Topos of the sacred in the subject attributes of the hospitality Cover Image

Топос сакрального в предметній атрибутиці гостинності
Topos of the sacred in the subject attributes of the hospitality

Author(s): Alina Poplavsjka
Subject(s): Anthropology, 6th to 12th Centuries
Published by: Національна академія керівних кадрів культури і мистецтв
Keywords: topos; hospitality; hut; symbol; symbolism; sacred; guest;

Summary/Abstract: The article discusses the sacred essence of the Ukrainian house as a special hospitality’s topos with its typical constructive elements indicated with festive symbols in which the meeting of the guest is perceived as a festive event, and the place of the meeting – as a symbolic field of the perceiving of the stranger. The Ukrainian hut was identified not only with the concept of the human security, but gradually became a symbol of the hospitality. The meeting of the guest promotes the creation of the so-called mythological festive space with the special relationships that is explained with the initial provision of visitor the sacred symbolic status. The place where it becomes possible to meet the guest, and his dwelling place for it prohibited, itself topological structure of "greetings" – all this – is not only the space for the owner and his guests, but also a manifestation of the sacred. The waiting for the guests suggests an attempt to bring the topology of everyday life to an ideal image: to bring his original purity, symmetry and harmony. This place of the meeting a guest has always been a hut, a house – one of the main symbols of the hospitality. In the mythology of the Ukrainians the important place was given the hut. It was seen as a man-made world that responds to his ideas. Farmhouse, embodying the living space and ideological space of the Ukrainian, united the earthly, underground and heavenly beginnings, representing the three spheres of the existence: the heavenly (spiritual), earthly (the real) and underground (surreal) worlds. The house recreated the picture of the world, where the four walls of the house are turned into four cardinal points, and three-dimensional symbols of the foundation, blockhouse and roof meets the three levels of the universe: the underworld, the earth, the sky, associated with the divine powers. The ideas of the divinity of the top contributed to the sacralization of the earthly of the family as soon. In particular, the status of a respected and honorable man stressed the country or the spatial increase. The place the head of the Praukrainian family was the most profitable – by the fire, which was located on the opposite side of the entrance. He was sitting, as usual, on the increase, which is supposed for the privileged deity. That was such an unusual situation, since it is known that almost to the Xth century the family had ate on the field, putting the food on a small slate. The space of the house is filled with things that symbolize the values of kinship and everything connected with them. The most important among them are the oven and oven corner. The oven is predominantly female symbol that symbolizes a woman in general with her family responsibilities. Only from the moment of ignition in the oven of the fire the house was considered as a residential. It has long been known the cult of the stove as a major talisman inside the house in the Ukraine. The Ukrainians considered the stove post as a sacred place in the home. It is sometimes identified with the Brownie, so the Brownie had still another name – "the post". According to the beliefs of the Ukrainians, it was behind the stove the housing of the Brownie – of the good spirit of the family, which is always with the people settled in a new house built. He is the master of the house, the god of the home fire, it protects not only the house, but also all its household, so the Ukrainian myths attributed to him the great influence in the growth of the welfare of the family. The stove warms the house, it was baked bread and a daily cooked meals for the family and treat the guests. The meeting of the guests is not just to spend the time and money, but also to take part in the ritual, which takes place in a symbolic space and time. The meeting guests connected, first of all, with a festive preparation of the room. One of the sacred center of the human existence is its housing that is pre-purified, made festive. Thus, the space of the hospitality as a meeting place of the welcoming guests is symbolically sacred place to receive guests in a special context, in the context of the holiday, which gathers the people together, not only as an object, but as a symbol of the spirit of the involvement, and a symbolic first step towards the recognition of their guest is the permission to go to the house. A traditional ritual of the hospitality is associated with the ordering of the guest, the symbolic involving to the temporary twinning with the owners of the house, and even with the all native. Already the owner's permission to enter the house is perceived as the first symbolic step towards the recognition of their guest as not stranger. However, in the space of the hospitality the complete transformation of the guest to own takes place only temporarily. The mentioned "twinning" is limited in the time and space with a definite "fall-out" in which both guests and hosts.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 35
  • Page Range: 104-110
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Ukrainian