On the Transition from Childhood to Maturity in the Bulgarian Early Middle Ages Cover Image
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За прехода от детство към зрелост в българското ранно Средновековие
On the Transition from Childhood to Maturity in the Bulgarian Early Middle Ages

Author(s): Nikolay Hrisimov
Subject(s): Cultural history, Middle Ages
Keywords: Bulgaria, Early Middle Ages, rituals of transition, initiations

Summary/Abstract: Rituals of transition (so called initiations) are a characteristic part of the societies of archaic type. The presence of such rituals is probably not among the often examined features in the history of the Bulgarian Early Middle Ages, but still two Bulgarian scientists have proposed their existence and practicing. The variants and proofs of the two researchers do not seem very convincing though. However the presence of such practices should not be denied. Using the data from the traditional Bulgarian folk culture, similar rituals of transition from childhood to maturity are "koleduvane" for boys/men and "lazaruvane" for girls/women, but it cannot be assumed that they had kept their initial form. As a kind of initiation for men could be taken the belt and the ritual fastening of it, data for which is derived from ethnography, but also from the necropoleis of the Saltovo-Mayaki culture. Also it should be noted that initiations might not have affected the aristocracy. Indicative of this is the miniature in the Symeon's (Svetoslav's) Izbornik of 1073, where even the youngest member of the ruling family (at the age of approximately 8-9) is fastened with a belt just like any other male presented in the image.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 92-100
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Bulgarian