Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/65

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Some Notes on the Huculs. 51

that the Mother of God and the Holy Virgin are two persons. All changes and accidents of everyday life are attributed to spirits. They will drink the milk of the cows, lull to sleep those who should be on guard, cause trees to fall ; they thunder and send the lightning, and such like things. Of great interest is the remnant of belief in a good and bad god, the latter being called Arinyk. Much could be said about their strong belief in witchcraft did space permit.

The Huculs have their own cosmogony, which is exactly similar to that preserved among the inhabitants of the Ukraine in Russia. Professor Szuchievvicz, of Lemberg, who has spent more than twenty years in col- lecting ethnological material and objects connected with the Huculs, is about to publish the 4th volume of his work, which will contain the cosmogony and other traditions of the highest ethnological interest.

Marriage Customs.

The leaves of the berwinck {vinca minor) are of great importance during the wedding festivities of Huculs as well as of Ruthenians. The wreaths of the young couple are made of, and the dishes ornamented with, these leaves, in the same way that the myrtle is used in Germany. Besides this, a small fir-tree is decorated and richly ornamented with variegated gay shreds of paper, red and white wool, flowers, golden threads, and so on. This little tree is always carried before the bride and bride- groom by one of the most respected husbandmen of the village, who regards this office as one of great honour. He carries it before the couple on going to and coming from the church and cottage where the wedding festival takes place. Here he puts it on the table before the places of the nuptial pair, where it remains till the end of