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RUSSIA'S "SNOW MAIDEN" TALE, a presentation by Philippa Rappoport

  • Friday, February 15, 2019
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • The Butler Boardroom of the American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20016


  • Special rate for full-time students. Please bring your Student ID.

Registration is closed


While the Snow Maiden story has the simple grace and stark development characteristic of most folktales, it also offers a remarkably detailed view of Russian traditional culture, and can be connected to a series of rituals performed between the winter and summer solstices in which a personification of the season was erected, paraded through the town, and eventually destroyed. This presentation will examine the connection between the folktale and ritual celebrations, and will explore more broadly notions of the sacred in narrative and ritual celebration.   

Snegurochka, or the Snow Maiden, was first published in a collection of folktales in the late 19th century. It inspired a symphony and a ballet, and continues to be one of the most popular folktales in Russia today. A visit from Snegurochka and her grandfather, Ded Moroz, is an established and cherished component of contemporary New Year celebrations.

Philippa Rappoport is a lecturer in Russian Culture at George Washington University, and a museum educator. She has a Ph.D. in Slavic folklore and linguistics from the University of Virginia, with a specialty in folktales and ritual and their connection to popular culture. She has taught Russian language and culture, comparative Russian/American folklore, and English for Speakers of Other Languages. Her presentation is based on a publication, "Sacrificing Snegurohcka" (in The Paths of Folklore: Essays in Honor of Natalie Kononenko, 2012)

For directions to the Butler Boardroom of the American University, please click here.


5200 Cathedral Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016


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