Istomina Yu.A.

The ornament of Tara and Baraba Tatars: archeological and ethnographic analysis

The article concerns the ornament of the Turkic-speaking population of Western Siberia, namely, the Baraba and Tara Tatars. They represent local groups of Siberian Tatars and live in the territory of modern Novosibirsk and Omsk Regions. The issue of the development of the ornament of the Baraba and Tara Tatars is still open, as the materials of the 17th18th centuries have yet been little touched upon. Since the end of the 20th century, due to the excavations, such opportunity has presented itself. The objective of this study is to identify ornamental elements, to form a core of the ornament for the Baraba and Tara Tatars, and to consider what became of these elements. Two types of sources were used in the study: archaeological and ethnographic. The archaeological materials are represented by the ornamented ceramics and decorations from the monuments of the Omsk Irtysh and Barabinsk forest-steppe of the 17th18th centuries. The ethnographic materials date mainly to the end of the 19th20th centuries and include headdresses, clothes, shoes, and jewelry. We identified elements separately for each complex of objects of the Tara and Baraba Tatars, viz., archaeological and ethnographic, and, based on this, general tables were composed. The objective of the compilation was to identify similar ornamental base, which made it possible to identify common elements inherent to the Baraba and Tara Tatars, and elements specific to only one group. As a result, significant similarity in the elements, motifs, zonality, and composition were observed. This similarity appears within the archaeologically recorded time and in the 19th20th centuries. Ethno-cultural, social, family-marital relations, political and military actions, and migration to each other's territory were determining assimilation of the cultural traits. Meanwhile, the cultures of the Baraba and Tara Tatars had diffe-rences, which were due to their ethnocultural contacts. In the case of the Tara Tatars, this is manifested in a wider use of combed stamps. Their crockery featured a variety of compositions of the elements. Ceramics of the Baraba Tatars, on the contrary, was decorated with impressions and figured stamps. In the 19th20th centuries, the ornament of the Baraba Tatars is distinguished by the use of wavy lines and corniform elements. Their ornamentation is characterized by geometrization (simple figures and complex elements). The ornament of the Tara Tatars is characterized by the use of floral motifs.

Key words: Western Siberia, Siberian Tatars, XVIIXX centuries, analysis, ornament, element, composition.


Bereznitsky S.V.

Sacred components of hunting and fishing technologies of the indigenous peoples of the Amur-Sakhalin Region

The article, by means of the comparative-historical method, critical analysis of scholarly concepts, and use of ethnographic materials, deals with the study of the complex of beliefs and rituals of indigenous peoples of the Russian Far East (Nanais, Negidals, Nivkhs, Orochs, Udeges, Uilta, Ulchs, and Evenks) as a sacred component of their traditional and modern hunting and fishing technologies. The term ‘technology’ originates from the Ancient Greek philosophy by the development of the doctrine of ‘techne’ as an art by which things are made. Technology is based on notion and supersedes the role of the chance in human life and activities, which expedites the process of adaptation to the nature. The ritual preceding production of a tool or a vehicle is performed to improve quality of the item to ensure its more productive use in hunting and fishing. In the culture of indigenous peoples of the Russian Far East, there are known examples of invocation of magic, cults, beliefs, and rituals to secure hunter’s luck in fabrication of hunter carriers, tools for hunting marine and terrestrial animals, and traps. Beliefs and rituals serve as the sacred components of the hunting and fishing technologies, which have the utmost importance for sustainable life of the indigenous population. The main conclusion is that, in spite of some differences in the economy, degree of settlement and mobility, and the level of influence of nonethnic cultures, undoubtedly, the results of hunting, fishing, off-shore seal catching, deer breeding, and foraging depend on personal experience, rational knowledge of the qualities of plants, weather signs, and migration times and habits of animals, and on the quality of the trade equipment, transport, clothes and footwear. However, these aspects are not sufficient and the hunters resort to the sacral components of the hunting and fishing technologies transport means are ‘enlivened’, by magic means they are imparted with the qualities of living beings people or animals. With the help of amulets, the hunters strengthen their trade qualities agility, perception-reaction time, and intuition. Prohibitions are observed, which are aimed at decreasing dependence on chance and increasing hunting productivity. The rational technologies, aimed at the survivance of the ethnos, are complemented by the sacred components, so that people cling to the help of supernatural powers.

Key words: indigenous peoples, Lower Amur and Sakhalin, hunting and fishing technologies, beliefs and rituals.


Yaptik E.S.

Homo technicus mobilis in Yamal

The author attempts to investigate how new infrastructure and new technical means affect the social institutions of the indigenous inhabitants of the Yamal Peninsula, who were mainly engaged in traditional activities: nomadic reindeer herding and fishing. The work is based on the author's field materials of 20182020 for the
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District (Western Siberia) and publications of other researchers. The paper shows how the autochthonous peoples build new mobile space and master snowmobiles. Domination over the created space takes place with the aid of traditional skills and behaviors. At the same time, deer, which was the main transport animal and the main measure of wealth of Arctic reindeer herders, has not receded into the background, but transformed into a means of technical modernization of the economy. As a result, it has been shown that, when choosing technical innovations, the indigenous people of Yamal are guided by their ease of operation, high cross-country capability and environmental friendliness, preferring the domestically produced Buran in daily routine. Snowmobiles can be found in almost all reindeer herding families, and only their high price indicates the standing of the owners and allows the latter to demonstrate their status in the society. ‘Buranists’ are involved in the market relations, occupying their niches in the system of commodity-exchange relations in the society. They act as an information and communication link between reindeer herders' camps and settlements. Snowmobiles are vivid examples of adaptation of indigenous people to new conditions and demonstrate possibility of coexistence of traditional reindeer farming culture with modern technologies. The Arctic nomad turned from a mobile man into homo technicus mobilis. This transformation appeared to be only on the outside, as evidenced by frequent accidents during the operation of snowmobiles. The proper use of such technologies in many respects offers competitive advantages to local entrepreneurs. New vehicles boost the entrepreneurial activity of the natives, involve them in the non-traditional sectors of employment: repair and resale of snowmobiles
, transportation; and delivery of fuels, where natives can employ traditional knowledge of orientation, satisfy their passion for moving, and to avail themselves of the opportunity to choose a lifestyle and transport, without parting with their mobile lifestyle.

Key words: Yamal, Western Siberia, Nenets, supvival reindeer husbandry, mobility, snowmobile, “Buran”, transport.


Golovnev I.A., Golovneva E.V.

Images of Sakhalin in the research legacy of B.O. Pilsudsky (based on materials of the Far-Eastern archives)

In modern anthropology, researchers pay increasing attention to photographic data as a category of historical/ethnographic documents. This article is based on visual and anthropological materials of Bronislaw Pilsudsky (1866–1918), a renowned researcher of Sakhalin ethnic groups, collected by the authors from the archives and museums in the Far East during the expedition in JuneAugust 2019. The study is focused on Pilsudsky’s photographic and manuscript collections on the ethnography of the Nivkhs reposited in holdings of the Sakhalin Regional Museum (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk) and the Society for Research on the Amur Region (Vladivostok). Many of these photographic documents, being unique evidence of the evolution of the material and spiritual culture of the indigenous people of Sakhalin at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, are introduced into the scientific discourse for the first time. The photographic materials are analyzed from the historical and anthropological perspectives, in conjunction with the published papers and archival manuscripts of the scientist (in particular, “Wants and needs of the Sakhalin Gilyaks”). Correlation of the textual and visual materials shows that B. Pilsudsky represented Sakhalin in a series of images: the island of native dwellers (traditional lifestyle of the Gilyaks) the island of convicts (colonization of the territory, involuntary-settlement community) the island of autonomies (cultural and economic zoning). In the course of his studies, B. Pilsudsky used concurrently textual description of the impressions and their photographic capture. The key feature of the scientific work of B. Pilsudsky of this period was the absence of a “metric” perspective he photographed his characters in their natural habitat, in their daily routine. The conclusion is drawn on the archive photographs as multi-layered visual-anthropological documents on their time, which under a proper critical research perspective constitute valuable historical sources of scientific interest for studies in a wide range of the humanities.

Key words: Bronislav Pilsudsky, visual anthropology, photo-document, Nivkhs, Sakhalin.


Musagazhinova À.A., Kabidenova Zh.D.

Ritual and ceremonial functions of the Saryarka Kazakh food (20th21st centuries)

The study is aimed to identify the functions of the semiotic models in everyday food practices in the context of ritual and ceremonial activities. The objective of the research is the food practices extant in the modern Kazakh culture in the form of traditional beliefs and folklore. An ethnographic field research was carried out to collect materials in the Northern and Central Kazakhstan by means of structured interview, photographic documenting, and video recording. Using specially designed questionnaires and focused checklists, 120 respondents were interviewed, 80 checklists completed, and 7 recipes and cooking technologies of traditional Kazakh cuisine characte-ristic to the region were recorded with respect to the traditional diet. The ethnicity of the respondents is Kazakhs. In our study, we used methods based on historical, cultural, ethnographic, semiotic, and hermeneutic analyses. The results of the research, collected during the field study, showed that in the modern everyday practices of the Kazakh ethnic group, there are established models of transfer of cultural experience from one generation to ano-ther. It has been found that the traditional ideas of the dietary culture have been preserved with the support of religious values. Rituals and ceremonies in the food culture of the modern Kazakh ethnic group are relevant for activities related to the life cycle of a person, from their birth, adulthood, to their funeral. Various types of beliefs and superstitions in food practices are considered, which in the traditional Kazakh culture reflect the close entwinement of cosmogonic and religious worldviews within the triune of ‘Man, Nature, and God’. A set of ethical rules, related to the prohibitions and behavior at a meal in the food culture, is presented. Some surviving recipes of the traditional Kazakh cuisine have been identified. In the modern Kazakh society, along with the transformation of the food culture, however, traditional cultural patterns and models prevail, notably, those formed during the pre-Islamic period and later on, taking into account the Islamic component.

Key words: Northern and Central Kazakhstan, Kazakh cuisine, food culture, ritual, symbol, belief, sign.


Stasevich I.V.

The challenge of the time: reproduction of ‘forgotten’ traditions in the modern Kazakh culture

This paper is based on the materials on the traditional and modern Kazakh culture. The author analyzes some ritual practices of the life cycle, which are founded on the traditional scenario but understood by the modern Kazakhs at a new level and often are vested with a new sense and significance. The main sources of the conducted research are represented by the field observations of the author and information from the Kazakh Internet resources concerning the problems of administering principal life-cycle rituals. Regular and systematic field investigations allow us to register the dynamics of formation and evolution of such practices over a fairly short time span of within 1015 years. It is this period over which they can develop from innovation into tradition. This approach provides possibility of studying the forms and the way of the transformation of a tradition from the historical perspective. The author pays special attention to the strategies of sustaining the continuity in present-day life-cycle ritualism and to the mechanisms of the formation of the local and regional identity in present-day conditions. Locally synchronous view of the tradition demonstrates the reflection of the individual on the challenge of the time, their ability to adapt to the changing external and internal conditions. This dynamic provides the very process of the transformation of the traditions, reconsideration of the ‘regional’ initiatives imposed from above and their transition into local variants. Each tradition had once been an innovation; examination of the modern forms of ritua-lism over a short time span allows capturing the process of establishing new customs, behavioral stereotypes, and the ways of their preservation and propagation over several decades. Innovations appear, as a rule, in the periods of relative social and cultural instability, when a certain discontinuity occurs between the worldview and ideological norms of the generations in response to the changing conditions of their existence. In the present-day Kazakh culture, the pace of alteration of the rites is considerably higher than that in a traditional society; however, the current demand for the ritual accompaniment of the stages of the human life cycle warrants reproduction of main traditional practices and creation of new practices on the basis of rethinking of the traditional patterns.

Key words: Kazakhs, life-cycle rites, reproduction of traditions, regional and local identity.


Dmitrieva T.N.

Russian development and toponymy of the Pelym region according to written and field sources of the 18th–21st centuries

The paper is aimed at the study of the under-investigated Russian toponymy of the north of the Sverdlovsk Region, specifically, of the oikonyms the names of villages along the lower reaches of the Pelym River. The basin of the Pelym River, a tributary of the Tavda River, is of interest as the Mansi native territory. It is also an area of the early land development by the Russians beyond the Urals, which began at the end of the 16th century. The objective of this study is to establish the origins of the earliest layer of names of the Russian villages along the Pelym River and to trace the history of their functioning from the 18th century to the present day. The work is based on the material of historical documents (customs books of the town of Pelym of the second half of the 17th century), information from written, statistical, and cartographic sources (travel materials of academician G.F. Müller of 1742, expeditions of B. Munkácsi in 1888–1889, lists of the settlements of the Ural and Sverdlovsk regions, and modern maps of the region), as well as field materials of the 1960s collected by the Ural University Toponymic Expedition. Research methods include descriptive, etymological, comparative, reconstruction, and statistical analysis of linguistic material. It has been ascertained that almost all considered oikonyms have anthroponomical origins and are derived from the surnames of first settlers. They reflect the history of the deve-lopment of the Pelym region, including its active settlement by the Russian riflemen Streltsy (villages Krivonogova, Khudyakova, Kuznetsova, Tolmacheva etc.). The names of the Russian villages which were founded in the Mansi native territory were subjected to adaptation in the Mansi language, or the Mansi were gi-ving them their own names, which is clearly shown by the materials of B. Munkácsi of the late 19th century (Ponomareva village → Panamarovskaya in Russian and Varaulėχ-pɵwėl in Mansi, Kadaulova (Kaidaulova) village → Khɵitėl-p. in Mansi etc.). Of the 17 Russian oikonyms of the lower Pelym known in the 18th century and recorded by G.F. Müller in the description of his travel in 1742, only one has survived to this day the name of the village of Vekshina, which is still extant. The memory of the disappeared Pelym villages and their names are preserved by the local microtoponyms present on the modern maps, as well as by the surnames of the descendants of the inhabitants of these villages.

Key words: Pelym, Tavda, Pelym volost, Sverdlovsk region, Russian development of Siberia, toponymic landscape, Russian-Mansi interaction, Russian toponymy, oikonyms.


Čepaitienė R.

The GULAG experience in cultural narratives and collective identity of post-Soviet Lithuania

In this paper, the tendencies of rethinking the GULAG in the cultural memory of post-Soviet Lithuania (after 1990) are analyzed. The sources for the analysis were represented by ego-documents, literary works, and visual arts (movies and comics). The author draws attention to the specifics of female and, in part, children’s experience of the deportation, to the ways of perceiving, rethinking, and reproducing collective trauma in an ethno-historical context, to the role of post-memory in the formation and support of the national identity in the modern Lithuanian society. In recent years, in the field of perpetuating the memory of the Stalinist period in Lithuania, the public attention is increasingly shifted from the direct and authentic evidence to heterogeneous visually striking artistic representations. This shift in the focus of interest can be explained by the generational change, which warrants the search for a new stylistic language and message forms. As a result, works are created that belong to the field of post-memory, which are characterized by a higher degree of adaptability of the traumatic experience of previous generations to the knowledge and mentality of modern viewers / readers, as well as by attempt to increase their attractiveness through vivid and memorable characters and stories. The main difference between the most literarily valuable texts of the ‘first’ and the ‘second’ generation of the Lithuanian authors can basically be described as a different degree of ontological intensity. If the former authors seek to comprehend the experienced repressions within the framework of existentialism (Grinkevičiūtė and Kalvaitis) or Christian metaphysics (Dirsyte and Miškinis), then the latter authors, for obvious reasons, no longer achieve this level of reflection on the extremely traumatic experience, focusing on embedding their personal biographies into the great historical narrative about the “struggle and sorrows” of the nation, which has already become canonical.

Key words: Lithuania, Siberia, GULAG, deportations, national identity, collective trauma, post-memory.