The attire was costly: In the end, the bride would barely touch the beer with her lips, concluding this part of the ritual. In some places, the braiding was repeated every day between the betrothal and the wedding: There were several ways the bride and the professional could interact: The groom, on the other hand, receives his fair share, and the officiants are subjected to the greatest number of these songs, which are often mocking and humorous. The loops would be of different lengths, some going down almost to the ground, and as the bride went to visit her relatives she would let the end of her braid hang out of the sleigh, so the ribbons could be blown around in the wind for all to see. This event was both ritual and practical, and the two aspects merge, separate, and coexist in a variety of ways.
The prichety, by contrast, were mostly monodic and fluid. At this moment the svatya exclaims, "Praise the young wife! After washing, she would splash her age-mates with this water or the maidens themselves would wash their faces, all to make them marry sooner. The invitation itself took the form of a long prichet, to which the bride would respond with one of her own. It is for the presentation before the tables that the groom's party has to gain access to the bride's house through an elaborate at least in some areas exchange of gifts, mock-hostilities, and a sequence of peformances and welcomes. The progression of the traditional Russian wedding is endlessly varied even neighboring villages often display marked differences and yet remarkably stable in its general outline. After some preparation, departure for church followed, and after it the feast at the groom's house, where, of course, no laments were allowed. By contrast, the evenings with the bride's age-mates could take different forms, and the prichety and songs performed on these occasions are often highly variable, with few ritual demands on the selection of songs. It was believed that the maiden who first washed her face in the bride's bath-water would be the first to marry. The white blouse that constitutes their part over it, the black sarafan was worn was called both the "wedding" and "old woman's" because this costume, just as the Tambov one, could be worn by these two categories of women. When wearing this costume the bride could also cover her loose hair with a white kerchief. In some of these prichety, the young woman who prepares the bath described her preparations in mythical terms: Sometimes, a podgolosnitsa "professional" lamenter was also present to help the bride with the laments. To start with, she stood on a table cloth and her face was washed from a particular type of copper vessel. The pre-wedding week culminates in what is arguably the most important day of the wedding, the day that is actually called svad'ba 'the wedding', in some regions: In short, what had started for me as a look at hairdressing customs quickly developed into a broader look at the bride's side of the traditional Russian wedding. These can indeed be termed laments. This task fell to her friends, and once they were finished they would invite the bride, again in a prichet, to come, while she would request their company. She will bid farewell to all these things one more time as she returns from the bath, in the reverse sequence. The ones who will part us, dear father, forever? This is, again, to be expected, although similar songs might have been also performed at Greek weddings: There were also songs of blame directed at all concerned, though the bride seems to be blamed only rarely. The brides tended to achieve this in different ways, sometimes by personalizing the prichety, making them reflect the particular realia of the bride's circumstances, and sometimes by expanding the prichety poetically, adding similes, metaphors, hyperbolic descriptions etc. At this point the bride usually does not lament; she is supposed to appear beautiful and everything is orderly. In this case, the groom had to watch carefully, for the bride's side might whisk her away and put another dressed up maiden in her place. There are reports of grooms' frustrations, and of one groom even breaking into tears. Here is how one respondent answered a researcher's question about learning prichety:
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