Interpretation of Lithuanian folk dreams and narrations on dreams: composition, functional specification, meanings ; Lietuvių liaudies sapnų aiškinimai ir pasakojimai apie sapnus:sandara, funkcionavimo specifika, reikšmės
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Interpretation of Lithuanian folk dreams and narrations on dreams: composition, functional specification, meanings ; Lietuvių liaudies sapnų aiškinimai ir pasakojimai apie sapnus:sandara, funkcionavimo specifika, reikšmės


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31 pages


VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIVERSITY THE INSTITUTE OF LITHUANIAN HISTORY Asta Višinskaitė INTERPRETATION OF LITHUANIAN FOLK DREAMS AND NARRATIONS ON DREAMS: COMPOSITION, FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION, MEANINGS Summary of Doctoral Dissertation Humanities, Ethnology (07 H) Kaunas, 2007 The doctoral dissertation was prepared at Vytautas Magnus University in 2003-2007. The doctoral study license is granted to Vytautas Magnus University together with the Institute of Lithuanian History by resolution No. 926 of the Government of the Republic thof Lithuania on the 15 of July, 2003. Scientific supervisor: Prof. habil. Dr. Bronislava Kerbelytė (Vytautas Magnus University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Council of Dissertation Defence Chairman: Doc. Dr. Gražina Kazlauskienė (Vytautas Magnus University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Members: Dr. Laimutė Anglickienė (Vytautas Magnus University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Dr. Žilvytis Šaknys (Institute of Lithuanian History, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Prof. Dr. Rimantas Sliužinskas (Klaipėda University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Dr. Austė Nakienė (Institute of Lithuania Literature and Folklore, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Opponents: Doc. Dr. Rimantas Balsys (Klaipėda University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Dr.



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Publié le 01 janvier 2007
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The doctoral dissertation was prepared at Vytautas Magnus University in 2003-2007. The doctoral study license is granted to Vytautas Magnus University together with the IonfsLtiittuteofLithuanianhtehtfomnnevorecubliRepbyyesrutolnio.oN629tfoGeh.iHtsro  huania on the 15tof July, 2003 Scientific supervisor: Prof. habil. Dr.Bronislava Kerbelyt(Vytautas Magnus University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Council of Dissertation Defence Chairman:Doc. Dr.Gražina Kazlauskien(Vytautas Magnus University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Members:Dr.iaLtmuckliniengA(Vytautas Magnus University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H)Dr.Žilvytis ŠaknysLithuanian History, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H)(Institute of Prof. Dr.Rimantas Sliužinskas(Klaipda University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Dr. Aust Nakien(Institute of Lithuania Literature and Folklore, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H) Opponents:Doc. Dr.Rimantas Balsys(Klaipda University, Humanities, Ethnology, 07 H)Dr. Morozova Nadiežda(The Institute of the Lithuanian Language, Humanities, Philology, 04 H) The dissertation will be defended in a public presentation at 13 p.m. on December 7, 2007 at Vytautas Magnus University, the faculty of Humanities, Donelaiio 52, 211 auditorium of prof. Marija Gimbutien. Adress: K. Donelaiio 52, LT-44248 Kaunas, phone: +370 37 327832. The summary of the doctoral dissertation is sent out on November 2007. The copies of the doctoral dissertation are available at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania and the libraries of Vytautas Magnus University, the Institute of Lithuanian History.
Disertacija rengta 2003-2007 metais Vytauto Didžiojo universitete. Doktorantros teis Vytauto Didžiojo universitetui kartu su Lietuvos istorijos suteikta institutu 2003 m. liepos mn. 15 d. Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybs nutarimu Nr. 926. Darbo mokslinvadov: Prof. habil. dr.Bronislava Kerbelyt(Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas, humanitariniai mokslai, etnologija 07 H) Disertacijos gynimo taryba Pirminink: Doc. Dr.Gražina Kazlauskien Didžiojo universitetas, humanitariniai (Vytauto mokslai, etnologija 07 H) Nariai: Dr.aiLtmu Anglickien Didžiojo universitetas, humanitariniai mokslai, (Vytauto etnologija 07 H) Dr.Žilvytis Šaknys(Lietuvos istorijos institutas, humanitariniai mokslai, etnologija 07 H) Prof. dr. Rimantas Sliužinskas(Klaipdos universitetas, humanitariniai mokslai, etnologija 07 H) Dr.AustaNiken(Lietuviliteratros ir tautosakos institutes, humanitariniai mokslai, etnologija 07 H) Oponentai:Doc. Dr.Rimantas Balsys(Klaipdos universitetas, humanitariniai mokslai, etnologija 07 H) Dr.Nadiežda Morozova(Lietuvikalbos institutas, humanitariniai mokslai, filologija, 04 H) Disertacija bus ginama viešame posdyje, kurisvyks 2007 m. gruodžio 7 d. 13 val. Vytauto Didžiojo universiteto Humanitarinimokslfakultete, K. Donelaiio g. 52, 211 prof. M. Gimbutiens auditorijoje. Adresas: K. Donelaiio 52, LT-44248 Kaunas, tel: (37) 327832. Disertacijos santrauka išsista 2007 m. lapkriio d. Su disertacija galima susipažinti Lietuvos nacionalinje Martyno Mažvydo, Vytauto Didžiojo universiteto ir Lietuvos istorijos instituto bibliotekose.
Dreams are images and thoughts experienced while sleeping. They are related to physical characteristics of a certain human being, his personality and his world of feelings, thoughts, wishes, etc. An important role belongs to subconsciousness letting emerge impressions and emotions quite forgotten long time ago. Occurrence of these does not at all depend on the reasoned activity of human mind. Dreams have been studied by specialists of different branches - medics, psychologists; people‘s approach to dreams and folklore phenomena linked with dreams have been analysed by ethnologists and folklorists. The problem investigated in the work is estimation and interpretation of dreams in traditional Lithuanian culture. As a traditional culture such culture is understood forms and contence of which are handed over from one generat ion to another from ancient times keeping the same traits. The objectwork is dream interpretations, statements on the fulfilmentof the of dreams and individual narrations about them, spreading orally and with the help of popular publications. In the work, dreams are investigated images of which are understood in the figurative sense and need some explanation. In Lithuania, traditionally spread suppositions or narrations related with the phenomenon of dreaming practically have not been investigated at all, sothe purposeof the work is to study peculiarities of texts about dreams - on the ground of archival material, publications and the data collected by the author - and to disclose people‘s approach towards dreams. To reach the purpose suchtaskshave been raised in the work: 1) to analyse composition of dream interpretations and narratives on dreams; 2) to determine the place of dream interpretations in the system of folklore genres and to investigate links of the main dream images with meanings of things and phenomena settled in traditional culture; 3) to investigate the process of dream interpretation; 4) to elucidate peculiarities and proper purpose of narratives about dreams; 5) to examine what valuable things people care about while seeking for interpretation of dreams.Innovation of the work and position of theme analysis.Texts focused on dreams have been actively investigated by ethnologists of dif ferent countries
(B.Kilborne, A.Kaivola-Bregenhoj, I.S.Veselova, M.M.Valencove, S.Niebrzegowska, etc.). Unfortunately, Lithuanian specialists in folklore have not practically turned their attention to this phenomenon. In some articles of our folklorists a slight touch can be found upon dreams only as far as dreams are connected with another object under investigation. This work is based on archival material, data collected by the author and the works on allegorical dreams (i.e. such dreams images of which are understood figuratively and some interpretation is required) carried out by s cientists of neighbouring countries.Methods.Analytical descriptive method used to present folklore and was ethnographic data. Part of the research material was collected by means ofqtseuniiong.In analysis of some answers of the formstatistical methodwas applied. Statistical data were used as a ground aiming to present abundance and rareness of certain phenomenon connected with dreams, making no pretensions to more thorough statistical research. Comparing dream interpretations with works of different folklore genres and customs comparative methodwas used. Grouping of allegorical dreams according to meanings was based on the classification for elementary plots of Lithuanian fairy-tales and legends, created by B.Kerbelyte. Sources of investigation. In the course of the work manuscripts put down and information published in the 20th - 21st centuries were used: 1) archival data; 2) interpretations of people‘sdreams published in different issues and used in the works of ethnologists; 3) published dream-books; 4) Internet pages. Narrations on dreams were used found in Internet page; 5) material collected by the author from presenters. 490 presenters were questioned by means of a form worked out by the author. 402 women and 88 men were interrogated. Some presenters were questioned by the author; anothers filled in the form themselves. Their attitude has been presented by: 17 respondents under 15 years old, 236 - of the age from 16 to 25, 51 person - from 26 to 35, 56 respondents - from 36 to 45, 62 - from 46 to 55, 68 - from 56 and more. Investigation has covered all districts of Lithuania. Distribution of the respondents according to districts is as follows: 20 were from district of Vilnius, 249 -Kaunas, 37 - Šiauliai, 30 - Panevžys, 21 - Utena, 30 - Marijampol, 29 - Alytus, 19 -Taurag, 25 - Telšiai. 418 respondents are city dwellers, while 72 live in the country.
For a comparative analysis authentic dream interpretations of Latvian and Slavic people were used. In the work, dream interpretations ar e compared with corresponding images found in sorcery, folklore works of different genres, customs and beliefs. Images and meanings of dream interpretations are compared to allegorical dream images metin fairy-tales, legends and songs. Structure of the work.The work consists of an introduction and four parts („Dream Belief in Lithuania“, „Specific Character of Compos ition of Dream Interpretations and its Functioning“, „Peculiarities of Narratives About Dreams“, „Interactions Between Dream Images and Their Meanings“), conclusions, a list of sources and literature, appendixes. One of appendixes presents dream interpretations not published earlier, collected during the investigation and detected in different manuscript departments. 278 dream interpretations are displayed in alphabetic order with their meanings presented. Main-taining statements. Dream interpretations can be attributed to 1. beliefs. 2. Dream interpretations, propositions and narrations on dreams support a belief in prognostic function of dreams, supply information on concrete meanings of dreams and organize human behaviour after a certain dream or while having an aspiration to see a specific dream. 3. In dream interpretations all aspirations are reflected characteristic to people. 4. Nowadays people‘s attitude towards dreams is contradictory: some people believe in prognostic power of dreams, and some estimate them rationally. 1. DREAM BELIEF IN LITHUANIA The first reference on dream belief in the Baltic region goes to the 16th century. Belief mentioned in ancient writingsin direct and figurative sense is understood as dreams. The meanings of the first are clear to the very people who dreamed and saw those images, while dreams of the second type had been interpreted by wizards or prophets who knew and were judges of the phenomenon. Dreams might be considered as one of the ways for Gods to communicate with servants of their cult or the chosen ones. In literary sources of the 19th century, origin of dreams is explained in two ways. An opinion existed that during a dream the soul of a man leaves his body and
goes wandering; and what the soul sees - a man dreams about it, he sees it in his dream. Quite different explanation of the dream origin is also found. It was supposed that there were three sources of dreams: 1) God, 2) devil, 3) „blood“. And it was namely dreams of the last group under interpretation - those arising from human physiology. The results of our investigation testify that a great deal of respondents of the 21st century do believe that dreams come true. This is exactly the opinion of 82% of respondents who have answered. According to the opinion of 12% of respondents dreams are not fulfilled, and 6% of those who have answered are not aware if dreams on the whole come true. Dreams of not all people realize. So presenters were asked if on the whole their dreams had ever been fulfilled. It turned out that the opinion of 75% was positive, and the answer of 15% was negative (only those respondents are counted who have answered the question). Personal experience is not the only factor exerting influence upon belief in dream fulfilment. 72% of respondents‘ answers testify that, in their opinion, dreams are reasoned by subconscience, 11% think the dead are responsible for dreams, 4% think dreams are sent to people by God, 2% - by the Saints, 11% named some other reasons. So in essence attitude towards the origin of dreams do not change. In the 21st century, as well as in the 19th, an opinion exists that dreams are influenced by a man himself, his activity, thoughts, in other words - subconscience and creatures from Beyond: God, the dead, the Saints. The difference is that in propositions recorded in the 21st century devil is not mentioned. Abundance of dream-books still appearing newly published shows that interest in dream interpretation does not decrease. 2. SPECIFIC CHARACTER OF COMPOSITION OF DREAM INTERPRETATIONS AND ITS FUNCTIONING There exist: dream interpretations (short texts composed of an image seen in a dream / an image could possibly be dreamed and its meaning defining future events}; statementson dreams (short texts related with the process of dreaming or fullfilment of dreams); narrations about dreams (narratives in which images are depicted that were seen in a presenter‘s or his close person‘s dream).
In tradition, dream interpretations are handed over orally in the form of independent statements,when they are presented at a certain communicative situation and are included into narrations about dreams. 2.1. Textual forms of dream interpretations Dream interpretations are most often recorded by applying questioning to respondents according to a form prepared. A collector of folklore usually asks what dreaming of a certain object means. Diversity of question forms allows appearing different syntactic constructions of answers - statements. Their construction and volume vary greatly: 1) Na r r o w f o rm s. An object seen in a dream is often named by a noun or a noun with the verb „to dream“ / „to see [in a dream]“. For example:If you see fish- it means rain. 2) Ex t e n d ed f o rm s. Extended popular dream interpre tations are often formed by detailing description of one image and extending forecast of future situation. For example:If I see eggs in a dream, many eggs, so be sure big gossip and trouble befall in the future, you‘ll be slandered till your ears, my dear. Oh God, you simply won‘t know where to escape. And you‘ll be innocent at all, nevertheless!There are not many of such interpretations recorded. They appeared when answers started to be put down accurately and apparatus of sound recording came into use. So an assumption can be made that interpretations have been „compressed“ by collectors of the material as they were interested only in meanings of images. Besides, it is really very difficult to put down precisely sentences of a presenter‘s colloquial language. Oral dream interpretations have no settled strict textual form. Meanings of images are also presented in dream-books. Specific dream images singled out there also are interpreted in narrow and extended forms. The form of verbal interpretation depends on personal features of a presenter: eloquence, turn for detail or avoiding talking and, as was already mentioned, on methods used by the recorders. The form of presentation of printed material (narrow or extended) in dream-books is determined by taste of a compiler and his purpose to prepair a book of bigger or less volume.
2.2. Specific character of dream images
Images of dream interpretations comprise practically the whole environment surrounding a man. For oral dream interpretations such personages / obje cts are characteristic: anthropomorphic subjects / their parts; zoomorphic personages; plants; household utensils; dwelling of people; cloths; various food stuff; heavenly bodies; nature phenomena; objects of geographical environment. Actions of the objects dreamed of or actions carried out with / at them in a dream are of great importance. Actions performed by the dreamer himself are also significant. 2.3. Principles of forming dream interpretations An image seen in a dream can be a certain object, an action performed with an object or an action (state) carried out in a dream by a dreamer himself, in some ways / by some principles connected with specific, concrete meanings. A dream image and its interpretation are linked together by several principles: -principle of identityis applied when an object of a dream is interpreted directly, according to its proper purpose in real life (a ring meanswedding;the deceased-a funeral); -principle of word similarityan object seen in a dream is found when  is linked with the interpretation according to the sound of words (to scufflemeansreflect (guests will come)); - principle of analogy:positive object or phenomenon seen in a dream often has a positive meaning, while negative - a negative meaning (poorly baked bread means a bad job will be proposed, and well baked one - a good job).Many dream interpretations with meaning of fire are formedaccording tocolour analogy.For example, fire will happen if a man sees himself in red cl othes.Analogy may be distinguished according tophysical appearance of anobject or phenomenon. For example, tears are determined by small and most often round objects seen in a dream. In dream interpretations, analogy is found according toactions performed by a dreamed object(A snake means a bad thing - some bad man will strike you). Analogy may be mythological, dream images and their interpretations are linked directly with when
settled mythologic and symbolic implication of things and phenomena in traditional culture (If you seea white horse in a dream so you will die); -principle of antithesis(If you cry - so you will be happy). 2.4. Relationship between dream interpretations and different folklore expressions 2.4.1. Dream interpretations and beliefs In some beliefs, a man is encouraged to perform / not to perform an action that would predetermine / cause a positive result or would help to avoid a negative one. Inducements are also met in people’s talks about dreams, e.g.If a man sees the deceased inhis dream so prayers should be spoken. A live person is encouraged to perform actions that will turn the state of the dead relatives better. In beliefs that recommend certain activity for the purpose to get some positive / avoid negative result, between two parts of the statement there exists a cause-and-effect connection, i.e. a man‘s action causes a certain effect. Beliefs of another group do not suggest any recommendations, they only give certain information:When the cat is washing itself, people say guests will arrive. By such statements two events belonging to different moments of time are connected, namely - a future event and its already existing sign.By their composition such beliefs are similar to numerously met meteorological signs and dream interpretations as their main function is prognostic too and they relate a sign with a future event (e.g.If you see a Jew in a dream, so be sure you‘ll be cheated). Syntactic construction „if - so“ is characteristic to dream interpretations as well as to beliefs. An impression is formed that in such statements there also exists a „cause - effect“ connection, however it is delusive. Lice appearing in a dream „do not bring“ money, they only as if let a man know that he should get it in future. So in such statements the syntactic structure „if - so“ (conjunctions may also be implied) serves as a connecting link for „a sign“ and „an event“. There is not causal relationhip between two parts, but a warning about future events is presented. So beliefs can be divided into encouragings for an action and statements of prognostic purpose. Dream interpretations make up a significant part among beliefs of prognostic purpose. In dream interpretations as well as in all beliefs of such kind,
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