BLOODY MARY OR KRVAVÁ MÁŘÍ? GLOBALIZATION AND CZECH CHILDREN’S FOLKLORE
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An expressive cultural practice of invoking a ghostly female figure, most often called Bloody Mary, an important part of the folklore of children and adolescents in the West, represents a unique amalgamation of ritual practices, folk beliefs, and demonological narratives. This phenomenon, extensively studied by Western folklorists since the 1970s, is closely connected to a wider discourse of children and youth ghostlore, and interpreted as a girls’ ritual reflecting prepubescent menstrual anxiety, reflexion of process of ontological psychological development devoted to mastering emotion of fear of schoolchildren, or, in later adolescence, a reflexion of archetypal self-development processes in a Jungian sense. The paper, using data documented during longitudinal field research of Czech contemporary folklore, presents the growing popularity of this expressive practice in a Czech setting in the last fifteen years, starting with the late 1990s. Comparing the Czech situation with similar cultural processes analysed in Sweden, Spain, and especially Russia, the paper describes the diffusion of this practice by global popular culture and its glocalization to suit peculiar Czech youth ghostlore inspired by historical personages. Reflecting global, ever-shifting contemporary culture flows, especially changes in local realities of “ethnoscapes”, “mediascapes” and “ideoscapes” during the 1990s, the practice of invoking Krvavá Mary seem to be both parallel and the transformation of local practices such as school- children’s spiritism and horror stories of the 1970s and 1980s.
221 – 243
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