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Current State of the Traditional Worldview in the Cattle-Breeding Activities of the Belarusians

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The authors of the publication:
Sivurava Liubou
p.:
88–94
UDC:
398.34(476)"20"
Bibliographic description:
Sivurava, L. (2021) Current State of the Traditional Worldview in the Cattle-Breeding Activities of the Belarusians. Folk Art and Ethnology, 1 (389), 88–94.

Author

Sivurava Liubou

a graduate student at the State Scientific Institution Centre for Studying Belarusian Culture, Language, and Literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus

 

Current State of the Traditional Worldview in the Cattle-Breeding Activities of the Belarusians

 

Abstract

In 2013–2014, a written survey was conducted on the topic Traditions, Customs, and Rituals Related to Keeping and Caring forDomestic Animals. The purpose of the study is to identify the features and trace the evolution of the traditional worldview in the cattle-breeding activities of the Belarusians. 372 respondents from 65 districts of all six regions of the Republic of Belarus were interviewed. Among the respondents, three age groups were identified: young people under 30, the middle generation from 31 to 49, and elders – 50 and older.

It is revealed that features of the traditional worldview of the Belarusians have been preserved in ritual practice. Belarusians attached great importance to folk veterinary medicine. Peasants received knowledge and skills of caring for domestic animals primarily from their close relatives.

The number of personal farms in Belarus tends to decrease. This is due to low incomes and high expenses of agricultural production, especially livestock raising. These factors are narrowing the scope of using knowledge, skills, and knacks for caring for domestic animals.

In each new generation takes place an intensive transformation of the traditional worldview. The dynamics of changes is reflected in the loss of knowledge, skills, the contraction of the realm of ritual practices. There occur clear changes in the worldview of young people. The vast majority of youth do not have information on rites of the first grazing of animals. Fewer than half an under‑30 respondents know about the pre-Christmas bans than the older age group.

Knowledge of the productive qualities of domestic animals is gradually being lost. A small number of respondents can predict its reappearance.  No productive rites are performed. Knowledge of ethno-veterinary medicine is declining. The verbal component of animal husbandry practice comes to be passive.

 

Keywords

domestic animals, traditional worldview, folk knowledge, rituals, customs.

 

References

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