The Silent Human Double, or the Doll in the History of Culture

 
PIIS023620070008751-3-1
DOI10.31857/S023620070008751-3
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: Leading Research Fellow
Affiliation: Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera)
Address: 3 University Embankment, St. Petersburg 199034, Russian Federation
Occupation: Researcher
Affiliation: The Russian Academy of Science Library (St. Petersburg)
Address: 1 Birzhevaya Line, St. Petersburg 199034, Russian Federation
Journal nameChelovek
EditionVolume 31 Issue №1
Pages155-184
Abstract

The article is dedicated to a versatile phenomenon in the culture history - the doll, which embodies the ancient archetype of duality in its image. The duality is represented in ancient anthropogonic myths of almost all peoples of the world. The legends describe how the gods made dolls first, and then in different ways breathed life into them, turning them into people.This ancient mythological insight about the revival of a dead image and the line mobility between dead and the living was later continued in folklore, and also repeatedly reminded itself in various fields of culture, art and literature. In most magical practices, dolls have the role of silent, but effective human doubles; they were credited with both beneficial and harmful influence.In modern culture, the doll lost many of its innermost meanings, but the author’s doll preserves them to a certain extent. The creator of the doll acts as a mythical demiurge, creating a new being from various materials. It isn’t always possible to realize the author’s intention; the magic of the doll affects its creator. Being inherent in the “root concepts” in the cultural system, the doll opens up space forexpressing the most diverse living issues of modern life.

Keywordsdoll, duality, mythology, demiurge, traditional cultures, magic, ritual, author's doll
Received29.03.2020
Publication date30.03.2020
Number of characters33374
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