Stories of Children from the Families of Old Believers in Bendery About “Scary Places” and “Scary Old Women”

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Key words
folklore and culture of childhood, Russian Old Believers, Moldova, Pridnestrovian Moldavan Republic, Bendery, Lipovans, scary places
Oksana F. Ezhova
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (495) 690-50-30
25a, Povarskaya str., Moscow, 121069, Russian Federation
Postgraduate Student, А. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences
Date of publication

This article examines children’s practice visiting “scary places” and telling stories about them. These places are visited by children from families of Russian Old Believers in the city of Bendery, Pridnestrovian Moldavan Republic. The study is based on material collected during an expedition sponsored by the Institute of World Literature and Moscow State University in winter, 2020. The community of Old Believers in Bendery was formed in the eighteenth century. Since the 1960s, specialists from Moscow State University (led by I. V. Pozdeeva) have conducted research in the community on ancient Russian literature. Church and song culture was also studied (N. G. Denisov), and research on ethnomusicological phenomena was carried out by the staff of the Folk Music Cabinet of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State University (I. K. Sviridov, N. M. Savelev, I. A. Savelev). They studied the calendar-ritual and wedding musical repertoire of the Old Believers-Lipovans. Children’s traditional activities, both historical and those observed today, are not described in the article. Rather, the practices we recorded are interpreted as a stage in children’s psychological development. The traditional aspects of child-parent relations in connection with the children’s visits to “scary places” are also considered. Such studies have not previously been conducted among children from the families of Russian Old Believers in Moldova, and the article introduces transcripts of interviews with children to the scholarly community.


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For citation

Ezhova O. F. Stories of Children from the Families of Old Believers in Bendery About “Scary Places” and “Scary Old Women”. Traditional Culture. 2021. Vol. 22. No. 2. Pp. 91–99. In Russian.