Rarášok a zmok ako kultúrne reprezentácie alebo Prečo prežitky prežívajú?
RARASOK AND ZMOK AS CULTURAL REPRESENTATIONS OR WHY DO THE SURVIVALS SURVIVE?
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The paper focuses on the theoretical perspective of cognitive anthropology applied in study of folklore. The authoress aims to demonstrate that the terms 'folk beliefs' and 'superstitions' used in folkloristics relate to the definition of folklore as a 'survival' peculiar to the earlier anthropological theory of cultural evolution. Cognitive anthropology offers a different approach to study of cultural phenomena. From the cognitive point of view, the so-called superstitions are representations incorporating anti-intuitive concepts. Some of them could have their origin in old pagan beliefs, but this is not the main factor influencing their transmission: the distribution of anti-intuitive concepts is determined by how the human mind works. Narrations containing those concepts are related to a concrete social context and do not necessary refer to the religious feelings or religious faith. On the example of rarasok and zmok - supernatural beings from Slovak folk tales - the autoress demonstrates that the hypothetical religious origin of folklore images does not explain their present 'survival'. Distribution of rarasok and zmok's representations could be explained in terms of Pascal Boyer's theory. Rarasok and zmok appear in tales with interpretation of misfortune in terms of supernatural forces. Long-term reproduction of corresponding narrative schemata could be explained by further cognitive theories dealing with certain aspects of human cognition related to concrete social situations.
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