Relics of traditional world-view in the narratives of old people in Alanta

Ingrida Šlepavičiūtė

The narratives of old people in Alanta area about souls of dead people or ghosts they or their relatives saw, as well as meaningful dreams which came true and various magic practices are analysed in the article. An attempt is made to spotlight archaic elements of the narratives taken from traditional world-view or those new-fashioned. A conclusion is made that the world of Alanta old people remains closely related to the mythic world-view. The present-day narratives contain a conception that the souls of the dead are still walking in mythologically important home and outside spaces for a certain time after their death or due to the fact that the necessary church ceremonies had not been performed.

The images of the afterlife seen in the dreams are syncretic, where the tradition of a confession, elements of archaic world-view and individual interpretations merge together. Even today prayer formulas aimed at suppressing the nature elements resemble the older incantation texts. Extraordinary capabilities of a person are based on a tradition that is passed vertically but interpreted newly. The atmosphere of fear and amateur spiritualism remind the traditional magic the girls used to practise in winter time feasts. In spite of bans in traditional culture and strict church guidance condemning those who search for contacts with the beyond, some people, due to youthful curiosity make up their minds to violate this ban.