Псковские фольклорные легенды о «провалищах»
The article shows the results of the analysis of the overall composition of folk legends about the churches and settlements gone underground or underwater, recorded between 1982 and 2015 during the folklore expeditions of Faculty of Philology of Pskov State University and currently constituting the university library collection of folklore.
It was found that such stories are widespread in the Pskov land. In half of the cases the stories referring to the location of archaeological sites formally and substantively relate to the genre of legends. Getting up on a par with other narratives of the "village relics," they absorb knowledge about the structure and functioning of the local spiritual space, create its special mythological model. Pskov stories about the religious buildings or settlements gone underground or underwater are formed by a system of motifs traditional for this plot type, and although detailed narratives including the whole set of motifs specific to the plot type are rarely encountered in Pskov land, groups of texts with pernanent plot elements are clearly distinguished, and the central story among them defining the relationship of the other plot elements is the motif of the miraculous disappearance of the sacred object. In addition to the motif of miraculous disappearance of the sacred object, the motif of “news” receives comprehensive development, showing the relation of the time to the process of action in legends, the motif's ongoing relationship with the present expressing in the ritual practice of local residents. Narrating about the meeting of humans with the phenomena of the sacred world, the legends of disappearing places come together with «true stories» and have common narrative features with them.