LAMENTATION is a genre of family-household ritual folklore performed usually when a person is departing this life and at his funeral. It is also performed during a rite of passage (seeing off a bride, a soldier, etc.; see Laments). Its origin is connected with the magic of laments, ritual collective crying that aimed to banish evil powers, diseases and clean one’s soul. L. is a sacred passage action, the way to communicate with deities. In ancient times the rite of lamentation included the ritual of self-torture (pulling hair out, cutting face, etc.); usually it was performed by a woman-mourner, a special guest invited to mourn a deceased relative or express grief about the beginning of war, natural disaster, poor harvest, etc. The L. genre is fixed in epic folklore of different peoples: “Ural-batyr” (Bashk.), “Suyumbike’s lamentation” (Tat.), “Lay of Igor’s Warfare” (Rus.), etc. L. is mainly represented in ethnic senlyau songs (Bashk.), kurekton kuy songs (Udm.), yupa yurri (Chuv.), kyrdzan (Udm.), etc. Lyro-dramatic improvisation of L. is very emotional, has many epithets, metaphors and other means of artistic expressiveness.
I.E. Karpukhin, R.A. Sultangareyeva