Baulo A.V., Golubkova O.V.

The legend of Tan-varp-ekve

The object of the study is the texts about Tan-varp-ekva, «the tendon twistress», recorded during the 20th c. The majority of the full-text tales has been recorded from the northern Mansi (Lyapin River Basin, Upper Lozva), some folklore stories have been published for various groups of Khanty (Yugan, Middle Ob, Berezovo, Kazym, Upper Purov, Shurishkar); the Nenets legend about the old woman-Sihirtia stands out. The tales mostly split into two plots: the first one is associated with the prohibition to spin veins at night, the second — with changeling and kidnapping of children. The analysis of the key points of the legends has been carried out, the position of the Ob-Ugorsk forest spirit among similar images of the Komi and Russians has been determined. The authors suggest that the village of Lombovozh (Lyapin Mansi) became the place of creation of the folklore storyline, linking it to the presence of a large archaeological site, a medieval settlement. The spread of the legend of Tan-varp-ekva among other Mansi and Khanty groups was the result of migrations. The main plot of the story refers to the introduction of regulations by the Ob Ugrians on inclusion of a daughter-in-law, young women into the foreign cult community. The story with a silver cup explains the rules of entry of a newly manufactured or brought from the outside object into the sphere of worship in the Ob Ugrians. Tan-varp-ekva in the role of a female deity could act as the patro-ness of needlework, as, for the Ob Ugrians, twisting of deer tendon threads was a traditional female work. The stories about Tan-varp-ekva are similar to those of many Russian fairy tales, ballades about mythical spinstresses, as well as bans on needlework during the night and transition time. Her image has a lot in common with Baba Yaga and with the character of Yoma — her double in Komi (forest spirits, creatures of the lower world, kidnappers of children, cannibals, treasure keepers, treasure givers, «spinning» deities). The motifs of killing and eating of daughter-in-law by the spinstress of tendons can be an allusion of the rite of transition to a new family, when the girl «died» for her former family and left the protection of the spirits-keepers of her family. The popular-Christian layer of views of the Russians and Komi provides material for comparative analysis of mythological concepts of Slavic and Finn-Ugric peoples, who for a long period experienced mutual influence on ethnocultural traditions. The function of Tan-varp-ekva as a «twister of tendons» can be secondary, borrowed from neighboring populations, for example, from the Komi, who, together with Orthodoxy, accepted and adapted the popular-Christian beliefs of the Russians.

Key words: mythology, deity, spinning, prohibition, dog, bowl, town, Mansi, Khanty, Russians, Comi, initiation.


Khasanova Z.F.

The chest decoration in modern life of Bashkir women: on the problem of preserving traditions

The purpose of this article is to study the methods for manufacturing, wearing and ways of use of the Bashkir chest decorations in the end of the 20th — beginning of the 21st c. The research area includes the Republic of Bashkortostan and neighboring regions where the Bashkirs live. Information for neighboring regions was collected using the Internet and social networks: VKontakte, Instagram, YouTube. The chronological framework of the study covers the end of the 20th — beginning of the 21st c., that is the time of a renaissance of traditions and the growth of interest in them. Field materials collected by the author during the expeditions in 2010–2019 to different districts of the Republic of Bashkortostan, archival materials, museum collections of Ufa and Internet resources where old and modern photos with Bashkir chest decorations are posted became the source base of the study. The article uses general scientific methods: comparative-historical, and the method of scientific description and analysis. During the collection of field materials, we relied on ethnographic methods, such as in-depth interviews, observation, and photo fixation. To study the current state of tradition, monitoring of social networks was used. Different types of female bibs used to be popular among Bashkirs — selter, sakal, hakal, yaga, muynsa, almaizy and others. They were very highly valued and used as essential part of the bride dowry. Chest decorations made of silver coins and real corals were very expensive. Until the end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th c., chest decoration retained its ethnic, social, and sacred functions. In the beginning of the 20th c., the traditional culture was undergoing a difficult period. During the hunger years of the 1920s, the period of the creation of collective farms, many Bashkirs were forced to surrender their jewelry for nothing. In the postwar years, very few people still had their authentic national decorations. In the end of the 20th — beginning of 21st c., on the wave of mobilization of ethnic identity and revival of interest in traditions, the bib as an ethnic marker became popular again. It has been revealed that there are five basic trends of manufacturing of the Bashkir bibs: from historical reconstructions to highly stylized pieces, from everyday to festive. Nowadays they are worn both for beauty and designating the ethnic identity, traditions, culture, demonstration of national Bashkir ownership. The initial spiritual and guarding function of chest decorations has now been lost.

Key words: Bashkirs, arts and crafts, chest decoration, amulet, protection from evil spirits, Bashkir women's costume.


Avdashkin A.A.

«Chinese» market in the space of a Russian city (the case of Chelyabinsk)

This article is focused on the problem of formation and development of «Chinese markets». Most of the academic texts on the issue are based on materials from the Irkutsk «Shanghai» market. «Chinese markets» of the Ural cities have not been explored. The purpose of this manuscript is to trace the formation and development of ideas about the «Chinese market» among the residents of a large Ural city using the example of Chelyabinsk. The source base includes the author’s personal observations made in the Chinatown area (vicinity of the «Zarechny Market»), archival documents on migration and trade between China and Chelyabinsk Oblast. In 2019 the author gathered interviews with consumers of the «Chinese» market, apartment owners who rented out housing to the Chinese, and market workers. The Chelyabinsk and all-Russian press are important sources for studying public opinion regarding the «Chinese» markets. The complexity of the study object resulted in the use of a complex of methods. These are free informal interviews with city dwellers, included observation in the «Chinese market», analysis of press content and discourse. Our study of perception of the «Chinese market» showed a lot in common between the emergence of «Chinese markets», and, most importantly, the reaction of the host community in Chelyabinsk and Siberian cities to this process. In the media discourse and in the mass consciousness of the townspeople, ideas about the «Chinese market» created an image of a «Chinatown» and a large number of Chinese migrants. Around the market, a complex of perceptions of threats has been formed (crime, tax evasion, low-quality goods, etc.). The Chinese market has formed complex networks of social relations between traders and consumers, the host society and migrants. The term of «Chinese market» has incorporated a large number of meanings that are understandable without additional explanation: from organization of urban space to a set of markers that determine social status. Today, the «Chinese market» is the image of the «East» for citizens, where different ethnic groups, borders, and cultures are intertwined.

Key words: «Chinese» market, urban space, ethnicity, migrants, Chelyabinsk.


Stepanova O.B.

North Selkup state farms as a state social policy instrument

The city-forming role of the North Selkup state farms, as also the farms themselves, has not yet been the subject of a special research; the author had to «develop the virgin soil» exploring this topic. The study is based on materials from the Krasnoselkup Municipal Archive. Carried out was the analysis of the records for the Polyarny state farm for 1974–2000, the Tolkinskiy state farm for 1970–2004, the report of the Krasnoselkup Village Council for 1978, and the summary report on the performance of five local collective farms for the period of 1951–1961. Some information was gathered from the report of the Krasnoselkup oil and gas exploration expedition in 1979 stored in the Krasnoselkup Museum of Local Lore. Materials from conversations with the Krasnoselkup District residents from the author’s field archive were also used. This study confirms that the state farms, built on traditional economic activities, played the role of town-forming enterprises for the Selkup villages and served as guarantors of the Selkup economic and social well-being. The dependence of the inhabitants of the villages (or the Selkup part of the villages’ population) on the state farms was expressed in the opportunity of employment in the traditional economic sector, as well as in the use of the village infrastructure created by the state farms. The city-forming function of the northern agricultural enterprises was the result of the state policy of supporting the indigenous peoples of the North; it originated during the collective farm time and reached its maximum development during the state farm period. Socialist modernization is generally considered to be an unprecedented disintegration, destruction and breakage of a stable economic culture, and associated with the strong turbulence of the everyday environment. Owing to the city-forming function of the Selkup state farms, as well as their social orientation, the process of socialist changes among the Selkups proceeded gently, overall painlessly, improving the quality of life and being associated with an understanding of its normality and the absence of practices for avoiding and leaving for the informal economy. Selkup state farms, together with the villagers entrusted to them, began to experience strong turbulence with the onset of the state crisis in 1991. The 1990s decade ended with collapse of the state farms, and with the social tragedy for the Selkup population.

Key words: North Selkups, traditional economic activity, state farms, villages, the social role of state farms, social policy of the state, economic crisis.


Golikova S.V.

Monument to the Mansi Stepan Chumpin in the context of the Russian pre-revolutionary memorial environment

The paper examines the history of creation and life of the monument to the Mansi Stepan Chumpin on the top of the Blagodat Mountain (ñity of Kushva, Sverdlovsk Region), in the context of development of the Russian memorial culture. The paper aims to explore conformity of this monument with the memorial landscape during the time of its installation, as well as with the trends in the development of public commemoration in the pre-revolutionary period. Chumpin was the discoverer of a large field of magnetite on the Blagodat Mountain. The monument belongs to the category of anniversary ones, as it was built shortly before the centenary of the discovery of the field. Commemoration of this important event with the monument was the idea of the head of Goroblagodatsky mining district Nikolai Mamyshev. This high-ranking official was also a sentimentalist writer. The monument he erected was not similar to those in the style of classicism that were made in Russia in this period. It represented a cylindrical bowl-shaped base for iron casting bursting tongues of flame. The inscription on the pedestal says that Chumpin was burned here in 1730. It is believed the latter was done by his tribesmen associates. The paper formulates and justifies the hypothesis of the influence of Mamyshev's literary work on the concept of the monument: Chumpin, a «contemptible» character and a foreigner, is portrayed as a «noble savage» and a figure that evokes compassion. Such image of the discoverer gave a distinct ethnic orientation to the monument. It also appears as a memorial, since it was erected over the remains of a glorified person (although historians have proved that the fact of Chumpin's death in this place is a fiction). The monument is attributed to the monumental ones, as it is related to the great discovery by Chumpin, and to geographically motivated ones, as it is placed on the Blagodat Mountain. The monument is also a reminder of a significant event — the discovery of a rich deposit, and it affirms the recognition of the merits of the Mansi by the state. Even by the beginning of the 20th c., this monument did not become typical for the Russian memorial environment, although it turned into a popular tourist attraction.

Key words: Mansi, Stepan Chumpin, «noble savage», monument, field on Blagodat Mountain.