Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Witchcraft in Russia and Ukraine, 1000-1900A Sourcebook$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Valerie A. Kivelson and Christine D. Worobec

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750649

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750649.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 26 June 2022

Possession

Possession

Chapter:
(p.361) Chapter 8 Possession
Source:
Witchcraft in Russia and Ukraine, 1000-1900
Author(s):
Valerie A. Kivelson, Christine D. Worobec
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501750649.003.0009

This chapter addresses the appearance of demonic possession in seventeenth-century Muscovite witchcraft trials. Klikushestvo, usually translated as “shrieking” or “possession,” was a particularly dramatic form of magical affliction, one that horrified Russian communities and fascinated onlookers by its nightmarish manifestations. As recorded in both miracle tales and court records, possession was often, but not always, attributed to the malevolent acts of witches and sorcerers. Another disturbing condition in Muscovy and imperial Russia, often but not always observed alongside the other characteristics of klikushestvo and sometimes thrown into general symptomology of possession, was ikota — literally, hiccupping. With their dramatic manifestations, klikushestvo and ikota in the Russian lands and the less dramatic (but no less frightening) forms of demonic possession in the Ukrainian lands involved families and communities in shared collective performances. Performance in this sense does not connote any falsehood; rather it underscores the extent to which possession can never be a truly solitary act. It is theatrical in its essence, a public performance. Collective consensus, a shared assessment between afflicted and witnesses, completed and validated possession cases.

Keywords:   demonic possession, Muscovite witchcraft trials, klikushestvo, ikota, magical affliction, imperial Russia, Ukraine, collective performances, Muscovy, public performance

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.