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Russian Village Magic in the Late Soviet Period: One Woman’s Repertoire of Zagovory

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This article gives a succinct introduction to the Russian verbal folk genre of the zagovor (spell, charm, or hex) and provides a set of seventeen zagovory given to the author’s informant in the early 1980s by an elderly village woman, accompanied by translations into English. The zagovor is at the heart of Russian folk healing, though it was suppressed in the Soviet period. This individual repertoire reflects the sources and uses of folk healing in the Soviet period and beyond.

Affiliations: 1: Swarthmore College,


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