You are on page 1of 29

Studies in Old Slavic Religion: "Ubrus" Author(s): Evel Gasparini Reviewed work(s): Source: History of Religions, Vol. 2, No.

1 (Summer, 1962), pp. 112-139 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1062039 . Accessed: 27/10/2012 00:32
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

.

The University of Chicago Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to History of Religions.

http://www.jstor.org

EvelGasparini

STUDIES SLAVIC
UBRUS*

IN

OLD

RELIGION:

On a Sunday of Lent, in the cemeteries of fifteen villages along the river Vardar, in Macedonia, groups of relatives gather around the tombs of their dead. The eldest of the men digs the grave, unearths the coffin, and takes out the bones of a dead person who was buried some years before. The women wash the bones with water and wine, dry them with a white, clean handkerchief, and place them according to anatomic order in a cloth sack so that the skull remains visible above the opening. The bones are then brought into church where they remain during the night. The following day the oldest in the family
* The following abbreviations are used in the notes: EO-Etnograficeskoe Obozrenie (Moscow). FFC-Folklore Fellows Communications (Helsinki). KSIE-Kratkie Soobscenija Instituta Etnografii (Moscow). MaGW-Mitteilungen der anthropologische Gesellschaft in Wien. MGH SS-Monumenta Germaniae historica, Scriptores (Hannover). PA U-Polska Akademia umiej?tnosci (Krak6w). i materialy etnograficzne (Wroclaw). PME-Prace REW-M. Vasmer, Russisches etymologisches Worterbuch (Heidelberg, 1953-58). RSl-Ricerche Slavistiche (Rome). SE-Slovenski Etnograf (Ljubljana). SeZb-Srpski etnografski Zbornik (Belgrade). Sovetn-Sovetskaja Etnografija (Moscow). ZbNM-Zbornik za narodni zivot (Zagreb). Ethnographie (Berlin). ZfE-Zeitschriftfur ZGO OE-Zapiski geograficeskago Obscestva po Otdelennju Etnografij (Moscow). Zivst-Zivaja Starina (Moscow). 112

"Srpski narodni obi6aji u Djevdjelijskoj kazi. as in Macedonia. mostly by the sons for the father and by the daughters for the mother. was even forbidden by the clergy. washed.' The exhumation was also practiced by the Serbs of Gallipoli where the second burial of the bones which had been exhumed and washed took place on the eve of Pentecost. In this case the bones of the dead person who already occupied that tomb had to be exhumed and washed. 65.6 In Slovenia the exhumation is not annual and general." ZGO OE. 97. In the presence of the priest the bones are again lowered into the grave and buried permanently. 67. 50. and XXVII (1903). done only 1 262. Tanovic. N. 315. 4 V. The exhumation and the washing are performed as. 567. 113 . Galipoljski Srbi (Belgrade. when the deceased had been guilty of impiety during his life. "Smolenskij etnograficeskij sbornik. took place when a dying person designated that he wished to be buried in the tomb of a particular relative. In other places the washing is. (1901). 5 M. five. for instance. p. and buried which are found in a grave when after ten years a new grave is dug to bury another corpse.. 62. By 1927 the exhumation po adetu was not generally practiced and was falling into disuse. 29. Kosic. XL (1927). but individual: only those bones are unearthed. The satchel containing the bones was buried in a corner of the grave from which they had been unearthed. "tie them in a handkerchief" (Uvizala b u platok) and lay them in a new coffin. 93. two candles were lighted at the sides of the tomb because two souls were present in the same grave. S. This kind of exhumation and washing of the bones was called po adetu ("according to the custom") and took place four.2 The second burial was an act of piety. 1946).4 Variations of this woman's folk song have been noted in the Ukraine5 and among the Great Russians of the regions of the Volga. or seven years after the burial. N. see also Boranic. 6 N. n. p. op. 2 St. After the bones had been washed.brings back the bones to the cemetery and the relatives take leave of the dead person..3 In a folk song of Byelorussia the widow (as it appears) of a man dead in war laments her lack of wings that would enable her to go and collect the bones of her dear one. p. Dobrovol'skij. n." SeZB. Russkie narodnye pesni Povolz'ja (Moscow. kissing his skull. 3 St. XI. in Macedonia. cit. Another type of exhumation. Kolpakova. by the relatives of the previous dead person. P. "Litviny-Belorusy Cernigoskoj gub." Zivst. ZbNz. and it was not performed. n. 1959). XXIII. 420. not annual or general but individual. XIII (1908). Filipovic. Tanovic. M.

VIII. The skull is buried on top of the other bones or in another spot at the bottom of the tomb. The bones are then wrapped and tied "as one ties a handkerchief (tako kot se ruta zaveze) in a piece of white cloth which is untorn. and is proven to be such. p. 17. Settembre 1958. 286. (Moscow. where the Slavic custom is compared with the double burial practiced in Southeast Asia and in North America. strong. Gorodcov. Mosca." SE. No. ki se ho?e drzeti stare navade" (M.9 and. and "I1 rito protoslavo della 'seconda sepoltura. cit. 9 Filipovi6. 114 . but in Slovenia the cloth is indispensable if one wants to follow the ancient custom.28 feet). at Neverosloboda in the district of Gorochov. VI [1958]. VIII [1955]. "Ku6i pleme u Crnoj Gori. even though the long bones or all of the bones are not usually neglected. two candles are lighted beside the exhumed remains. A. 109-10 (1916). between a half meter and a meter long (1. 7 kilometers (4. reviewing Gorodcov's book in 1916.10Bogdanov. For discussion of burial of the bones in a little box in Montenegro. exhumed and washed. as in Macedonia.. "Sulla forma della 'doppia sepoltura' presso gli Slavi meridionali. cit. according to Zavojko." In fact. in the Middle Ages. 4 (1907). "II rito protoslavo. 225-30. 260 Finnish tombs of which 217 were at inhumation. In some of the tombs at inhumation "the bones and the objects belonging to the deceased buried first had been assembled in a corner of the grave when dug for the second time." SE. The washing might take place in the nearest brook or spring." op. Erdeljanovi6. 1 N. are put in a little box. XXVIII. II [1954]. p. EO. Bogdanov. 236-43). as in Montenegro." RSl. among the Czechs.' Communicazione al IV Congresso Internazionale degli slavisti. VIII [1955]. 93 ff."8 The burial of the old bones "in a corner" (u jedan ugao) of the tomb is a custom to be found among the Serbs of Gallipoli. In nineteen localities the skull is especially washed and wrapped. see Jo. Nos.64-3. to a time earlier than the first contact between the Finns of Murom and the Eastern Slavs (Krivi6i).Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus by women.7 In 1910 Gorodcov excavated at Podbolot'e. Archeologiceskije izsledovanija v okrestnosti gor. Mati6etov. and. "Umita i v prt zavita lobanja pri Slovencev. See also articles by E. Gasparini ("Nota sul rito riesumatorio degli Slavi. Muroma v 1901 g.3 miles) from Murom." RS1. loc. 8 V. and homemade. 10Gasparini. in thirty others only the skull is washed and wrapped." SeZb. 1914). that is to say. 3-42). The oldest of them dated back to the seventh century. pointed out that the custom among the Finns of Murom of putting the exhumed bones found in an old grave together with the new corpse was practiced also by the farmers of the Great Russians of the province of Vladimir. "when they go to dig 7 "Prt predstavja na sebi neko vrednost in terja od tega. Sometimes the skull and the other bones are arranged in two different packages. Sometimes the bones. 11.

If prior to their displacement and emigration the Slavs all had generally practiced cremation. in expectation of the second burial. Cremation among the eastern and western Slavs is probably a recent innovation. especially the skull. If this was the practice. to ich zavernut v etot cholstik i polozat tut ze v jame" (G.. vol. We do not know any case of exhumation and washing of bones in the West. southern.12 Zavojko does not mention the washing of the bones. K. and for the whole problem in general. a theory sustained by ingenious deduction but without a particle of evidence (and how could there be any?) by Polish archeologists and linguists and recently adopted by Soviet scholars. half an arsin long. and it is impossible to say which one of the two was more in use. Nos. Such a backward evolution is unthinkable and has no precedent. 115 . Among the three groups of nations in which the Slavs are today divided (eastern." op. appears as common to all Slavs. op. cit. and in case they come across some bones of one earlier deceased. pp. when the spreading of cremation destroyed it completely. During the pre-Christian era the eastern Slavs had both cremation and inhumation. "I1 rito protoslavo. The practice of the second burial lasted in Europe until the beginning of the Iron Age. it is very probable that the two rites-inhumation and cremation-have combined so that the first came before and then the bones exhumed were cremated. The theory that the Slavs belong to the so-called Lusatia culture. For the secondary cremation among the Mordwinians.14The custom of bringing and keeping the unearthed bones-even for a short time-in a sacred building seems to point to an old domestic custom of keeping the bones. In some villages of Slovenia it was the skull which. they wrap them in this cloth and lay them in the same grave. 13 The double burial sparsely practiced by all southern Slavs and by the Great Russian farmers of the loop of the Volga. Traces of cremation are fewer among the western Slavs. the complex and older manipulation of the exhumed bones. and western). 14 "a Martinj vrh" (see Maticetov. They are also the ones who have best preserved the rite of the second burial.a grave they always take along a piece of cloth. the presence of these 12 "u Neveroslobod.13 In Macedonia the unearthed bones were brought into the church where they remained until the following day. in the same archaic forms of the Miaos in China and of the Hurons in the west of North America. 94). Gorochov u. kogdra idut ryt' mogilu. As far as cremation among the eastern (perhaps also western) Slavs is with second burial concerned. is incompatible with the fact that today it is still possible to unearth remains of the dead in vast regions of the Slavic world. 103-4 [1914]. was brought into the mortuary chapel (a Primskovo pri Kranju) where sometimes there was "a certain vessel" (neka posuda) where the skull was temporarily sheltered. cit. 241-42). This is the in Southeast Asia and practice periodically in some islands of the Indonesian Archipelago where the custom of cremation is due to Hindu influence.. see Gasparini. the second burial among the Finns of the Kama and the Oka. Zavokjo. XXVI. to berut s sobju i cholstik (okolo 2 arsin) v zapas ma to slucaj. obrjady i obycai Velikorossov Vladimirskoj gubernii." EO. "Verovanija. in the house. but the practice of wrapping them in cloth is analogous to the practice among the Slovenians of the Alps. then it would be difficult to explain how they could have come to adopt in the Alpine territories and in the region of the Danube. the southern Slavs are the only ones who do not show any archeological trace of cremation. cto popaduksja kosti preznych' pokojnikov. of the Balkans. either in ancient times or in the Middle Ages or in modern times. and of the Volga.

No. Trudy Inst. utirka).. 189. During meals a towel hangs from the sacred corner to represent the whole apparatus of the sacred corner. A little shelf shaped as a triangle. Kiste. in Bulgaria and Serbo-Croatia (peskir. Ruppertowa.raAtuch).that is. przasnyski. "Die heilige Ilinterecke im Hauskult der Volker Nordosteuropas und Nordasiens. Likewise in Poland (rqcznik. Rank." Wista. though they still face in that direction while reciting prayers. 19 G. ekspedicii 1952 g. Die altslavische Wohnung (Braunschweig. Among the Uniates of the Province of Grodno the sacred corner has lost the icons. In Russia the whole apparatus is called boznica (from bog. a box or something of the kind. V.l9 Among the Setukesi of Estonia the anti-religious propaganda of the Communists has caused the removal of the icons from the sacred corner but has left there the towels (polotency). 756.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus human remains is what conferred the character of holiness to the sacred corner. in the neighborhood of Pirot. Richter. "beautiful. "Etnoloska gradja i razprava iz Luznice i Nisave." krasnyj. V. "pure") and is the corner in the living room diagonally opposite the stove. also perednij. 116 .'6 In Poland and the region of Plock the osobka. In Russia it is called towel (rucnik. "0 szlachcie drobnej inaczej cz4stkowej pow. oltar.-antropol. p.18 A napkin hung by wooden pegs decorates the icons above and at the sides like a ceiling above them or hangs from the shelf like an altar cloth. glorija). It is called "sacred corner" (in Russian. Among the western Finns and the Byelorussians the Lutheran and Catholic influence tends to eliminate the cult of the icons." SeZb. 17 T. Etnografii. 1910). which now simply hang from the walls of the piihasenurk. XVI (1910). Rhamm. in Slovenia (prt). the picture of the Virgin (Matka Boska Sk?pska) is laid "on the dresser upon a retable. Plock. fixed to the walls of the corner. rubac). or simply handkerchief (platok). "anterior. Lade. sustains the icons which must never be hung but always propped. 65-66. made of embroidered sacred corner. Nikolic. The common Slav name is obrus or ubrus. the In Estonia often only the towel." FFC. 20 E. 137 (1949). XXIII (1954). svjatoj ugol or svjatoj kut. the icon of the eastern wall in the room in which was celebrated the so-called slava (the feast of the patron saint of the family or of the clan) is often framed in a little cabinet which also holds the incense. gub. 16. 16 Gr. "Itogi etnografiteskoj raboty sredi Setu. Baltijskoj etnogr.20 15 K. This napkin has no definite name." Mater." or cistyj. 18 V1. p. a word which suggests a kind of box or little case. etc. 123. "God") and the altar is called kiot or kivot. in REW. cloth (polotence).'5 In wealthy homes the icons are to be found on a small altar (in Slovenian. KYoer6s. II (1888).""7In Serbia.

Vurnik. The ubrus appears to be the constant and constitutive element of the apparatus of the sacred corner.linen with ends that hang down from the shelf... which from the East through Czechoslovakia. Poland and Slovenia) without regard to the placement of the stove. Geografia Maksimov." in M. op. Gladyszowa. St. 123. kult. p. The ubrus which in the territory of Ampezzo covers the Crucifix like a festoon in the sacred corner (autopsia) tends to disappear in German territory. 386. Malinin. 2 (1956). The Setukesi call it "the cl(th of the spirits" (piihase rdtt). in Silesia. materialnej. L.21We shall see later that in Southeast Russia also. Zyrians. m Slovakia. 16."Sovetn. Silesia. op. Kurpianskaja. 1892). Jumalanurk. p. Kwart. cited above). No.. 386. Zespoloweetnograficzne hist. p. The sacred corner is neither the only nor the most important Slavic cultural element which during the Middle Ages apread from Germany toward the East and Southeast as a German element. IX (Warszawa. see M. Dubiel. This variation in the place of the sacred images (icons) can be noticed sometimes also in Catholic countries (e. cit. "Wierzenia Mazur6w. Izhor. eks. 25 S. "Wewngtrze domachlopskiego w Beskidzie 6lsskim w latach 1860-1960. Belorusv Poles'i. 26For the presence of the sacred corner among the Mazuri. 23 p. p. 2 (1958). remains to signify the sacred corner. in Slovenia. 24A. In Poland near Krak6w. M. 13. 2 (1957)." PME. Balt. 208.No.24 In the Italian watershed of the Alps (Altipiano dei Sette Comuni and Val di Non) this disposition in opposite corners was introduced in the thirteenth century by Bajuvari settlers. as in some regions of Byelorussia and of the Balkans. I. VI (1892). "Wies Rudawa. or Jumalnurk. "corner of God" of the Votiak. M. cf. the icons were removed but the ubrus remained. 22Rank. . cit. 172. "God's corner". 1908).22 We are indebted to Rank for the most comprehensive study on the sacred corner. p. "Charakateristika Rossii v ocerkach i kartinach(Moscow. Ziloj dom razlicnychetniceskich grupp naselenija Vastcelinaskogorajona Est.p. Le case villereccetedescheveneto-tridentine (Bergamo. T6ppen. Baragiola. Ju. badania terenowe na G6rnymSlqsku. 19. X. and Slovenia penetrates deeply into Germany (Herrgotteswinkel.IV. Also in Slavic countries the stove and the sacred corner may not be opposite when there is no pec (the stove with the built-in oven) but instead an open hearth.g. V. Paavere." Wisia. 793 n. 1887)." Wisla.. SSR (Mat.25 The icons then are usually to be found on the wall opposite the entrance or on one of the walls constituting the corner. 96. "KmeEkahisa Slovencev na juznovzhodnem 117 Rank. St. No. Polaczek. where the complex is not native.26 21 T. and Mordwinians).23The diagonal opposition between the sacred corner and the stove reaches to the Black Forest. without icons."Poezdka v Cexoslovakiju. as a result of Islamic iconoclasm.

" FFC." Wisia. 41. Kolberg. note. Z. I. the Mordwinians.30According to Harva. pp. cit. Chelmskie (Krak6w. IX (1905).29The custom of having funeral reins made of white cloth is shared also by the Ugro-Finns. "Die religiose Vorstellungen der Mordwinen. Kutnowskim. 142 (1952). 28 Toppen.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus On some family anniversaries and festivals the Finns and the Slavs hang other cloths or sheets in their homes. This napkin is then kept spread under the icons for six weeks. No. p. In Eastern Prussia white linen is hung on the corer of the house in mourning "so that from that place the dead Thus the person may without obstacle watch the funeral procession.32The Karelians leave to the church as a gift the poboEju Alp. 793. When.e. 787 and p. i." in V. they make her sit on a sleigh under a white sheet hung as a canopy (L. Dovnar-Zapolskij.3A western Ukraine the bride brings to the husband's house the towel which at the wedding was hung over her head as a canopy (the socalled posad). 27 Rank. "Rossija. IV (1930). 29 D. to acquire the right to join the group of married women. p. Sendrik and M. P. "Raspredelenie naselenija Verchnego Podneprov'ja i Belorusii. The sacred corner appears in reconstructions of the interior of farm houses at the Ethnographic Museum of Belgrade and can also be seen in nineteenth-century engravings in Montenegro. polnoe geografi6eskoe opisanie nasego ote6estva. 81... 118 . 164 (1956). No. in the made of cloth only when the dead person is a woman. 195. 182. But also in Poland when the married women take the bride from her home to force her to "ransom herself" (wkupiny). is personified in the same sheet among the Prussians. VIII [1894]." Etnolog." FFC. "Das Verhalten der Finnen in 'heiligen' (pyhii) Situationen. Sitting under the towel-as under a canopy-is a custom exclusively of the three Russias. 718). and the Russians. later on. According to Rank this custom is common to all Slavic Orthodox. Mordwinians and Russians use reins In fact. On such an occasion the Setukesi hang sheets on both walls of the sacred corner. p. Harva. Semenov. At Bychovska." SPb. 21. op. 1890). op. the Cheremiss. All the Orthodox of Eastern Estonia lay the dying and the dead with the head toward the sacred corner. 180 n.. 249. whether farmers or reindeer breeders. in Byelorussia. 31U. 30 Asko Vilkuna. "Obrzgdy weselne w Szolajdach w pow. the bride goes back to the house of her parents to receive her dowry-a cow or a horse or other animal-she brings the same towel and ties the neck of the animal with it to lead it to her new home. cit.27The Mazuri-Lutherans and Catholics-place the dying on the permanent bench near the sacred corner after the bench has been covered with straw and a white sheet."28 dead person. Lissowski. The same is done among the Zyrians. V. a napkin is used as reins for the horses of the funeral cart. 32 0. The sheet with which the coffin has been lowered into the grave is afterward hung at the house door and it is believed that the dead person stays behind it. who among the Mazuri was staying behind the sheet at the door.

40 F.38 The thaumaturgic value the Polabians of Hanover attribute to the shroud of the dead is attributed by the Croatians of Prigorje to the brus which covers the table at Christmas. 41 D. "Pogrebal'nye obrjady Koreljakov.. 15. I.). A towel is displayed at the window of the house of the dead person also in Slavonia (ibid. I. Tetzner." ZGO OE." ZbNz." KSIE. F. Schneeweis. 1 (1910). 176-78. XXIV (1955). and V. 1944). Rozic. near Chehn. Zelenin." Narodopisje Slovencev (Ljubljana. the Lutherans of Fin33 N. This is done among the Bulgarians of Bessarabia. IV. 512.37In Serbia the cloth from which the shroud of the dead has been cut is put on the roof until the funeral is over. "Pochoronnye obrjady Obonezskago kraja. VIII (1894).42 and during weddings in Moravia and Slovenia.39In western Siberia near Tjumen' at Easter the Great Russians hang great white sheets on their walls on which they pin artificial flowers usually made of silk. For the same custom in Slovenia see B. 16-17. "K istorii Sel'skogo zilisca u narodov Srednego Povolz'ja. "Poselenija i zilisce Bolgar-pereselencev v Bessarabii. Grundriss des Volksglaubens und Volksbrauchs der Serbocroaten (Celje. p. embroidered sheets are hung on the walls not during funerals but on the occasion of great religious or family celebrations. N. 38 E. 37 F. 42 N. Ust'-Nicymskom. 1 (1894). in the region of the lakes. 1927). Sometimes the gift of the cloth to the church is made only when the dead person was the master of the house. p. I (1890). 395. with the cloth which is put in the hand of the dead. Die Slawen in Deutschland (Braunschweig.41in the middle Volga region." KSIE. "Iz goda v god." Zivst. G. Gajsler in Wisia. XII (1907). 43 J.white cloth with which the coffin was covered33and the same is done among the Ukrainians of Biate-Losice.43 On the other hand. p. 385. 35 36 119 . I. No. Russische-ostslavische Volkskunde (Berlin. p. Kurskoj i Cernigovskoj gubernii. Orel. "Slovenski ljudski obikaji. Tjumenskago uezda. Kulikovskij. 43. "Krest'janskie kostjumy v oblasti soprikosnovenija Orlovskoj. Sojatskij. D. this sheet was lowered from the window after the funeral banquet. In Montenegro a piece is cut from it and tied to the hearth beam. cit. "Prigorje. 298-99. XXV (1956). Vorob'ev. Markova. 1902). 39 L.36Among the Polabians of Hanover the shroud is considered to have great therapeutic power and is kept under the roof. 3-4. 320. 186. the Russians also have the custom of putting on display the sheet used to lower the dead into the grave. opisanie krugovorota krest'janskoj zizni v g. No. 34 Kolberg. XIX. 1935). I.40 Towels are hung on the walls at Eastern also in the Province of Kursk. 60. in Russia. Sometimes white. op.35In ancient times.34 Like the Mordwinians and the Mazuri. 295. such festivities are thus connected with the commemoration of the dead." Zivst. 124. Leskov. Zobnin. IV (1894)." Zivst.

except on rare and solemn occasions.45In front of the place where the two benches meet is the only table in the whole house.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus land and Estonia and the Russians of northern Estonia have the custom of hanging sheets or a boat's sail on the walls at Christmas. is believed to be sacred for the same reason would be a hypothesis without foundation if we did not know that a napkin or a towel is used. VI (1892). 120 . The function of the table is more religious than domestic.. It is quite clear that the sheets used to decorate the walls at Easter and Christmas are nothing but these very shrouds. he would be stricken by a grave misfortune. cit. 47Rank. cit. and the Russians would run the risk of dying in their sleep if they slept with their feet in the direction of the sacred corner. pp. this traditional position of the table is also kept. We have here no longer. to clean and wrap the skull and the bones of the dead. if one dared to sleep on it he would be bitten by snakes . To imagine that the ubrus. pojgciachi praktykach ludu naszego. "to meet.op. it is believed.REW." Wista. "Waz w mowie. Sometimes the towel of the sacred corner is hung next to the big sheet as if they want to stress the similarity of this display of sheets to the daily hanging of the ubrus. op. This large cloth has become holy and powerful by its contact with the deceased. 26. The bench near the sacred corner is a "bench of death. Thence the name sutki for the sacred corner which is used in the neighborhood of Novgorod (from so-tika and tykat'. 213.46 among the Setukesi of northeast Estonia it is believed that if one slept on the table or even on the bench that goes along it. permanently hung over the icons." "to collide").."47 In Polesje the table is covered during the whole day with an ubrus 44 Rank. 51. In Slovenia it is not used as a dining table. The table of the sacred corner should not be profaned. a little napkin or towel sufficient to wrap the bones or the skull of the dead. Majevskij.44 The sheet on which a dying person lay or the shroud in which the corpse has been wrapped is therefore put on display during and after the burial. Whenever among the Slavs and the Germans the custom of the sacred corner is kept. In Poland. even today. 46 E.p. but the sheet or the shroud of the deceased. The sacred corner is where the permanent bench which runs along the long wall meets the bench along the short wall of the izba. 122. as in the case of the ubrus. Usually family members eat sitting here and there on the benches and hold their plates in their hands. 45 Vasmer.

"5' In Slovenia the poprtnik (from prt..49 The custom of keeping a loaf of bread on the table is common to all Polish. pp. From this contact with the bread the Christmas brus acquires healing powers. No. where at Christmas straw is spread over the table which is then covered with a plahta. This keeping of the bread 48 E. 1957). 60 Z. Byelorussian. 124. V [1891]. "Poprtnik. see Russian port) is the Christmas bread covered with a cloth or with a tablecloth." SeZb. 569. 223-39. Proischozdenie i istorija Belorusskoj svadebnoj obrjadnostz (Minsk. cit." Wista. 192. and. 52 M.48 This loaf of bread must always be on the table except when someone lies down on the bench near the table or when the housewife sits down to spin near the table.53 The inseparable relation between the bread and the ubrus appears in Croatia. 468. 170. M. Gloger considers the presence of this loaf of bread as an ancient tradition common to all Slavs. Nikol'skij. as a blanket. "Polesie rzeczyckie. 289-99. the girl secretly first spreads the cloth on which the bread of the Troica was laid and then covers it with another larger cloth. "Wies Komarowicz w powiecie Mozyrskim.on which a loaf of bread is placed. op. Maticetov. a cloth which can be used as a tablecloth. Bug. 55N.e. Gloger. "cloth". During the three days in which the bread is on display all the members of the family have to be present in the house. 121 . Milosavljevic. and Narva rivers. VI-VII (1953-54).55 In Finland the bread baked on All Souls' Day is called "bread of the ghosts" (jolu-kak) and it is kept till springtime. Sometimes the "bread of the ghosts" is eaten at Easter. 3 (1905). etnogr. V (1891). a loaf of bread must always be on the table. 51 "S swigconymi grubymi obrusami" (Wi.50In Poland proper. For this reason when the young man comes to "see" the fiancee." PAU (Prace kom.54In Russia girls believe that the cloth used in the social meal called Troica (one among the annual commemorations of the dead) has the power to capture the affections of the young men. VII (1928). Matiketov's study on the poprtnik of Slovenia originated the idea for the present study of the ubrus. Matlakovski. on the Pilica." Wisia. VI.52In Serbia. a napkin smaller than the plahta). But the bread cannot be laid on the plahta: over it a brus is spread (i.). even as a skirt. in other places. 754). 49 Cz. "Na falach Bugu." Wisia. p. in the region of Prigorje. 54 Rozic." SE. in the region of Omolje. "Dyngus i smigus. Pietkiewicz. and upon that the bread is laid. at Easter during the meal the bread is covered "with large holy napkins. IV (1890). The loaf of bread is always "covered with a napkin" (obrusem przystonifty). 315. and Ukrainian villages situated on the Vistula.. Jeleniska. "Srpski narodni obi6aji iz sreza Omoljskog. 53 S. M.

pp. "Das Haus der Slovenen. No. 177. 297). cit. XIII (1914). 34. predanija. V.57 The custom of covering the Christmas bread with a cloth is found also in Finland and among the Swedes of Estonia. 122 . Mordovskaja svad'ba (Moscow. 350). XII (1905). 70-71. cit. 3 (1905).. 69M. prehistoriques. pp. Tomic. Grundriss. Rantasalo. I. F. op. op. 1880). cit. Sumcov. [Moscow. 17. "Zapiski etnograficzne z Ropczyc. Russians. originally of the founder of the clan) is kept until the day of plowing.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus is not customary among the Germans. 60 Rank. III. "Skopska Crna Gora. XXXVI [1906]. Glasnik semaljskog Muzeja [Sarajevo. among the Poles of Lublin (O. "Zasciankowa szlachta polska w Delejowie. among the Serbs of Bolievac (E. obrjady. Kolberg. and Serbs. and in general among all the southern Slavs (<. Lud XVI. Murko.. 88-89. 1897)." Lud. 1883]. op. and B. et d'anthrop. 125. The Karelians decorate the bread with two strips of pastry in the shape of a cross and keep it over the icons. 103. 137.58The Mordwinians do the same with the nuptial bread. ego obyEaj. p.59In Estonia a part of the daily bread is put in the drawer of the icon cabinet. 50. Jo. among the Slovenians (M. Lubelskie [Krak6w. 1885]. 138). 272). cit. p. 330. Milosavljevic. p. 62 The wheat is crushed in the mortar for the ritual bread among the Poles. Saloni. Contributions a l'ethnographie prehistorique de la Russie centrale et du sud-est (Congres intern. 17). 68 Rank. 25. 61 The ritual bread is unleavened among the Mordwinians (Harva. 63 "Na pamiatke ze przodkowie mlyn6w nie mieli i tluczonem ziarnem ugotowanem musieli sig zywic" (A. 106. 1959). Delines. "Etnoloska gradja iz Luznice i Nisave. M. 32 (1920). 65. 308. cit. pp. 79. 8). op. Chleb v obrjadach i pesnjach. see I."63 The use of ritual bread therefore came before the use of leaven and of millstones. as well as the potter's lathe. Smirnov. Sulisz." PAU Materialy. 57Sv. Orel." SeZb. Kulisic. p. d'arch. Nikolic.." SeZb." FFC. 468. sueverija i poezja (Moscow.62 near Stanislawow. N. M. IIe Session. op. "Der Ackerbau im Volksglauben der Finnen und Esten. Porijeklo i znacanja bozicnog obradnog hlijeba u juznih Slavena. Schneeweis. I. Char'kov (1885). p. Zabylin." MaGW. p. XVI (1910). 64The absence among the Slavs of millstones. The inclosing or covering of the bread can be very simply explained as a way of keeping dust away 56A.. the Voti wrap it in a linen cloth and put it in the drawer of the cabinet that holds the icons. a custom which is found also in Moldavia in regard to the blessed bread.56 In southern Serbia one of the three loaves of bread used during the Slava (the feast of the patron saint. VI. No. p. 1953].. 61. and the flour is crushed in a mortar and not milled.60 The custom of ritual bread is very old since the bread is unleavened61 In eastern Galicia. is a very remarkable cultural peculiarity. Russkij narod. M. the flour for the Christmas porridge (kutja) was crushed in the mortar "in remembrance of the ancestors who had no mill stones and were compelled to live on crushed and boiled wheat. p. Evsev'ev. Russie (Paris.64 This bread is generally kept covered with an ubrus or placed in the drawer of the icon cabinet. 121.

Before the funeral procession starts the lady of the house goes three times around the coffin carrying this stone and then lays it down in the sacred corner under the icons or throws it into the street. on the day of the funeral commemoration. Okolica zadniestrska (Lw6w. Kovenskoj gubernii. 146. Lugduni Batavorum.66 In Lithuania there is a custom of putting a loaf of bread in the place where the dead person lies to prevent other deaths. the widow sleeps with the pillow of the dead husband. "Litovskija sueverija i primety v Savl'skom uezde. see Wisia. 67 A. op. on the Rama River. p.68 In Bulgaria they put a stone where the corpse is and keep it there for three or forty days. between the Stryj and the Lomnica. "Der dreissigste und vierzigste Tag im Totenkult der Indogermanen. asking his shadow to lie with her for the last time. 69 K. 1811). a stone wrapped in a white cloth is put under the icons. 235. p."74 On the commemoraop. S. during the forty days following a death. 346. No. cit.. XV (1906). II.71 The relation between the pillow and death can be more clearly seen in the custom of the Mordwinians of Kozlovska who lay the coffin on the table and then cover it with a table cloth. 113.72 Even now in Bosnia. Mordwinen. Holmberg. folklora (Sarajevo." Zvist." Bilten za proucav. 71U. p. Mordwinen. (1893). but the interesting fact is that the covering appears to be more important than the thing which is covered. 255.. Filipovic. 399. Jamalajtis. pp. 123 . 61 (1926). 70Harva. p. In the province of Kaluga. and they light a candle in front of it morning and evening. Ranke. 68 I.67The same custom occurs also in Galicia. 1953).from it. VII 65 Zelenin. 1630). FFC.73 In the seventeenth century "mortuo etiam cervical substernunt. 73 M.69The Mordwinians of Kardaflej (district of Gorodis'e. they say that this action has for its purpose keeping the living in good health. In the province of NiinijNovgorod this stone is put near the bolster of the deceased person or sometimes (as in the province of Olonec) even near his head. 35. 74 Epistola ad D. 140 (1951). 51-52. since sometimes something which is by no means edible is covered with a cloth. 325 66 Kulikovskij. 72 Harva. 53.70Among the Cheremiss. they put a stone as a pillow under the head of the dead person.sicca terra refertum. "Razli6ita etnoloska gradja iz Rame.65 In the villages around the Onega. Lubicz-Czerwifiski. I. cit. "Die Religion des Tscheremissen. Davidem Chytraeum (Respublica Moscovia et urbes." FFC. province of Penza) on Easter night cover the table with felt on which they lay a pillow wrapped in a white handkerchief. No. 103.

VI (1892).7 In Poland (Radom) it is believed that cabbages form their heads on Saint John's feast.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus tive feast of a dead person the Ostiak of Irtyg put one of his pillows in the place where he died. but it is a fact that when the Ukrainian women plant cabbages they cover them with a vase.76 Through the bread of the Lithuanians.77On the same day it is forbidden to cut cabbages and potatoes. the Russians. above all. Gajkowa. Kazania sredniowieczne (Rozprawy PAU Widz. I. p. Meyer. "Kultura spoleczna okolic Hor i Potylica. P.82In the Middle Ages popular prejudices forbade. 64. 74. Briickner. they put white stones in the fields. in general. No.81 God only knows how cabbage. cit.. cit. through the pillow of the Cheremiss. op. apples. and. Karjalainen. A. Moszyiski. 441. 9 (Krak6w." Lud slowianski. Toeppen.cf. and the Poles. in order not to offend the memory of the beheaded saint. 76 0. and ubrus came to be associated. "Rzut oka na zycie koscielne Mazur6w. St." ZGO OE. 1895). pp. lohanni irreverrencjam irrogare. credentesper hoc S. stone. In Russia they fill a pillow with chips from the coffin." FFC. 124 . 79L. Fontes Religionis slavicae (Berolini. and put a white handkerchief over the stone. 116. 83 A. I (1929-30). Lissowski. No.80The same custom is present among the Mazuri. the Mordwinians. Kalinskij. p." Wisia.. VII (1877). sew it on three sides. VI (1892). the Slavic bread covered with the ubrus appears again to be connected with death and more exactly with the head of the dead. 1957). 923. Tokarev."s8 In Estonia bread and head are related both in popular beliefs and in sagas: it is said that men who delay after sunset in the sauna (the 75K. "Sob6tka. 665. 78 I. 139-40. John the Baptist: "Alii non comeduntde capite animalis. potatoes. 724. can be associated with the head: in the province of Vladimir eating fruits of round shape is avoided on the eve of Saint John's feast because such fruits recall the head of the beheaded saint. 323) 77 Zavojko.75Near Rava Ruska they put in the coffin the hay which was spread in the sacred corner on Christmas Eve. 41 (1921)." Wisia." PME. the stone of the Russians and the Bulgarians. H.. 81 M. 82 S. F. II. "Cerkovno-narodnyj mesjaceslov na Rusi. "Spor i sparys. eating the head of animals. 1931).79 Sometimes the cabbage is associated with the stone: when the eastern Slavs want their cabbages to grow hard and white. 51. Religioznye verovanija vostocnoslavjanskich narodov XIX nacala XX veka (Moscow. VII (194849). filol. C. etc. and a pillow. 136. p. op. the Ostiak. but also cabbages. and put it under the head of the dead person (Zelenin. Not only the bread. a white cloth. 80 K. put a stone on the vase.. "Die Religion der Yugra-Volker. turnips.

it is no doubt associated with it."84 But the simple remembrance of a severed head. Bogatyrev. Gerasimov. 1940). podpol'e). "La conservazione delle teste e i costumi con i quali si connette. and comes back home. Simonenko. 1. they immerse the Christmas bread three times in the water." P. Slovakov." Is it from this usage that the custom originated of washing the icons one or more times a year? Even if the washing of the "bread skull" is not at the origin of this custom. K. 1949). 83. pp. 238. 88 Tanovic.. because miraculous effects are attributed to the water used in the washing (as to the shroud of the dead) and the water is given to the sick to drink. op. VII.Finnish bath) set over the scaffolding a "foreign bread. dries it with a towel. 64. and the following day their heads could be seen on the scaffolding instead of the "foreign bread. F. near the sacred corer. beneath the sacred corner. coconuts are now hung.88 84 0. Poljakov i Ukraincev. 91. 1955). Italian trans. In the Solomon Islands the scalps which in the past were used to decorate the skulls of the dead are now laid on coconuts. Le razze e le civilta dell'Oceania. VIII. where formerly the enemies' skulls were put on display in front of the houses. Loorits. One could conclude that among the Finns and the Slavs bread has become the substitute for the skull. Pinza. see M. Der heilige Georg in der russischen Volksiiberlieferung Estlands (Berlin. II cannibalismo. Memorie della Societa geografica italiana. For discussion of the water used in washing the icons as a medicine for the sick. In the province of Vladimir the water used to wash the icons is poured outside the izba. these laggards were beheaded and devoured by the ghosts of the sauna.. "Materialy po narodnoj medicine i akuserstva v Cerepoveckom uezde. 170. No.87 The custom of washing icons is not unique to the Finns and the Russians but is found also among the southern Slavs: in Macedonia icons are washed for the Easter Procession. 87 Zavojko. cannot explain some strange handlings of the Christmas bread in the region of the Carpathian Mountains: on Christmas Eve morning. Battaglia. Loorits. Biasutti. vytiract polotencom i idet domoj" (I. Le razze e i popoli della terra (Torino. "when people go to draw water. 282. 44. 2 (1898). p." Of old. "Byt naselenija Zakarpatskoj oblasti. Grundziige des estnischen Volksglaubens (Lund. III. No. But also the vessel for the water used to wash a dead person is buried below the izba (pomost."85 According to another custom. I. No. "Polazenik u juznych Slavjan. 168. 125 . p. 2. 419. as has the coconut among the people of the Southern Seas (see G. III. "washes it three times. even a saint's head. op. Novgorodskoj gub. cit. R. 86 "Tri raza obmyvact. Mad'jarov. in R. (Torino. E." Sovetn [1948]." Zivst. Volhard. the head of the family takes the Christmas bread and." Lud slowianski (1936). see 0. cit. to zanurjujut chlib tri6i u vodu. 83). 85 "Insi ja nacerajut vodu. II.."86 The bread which is put in the sacred corner under the ubrus is thus truly a "washed skull. In Central New Guinea. For discussion of the washing of the icons in Estonia. 145. 1949). p. going to a nearby brook.

p. but to see it in a dream "brings the news of an imminent misfortune" (znacit skoruju pecal'). 1932). 159. op. Mansikka. 1891)." Lud. bread-skull. 408 ff. which is given to the sick to drink and used to conjure the dead. 15. C. "Poslovicy." II. Jakovlev. This seems to be proven by the Muscovite custom of making dying people drink water or brandy in which relics have been immersed. cit. 940. this bread also. some of them religious.. "Chleb. . 97Th. Quellen.. a word which means "rising ground." SeZb. I. Ostrogozskago uezda.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus In Poland. There are no Slavic weddings without bread." the mound of a tomb (tumulus). Kolberg. XXII (1921). 134. pogovorki. 1666).96 a weird premonition quite understandable if one remembers the equivalence.92It is forbidden to say indecent words while the bread is being mixed. 266. Olearius. 96Sumcov. Rites et usages nuptiaux en Ucraine ("L'Anthropologie. 88. Hentze. p. Tartarie et Perse (Paris. krylatye slova i pover'ja sobrannye v Slobode Sagunach.93To lay the bread upside down on the table would be like being disrespectful toward it. 134. the water used in washing the bread becomes in some way blessed: the woman who bakes the bread washes it and with the water sprinkles the corners of the room to give peace to the soul of the housewife who." Zivst. Chelmskie (Krak6w. 80. like the Christmas bread.94 To sit on flour is "to kill the bread hitting it in the head. p. songs. XV (1906). 93 I. II. p. Volkov."95In the Ukraine they say that "the bread is at the head of everything" (chlib usemu holova). pp.89 The belief is that this water. M.97The exchange of loaves of bread between the families of Mleczko. 91Sumcov. 88.. forehead. before her. 11-12. "Zivot i obicaji narodni u Kragujeva6koj Jasenici u Sumadiji. p. 90A. X (1904). has baked bread in that same stove. acquires its power by coming in contact with objects associated with the dead. The baking is accompanied by ceremonies.90 The shapes and names used for the bread recall in some ways the head and the burial: in northern Russia the bread is called celpan. however. Relation du voyage en Moscovie. 168.. Though it is difficult to distinguish the nuptial bread of the Slavs from the nuptial bread of the Indo-European people (panis farreus) and from the Eucharistic bread. 95"Ubicie hleb u glavu" (Je. under it hang two empty and colored eggs. 92Ibid. 126 89 T. cit. 1891). op. and head. some erotic and not always easy to interpret. etc. is wrapped with care in the ubrus. Mythes et symboles lunaires (Anvers.91The bread used in the Troica has the shape of a man's cap and is provided with male attributes. p. Pavlovic. pp. and endless rites.

op. 65. cit. 101 p..99In other instances the elder godfather (starosta) enters the izba carrying the bread over his head and the godmother comes to meet him carrying two lighted candles. 239. op. cit. etc. The godmother (svaxa) comes to meet them carrying another lighted candle. cit. 193. Fischer. cit. Materialy do kultury spolecznejG6ralisl4skich. 80.104 With the bread they strike the head of the newly married (xlopajut po temeni) or the bread is carried several times around their heads (obxodjatvokrugich golovu). In contrast to Sumcov. 108 109 Sumcov. 121. Siewifski. the Mordwinians repeat this action three times. op.108The bread is kissed and called "master. Malicki.pp. Nikol'skij. 104 106 106 L. Zelenin. P.Lud polski (Lw6w. and many other Slavic countries the bread is placed upon the heads of the newly married. p. von Schr6der. 147. 1887]. 1888). op. p.Lud [Radomskie. the exchange of bread. 100 Ibid. A. XX. p." Lud slowianski.. 127 ."'09Also among 98 See D. 161-62.98 In Byelorussia the groom's bread is brought to the bride's house with great solemnity. 107Sumcov. "Une ancienne coutumede mariage. 242.102In the Ukraine and Bulgaria the bread is covered and garlanded with flowers. 253)... 62-63.103 The folksongs say that it is encircled by a golden ring. and the flames of the two candles are united in one single flame. op. cit. p. p.'05 In the Ukraine they strike with the bread only the head of the bride. Zelenin states resolutely that the nuptial bread is Orthodoxand Byzantine." Lud. "Gospodar"(Sumcov.).. 307.. 102 Gajkova. 122. 67. op. cit.106 In Slavonia. and the Greek Catholics of Finland do the same. This statement is inexact. op. 116. p. pp. III (1936)..p. 99 Nikol'skij. 103 Nikol'skij.. L. Sumcov. cit.the bridegroom and the bride is so important that in Bulgaria the wedding is called mona. Kolberg. 177. op. Orel. pp. cit.. p. 0. Galicia. Slavs.."PME.Die Hochzeitsbrduche der Estenund einigeranderen finnischugrischenVolkerhaften (Berlin. X. p. 1926].107 The Slovenians dance carrying on their heads a vase or a jar (perhaps a meaningful alternative). pp.. Ukraine. It is placed in a cart together with a big candle which is lit when the two god-fathers take the bread down from the cart and into the bride's house. p. cit. 98. B89. VI [1947].101 Sometimes the candle is set on the bread itself. 309. 51.. Caraman. 275. 124-25 Ibid. op.100In the Ukraine two candles must be burning near the stove while the bread is being baked. cit. p. 127. 64. pp. 298. op. and later the newly married couple must go around the bread each carrying a candle. 1904. "Opis wesela w Liskach. Sumcov. as are others by the same author: the nuptial bread is found also outside the Orthodoxarea (in Lithuaniaand Slovenia) and its presencein Poland is well documented (see A. not common to all because Poles and Czechs know nothing of it.

"Yugra Volker. 1944]. XXXVIII. Pletersnik. La religione dei Lolo [Milan. in a private dwelling without furniture is typical of the custom of the second burial. cit. No. Piprek. "na klinu visi vrtanj" (Ju. 187. and exactly at a man's height over the bride's head? Was this perhaps in the past the usual way of keeping the bread in the house before the adoption of the table allowed it to be kept there as the loaf of hospitality or as the Eucharistic bread? Hanging a venerated object."0 Candles. op. In Slovenia a loaf of bread shaped like a braid or as a ring (thence the name vrtanj) hangs in a towel from a wooden peg over the head of the bride. among the Lolos the bundle made of bamboo or of wool cloth or of bark and kept in the house is believed to be the seat of the souls of the dead." Lud.. . op.. Bozi6evic. p. 297. smrt u Beli Krajini. see Kulisic.. p. kovrtac of the slava in Bosnia).. op. p. Baessler-Archiv. 116 Jo. 116 The Lolo Kans of the Tung-cinau Prefecture (Jiinnan) cremate and keep the bones in a box which is on permanent display in the house (L. According to Loorits. Haberlandt." ZbN?. p.l2 In the region of Prigorje the vrtanj hangs from a similar peg. Buschan. op. the hanging from the ceiling of a basket containing 128 '11 J. 241." in G. and kisses remind us more of a funeral than of a wedding.. p. wrapped in a cloth or put in a container. Miller. III [1913]. "Die Volker Chinas. p. 113. veliki zenitovanjski kola6 ki navadno visi nad nevesto. No. which the Chinese regard as ridiculous. 65. 1914). garlands. cit."6 110 Evsev'ev. XIII (1907). cit. 29. Slawische Brautverbungs. Illustr.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus the Mordwinians the newly married light candles and kiss the bread."3 In the Bela Krajna at the end of the ceremony the bride takes the bread down from the peg and gives it to the boy who is put on her lap as an augury of male children. 648). 103. cit. pp. 195) or they cremate and bury the bones." ZbNz. Vannicelli. II. svatba. 113 Rozic. 92. but it is usually a skull or some bones which have been exhumed and then cremated or a symbol of such remains kept as a relic. for kovrtanj. Volkerkunde [Stuttgart. p. Slovar: "vrtanj.und Hochzeitsgebrauche (Wien. 44. 2 (1932). Karjalainen points out that such bundles connected with spirits are to be found in the houses of the Ainus and occasionally in Siberia as far as Obdorsk." 112 Tomic. but keep a basket in the house and believe that the soul of the deceased person is contained in it (M. XV [1910]. Beitrage zur Ethnographie der Lolo.l5 Why must this bread of the southern Slavs be hung upon the wall. 50). cit. 1923]. Orel. 114 L. 468. op. 39).. 47." FFC. "Obi6aji u Susneyu selu u Cakovcu. Golobic. "Porod. 208. Karjalainen. From this bundle. In Indonesia bundles completely analogous contain human remains (K. According to Miller. Schnaider.lll In the region of Skopska Crna Gora it is the head of the family who hangs the vrtanj on a special peg (vesa go na esker na to narocito odrecen). the name "Lolo" seems to have come (H. "Lud peczeniiynski. p. ibid.14 In the western Ukraine (Peczeniiyn) the loaf of bread is carried on the shoulder and wrapped in a napkin by the bride's sister. F. it is also calledfanjak.

107)."Opis wesela w Liskach. Krylatyeslova (Moscow.123 Nikol'skij certainly did not know to what extent the "matter" of that bread belonged to the ancestors. p.It should not be forgotten that according to the Chronicle of Kiev some tribes of the eastern Slavs (the VjatiJi) used to keep cremated bones in small vases. 123 Ibid. op. 22.n. 64." RS1. Harva. p. "Bestattungsformen in Ozeanien. op. 296). Maksimov. 1 [Lund. A. Colbacchini. "Die religiose Vorstellungender altaischen Volker. 56. Sokalskim.1075-79) or to a pole inside the house (A. 251. 746-48. 1907). 251). 330-31). "mourns and cries the entire evening. When inhumation came to be adopted.118 During a Polish wedding at a certain moment the bride covers her face with her hands and in that posture bends over to touch the nuptial bread. that is. in Slovenia. Before going to church they must kiss the bread which at the end is placed on the analoe. 312. 74-75. No. Volkerkunde.p. "Kulturkreisen und Kulturschichtenin Siudamerica. on top of poles along the streets in front of their houses. Australien und Ozeanien ("Illustr. according to Maksimov. because. In the BismarckArchipelago a basket is hung in the house containing the skull of a dead person who has been unearthed (G. pp. Schmidt. Siewiniski.p. cit." ZfE."'21This is not the ritual weeping of the Finnish and Slav brides who are obliged to show their grief in leaving the paternal house.122 According to Nikol'skij a divine ancestor is "materialized" in the bread (bog-predok)and the bride by her weeping "takes leave of the Penates of her clan" (proscaetsja s penatami svoego roda). cit. 121"Pri6ityvaet w placet ves' ve6er" (Nikol'skij.I Bororos orientali "Orarimugudoge" [Torino. on the high stand which also holds up the icons. keeping it so inclined. the unearthed skull was temporarily deposited in a vase. Gasparini."7 According to the same source at Marinj vrh. 75.. ]19 120 0. both the newlyweds must incline their heads upon the bread and cry (poplakat'). Kolberg. "La cultura lusaziana e i Protoslavi.24 the remaindersof the offerings to the dead in Estonia is a vestige of the aerial burial (Luftbestattung). see E. Also the Buriat of Siberia keep the boxes containing the cremated bones on top of poles (U.d. pow. Buschan. But the second burial is not a Luftbestattung and suffices to explain the suspension without recourseto the hypothesis of a suspension of the biers in trees."Lud.. Wolyn (Krak6w. the basket was also buried (Loorits.]. Quellen." FFC." Anthropos.XXX (1953). pp. 122 S. 125 [1933]. The basket containing the exhumed bones is hung to the roof (Colombia) or to the door-posts (Tupis) in South America (W. 124 In Byelorussia (Vitebsk) the daughters accompany the funeral sleigh of the father leaning the head on the coffin and crying (Zelenin. p. cit." II [1923]. 325). 17 Mansikka. Doerr. II.Grundzage. 118 Mati&etov. I (1952). 1951].op.l20In Byelorussia the bride bends her head over the bread and. XLV [1913].. p. 161-62)."9 The same is done by the bride in the Western Ukraine. No. 1955). For a similar customin New Zealand. X (1904). From the comparisonit appears that the arrayingof bones inside the village had the purpose of defending it. 129 .

359. 137 ff. But the Ostiak-Samoyed put a bear's skull wrapped in a cloth in the drawer of the icons. illic imaginem Trigelavi pallio obductam includeret" ("Ebbonis vita Ottonis 133 The idols of the Ugrians and of the Finns are always wrapped in hides or cloths. "Sol'vyEegodskij krest'janin. op. separated from the male sacred corer of the husband's home. Ivanickij.l25 the Karelians and the Votiak do likewise with the Christmas bread. cit. of course. a dis125 Evsev'ev. this is also a Slavic custom. cannot be touched and carried by hands. VII(1893).. 712. In the province of Mogilev.. 294. 129 A. 130 .'13and in eastern Europe it is precisely an icon that the bride usually receives as a gift from her parents. "Wesele Litwin6w Wieloiiskich.130 who has taken residence in the bride's home) and it is not always possible to know what happens to these two loaves. was episcopi Babenbergensis. 127Harva. As one can conclude from the icons. op. Nikol'skij. but is always handled with a cloth.. pp. N. VIII." Wisia. as the Ukrainians do in front of the nuptial bread.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus The Mordwinians keep the nuptial bread in the drawer of the icons We have seen that instead of hanging it over the head of the bride. No. the mother gives a loaf of bread to her daughter so that when she is in her husband's home In Lithuania the she might not be homesick for her paternal home. p. 128 130 131 wrapped in a cloth: "custodiebat simulacrum ita ut. ego obstanovka. 172. cit. cit. while the bride carries an icon. p. 254. 132 Rank. 24 ff. pp. cit. The Manz (Voguls) and the Jenisseiani have the same custom as the Ostiak-Samoyed. op. The idol of Triglav. for instance. 127."MGH SS. and sometimes light a candle in front of it. op. 126 Rank. zizn' i dejatel' nost'.. in the province of Archangel..'27 The various functions of the ubrus in which the nuptial bread is wrapped deserve to be studied because the object contained in the ubrus is not always the same and is less valuable than the ubrus itself. the groom enters the nuptial room carrying a loaf of bread. Orel. Thus in the home there will be two places of cult: the male corner of the father and the female corer of the mother. trunco validissime arboris cavato.128 bride must lay the bread on the table in the groom's house with her own hands. 60. At Sol'vy6egodsk. cit.'33In north Russia the bride keeps her icon in the so-called culan.II. 13. 1 (1898).129In Slovenia the godmother does this instead of the But there is also a groom's loaf (probably that of the husband bride.l26At Samodurovka the Mordwinians put the head of a bull which has been sacrificed in front of the icons. or women's corner. as is done in processions." 2ivst.132The icon. Juszkiewicz. 822). hidden in the hollow of a tree by the Slavs of the Baltic Sea. op. p. p. XII [1846]. Mordwinen.

to wipe. It is not the icon that matters but the ubrus. 287. The ubrus in which the icon is wrapped is more important than the icon itself. 132. In the house of the husband this icon is kept in the boznica together with the polotence. Dobrovol'skij. J. where we find no traces of feminine icons. 171. Sol'vycegodskago uezda. 24 ff. "Vohodja zelajaobresti zdes'scastie"(E.136 The icon is an Orthodox element. "Zwyczajeweselnew opoczynskim.are important becausethey showa separatio sacrorum between husband and wife. 152. 138 Vasmer.pp.137 The name ubruscomes from the Church Slavic br&snoti which means "to skim. Zelenin. but the polotence comes from the ancestral culture. wishing to find happiness in her new home. in the Lud."PME.op. after having given the gifts of cloth (cloth=money) to the guests. Evsev'ev. the bride who receives land as her dowry or as an inheritance. cit. it. Zivst. 131 .515. and not only her children but also the husband celebrate the maternal slava. 122. For the gift of the icon to the bride see N. juris humani as Justin defines since the Slavic bride does not take the husband's name divini. Dekovski. Du6inskij.VI."Svadebnye uezde obrjadyv Ol'gopol'skom Podol' skoj gubernii.I (1885).p. P. Mordwinen. cult in her husband's home.VI (1896).Rank. G. does not bring an icon." Zivst. foreign to the Mordwinian culture.tinction which appears particularly clear in the religious ceremonies of the Mordwinians. St. [Paris.maleandfemale. 115. N.1952]. v dom. a separation to the Romanand Indo-European concontrary is not a communicatio The Slavicmarriage et ceptionof marriage. The dissociation between these two elements is indicative of the pagan conditions in which the rite was performed. The Mordwinian bride. male and female. p.134 An icon is given as a present to the bride by her parents also at Opoczno in central Poland." Russianhome.A. cit. The Tartar bride of the Nagajbaki. note).). Bekseeva. REW. XII [1902]. These conditions were the same among all the Slavs. but only a polotenceto her husband's house: entering the house she hangs the polotenceon a nail. VII (1948-49)."138 But it is not very likely that a soiled v podgorodnych "Svad'ba volostjach Ordin. to scrape.In Siberiaa doublecult or only the femalecult is handeddown to the descendents Le cultedes idolesen Siberie (see D. anddoesnot joinhis familygroup.but remains on her clan of dependent origin for bloodvengeance Pravdacallson the sonof the sisterto avenge (theRusskaja the murder of the maternal and introduces and maintains her own maternal uncle). "Nagajbaki kre?Sennye TataryOremburgskoj gubernii.. 1 (1896). celebrates her own slava. etc. 35 134 Harva.135In Serbia.op." "LudhrubieZivst. szowski. 68." No. novobracnaja vegaetna gvozdpolotence.. She hangs this polotenceon the icon with which she will be blessed before the wedding.pp. dedicates a towel (polotence)to the ancestors. though converted to the Orthodox faith. The twolocations of the cult. 136 137 J.

An etymological meaning analogous to that of ubrus could also be that of stol. It is highly improbable that the word ubrus from a profane term for towel or napkin. "to stand.139They use it to decorate the icons." Zivst. the cloth or the mat. op. 81. the white ubrus is hung in Finland to the yoke of the horse pulling the funeral cart.140 According to Vilkuna. XIX. Sojatskij. to cover. note. table. Volkskunde. as if the hide had preceded the cloth in this custom." the name stol could also come from stelja. and at wedding processions. dreadful things. and they hang it on the walls at Easter time (in the Starsij Dmitrevskij uezd. on the other hand. Russ. It seems certain that the sacredness of the ubrus comes from a similar contact: it has been used to cleanse and wrap the exhumed bones. because at the cultural level of the double burial we find no use of towels. Zelenin. 1 (1910). 127. the rusnik or rucnik is rarely used as a towel. in places where a child is born. 141 Asko Vilkuna. "to spread. Rank. it is also to be found in cemeteries. 16-17. pp." Thus stol would 139 The Russian housewife wipes her face with the hem of her underskirt (See D. 142 Rank. Its true meaning is unknown. let alone of napkins: such items are unknown even to the farmers of the West. pp. Das Verhalten der Finnen. In fact whether in eastern Europe or in southeast Asia or in northwestern America. 88-89). and not the hides of animals.. "Chrest'janskie kostjumy v oblasti soprikosnovenija Orlovskoj Kurskoj i Cernigovskoj gubernii.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus cloth which has served to clean the hands and the mouth would be kept perpetually in the house as an object sacred to the dead. 313). but it is a living custom in rapport with "delicate and The meaning of the ubrus is no longer a mystery. is associated with the dead. pp. 132 . is inclined to assume that the hides which are to be found in the sacred comer of the Samoyed and other Siberian hunters are prior to the ubrus. as a kerchief for the head. might have come to mean the shroud of the dead. the most important piece of furniture of the sacred corner. Besides the derivation from stojati. op. According to Sojatskij. 180. No.142 But those hides are either offerings as the first fruits with no relation to the cult of the dead or imitations of the cloth used by farmers.. or to the horn of the reindeer or to the prow of the boat. 169-71. In like manner bread is baked when a member of the family leaves for faraway places or when one moves to a new house (see Sumcov. 93-95. cit. 140 D. From the use the Finns and the Slavs make of the funeral shroud we know that the holiness of that cloth comes from its having been in contact with the body of the dead. p."141 but Vilkuna was mistaken if he thought that the ubrus had some relation with the intimate feminine life. province of Kursk) or give it to soldiers going off to war. cit.

p. Lud polski (Lw6w. 879. pokuc (from kat. 398. see Yoshiiya Koganei. kut). 1911]. "Bestattungsweise der Steinmenschen Japans. Ja. could be buried again in situ and replaced with new bones. 1 [Praha. This covering is known also. cemetery.)."'43 from the custom of covering the sacred corner (and then the table itself) with straw. Zivot starych Slovanu. followed sometimes by secondary cremation of the 143 P. and in the neighboring archipelagos of Indonesia. and the Russian pokut." is in relation to the Church Slavic s^-kutati. a hypothesis which is in contrast with the noted "Lusatian" theory of a primordial cremation common to all Slavs." ZfE. Hausgott Penat. Berneker. Granet. in western Europe. The faded and symbolic form in which the remembrance of this preservation appears among the Slavs shows that it is a very ancient custom and that it could have begun to disappear even before the conversion to Christianity. In its authentic forms. p. in the great peninsula of Indochina and Malay. Vasmer. 1943). La famiglia cinese (Milan. REW. Ocerk russkoj istoriceskoj leksikologii. among other things. the Hindu cremation and the Islamic inhumation have altered the ancient customs. 392. But the space of the sacred corner is really too limited to be a burying place for the entire family. Fischer. see A. while it is sufficient as a receptacle for exhumed bones or. "to wrap. L. Niederle. in Tolkovyj Slovar' of Dal'. 395. Cernych. hay. 165. 146 Anthropos. 166-99) 133 . No.147 The second burial is practiced in a large area in east and southeast Asia. in part. 1956). "to bury. 144 Vasmer.146 It is a hypothesis common to almost all the scholars that in ancient times the sacred corner in the Slavic house was a place for burial.145 A quarter of a century ago A. still more conveniently."144In Poland the ghost of the ancestors (duch przodkow) is called.148 In lower India. 1943). sub kot. for part of them which. 145A. corner) and podziomek. Even the word "corner" (Common Slavic kat) seems to be related to the burial since the Russian kutat' (derived from kat. or sand during the family celebrations. 148 For the double burial in China. I. REW. Vannicelli. in E. after they had been displayed for the veneration of the household. 157.crypt. See the Ukrainian pokut'. 147 Though "very rare" (velmi ritke). Closs pointed out that in Asia and Africa the veneration of a corner in the house was associated with the cult of the ancestors. 1926). pp. Slav. La civilisation chinoise (Paris. Drevnerusskij period (Moscow. p. LV [1923]. XXIX (1934). 397. and in ancient times it was more extensive than it is today. and the ethnologists are united in seeing in it a relation to an ancient inhumation of the dead in the house. Etym. pp. there have been cases of archeological findings of human bones in Slavic homes (see L. Worterbuch.mean "a covered place. 369 n. For the double burial in the Japanese neolithic.

continue to make ossuaries in the shape of little boxes of clay 25 centimeters by 70 centimeters (9. de Reinach. La religione 150 A."l'dme de son culte en Indochine et en Indonesie [Paris. deiLolo(Milan."in Buschan. 1951].'53According to Vannicelli.4 inches).1947).Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus exhumed bones and preservation of them. all Catholic converts.8 by 29. Heine-Geldern. p. Le Laos (Paris. tant6t recouverte d'une piece d'6toffe" (J. op. II.VI (1911).60 m.l51 We have already indicated elsewhere the close analogies between the forms of double burial. these boxes are little coffins of terracotta in which the exhumed bones are kept. 153 A. the altar dedicated to the "living souls" is to be found in all houses of the former French Indochina and consists of a lattice of bamboo about 60 centimeters (23.. 9-10.149 Khasis and the Garos of Assam. Vannicelli. n.. cit.). wrapping the bones in a new cloth.pp. the Miaos. "Sumangat."Siidostasien. the upper one being for the male spirits. wachoditsja altar' predkov v vide poloEki ili nevysokogo skcofira. 827. not far from Luang Prabang.l60the Tschams. de large. p. 156 "Une claie d'environ 0. 928. the Quan-laus. op. p. Pered nim-nebol'soj stol i skam'i" (Muchlinov. vchoda u steny. 167L. 129). 131. etnografiUeskie zametki. 152 Gasparini." Anthropos. the natives. Schotter. "V demokratikeskojrespublike V'etnam. 131). p. "I1 rito protoslavo.154These "coffins" are sold to the nearby villages whose inhabitants are still pagan. 1 (1960). the other for the female ones." pp. sometimes covered with a piece of cloth. and IV (1909).152 At Tcho-cha. sometimes bare. 134 156 "Prjamo protiv .6 inches) wide." Sovetn.d. Muchlinov describes the place of the family cult of the Vietnamese as "an altar of the ancestors" which is situated "on the wall in front of the entrance" and consists "of a little board or shelf not too high in front of which are a little table and some chairs.190. J. and they represent one of the most profitable industries of the place. p. "Notes ethnographiquessur les tribus du Kouy-tcheuo. 151 R. who are perhaps the most ancient the Yaos of Kui-ceu.. cit. 188.'56 In Laos the altar of bamboo where the phi of ghosts of the deceased relatives reside has two stories. the Kukis of Tschin. op. 154Vannicelli. the Thai. 188. the Muongs. tant6t nue. the Lolo Man-khuans and Khan-thous of Tonking. the double burial was or still is to be found among the Tung-hu (the ancient Sien-pi)."155 According to Cuisinier. cit. 143. the Annamites. Cuisinier. Muchlinov.No. a village of North Vietnam. among the Tibeto-Burmese of southwest China and that of the southern Slavs. 378. 191.'57 Among the A-khas of northern Laos the vessel containing the spirits 149 L.

22. have no place for the cult at home: their sacra are kept in the bachelors' house. 27. cit. a black or blue cloth. must drink some brandy from a cup and then pass it to her daughter. 175. 6. The "paraphernalia" consists of pipes of bamboo filled with a liquor called htanat. Among all the Khas of Laos the altar has a corner location.162 In the Malay Peninsula the natives have a room for the feasts in which during all the important ceremonies. and carries it to her husband's house as she would carry a child. Scott. 8. 391. the colors of mourning. 160 Nikol'skij. Introduction a l'etude de l'habitation sur pilotis dans l'Asie du sud-est (Paris. W. op. Mass. I costumi del mondo. pp. 261.. 163 W. It is found only in the houses of chiefs and. and she to the guests. 159 E. (Milan.'16 In every Burmese house the seat of the domestic spirit is a coconut which is kept in a bamboo container and covered with a cloth as with a turban. pp.of the dead is a basket which is kept in a corner of the hut ("dans un coin de la case"). XXIV. 10. 30-32. R. dedicated to the nat or spirits. cit. 164. Laos septentrional." in Hutchinson. Deux tribus de la region de Phongsaly. The youngest son is the custodian of the altar (madaidap). Nos.160 According to van Huyen. Every time the cup is passed it must be covered with a white napkin (belym platkom). Italian trans.. Hutchinson. 162 W. op.'63 Among the Khmers of Cambodia this "heaven" is hung from the roof to prevent the dying person from seeing the beams of the house 158 H. 130. Roux. 36.l58 In Burma this apparatus is described by Leach as a box or shrine which is believed to contain the spirit of an ancestor from the recent past. The Mois who have a bachelors' house. "La penisola di Malacca. 34. 1934). 1930). whether funerals or weddings. 38-39. When a girl of the family marries. Political Systems of Highland Burma (Cambridge. among other things. 388. twelve nations of southeast Asia have the institution of the domestic altar. At the parepoj (Great Russian perepoj. she takes a pipe of bamboo from the madaidap. Inside the basket there is. after having given her consent to the wedding. occupies a place in the wall in front of or behind the entrance. wraps it in a shawl of silk. 421. that is. 50-51. 161 Nguen van Huyen. Leach. the drinking ceremony of the engagement) the lady of the house. "Birmania.'59 A ceremony of covering the bride's brandy takes place also in Byelorussia. 135 . I. as in Vietnam." Bulletin de l'kcole Francaise d'Extreme Orient. they hang drapings of cloth on the walls and a colored cloth called "heaven" from the ceiling. 471-76. 3-4 (1925). usually the grandfather of a living person. p. 1954). Skeat.. pp." in W.

and bows deeply in front of it.. 271.."'66 In Burma. When the seven days have elapsed the handkerchief is untied since there is no longer the danger of the leipbya becoming a devourer of corpses. 167 Scott. when a man is approaching death. die Tiicher mit den Verstorbenen darin zusammenbinden." In this way they try to capture the soul of the dead person to prevent him from becoming a bad spirit.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus and thus to help him forget the house. From time to time the handkerchiefs are shaken over the fire so that the dead may detach themselves from them more quickly and go back to the graveyard. convinced that the soul is now contained in it. Then the master of the house takes a long. This sitting is called posad. "The task of the oldest one is that of binding the dead to the handkerchiefs and of depositing them from house to house on the pillows. in the province of Simbirsk. covers the pillow with it. 435-36. At the end the heads of about ten households gather and each of them hands over his handkerchief to the oldest among them. pp. He then brings back the handkerchief in the house. The handkerchief thus bound is hung and kept for seven days between the two poles of the veranda of the house at the left side of the entrance.165 Likewise in the three Russias the newlyweds are made to sit on the bench of the sacred corner on pillows and under the ubrus hung as a canopy over their heads. von Haus zu Haus gehen. 467. Zugleich schiitteln sie das erwaihnte Tuch iiber dem Feuer.. is placed on a mat in front of the dying. Maspero. a piece of white cloth 164 G. op. p. 1938)." as they are called "prince" and "princess" in Russia. the leipbya (literally. 97). 459. Moeurs et coutumes des Khmers (Paris. damit sich die Verstorbenen schneller davon trennen und zum Friedhof zuriickkehren" (Harva. the table in the sacred corner is covered and a pillow placed on it. who is the expert in the ceremony. pp. after the grave has been filled up again. and they must sit under a canopy made of cloth called bersanding. the oldest among the relatives spreads a handkerchief and calls the soul of the dead person. cit.67 In Annam. Poree and E. cit. p. come away with us. butterfly) saying: "Come. 136 . Again among the Khmers a pillow.164 In Malay the newly married couple are called "king" and "queen.. Mordwinen. According to a description by Milkovic. 165Skeat. op.. covered with a piece of cloth. 166 "Die Aufgabe der Alten ist. white handkerchief and carrying it goes to the door to call and invite the dead. After calling the soul the old man ties fast the corners of the handkerchief. namely. during a feast in commemoration of the dead which is celebrated in autumn and at Easter.

Rank made his vast research on the sacred corner of northern and eastern Europe. XI (1897). 322). op. "Obrzgdypogrebowe 'tojmasz' pogan Czeremis6w.172 Skeat calls the similar Malayan cloth "soul cloth. p. cit. Poree and E. Witanowski. south of Krakow.. pp.'69The Cheremiss women. The wider the base of the collected material. 161. the greater were the probabilities of obtaining an exact definition of the custom. Slavs and Czechs spread a piece of cloth on the head of the dead." Wisia. there is the custom of sewing a cap of white cloth for the dead person.'68 According to Sumcov. "La ceremoniede l'appel des esprits vitaux chez this cap is sometimes put in the coffin under the head of the deceased (Zelenin. 172 G. Skeat. at Szkodow. to make any distinction between the customs of 168 A. soul. 556. the relatives tie the cloth in a shape which approximates the human body." Wisla. Maspero. is called duszenka. They believe that the deceased will become a vampire should they fail to do so.is placed on his chest. 17.170Among the Serbs of Lusace. they take the cloth away from the face of the deceased before the actual burial."Wisia."'73 In Poland. 1900). cit." Bulletin de l'Ecole frangaise d'Extreme Orient. 173W. Malay Magic: Being an Introduction to the Folklore and Popular Religion of the Malay Peninsula (London. R. p. he took into consideration most of all the Finno-Ugrian areas and completed the information with material gathered among the eastern Slavs. I." After the person is dead. 161. 673. on the Skawa." in Hutchinson. in the villages of Witanowice and Klodawa.. Cabaton. 169 170 les Cambodgiens. In Russia Russ. made of white cloth. At Klodawa this cap. 171 A. we did not try. Sumcov. put a cloth on the face of the dead person. and Poree and Maspero. 453-54.-Ostslav. Czerny. p. XLV (1951). "Istoty mityczne Serb6w luiyckich. op. VIII (1894). 137 . XII (1898). cit."' In Vietnam the cloth destined to contain the dying person is called "the silk of the soul.174 Both in Burma and in Annam the cloth used in the ancient second burial is associated with vampirism and is used to prevent it. W. and it is called "the white soul. usually relatives of the deceased. as also Rink did not. ten years ago. "Pamiec o zmarlych. The same connection between the second burial and vampirism exists among both the Finns and the Slavs: the dead person whose body does not rot in the grave becomes a vampire. and for one hundred days they handle it as if the soul of the deceased were actually dwelling in it. op. "Indo-cinafrancese. Extending the research to all the other Slavs. 174 M. When.. Anonymous. 492. Volkskunde. 161." The purpose is to capture the dying man's soul in the folds of the silk.

the table is a piece of furniture which originally was not part of the cultural patrimony of the Finns and of the Slavs and perhaps not of the Vietnamese either. Perhaps only one of them can be considered such: the table placed in front of the altar in Vietnam. Lutheran. Catholic as. We have connected this cloth with the other one used in cleansing and wrapping the exhumed bones. but nonetheless meaningful.Studies in Old Slavic Religion: Ubrus the Finno-Ugrians and those of the Slavs. No doubt the common basis which unites Finns and Slavs in the cult of the sacred corner is the second burial. and thus we have been able to pass to southeast Asia. What is left in common in the funeral and wedding rites and customs among the Finno-Ugrians and the Slavs goes certainly back to a pre-Christian era. so between these and the Tibeto-Burmese (supposing that the Tibeto-Burmese and not the Khmers are in secondary position the bearers of the custom) the basis of connection is constituted by the second burial. or Catholic populations. and our research included western and southern Slavs. Poles. and there we have found the same cloth. Not only the fact of exhuming the dead. Rank carefully distinguished the family cults of Orthodox populations from those of pagan. In fact. both in its concrete use (cleansing and wrapping of the bones among the Miaos) and in the custom of preserving it in the home and in the symbolic usage of capturing the soul. but as well the forms of such in138 . Slovenians. not considering (for the moment) the distance in place and culture. Among the elements of the sacred corner we have set apart the cloth which covers the icons as the constant and constitutive element of this place of cult. of which Muchlinov speaks. There are not many forms of this custom as it is present in southeast Asia which can be considered as merely apparently and casually connected with their counterparts among the Finns and the Slavs. it is certain that they received it in forms already crystallized. It appears that the Finns and the Slavs might have derived the funeral rite of the second burial from a Tibeto-Burmese culture or both from a third. and Croatians. Its presence in such a place in eastern Europe and in Vietnam is certainly casual. The abundant parallelism between Finns and Slavs which emerges from the comparison is all the more valuable as it is the involuntary result of the very mechanism of the collection. for example. unknown culture. But no matter whence the Finns and the Slavs received this custom. Very few are the similarities between Finns and Slavs which can be traced back to a common Orthodox influence. As between the Finns and the Slavs.

and in juridical institutions supporting the family. on account of its wide basis in common funeral practices. in the motifs of decoration. but also in the structure of the house. We have chosen the cloth of the dead because. 139 . it has appeared to us as the most suited to attract the scholar's attention. in the agricultural and domestic tools. not only in the funeral rites. The similarities between eastern Europe and southeast Asia are very numerous.humation and preservation and the beliefs inherent in the presence of human remains in the home are the same in the two complexes. in wedding ceremonies.