Taboos In The Russian Folk Tales

Folklore not only teaches us, guides deep into the consciousness of our ancestors, keeps the memory of peoples & languages. It helps us to study & to comprehend how the mentality is formed, how the Time reflects in this or that historical period. Folk tales contain many other treasures like customs, traditions &, of course, taboos.

Our hi-tech civilization has already perverted our minds. We live in the world upside-down, where many taboos kept through the centuries have been broken, while the rests of them are prejudiced. That’s why when we read a tale, we can hardly comprehend the complete power of taboos described in them. In case of the Russian mythology, we might notice a hero must break a taboo or a restriction to pass his trial. However, the Slavic spirit too often means a violent way to do that. It is a big puzzle for me if this attitude is imposed by editing of our tales or it is yet in the very Russian essence, which is in fact dark due to its cruel climate, forests & too wide space. I would suggest that “to break a taboo” is to pass the limit in our folklore: the limit of moralité, consciousness, honour.

Our heroes don’t know to fight dragons. They don’t serve their Lord & a Fair Lady. The Russian heroes seem to be wild bears who don’t know la culture courtoise. The impulse of Chaos leads them & due to its nature, it demands blood & flesh sacrifice. From this point of view the Russian tales have kept the core of the World Beginning. They make us ponder upon the darkness we come from. They make us learn to subdue our instincts & to respect taboos or to transform them without dangerous consequences.

Maria KethuProfumo


About kethuprofumo

Reconstructing the Past for the glorious Future
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18 Responses to Taboos In The Russian Folk Tales

  1. Really interesting

  2. fulvialuna1 says:

    I racconti del passato contengono sicuramente le radici del futuro.

  3. A very good reason for folklore to make sure taboos are followed. The story shows what happens when they are broken. Thank you, Maria.

  4. Leon says:

    Very deep meaningful content. Thank You.

  5. smilecalm says:

    if there was time
    in our busy schedules
    we could learn something
    from these old ways 🙂

  6. Bell’articolo ed interessante. Io ero rimasto stupito quando mi avevano spiegato il lato simbolico e psicologico delle fiabe. Quello di cui parli tu é ancora più affascinante perché come dici ha a che fare con la storia di un popolo👍🏻

  7. Most folk tales seem to be very dark, Maria, think about the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson. I think we just live in much more compassionate times although it doesn’t always feel like it.

    • kethuprofumo says:

      Dear Robbie, Brothers Grimm & Anderson (whose tales were so pessimistic only because women did not love him) don’t mean a great folk heritage of the world. There are plenty of peaceful mindful tales in the European tradition, in Arabic, Oriental worlds. I’m certain that the African folklore is not an exception. Our time has made darkness a positive trend… However, it has never happened before. 🙂

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