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Changing the Chronotope and the Level of Sacralization in the Structure of Maternity Rites Cycle

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The authors of the publication:
Kukharenko Oleksandr
Bibliographic description:
Kukharenko, O. (2021) Changing the Chronotope and the Level of Sacralization in the Structure of Maternity Rites Cycle. Folk Art and Ethnology, 3 (391), 136–143.


Kukharenko Oleksandr

a Ph.D. in Philology, an associate professor at TV Reportage Skills Department of the Kharkiv State Academy of Culture. ORCID:


Changing the Chronotope and the Level of Sacralization in the Structure of Maternity Rites Cycle



The aim of the study is to compare the processes of a chronotope’s transformation while sacralizing the reality during observing the cycle of maternity rites. During researching, it is found that the processes of changing the chronological and topographical frames of rites and the level of sacralization are not identical sacralization ones, however, they are interrelated. While in order to transform a chronotope, the basic actions are its expansion / narrowing, then to determine the level of sacralization crucial are the ones of opening / closing access to the energy of the other world and the latter’s impact on reality during the rites.

The reasons for the need to expand a chronotope are named: the attraction of new territories and new characters to ritual actions. At the same time, sacralization, which is the energy of the other world, affects both the protagonists and the consecration of ritual venues. The sacralization reaches its highest level in the culminating rite of the cycle – christening, when the maximum number of people and the widest territory for the whole cycle is attracted to the action.

The existing structure of maternity rites cycle provides a wide opportunity for their researching; yet, there is also a reverse process – while studying, there is a change in the structure itself, which makes it much more well-organized and more complete. So, essential for determining the episodes in the rite of childbirth are bathing, drying, and swaddling of an infant as the stages of attracting the newborn to the culture of the real world. And the bathing of a puerpera is quite appropriately separated from the bathing of the newborn and highlighted as a separate episode, since the mentioned actions have different natures of action and cannot be contained in a single episode.

Significant steps to grasp the nature of sacralization in maternity rites are the emergence, relocation and elimination of the sacred centre. The latter’s process of creation takes place in a pregnant woman’s apartment during her childbirth. The relocation to a church occurs along with the moving forward of future godparents with a child in arms there. The elimination of the sacralization centre is carried out in the rite of purifying the mother on the fortieth day after the delivery, when she with her child first attends the church.



Ukrainian rituals, familial rituals, maternity rite, structural-functional method, chronotope, sacralization, sacred centre.



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