K duchovním a sociálním základům rituálního ukončení šestinedělí

Variant title
To the spiritual and social bases of the ritual end of puerperium
Source document: Religio. 1997, vol. 5, iss. 1, pp. [47]-58
  • ISSN
    1210-3640 (print)
    2336-4475 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
The paper deals with the complex of ritual acts attending the end of the period of isolation after the birth of a child, the so-called puerperium. It was believed that in this puerperium period the woman in labour, the child and the whole society were permanently threatened by evil demons. The genesis of these beliefs resulted from the taboo beliefs of the impurity and taint of the woman. On the mythical level it was the polarity of the pure (both in the hygienic and ritual sense) and the impure (i.e. defiled, unsanctified). Some features of ceremonial lustration (purification through the fire and water, magie words etc.) have been preserved in folk custom tradition even after the acceptance of Christianity. The woman was limited both territorially and temporally as well as in her relation to objects, animals and people. The end of this period was accompanied by a feast and high-spirited and wild conviviality. The part of it were customs that symbolized repeated return of the woman in labour to her role in the family and society. On the religious level this moment was connected with the ceremony of the ecclesiastical introduction in the church that began to slip away in the period between the wars. The recent material from the territory of Bohemia and Moravia witnesses that in the course of time the older magie and church and religious acts and symbols have created a syneretic ceremonial complex that in folk tradition is percieved as a whole.