Sheremetev D. A. (2020). Oruzhie kak sub’ekt otnoshenij [Weapon as a Party to a Relationship]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 8, pp. 4 — 85.

Sheremetev D. A.

Abstract: The article represents a shot, taken at analyzes of weapon as a party to a relationship in the realm of traditional military cultures. The grounds for the question are the folkloristic data and ethnographic watch that testify the specific for the traditional cultures way of weapon perception, which goes far beyond the instrumental approach, typical for the modern cultures. In a traditional culture object, in general, and weapon, in particular, obtains semantic ties with mythological era of the Creation and hence, have its own cultural status. The special position of weapon in the cultural hierarchy presumes its complex internal structure, which permits it to exist adequately in the system of relationship with other objects and the universe. The current research presents the complex of metaphors, suitable for the description of the weapon morphology in the system of symbolic interconnections.

The topic, which is studied in depth in the article, is the weapon intended purpose. The author provides evidences of weapon perception as a subject with its own destination and fate. There were acts of “blood drinking” that were deemed as the main idea of weapon existence, while blood itself was treated as vital point of a living creature. The author presents the complex system of metaphors, describing the circle of weapon activity/inactivity in the process of its purpose manifestation within the myth. The epical from the origin point of view concept of “battle admiration”, which is analyzed precisely, appeared to signify the weapon ability of self-intention and self-realization.

In the part, devoted to the man-weapon relationship, weapon is presented as complete, fully-fledged phenomenon, which can serve as a startup for warrior personality becoming. To exist to the utmost, weapon, in its turn, needs warrior. Hence, author analyzes the man-weapon relationship as a dialectical process. One of its important elements is the warrior ability to bring up scare, hidden in weapon, against the counterpart. Simultaneously, the weapon ability to studies in depth the difficulty of establishment long-lasting man-weapon relationship in case the self-containment of the parts is substituted with the interconnection of subjects, defining and controlling each other. In the folklore and in the reality, determined by the mental models, going along the folklore, the act of “weapon mastering” represents the initiation, signifying both overcoming the obstacles and transition from one status and condition to another. Simultaneously, “luckiness” as an integral feature of an individual, permitting him to act effectively in the uncertainties, is perceived as inevitable element of this transition. The harmony and effectiveness of joint man-weapon actions are the evident signs of successful mastering.

The author provides examples of warrior and weapon partnership. The special attention is paid to the importance of weapon for the development of warrior qualities during daily activity, tightly connected with sophisticated coordination and necessity to control the conscious state.

Keywords: weapon, ethnography, traditional culture, cultural status, weapon intended purpose, “blood drinking”, “battle admiration”, weapon mastering, scare, luck.