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Mythosemantics and Mythic Plot of the Folk Painting Cossack with a Girl are at the Well

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The authors of the publication:
Temchenko Andrii
Bibliographic description:
Temchenko, A. (2021) Mythosemantics and Mythic Plot of the Folk Painting Cossack with a Girl are at the Well. Materials to Ukrainian Ethnology, 20 (23), 118–125.


Temchenko Andrii

a Doctor of History, a professor at the Department of the History of Ukraine of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Cherkasy National University (Cherkasy, Ukraine). ORCID ID:


Mythosemantics and Mythic Plot of the Folk Painting
Cossack with a Girl are at the Well



The semantics of the picture Cossack with a Girl are at the Well, widespread in folk painting, is considered in the article.

The published work is aimed at the detection of the archetypal mythological meanings of the motifs and images of the specified plot, as well as the old content of the artistic composition.

Research methods imply the use of structural and comparative analyses with the other genres of oral myth poetics and visual art.

The obtained results. The visual interpretation of the picture allows to single out three constituent plot components: well-crane, bucket-horse, girl-Cossack. In the semantic sense, these pairs create a single complex that can be interpreted metaphorically (a system of index signs) and literally (a system of sensory images). The listed elements form semantic pairs, the meaning of which is interpreted on several levels, which are compared with the hierarchical structure of the mythological picture of the world, in particular its vertical and horizontal structures, where the function of the center / place of transition to the other world is performed by the well (hence the semantics of separate fairy-tale female images). In this regard, the well text has a dual reading, where the opposition of that and this is not literal. Hence there is the explanation of certain rites connected with reproductive female magic (in this case, the well-crane opposition is actualized). The vertical structure presupposes the existence of the top, which is corresponded with the images connected with the sky and the sun, the middle, associated with the natural substances of earth and water, on the other hand, the bottom forms a system of meanings associated with corporality. Linear connections are also relevant, since the reproduction occurs at all levels – natural (rain, dew), cultural (plowing and sowing) and corporal (coitus). In this way, semantic chains well–bucket–girl – crane–horse–boyfriend are formed.



wedding, bucket, girl, sensuality, crane, horse, Cossack, well, composition, myth, folk painting, ceremony, boyfriend, Ukrainians, marriage.



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