Table of contents:
- Sleeping places, distributed according to the level of comfort
- What kind of bed? Welcome to the bunk
- How the peasants divided the dream into two parts
- Why you had to sleep in clothes and with your head covered
- Straw mattresses and old zipun pillows
The culture of sleep in old Russia was different from the modern one, and today it may seem rather strange. Surprisingly, the now familiar beds appeared in villages only in the 20th century. But besides this, there were special sleep rules that required execution. It is unlikely that a modern person will be able to sleep by following them. Read why the peasants slept in their clothes, where was the most comfortable sleeping place, for whom it was intended and why the sleep should be divided into parts.
Sleeping places, distributed according to the level of comfort
The peasants could settle down to sleep in various places. It could be a hayloft or a canopy, a cart or a cage, a bench or a chest. But there were also places that were intended for sleeping, namely beds and a stove.
The bed on the stove was the most comfortable and comfortable for sleeping. She stayed warm for a long time, which was important in the cold season. Usually old people slept on the stove, but young people also liked to bask in the warmth. Another comfortable sleeping place is a bed. This was the name of the wooden shelves located between the stove and the wall, sometimes high under the ceiling. It was a warm place without drafts, so the children were laid on the floor. It was uncomfortable for the old people to climb and descend. Babies slept in cradles that were hung from the ceiling, while older children often slept on benches and chests.
The male head of the family had his own corner, a konik, opposite the woman's kut. In it, the craftsmen repaired, carved, made something, and at night they could go to bed right there. If the weather was warm outside, the peasants could fall asleep under a tree in the yard or in a barn, perching on a sack of flour.
What kind of bed? Welcome to the bunk
The life of the Russian peasants was very ascetic. From the furniture in the hut there was a table and benches installed along the walls. Not everyone had items such as stools. And an ordinary bed was a symbol of a rich, luxurious life. In many families, even at the beginning of the 20th century, there were no beds at all.
The researchers write that in the 20s of the 20th century, there was such statistics: slightly more than half of the peasants slept on the bed, about 40 percent rested on the floor, about 5 percent slept on the stove, the share of the bed was 3 percent, and one percent of the villagers rested. on the bunk. It is a mistake to believe that we are talking about prison beds on which prisoners toss and turn. No, peasants called bunks wide wooden benches that were installed in the hut.
How the peasants divided the dream into two parts
The life of the Russian peasants was hard. In the spring and summer, there was little time for sleep, as people worked fifteen hours a day. Peasant women were also engaged in domestic work. Lack of sleep was common, but people made up for it with a short (1-2 hours) afternoon nap. They could fall asleep anywhere, for example, leaning against a haystack. The afternoon nap was not just a whim of the peasants, but a custom. Without him, there was no need to talk about good performance.
In winter, the peasants also got up very early in order to have time to do all the work: feed the cattle, go to the forest for firewood, fix the utensils, and so on. We were less tired than in summer, but the dream was still divided into two parts. At sunset, the families sat down to dinner and went to bed. Approximately five hours passed, and the peasants woke up and got down to business again. Each had their own: prayers, card games, love joys. This continued until about 3 am, after which people went to bed again and rested until the sun rose.
Why you had to sleep in clothes and with your head covered
It is interesting that the peasants did not wear special clothes for sleeping (it simply did not exist until the middle of the 20th century), but slept in what they wore during the day. The women did not take off their headscarves. Researchers believe that this was done due to superstition. Sleep was equated to the transfer of the soul to another world. But how do you appear there naked? Ugly.
It was also said that a naked person (especially a woman) is especially vulnerable to evil spirits. In order not to provoke devils, they slept in clothes. The peasant women covered their heads with a handkerchief because they were afraid to die in their sleep. And with an uncovered head it was impossible to get to the Judgment of God. Girls sometimes broke customs and slept naked - in order to see a prophetic dream, to talk with evil spirits.
There is another version: there was simply no bed linen in peasant families. People slept on hard straw mattresses covered with sheepskin mats. The cleanliness of such a bed is out of the question. And the clothes could be washed at any time. Most likely, the presence of bed linen was an indicator of the wealth of the family and the remoteness of the village from the cities.
And one more option: the peasants did not take off their clothes to protect themselves from the nasty insects that always interfered with their rest. Spiders, bugs, ants were always present in the huts. It was quite difficult to remove them with folk remedies, and the insecticidal agents we were used to in the old days were simply not released.
Straw mattresses and old zipun pillows
Yes, the peasants' beds were really ascetic. It could have been an ordinary straw bedding covered with old matting. It is uncomfortable to sleep without a pillow, and some soft things were used instead. It could be an armyak, a zipun or a fur coat. They served as a blanket when it was cold. A feather bed, a high pillow and a warm blanket were considered luxuries and were considered an excellent dowry for a bride.
Historian A. V. Krasnov wrote in his book about his childhood in the Ryazan province that there were no beds in the villages. Before going to bed, the peasants spread straw, put sackcloth on top and went to bed all together. Only the oldest members of the family remained on the stove, who needed special care - grandfather and grandmother. Yes, to say that the peasants were spoiled is ridiculous.
Sleepers often have dreams, which could also say a lot, according to the ideas of that time. Per some dreams, if told about them, could get real punishment.