April 1, 2010

The wedding ceremony

When for a young fellow it came time to marry and he was agreeable to do it, but hasn’t got a girlfriend yet, a mother or an aunt or a grandmother tried to help him. If there was no appropriate girl in the village, they used their related “channels” to find out if there was a single girl in a neighboring village. And find out too whether she’s from a good family, healthy, hard-working.  Next holiday the guy with his pals went to that village for a walk looking attentively of the girl’s features he was told by a matchmaker. If the first sympathy between them had not arisen, then the girl came to the village the guy lived in for a holiday. As a rule, such dates almost always ended by weddings. 
Vepsians had a very developed family institution. 

The eve of wedding

The bride's house
The full ritual is very long.
 If the wedding date had already been appointed, a bride had a hen day on the eve of the wedding. In the morning for the bride relatives prepared a bath. On this day the  young people gathered in a bride's hose. Using lamentations girls called the bride to a bath. They lit candles before the icons. The bride prayed, appealing to the Virgin to bless her, and went to a bath with her mother, the matchmaker and a witch woman which was called “noid”. In a bath a noid read incantation. The girls sang songs while the bride was in a bath. Hen began after the bride had returned from a bath. On a porch of the house the bride began to lament, appealing to her mother and saying that she had parted with her free life.
The house tables were laid, the walls were decorated with a large number of embroidered towels. Young people and women were coming to participate in mourning the loss of the bride's liberty and beauty. The bride was wrapped in a handkerchief and led through the house with lamentations. She was supposed to weep, even if she really did not want to do it - that was the custom's demand. The bride was led to her father and mother. In lamentations she ask them to bless her for "separation from the liberty". After that a ritual of combing the bride's hair began. She sat in the middle of the hut on the chest, and a lamenter called for all family members to comb the bride's hair. The bride lamented with her head lowered. First came the father, slightly touching the girl's hair and put a ribbon. Then the same thing did the mother, sister, brother, friend. After the combing is finished the bridesmaids decorated the bride's hair - they intertwined the brid's braid with a fillet (it was called "vouged voudeine" in Vepsian - "white liberty"), in the end of the bride's braid they tied several other fillets (it's called "krasota" - "beauty"). The bridesmaids leaded the bride around the house with lamentation and the bride was weeping - it's indeed a very dramatical moment for her.

To be continued...

No comments :

Post a Comment