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Semantic Parallels in Symbolical System of Legumes, Cereals, and Iron in Conceptions of Ancient Slavs and Modern Eastern Slavonic Nations

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The authors of the publication:
Tupchiyenko Mykola
Bibliographic description:
Tupchiyenko, M. (2019) Semantic Parallels in the Symbols of Leguminous, Cereals and Iron in the Concepts of Ancient Slavs and Modern Eastern Slavic Nations. Folk Art and Ethnology, 3 (379), 36–43.


Tupchiyenko Mykola

a Ph.D. in History, an associate professor at Department of Social Sciences, Information and Archives of the Central Ukrainian National Technical University


Semantic Parallels in Symbolical System of Legumes, Cereals, and Iron in Conceptions of Ancient Slavs and Modern Eastern Slavonic Nations



The article is based on the attraction of ethnographic, linguistic and archaeological sources. The author shows convincingly that the symbolism of materials allows to reveal the orientation of the ecological culture of the past ethnic communities. The integrity and consistency of the people’s world-view at various stages of historical development are considered.

The conducted research has shown that the parallels of semantic combinations of peas, cereals and iron in the Ukrainians traditional culture have a multifaceted character, namely: 1) peas and grain crops are identified with iron through identification with the stars; 2) with the universe structure as a world tree represented by beans and cereals; 3) through the comparison of the technology of grain and iron treatment (threshing and rubbing); 4) in the influence of the culinary code of the main myth on the formation of its version – the metallurgical code (in the terms of the metal boiling, the ball dough, lending of bread shape to the bloom); 5) an ability to generate sounds similar to thunder (flatulence, musical instruments filled with peas, iron forging, weapons peal, etc.); 6) in the fairy-tale images of the iron grandfather and irongrandmother living in the peas, iron bread and iron beans, the image of Kotyhoroshko, born from a pea, armed with an iron mace, finally with the expression in the times of the Pea king, used to denote the period of mythological cosmogenesis; 7) Christmas rite to stimulate the fertility of fruit trees – beating them with a sack of peas or an axe. Various scenarios of the cosmogonic act reproduction are realized in this ritual. On the one hand, it is the world creation together with the fruit trees from the iron (broader metal) pea – a star falling from the sky. And on the other hand it is a script of the main myth on the struggle of the Thunderer with his adversary, where an axe is a weapon of the god Hromovyk.

Therefore, on the basis of the given material, one can speak confidently on the genetic connection of two mythological codes of the world creation by demiurge in ancient Slavs –  culinary and metallurgical ones. Despite the fact that the culinary is older than metallurgical and has influenced directly on the formation of the latter.



symbols, culinary code, metallurgical code, myth, peas, cereals, iron, world tree, main myth.



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