Tradition: definition, concept, meaning

"The tragedy of antiquity is deep, the affairs of the long pastdays ... "These lines from the very childhood hear, see, read every Russian-speaking person.Thus began his work" Ruslan and Lyudmila "Alexander Pushkin.Is really the legends of his tale? To know for sure, you need to understand the concepts.

Poetry is poetry, tales of fairy tales, but what does the word "tradition" mean? The definition and special features of this phenomenon will be considered in our article.


Tradition as a genre

We will begin our acquaintance with the world of folk traditions with the definition of the concept itself. So, different sources give us the following.

Tradition - prosaic folklore genre, the plotin which historical facts act in the popular interpretation. Traditions of the people are not connected with the genre of fairy tales, although sometimes the events and remind mythical or fabulous.

Traditions in the theory of literature are divided into two large groups according to the type of the plot: historical and toponymic.

traditions of the people

Tradition - part of oral folk prose

We learned what a legend is. The definition gave us a general idea. Let's talk about one feature of this genre. It is noteworthy that legends are a genre oral folk art. This means that the stories heard today werehundreds of years ago and passed from mouth to mouth. By the time the legend was written on the information carrier, tens or even hundreds of transformations of the plot, images could have happened.

Creations of the famous Greek poet Homer "Iliad"and "Odyssey", having an incredible size, were also transmitted verbally. They also described historical events, embellished and somewhat modified. In this there is some similarity of these creations with newer legends.

the word of tradition

As a genre of oral prose, traditions admirea long history. Fortunately, and maybe not, in our time, their distribution in the recorded form is much simpler. We should appreciate every word, tradition, which gives important spiritual knowledge about ancestors.

Comparison with other folklore prosaic genres

Traditions can sometimes be mistakenly defined aslegend or bylina. In order to avoid this, let us call such a regularity: the stories of the legends are aimed at explaining the origin of a cultural or natural phenomenon. They often give a certain moral assessment of the events described. A legend is a retelling of the folk style of history with the participation of well-known or famous in the local area heroes.

short legends

From epic legends of the people differ in content,actors (historical figures: robbers, rulers, ordinary people, artisans), the participation of real personalities known in a certain locality who have become mythological heroes.

Characteristic for this genre of folklore proseis a third-person narrative about events related to the past. The narrator of the legends was not an eyewitness of the events, but transmits the story heard from third parties.

Historical legends

Collective folk memory created ancient legends from real facts, which we can read in a slightly different light in history textbooks. Thus, historical legends were created.

Historical legends include Jeanne d'Arc, Tsar Ivan the Terrible, Ataman Mazepa and others.

This includes the biblical stories about the creation of the world, the withdrawal of the Israelis from Egypt in search of their land and many others.

This group includes such legends thatabsorb the ideas of people about the creation of their world. All folklore units create a single historical and mythological world, reflecting a broad picture of the people's view of the surrounding reality.

The time frame covered by the legends is difficult to determine: it is information from the biblical antiquity to the present day.

ancient traditions

Toponymic Traditions

Toponymic includes legends that fixevents that became the basis for the origin of a name. Their heroes are, respectively, local famous characters and events that matter only there. The study of such local stories is an interesting part of toponymic and ethnographic research.

Toponymic are short stories aboutZmiyiv Valakh (from the Serpent), the city of Kiev (about Kie, his brothers and sister), the city of Orsha (Prince Orsha and his daughter Orsha), the city of Lviv and many other toponymic objects.

Prospects for Researchers

In every city, every village there are such shorthistory of where the local name came from. Collections of such legends can be made endlessly. There is a field for research today. Therefore, everyone who has discovered legends and found them an interesting object of activity, there is work.

Publish a collection of legends collected in a concreteterrain is a very real prospect. New names appear today, right at this moment. Also in remote areas of Russia there are such settlements in which folklore is actively developing. Hence, new boundaries for ethnographic and folklore work are emerging.

It is noteworthy that at the present time there is morethere are topographic legends. Historical have been preserved since previous eras, since from a certain time the fixation of all facts occurs instantly after their appearance.

Traditions, myths and their historical background

Tradition, the definition of which we have already given, sometimesconnect with mythology. Thus, the stories about the exploits of the Greek hero Hercules, as the researchers believe, could not have arisen without real historical facts. Those mythical events and heroes, with which the probable real history of the adventures of Hercules grew, appeared with the passage of time.

Some facts from the Book of Enoch were confirmed,in which the giants were mentioned. In the same way, architectural memorials were found that could be witnesses of events that became the basis of the legend of the World Flood.

tradition as a genre


Thus, we learned that tradition isa dedicated folk story about historical events. In the process of transfer, carriers tend to embellish the tradition. The definition and features of this folklore genre are now known to us. We can easily distinguish it from legends and fairy tales.

Ancient legends are a reflection of the deepestlayers of culture and the history of a certain people. Studying and comparing them with the facts of the history of these or other nationalities, one can draw conclusions about the outlook of people who lived at that time. The value of retelling for ethnology is also extremely high.

Folk legends, historical and toponymic,Every person heard, but could not pay attention to this diamond, cut during the years of transfer from mouth to mouth. Now we can appreciate what we know and what we hear about the surrounding cultural world. Let our article prove useful to you and give an opportunity to look at the creativity of the people on the other side.

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