From material to spiritual resources - Apiaceae in Polish folk culture

Robert Gruszecki , Agnieszka Sękara


The purpose of the present work was to characterize the role of vegetable and spice plants from the Apiaceae family in Polish folk culture, based on analysis of sources and scientific studies in the field of ethnography and ethnolinguistics from the 19th and 20th centuries. Apiaceae, both cultivated and collected from natural settings, were an important component of Polish countryside inhabitants' diet, especially during fasting. They were also symbolic elements of ritual dishes, as well as being blessed along with some other plants during the most important Christian celebrations. Folk knowledge about these plants was valued and passed from generation to generation, proving their position in the folk culture in which they were rooted for centuries. The names of less economically important crop species were often derived from Apiaceae. Because of their strong aroma, they were used in folk magic for protection purposes and in love magic, being an important attribute of customs and rituals, including weddings. Many of them appear in proverbs, sayings, songs, riddles and folktales. Apiaceae crops were also widely used in human and animal treatment. Commonly grown vegetables such as carrot (Daucus carota L.), parsley (Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss), parsnip (Pastinaca sativa L.), dill (Anethum graveolens L.) and caraway (Carum carvi L.) were elements of both everyday life and festive traditions. Vegetable and spice plants from the Apiaceae family might be considered an excellent example of combining material aspects of life with rituals, magic and symbolism in Polish folk tradition.
Author Robert Gruszecki
Robert Gruszecki,,
, Agnieszka Sękara (FoBaH / DoVaMP)
Agnieszka Sękara,,
- Department of Vegetable and Medicinal Plants
Publication size in sheets0.5
Book Grzebelus Dariusz, Barański Rafał (eds.): Proceedings of the II International Symposium on Carrot and Other Apiaceae, Acta Horticulturae, no. 1264, 2019, International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), ISBN 9789462612624, 292 p.
Keywords in EnglishFolklore, customs, ethnobotany, plant symbolism, umbellifers
ASJC Classification1108 Horticulture
Internal identifierWBIO/2019/43
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)5
Score sourcepublisherList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 0.276
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FinansowanieThis work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland
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