A uckoo maiden from Iurty Protochnye (n the local features of the clothes of the Ob Mansi guardian spirits in the XIX beginning of the XX century)

Bogordayeva A.A. (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


                  page 138143


The article is aimed to study images of a female guardian spirit in the form of a cuckoo. It existed in one of the settlements of the Ob Mansi in the XIX early XX century. The image had been considered lost for a long time, and it was discovered by the author in a museum archive. The article provides its detailed description to determine features of the costume. Based on the comparative typological method, the material, cut, ornaments and other specific features are analyzed. It was found out that the costume of Cuckoo maiden guardian spirit consists of a traditional clothing set of the Ob Mansi. It usually includes a gown shirt, a robe and a kerchief. In the case under consideration, a wooden sculpture in the form of a bird is dressed in two shirts, five robes and three kerchiefs. The robes and shirts are sewn by hand and have a traditional Mansi cut. The composition and the cut of the costume set of Cuckoo maiden image reflects the features of the women's clothing of the Ob Mansi, of the Middle Ob and Northern (Berezovo and Kazym) Khanty of the late XIX and XX centuries. At the same time, such adornments typical of the women's clothes of these Mansi and Khanty groups as embroidery with beads, coloured threads and applied ornaments are not represented on the robes and shirts of Cuckoo maiden. But the clothes have another inherent characteristic which is a coin attached to them in some way. It is assumed that these two features of the clothes, the lack of ornamentation and the presence of coins, are sacred symbols which aim at emphasizing a special status of this image.


Key words: image of the guardian spirit, clothes of the guardian spirit, sacred symbols, image of the cuckoo, religion, cult, rituals, the Mansi, peoples of North-West Siberia.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2018-40-1-138-143




A.A. Bogordayeva

Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625003, Russian Federation