© 2017 Viktoriya LIPINSKAYA

2017 – №1 (13)

Key words: folk medicine, prevention, treatment, oven, bath, hearth, heating efficiency, tradition

Abstract: The article addresses the development of the healing tradition of the Russian people, based on the use of water and its derivative – steam. In the XIX-XXth centuries this tradition existed in two forms: stove and banya (Russian sauna, steam bath). The unity of the tradition was maintained by the development of folk dwellings (izba, a hut) and designation of an outdated house as a movnaya izba(a hut for bathing, later – banya). Meanwhile a specific structure of the stove was preserved: a hemispherical hearth made of stone (burnt clay, bricks). An intention to make the hut more comfortable led to emergence of white stoves(with a pipe), in which steam was made inside the firebox. At the movnaya izba(a bathing hut) there was a stove-kamenka (without a pipe). The water was heated in the vessels standing on the stones on top of the stove. Separation of banyafrom the residential house helped create a specialized family-friendly building, in which many medical and hygienic procedures were conducted. At the same time, steam treatment could be supplemented by other means of folk medicine (phytotherapy, massage, magic spells, etc.), and also included alternation of heat and cold. The many-years-old experience of banyahas put it to the first place in the treatment of diseases, maintenance of health, prevention of diseases. At the end of the 20th century bathing procedures inside the stove almost disappeared from the everyday folk life, but banya tradition still remained, and in the XXI century the design of the hearth, layout and other details started to get modernized.


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