of a bull/cow is now absent in the appearance of the North Russian dwelling. Yet the traces referring to this subject matter survived in folk culture reminding that the house was once designed in view of this topic. This approach makes it possible to consider the North Russian hut in the context of zoomorphic code and to determine the reasons for emerging of its distinctive features relating to horned animals. It also allows to define semantics and genesis of the fantastic ornitho-zoomorphic images observed in the folklore and national dialects, rites and arts and crafts.


hut, tradition, amulet, image, deer, elk, bull, cow, bird, totem.


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