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

Golikova S.V. (Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation)


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The paper examines the history of creation and life of the monument to the Mansi Stepan Chumpin on the top of the Blagodat Mountain (˝ity 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 źcontemptible╗ character and a foreigner, is portrayed as a źnoble 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 Ś 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, źnoble savage╗, monument, field on Blagodat Mountain.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Accepted: 02.03.2020

Article is published: 05.06.2020


Golikova S.V.

Institute of History and Archaeology of Ural Branch RAS, S. Kovalevskoy st., 16, Yekaterinburg, 620099, Russian Federation