The Phenomenon of Orphanhood in Russian Folklore on the Example of Wedding Songs and Laments


Orphanhood in the Russian folklore is one of the most interesting, but insufficiently studied problems. The focus of the present paper is female orphans within a wedding ritual. The range of issues is wide: from the concept of orphanhood as a whole, the etymology of the term, ethnographic detail, to the analysis of laments’ and songs’ texts and musical style. The material of the study are orphan songs and laments of different regional traditions — Smolensk, Kaluga, Ryazan, Penza regions, and Kuban and partly Don Cossacks.