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Stratum plus. 2015. No.2

A. I. Behr-Glinka (Moscow, Russian Federation)

Domestic Serpents as an Element of European Traditional Culture

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Pages: 17-84

This work is a first attempt to collect and analyze ethnographic, narrative and archaeological material of more than 20 European nations, shading the light on tradition to worship domestic serpents. This study unveils various aspects of this tradition, loci, contacts between serpent, men and cattle, concepts, beliefs, rites and taboos concerning serpent, its functions as a home and family's prosperity patron and a human double. The author also discloses interconnections between serpent and buried ancestors, threshold, hearth, material wealth, grain, female deities, the origins of domovoy (hob), along with taboos (concerning the threshold, the dwelling, the whistle) and customs (feeding Santa or domovoy with milk and cookie), widespread among the European nations. Special attention is paid to the calendar aspect of domestic serpent worship. The time span covered periods from the Neolithic to the end of 20th century. The material collected and analyzed allows a new look on the substance, scope and significance of the studied phenomena, to identify its semantic connections and to outline the path for further studies.

Keywords: Europe, serpent, domestic serpent, grass-snake, viper, domovoy (house spirit, hob), threshold, hearth, oven, intramural burials, human double, the worshiped ancestor.

Information about author:

Andrei Behr-Glinka
(Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences.
E-mail: [email protected]
Academia.edu: https://independent.academia.edu/AndreyBehr

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