E. N. Vaganova. Funeral and memorial lamentations in the folklore of Mordva-Erzya: poetic devices

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DOI: 10.15507/2076-2577.014.2022.01.8-19

Funeral and memorial lamentations in the folklore of Mordva-Erzya: poetic devices

Elena N. Vaganova
National Research Mordovia State University,
Saransk, Russia

Introduction. Lamentations remain an enduring national treasure of the Mordovian ethnos. They do not only offer the richest cultural and historical information, but also represent a living existence of the past in modern times. Based on the research and the folklore material, it gives a generalized characteristic of poetic devices and visual and expressive means used in the texts of the lamentations of the funeral and memorial cycle of Mordva-Erzya.
Materials and Methods. The study combines methods of description and comparative analysis. The basis of the empirical material was reliable folklore collections with exceptional historical, cultural and research value, borrowed from the oral and poetic creativity of the Mordovian people, the vocabulary of the Erzya language, traditions and rituals.
Results and Discussion. Lamentations is the most important component of the verbal and musical codes of the funeral and memorial complex. The poetry of lamentation, which has preserved archaic features, gives the national culture a special charm, emphasizes its lively sound, primordial independence and originality. Lamentations are used to express grief at the loss of a beloved one, and they are characterized by a well-developed system of comparisons and metaphors that perform the functions of imagery and allegory. Special colorfulness, brightness and expressiveness in lamentations are given by the traditional techniques widely used in lamentations: appeals, comparisons, metaphors, artistic parallelisms and other visual and expressive means.
Conclusion. The Mordovian religious tradition is rich in means of expression and poetic techniques, the functioning of which in the structure of folklore work gives its best samples a unique national flavor. The manner of performing lamentations has local traditions, lamentable melodies typical for a particular locality. The considered images, motives, appeals, comparisons, metaphors, personifications, contribute to understanding the depth of the spiritual world of the people, their worldview.

Keywords: lamentations, Mordva-Erzya, folklore, figurative and expressive means, metaphor, epithet, comparison, motive

For citation: Vaganova EN. Funeral and memorial lamentations in folklore of Mordva-Erzya: poetic devices. Finno-ugorskii mir = Finno-Ugric World. 2022;14;1:8–19. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.15507/2076-2577.014.2022.01.8-19.

Information about the author
E. N. Vaganova – Candidate Sc. {Philology}, Associate Professor, Department of German Philology, National Research Mordovia State University, waganowa@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8941-846X

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