Mourner


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Mourner

 

(Russian, voplenitsa, placheia, plakal’shchitsa), a woman who performs lamentations. In traditional Russian folk art, weeping and lamentation were an essential element in the ritual of wedding or funeral rites and also in seeing off recruits. Among mourners living in the second half of the 19th century, I. A. Fedosova was outstanding because of her talent and the social content of her laments. Her laments were used by N. A. Nekrasov in the narrative poem Who Is Happy in Russia? M. Gorky wrote about her in the novel The Life of Klim Samgin and in the sketch “The Mourner.” With the disappearance of religious rites, the art of the mourner is also gradually disappearing. In the Soviet period, story-laments were created, dedicated to the memory of V. I. Lenin (for example, “Stony Moscow Wept” by M. S. Kriukova).

REFERENCES

Barsov, E. V. Prichitaniia Severnogo kraia, vols. 1-3. Moscow, 1872-86.
Russkie plachi (Prichitaniia). Edited by G. S. Vinogradov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937.
Prichitaniia. Text prepared by B. E. Chistova and K. V. Chistov. Leningrad, 1960.
Russkaia narodno-bytovaia lirika: Prichitaniia Severa. Written down by V. G. Bazanov and A. P. Razumova. Introductory article and commentary by V. G. Bazanov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
References in classic literature ?
Still, the sun rose on the Lenape a nation of mourners.
The mourner arose and staggered into the other room.
And then all were gone, and the mourners went back to the place which should know her no more; and Marie's room was darkened, and she lay on the bed, sobbing and moaning in uncontrollable grief, and calling every moment for the attentions of all her servants.
There was finally a waiting pause, an expectant dumbness, and then Aunt Polly entered, followed by Sid and Mary, and they by the Harper family, all in deep black, and the whole congregation, the old minister as well, rose reverently and stood until the mourners were seated in the front pew.
Every object she saw, the moment she crossed the threshold, appeared to delight her; and every circumstance that took place about her: except the preparing for the burial, and the presence of the mourners.
The undertaker, instructed to spare no expense, provided long-tailed black horses, with black palls on their backs and black plumes upon their foreheads; coachmen decorated with scarves and jack-boots, black hammercloths, cloaks, and gloves, with many hired mourners, who, however, would have been instantly discharged had they presumed to betray emotion, or in any way overstep their function of walking beside the hearse with brass-tipped batons in their hands.
The mourners, too, enveloped and swathed in their skirts and gowns, were unable to bestir themselves, and so with entire safety to himself Don Quixote belaboured them all and drove them off against their will, for they all thought it was no man but a devil from hell come to carry away the dead body they had in the litter.
First came an old man and women, like chief mourners at a funeral, attired from head to foot in the deepest black, all but their pale features and hoary hair; he leaning on a staff, and supporting her decrepit form with his nerveless arm.
When death had stricken Oliver Cromwell, that mighty protector had no sincerer mourners than in New England.
Then a stone, who saw what had happened, came up and kindly offered to help poor Chanticleer by laying himself across the stream; and this time he got safely to the other side with the hearse, and managed to get Partlet out of it; but the fox and the other mourners, who were sitting behind, were too heavy, and fell back into the water and were all carried away by the stream and drowned.
mourners and mourners by courtesy, many old people, much solemnity,
In my young days the mourners used always to be given a pair of black gloves and a piece of black silk for their hats.