Goleva T. G. Meteorological magic of Komi-Permyaks. Occasional ways of influencing the weather (.pdf)


The author considers the meteorological magic of Komi-Permyaks to be a special group of folk beliefs and rituals. Ethnographic field materials are the main sources of the paper. Ritual ways of summoning rain, sun and wind; effecting on storm and hail clouds are described in the article. Among them, there were zaklichki, using amulets (sharp metal tools, oven utensils, consecrated things), covering bathhouse stove with a fur coat and making-up a list of forty bald people. Most of those rituals were easy to implement. They were used directly when the weather was bad and required a quick response. Children’s genre zaklichki were found in Russian and Komi-Permyak language. In their texts, children often called for the sun and drove out the rain. Zaklichki could contain some comic content. Komi-Permyaks changed words in some texts depending on the weather conditions. Those texts are the evidence of folk mythopoetic worldview. Most of the amulets used in ritual actions by Komi-Permyaks symbolized striking weapon or opposite phenomenon (water – fire) or had sacred significance. Statistical analysis was used in the article: the frequency of various ritual actions mentioning was calculated. It helped to clarify what ritual actions and amulets Komi-Permyaks preferred to use. Comparison of statistical data shows that folk traditions were developing. Areal research method and mapping show that ritual actions were unevenly spread on the territory of Komi-Permyak Okrug. The reasons for uneven spread may be borrowing from other nations and different development of rituals in some areas. All ritual actions of Komi-Permyak meteorological magic were held only in summer. The main objectives of rituals were providing favorable conditions for agriculture, protection of a person and a home from lightning, hail, hurricane and whirlwind. In the winter, apparently, there was no need to influence the weather and people were ready and tolerant to cold.


Key words: Komi-Permyaks, folk tradition, meteorological magic, semantic analysis, zaklichki, amulets, «the list of bald people».


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