Poetics of Mari Incantations

Pp. 36-52

  • Natalia Glukhova
Keywords: expressive means, folklore tropes, incantations, informational content, pragmatic aim, stylistic devices, syntactic stylistic means


This article sets forth the stylistic characteristics of Mari incantations, which constitute an integral part of Mari spiritual culture. The texts of charms represent a rare phenomenon due to the long history of their existence and their peculiar language features. At the same time, the tradition of magical texts can still be observed today. A sample of approximately 500 incantations from different sources allowed them to be divided into six groups. They differ in compositional structure, temporal characteristics, and expressive and stylistic devices. The latter is the object of study here. The research shows that among various expressive means and stylistic devices, the incantations are rich in syntactic stylistic means and folklore tropes. This choice of means can be explained by the "laws" of oral presentation of magical texts and their pragmatic aims.