Goddess-Cosmos of Proto-Myth in Ornaments of Folk Embroidery of Bukovina (the Case of the E. Kolbenhier’s Collection)

UDC 130.2

Yevhen Prychepii
Institute for Cultural Research, National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.
ORCID 0000-0002-5363-1004

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37627/2311-9489-18-2020-2.93-108

Keywords: semantics of ornaments, the archaic goddess in ornaments, tree goddess, S-symbol.

Abstract. The study analyses the semantics of ornaments of Bukovinian embroideries samples of which were collected by E. Kolbenhier during the period from 1902 to 1912. Resulting from the concept of the proto-myth offered by the author, it is proved that the ornamental symbols hid images of the archaic goddess identical with the Cosmos. The study shows that the ornamental image of a flower is constructed from “female” symbols (in particular, rhombuses) arranged according to structures 1+1+1 or 1+2+1 which model the goddess. It is shown that the image of the goddess (one, two or three goddesses) is as well hidden behind ornamental structures of a tree. The article analyses ornaments that model volumetric Space as the structure formed from concentric rectangles symbolizing a dungeon, the terrestrial world and heavens. It is shown that this structure models an ornament placed on the Stone-Age pots. Studying the semantics of the S-symbol, it is argued that it can denote summer or winter half-cycles of the Sun, which the goddess embodied in archaic symbolism. Accordingly, it was concluded that the ornamental “endlessness” consisting of S-symbols and simulating the cycles of the sun transmits temporary infinity.

Author Biography.

Yevhen Prychepii, Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Professor, Institute for Cultural Research, National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Kyiv.


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Published: August 10, 2020.

Vol 18 No 2 (2020).