Journal Epohi
“ST. CYRIL AND ST. METHODIUS” UNIVERSITY OF VELIKO TARNOVO - UNIVERSITY PRESS

Symbolism of Breast Milk and Nursing Among Bulgarians


Authors:
Irina Sedakova

Pages: 34-53

Abstract:

This ethnolinguistic article focuses on the symbolism and mythological issues of mother’s milk and nursing in Bulgarian traditional childbirth customs and folk medicine. The study is based on lexical, phraseological, folklore and ritual published, archival and author’s field data. Ontological features of milk (liquid, white color, temporality, nutrition qualities) develop symbolism and correlate with other “synonymic” objects (water, bread, onions) and actions (movement, walking). The magic connection made through breastfeeding and milk gets ritual dimension and is regarded as spiritual bias (“milk relationship”) and is depicted in folklore and taken into account by folk law.

Keywords:

Bulgarian ethnology, folklore, semiotics, ethnolinguistics, ritual terminology, childbirth, breastfeeding, mother’s milk

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