The Day After Tomorrow

The Spirit of Old Houses 

Role behavior can best be depicted by means of concepts of social value and norm. In my study I was able to prove that spirit images can be brought into dependance with certain social roles, values, and norms. Primarily those individuals who function in the role of a house’s master or mistress maintain the tradition of the house spirit. The value which governs behavior can briefly be called the ‘fortune of the house’; it includes the protection of the house from mishap, the agreeable and orderly conduct of the family which lives there, the family’s well-being, prosperity, and its protection from destructive outside influences. In this case, in-group attitudes dominate the value. Expected behavior is expressed as norms. Appearances of the house spirit are usually experienced when some norm has been broken (for example, disorderliness, quarreling, drunkenness) or when some misfortune threatens the house or the family (such as fire, death, leaving home). The house spirit is also actualized in connection with such great changes of life as the building of a new home and the moving rites.”


Lauri Honko, Memorates and the Study of Folk Beliefs, Journal of the Folklore Institute, Vol 1. No. 1/2 (1964) p.p 5-19


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