Bronislava Kerbelytė


Numerous recorded variants of Lithuanian Christmas song about black and hairy are analysed in the article. Attempts to correlate the archaic black and hairy character with the idea of unsuitable fiancé are revealed in it. The Lithuanian variants are compared with only one known analogous variant of Russian song recorded in the middle of 19th century in Kursk government. The actions found in both songs are compared with elements of fairy tales in which the testing of mature age girls are depicted. The character black and hairy has some signs of the totemic animal bear. All variants of Lithuanian song are transformed into the work about the girl whose future is to marry unsuitable fiancé. That is why Lithuanian song was of present interest in 19th and 20th centuries. The variant of Russian song is more archaic, because of that this song was not popular even in 19th century. KEY WORDS: Lithuanian song of Christmas cycle, black and hairy, bear, unsuitable fiancé, customs of initiation.

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