Dr. Anna Lazareva, senior lecturer at the Center for Social Anthropology of RSUH, spoke at the international conference "Lore Makers, Law Breakers: Tradition, Change, and People", organized by the University of Tartu on May 19-21. The researcher described how the motif index of prophetic dreams was arranged within the framework of the project "Creation of a motif index of folklore stories about dreams (based on East Slavic material of the XX-XXI centuries)".
The index systematizes typical plots and motifs of prophetic dreams, recorded by ethnographers among the Eastern Slavs over the past century. Descriptions of stories in the index are based on the principle “plot/motif of a dream - event of reality”. This method of systematizing folklore texts has been developed for the first time.The question arises: how will the motif index, built on this principle, differ from dream books?
The speaker talked about the differences between the "rules" and the practice of interpreting dreams. The principles, according to which the folk meaning of dreams is explained away, are rarely cast in the form of formulas that everyone has heard.
The logic of dream interpretation is revealed only when comparing a large number of stories about prophetic dreams. Completely different plots are often based on the same narrative structures. The index has systematized hundreds of texts, which makes it possible to describe these structures and create a unique system for the classification of narratives about dreams that have come true. The resulting index makes it possible to understand the traditional logic of dream interpretation.