The Value of the Gift or the Price of the Present Cover Image
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The Value of the Gift or the Price of the Present
The Value of the Gift or the Price of the Present

Author(s): Petya Bankova
Subject(s): Anthropology, Social Sciences, Customs / Folklore, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Culture and social structure
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН
Keywords: birth; ritual; childhood;

Summary/Abstract: This article presents and discusses a once widespread rite associated with the birth of a child. On the one hand, the data are drawn from ethnographic sources(archival, literary and personally collected field material), presenting the custom in its traditional version, and on the other hand, they come from research conducted through the method of participant observation and semi-structured interviews during contemporary manifestations of this custom. Analyzing specific ritual elements and focusing on gifts/presents received by the child, the author develops the idea that this custom gradually loses its characteristics as a rite of passage. Furthermore, the lack of knowledge or its laic presentation and interpretation has resulted in the development and approbation of a ‘scenario’ of the custom, which leads to a process of its deritualizationand transformation, so that the custom becomes primarily a festive moment, a party, a visit, an occasion for the gathering of people who, through their presence and especially through their gifts, support the new-born and his/her family.

  • Issue Year: VI/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 103-120
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English