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27. jaanuari teisipäevaseminar

27. jaanuaril teeb Turku ülikooli doktorant Sonja Hukantaival Kirjandusmuuseumis ettekande maagiast rahvausundis. Ettekanne põhineb tema doktoritööl, mis käsitleb arheoloogilise leiumaterjali põhjal ehitusohvreid Soomes. Ettekanne on inglise keeles, algab kell 12 Kirjandusmuuseumi neljandal korrusel seminariruumis, järgneb arutelu.
The Materiality of Finnish Folk Magic with Special Reference to Concealed Objects in Buildings
The presentation discusses practices that can be labelled as folk magic in Finland from the perspective of archaeology. This implies that the main focus is on the material aspects of the practices and on the traces they leave in the archaeological record. When interpreting these remains of human activity in the historical period, the use of additional sources, such as folklore and historical records, offer a wider understanding of the contexts and meanings of the material evidence.
Objects that have been deliberately concealed in buildings form the main case study of the presentation. These have been widely documented as a part of the PhD thesis work of the presenter, estimated to be finished in late 2015. This dynamic tradition includes many different kinds of forms and meanings, but the main meaning is, in the light of late modern folklore, protecting the building against evil influences. Similar practices have occurred in the whole studied period (c. AD 1200–1950).
Other objects that have been studied are the collection labelled as ‘magic objects’ in the National Museum of Finland. This collection comprises of more than 300 objects, mostly dating to the 19th century, such as so called ‘snake’s court stones’, frogs in miniature coffins, wooden human figures, and body parts of bear and other animals. Since the study of folk religion has long been the interest of folkloristics and comparative religion, both being disciplines working with immaterial data, this collection has remained unstudied until recently.
The wider implication of the topic at hand is a realization of the importance of material aspects of folk rituals in historical times, and the formation of an ‘archaeology of folk religion’.

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