The Function of Things

Abstract

The following paper deals with the problem of the function of things in a traditional culture. Based on material on the Eastern Slavs, particularly Russians, it considers a life “scenario” of things by introducing a concept of semiotic status of things and their functions in ritual context. A distinction is made between the capacity of things to symbolise “one’s own” and “alien” concepts, to function as mediators between these two worlds and, on the contrary, to block the communication channel between them.

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Baiburin, A., (1997) “The Function of Things”, Ethnologia Europaea 27(1), p.3-14. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.862

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  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.

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Albert Baiburin (European University at St. Petersburg)

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