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Magical Properties of Belts in Slavic Folk Beliefs

POYAS (or Pojas in South Slavic languages) is like a piece of clothing that the person wears and is taking the form of a circle, naturally so it was often used as a talisman. Belarusians tied belts on their children immediately after the baptism, while the Ukraine used to tie belts at the gates of the house of the deceased’s relatives; it was believed that “the devil is afraid” of sacred belt so it will not hurt no house. As belts meant protection then also the removal of POYAS meant communion with the other world, evil spirits, etc. Therefore BELT were taken off on the night of Ivan Kupala, in their performance of rites against epidemics and loss of cattle.

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With BELT in history people also used to establish a connection between “their” and “foreign” space, the old and the new house. For Belarusians in the transition to the new owner of the house draws all the family members into the hug of a belt. Young, entered the house of her husband after the wedding, throwing his belt on the stove. The first pasture cattle in the Eastern Slavs was made ​​with spread the gate with a BELT.
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Traditional East Slavic belt from the collection of the Russian Ethnographic Museum (St. Petersburg). From left to right: men belt (Carpathian Mountains, Eastern Galicia, p. Charles – Rusyns); Belt for men (Carpathian Mountains, Eastern Galicia); Belt women (Polesie, Minsk Province. Pinsk county, p. Luninets – poleshuki); Belt women – “Kraiko” (Polesie, Chernihiv province. and county Sloboda Black – Ukrainians); Belt women (Russian North Vologda Province. Tarnogsky County Str. Pechenga – Russian) Yaroslavl province // Ethnographic Review. 1909. № 1.

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The magical properties of the belt was also used in wedding ceremony. However, BELT power could be used in the wicked actions during the wedding too. According to the beliefs of the Poles and Belarusians. using twisted BELT witch could “turn” the all wedding guests into wolves. In Slavic beliefs Belt – is the lifeblood.

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Therefore, it is often endowed with fertilized and curative properties. In the southern Slavs childless women in an effort to have offspring would place a belt under the pillow.

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