candidate of historical sciences, associate professor of the Department of document studies and museum affairs of Lesya Ukrainka East European National University.
The use of blueberries in the daily and ritual nutrition of the population of the Right-bank Polissia: porridge-like dishes, brews, jelly, tinctures
The article is dedicated to the traditions of calendar regulation of bilberries harvesting in the Right-Bank Polissia and changes that have taken place in recent decades. The investigation is based on field ethnographic materials recorded during historical and ethnographic expeditions (2005–2014), organized by the State Scientific Center for the Protection of Cultural Heritage from Technological Disasters and the Museum of Ethnography of Volhynia and Polissia at the Lesia Ukrayinka East European National University. Traditions that have been developed in the system of calendar regulation of bilberries picking in the Right-Bank Polissia and the changes caused by the mass harvesting of these berries in recent decades are described. It is noted that the terms of bilberries harvesting are blurred extremely, which is caused primarily by the biological characteristics of this berry. It has a long vegetative period and is kept well, so it can be harvested from late summer to the next year spring. In some places, the beginning of bilberries picking is associated with the other plants development (reaching the viburnum).
The second factor influencing the timing of the bilberries harvest is determined by the folk agricultural calendar, which defines clearly the timing of all chores connected the most often with the particular holiday. Speaking on bilberries, such points of reference for its harvest are traditionally Beheading of John the Baptist, the Feast of the Cross, the Nativity of Mary, Intercession of the Theotokos and even Archangel Michael. At the same time, a factor of potato digging clashes with these holidays. Bilberries harvesting starts after the completion of these works. The third factor that has influenced dramatically the timing of bilberries harvesting in recent decades is the collapse of collective farms, widespread rural unemployment – on the one hand, and high demands for bilberries by wholesalers, forcing them to choose unripe berries. The possibility of not just additional, but often basic earnings encourages Polissia farmers to choose green berries. In this regard, the reapers determine the date of bilberries reception. In the villages where the inhabitants pick berries in the Belarusian forests, the length of the season is determined by interstate agreements.
So, we can speak not only about the change in the timing of bilberries harvesting, but also about the change of their significance in the structure of the modern agriculture of the rural population of the Right-Bank Polissia. Along with blueberries and, to a lesser extent, other berries, bilberries ‘feed’ rural families.
ethnic culture, traditional ecological culture, traditional farming, harvesting, berries, bilberries, customary law, folk calendar.
- The Archives of the Museum of Ethnography of Vholynia and Polissia at the Lesia Ukrayinka East European National University, fund 8, unit of issue 132 [in Ukrainian].
- KONDRATOVYCH, Oleksandra. Folk Calendar of Vholynian Polissia: From the Holiday to Holiday. Lutsk: Volynska oblasna drukarnia, 2009, 200 pp. [in Ukrainian].
- KUROCHKIN, Oleksandr. New-Year Holidaysof Ukrainians: Traditions and Contemporaneity. Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1978, 191 pp. [in Ukrainian].
- Seasonal Products are of a Great Importance in Healthy Nourishment, 2014 [viewed 10 Decem- ber 2018]. Available from: http://archive.mistovechirne.in.ua/podii-i-faktu/3236-l-r. [in Ukrainian].
- Khamula, 2014 [viewed 10 December 2018]. Available from: https://www.volyn.com.ua/ news/46851-khamula.html [in Ukrainian].
- KHVAS, Yuliya. The Child Birth and Traditional Childbirth Rituals in Luboml and Shatsk Districts. Collected Pupil and Student Works of Halshka Hulevychivna Contest. Lutsk, 2003, pp. 112–124 [in Ukrainian].