At first glance, we know a lot about Ukrainian hut, but at the same time it is not enough.
The Hut for a Ukrainian is a whole world, a fantastic universe where people were busy with everyday troubles, loved ones, were born and died to give way to future generations.
Constructing a home meant not only laying the foundation and laying walls, but also creating a birthplace, giving birth to children, educating them believers, kind people.
In the representations of our ancestors, the hut is like a tree of life: the pillars, the rope, the roots, the walls, the barrel, the roof – the upper. The engagement was brought in black, as it symbolized the border between “the” world, where the ancestors rest, and the “white world”, which was presented by white walls.
The house was considered a full-fledged home only when its construction was crowned with a painting. People believed that all sorts of misfortunes were the result of the actions of demonic forces. It is they who send storms, hailstones, floods, various illnesses, often acquire the similarities of deers, wolves, mermaids. They had to withstand it, so they invented a variety of ways.
And the strongest aversion of evil was the fire and its “match” – red. It is this strip above the floor planted walls. Consequently, a closed circle was created, which closed access to the house of impure force. Magic value also had wall paintings. For example, various colorful images, ornaments were intended to capture the attention of evil forces in order to divert it from people.
Penalty – the most sacred place of Ukrainian hut
The most sacred place in the traditional peasant hut is the devastation. In ancient times embroidered towels were placed there and put pysankas.
After the adoption of Christianity, there were placed icons with images of Jesus Christ and the Mother of God, to which towels were just an ornament, a sign of particular respect.
All the important events in the family took place at the begging: the wedding posts of the young, the first bribe of the baby, farewell to the deceased.
According to the icons, sacred relics were laid down in sacrifice: sacred willow, a piece of sacred beetles, a lofty candle, sacred water. Here they put Didukh on Christmas day, prayed for a happy hour and disaster for an hour, swore allegiance, they vowed, they asked for blessings.
The threshold acts as a symbol of the beginning or end of the house. According to popular beliefs, it is the place where the souls of the ancestors belong, which is connected with the original custom to hide the dead in the house and often under the threshold. Therefore, many customs and rituals are known, for example, when they went to the wedding, they “gave honor” to him to the slaughterers, topirants (in Hutsulshchyna) or to the ring. Young people had to cross the threshold with their right foot. In some areas, the tradition of laying it with sackcloth (coarse-wool carpets) is preserved. When the bride goes to the house of his judge, she is transmitted through the threshold, because the spirits of the ancestors of the new family do not yet know her, and therefore they can not treat her quite comfortably.
At the threshold there was a ceremony of uniting the two generic lights (in the ceremony of the “invitation to the wedding”): the mother of the young and the bride’s sister put the right legs on the threshold, connected the lights of the candles, and kissed, only after that the young man went to the house and sat down with all the wedding wife at the bottom.
The funeral ceremony required, during the removal of the coffin from the house, three times to knock it about the threshold, which meant a farewell to the deceased with the house, ancestors. And in order that his soul should not return, the ax from the side of the house was cut off with an ax. In many Ukrainian villages of Eastern Slovakia, during the housewarming, the crested head was cut off on the threshold to please the “spirits”.
Still it is still planned that the sweeping hut starts from the threshold to the setting. This is for the good going to the house, and not from the house. In Hutsulshchyna, before the baptism, the child was placed on the covered door, and the mother tripled across it. Then the child took a jackpot at his hands and, crossed, stepped to the porch, under the threshold of which lay knife. His, after the exit of the kumus, someone raised and served through the window of the mother. So ordered against evil. The crying baby was batting on the back door.
In Hutsulshchyna, left an ax on the threshold after hunting for a holy night of cattle with bread, honey, incense, so that it would not die. Polissians believed that the aspen was helping the witches best. Therefore, to the threshold here stick a stick from her. In some places, at the entrance to the new house on the threshold cut the sign of the cross (against the thieves).
It is well known that in many places magic properties are endowed with a horseshoe still, nailed it to the threshold or above it. This has arisen, apparently, since when horses played an important role in human life (a nomad or a landowner), acting as the main sign of wealth and social significance of the person to whom they belonged.
If you wanted to wish someone happiness, then they brought a horseshoe, they say, let them be hunted on your horses, that is, be lucky. In our time, the horses are forgotten, but only the values of happiness, success, and wealth are left. Therefore, some carry a miniature podkvyki or puts them on the gate, the door. Often, you can hear, for example, such proverbs with the meaning of the prohibition: “Through the threshold are not welcome”, “Through the threshold, hands are not served”.
The table in the Ukrainian house
You can predict that the very name “table” is closely related to the word “ceiling”, that is, to put something on the dish.
And once the Slavs ate just on the ground, at least something littered, or spread the food on a board, around which they sat down. The table on the high legs is a later invention.
In medieval Europe, long and sturdy boards were used on the table for crossed (“skulls”). Something like that was then known also in Hutsulshchyna. But here there were also tables-chests, which consist of own table (covers) and a tabletop. In the latter were holding different things: clothes, documents, money, values.
Traditional rural furnace gradually goes away in history. The course of civilization is unrestrained and, apparently, inevitable, so soon it will be learned only from works of art. That genetic memory will always return us to a good fire in the furnace of a family home, around which generations of our ancestors were born and raised.
The stove in the functional sense has appeared for a long time: this name is general Slavic. It is associated with the words “cave” and “honey”, “patronize”. The cave, the vault of which is lighted by the sparkles of the hearth, and the furnace – the concept of one generic value.
The house was considered to be housing only from the time when the fire burned in the stove. Perhaps, therefore, before the adoption of Christianity, the furnace has always been a kind of center, the main place to which everything was hugging. With the adoption of Christianity, the fire “gave away” part of its functions to the apostasy, where the icons were always hung and the table was standing.
The stove is primarily a fire, a fire. And in the home played a role not only in the cell of the heat, but also in the spiritual, rallying. Hence the metaphor: family hearth. The hearth at that stage was a kind of symbol of the inviolability of the family, its gathering point and the shrine. With the collapse of a large family, the middle center moved to the wall.
Here, near the fire, the family and its neighbors often came together. There were tales about the past and modern, composed legends, dumas, listening to crickets, who were identified with the spirits of their ancestors.
Even in pre-Christian times in was a custom to marry a family center. One of the parents turned to the young people with a wish: “Let the fire combine”. The wedding complex also included a rite of parting the young child with a paternal hearth and bringing her to the burning in the home of the young. At the same time she took the grill from the house.
Subsequently, during the engagement, the elders and the bride should stand closer to the furnace. The first tried to secretly sculpt a batch of bricks or rubbing from the oven and put it in their pockets to make the match possible. But the girl that evening did not leave the furnace and chimed a fireplace, as if begging for protection. In some areas during a match, the girl hid on the stove. If she did not agree to marry the one who was offered her, then until the end of the match she remained there.
In Chernihiv region, it was customary to smoke a stove not a poker, but a broom for young people to live prosperously. After the funeral, hold on to the oven, so that you can not be afraid of the deceased, for purification. Homy also loves the oven and is thought to have its place in it. So, the apartment could not be spoiled, which was reflected in the proverb: “I would say, that stove in the house.”
The fire in the stove was considered sacred: the mistress should treat him gently, with respect, nothing bad about him can be said, he can not spit or throw anything unclean, you can not play with him.
Consequently, without exaggeration, it can be argued that for the villagers, the hut and stove embody the whole world. The hut rendered man not only a refuge from bad weather, but also created conditions for her daily existence, where the forces are restored, matured in inspiration. Here, for centuries, family relations were formed, a peculiar psychological atmosphere was created, its microclimate, where people rest, work, eat, comprehend their existence and relationships with the world around them.