Culture and ArtReference:
Ethnic Beliefs of Hillmen in Czechia and Poland: Analysis of Legends about Mining
Abstract.The article is devoted to analyzing ethnic beliefs of hillmen living in Czechia and Poland based on published folklore sources. Legends about the origin of mining and specific characters of folk demonology related to the underground world represent particularities of folk traditions followed by Czech and Polish miners. In his article Murzin carries out a detailed analysis of Czech and Polish legends about the origin of mining. Results of analysing legends demonstrate the mining was believed to be started by the characters who had features of cultural heroes in folk legends. Those characters discovered mineral deposits in the region and founded the most important mountain cities in Czechia and Poland. The research is based on the historical typological and comparative historical methods. These methods allow to get a better understanding of particularities of the legends about the origin of mining in Czechia and Poland as well as features of the characters of folk demonology that had a place in the folklore of miners. Folklore sources demonstrate prove that the culture of miners is rich with the images of demonological characters associated with miners, underground sources and underground treasures. These characters can be seen as little fellows, miners, beautiful girl or animals. These are contradictory characters who help only those people who really deserve it. The research has demonstrated that ethnic ideas about exploring regions and 'mountain spirits' are the key elements of the spiritual culture of Czech and Polish miners. These legends reflect regional specific features of their spiritual culture.
Keywords: Silesia, folk demonology, legends, folklore, Poland, Czech Republic, mining history, mining, comparative analysis, traditions
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