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Wedding Presentations in Croatian Carnival Customs
Nevena Škrbić Alempijević
; Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (313 KB)
Škrbić Alempijević, N. (2007). Predstavljanje svadbe u hrvatskim pokladnim običajima. Studia ethnologica Croatica, 19(1), 199-220. Preuzeto s http://hrcak.srce.hr/22134
The author points to the phenomenon of the existence of the elements of wedding ceremonies in Croatian carnival customs and analyses one of the most common carnival performances which mimics and, in the same time, mocks the wedding ceremony. The motifs of wedding inserted in certain important moments in traditional calendar or lifecycle customs can also be observed outside the framework of calendar customs: during wedding ceremony itself, on work related meetings of young people, during funerals, during ceremonial elections of king in koleda, during religious and other processions (kraljice, ljelje, čarojice). However, in these occasions wedding motifs are found only sporadically or are secondary to the occasion. Sexuality was subdued and there were no traces of parody trans-dressing and contemporary breaking of social norms, which were the main characteristics of the carnival presentations of weddings. The article presents various forms of ‘carnival weddings’ and their distribution. In many parts of Croatia, real ‘wedding processions’ were formed and wedding roles very carefully assigned. In mountainous regions the analogies between carnival processions and wedding customs were limited only to the participation of selected wedding guests. In other regions the presented wedding scenes were interpreted as the wedding of carnival dolls, Karneval and Karnevalica, and these newlyweds were burned at the end. Sometimes the wedding motifs are found only in the songs performed by the participants in the carnival processions while they walk around the village and collect presents.
The author also analyses the distinctive elements which, in the carnival context, embody the wedding ceremony, the appearance of the participants and the type of behavior which is expected during such appearance in a ‘wedding procession’. Finally, she outlines the possible interpretations of the presence of wedding elements in the framework of carnival customs, seeing them as re-actualizations of the mythic divine wedding. The mimicry of wedding ceremony can be seen as one of the elements which, on the level of everyday reality, re-imposes the new order in the world. Every wedding meant the repetition of this sacred pattern and thus ensured the happiness for the married couple. However, the fragments of the divine wedding can be also found in annual customs in the moment of the establishment of the new order, at the beginning of the agrarian year. Hence, the carnival customs present one of the cycles of customs which were inherited from the pre-Christian New Year customs.
traditional performances; Croatian carnival customs; wedding presentation
Hrčak ID: 22134
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