"Red Growth, Yellow Growth, White Growth...": Chromatic Beliefs in Udmurt Folk Medicine and Healing Charms

Pp. 9-28

  • Tatiana Panina
Keywords: Udmurts, Udmurt folklore, folk medicine, healing rituals, verbal charms, colour symbolism


Traditional culture is one of the key factors influencing our colour perception. The present article aims to analyse the colour concepts and symbolism of Udmurt folk medicine, in particular, healing rituals and charms. Consideration is given not only to the most widespread hues and their specific meanings within magic folk poetry, but also to the combination of colours, which fulfils an important role in emphasizing the efficacy of verbal means of magic. Additionally, the study demonstrates the folk classification of medical conditions based on colour characteristics. It is concluded that colour semantics entirely depends on the pragmatic objectives of healing rituals and charms.