(in northern Russia; toloka in southern Russia, the Ukraine, Novgorod, Pskov, and Tver’, and talaka in Byelorussia), the custom of mutual aid among villagers in prerevolutionary Russia. Neighbors were asked to help with pressing work. They were not paid for their labor but instead were given a feast when the work was finished. The practice of pomoch’ was most commonly used for agricultural tasks, such as harvesting of grain, threshing, or mowing, as well as for chopping cabbage or moving dwellings. The occasion was usually festive. The pomochane would arrive dressed in their holiday clothes, and the feast, often given at the place of work, was accompanied by singing and, at times, dancing. The custom had its beginnings in the organization of the rural commune. It was often used by rich peasants to exploit other members of their village. Similar forms of mutual aid existed in the rural areas of many parts of the world.