When analyzing Belarussian tales, the 'Baba' (peasant woman) represents the image of the Other in the structure of the ethnic self-image. When comparing to the modest, industrious, kind 'Mouzhik' (peasant man), the 'Baba' appears a peevish, greedy, malicious, and lazy creature. The question is why the Baba's image completely differs from memoir image of the true woman? The authoress looks for the answer at two levels of analysis, textologic as well as structural and functional. At the first level, the Baba's features can be explained as her original connection to evil. From the structural and functional point of view, the Baba is a necessary component of the ethnic self-image because she provides background for the Mouzhik, and other characters appear from the darkness of 'the ethnic self-conscious' to the level of rationalization of their true features and gender roles. Contrary to the common point of view about equality in the relationship between the man and the woman, tales demonstrate women's inequality in traditional Belarussian culture. This proves the masculine character of peasant culture in Belarus.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.