VESTNIK ARHEOLOGII ANTROPOLOGII I ETNOGRAFII ¹ 4 (55) (2021)
Female festive costume of the Khanty and Mansi in the late 20th — early 21st century: dynamics and functions
In order to determine dynamics and causes of transformation of everyday dress into a festive costume, specifics and functions of the women’s costume of the Khanty and Mansi have been studied. Towards this, the comparative-typological method was employed to study the costume composition, its local features, and differences with respect to the traditional everyday dresses, and the functions of the costume were determined. The study is based upon the materials of ethnographic expeditions carried out in the 1990s–2010s in the regions occupied by the Ob Ugric population (North-West Siberia and Northern Trans-Urals). It has been ascertained that the festive costume commonly comprised a dress, a breast decoration, and a shawl, and in its local variants it was complemeted by other items. The costume was all-season and had common and local elements. The common elements include multi-completeness (it consists of several items), variability according to weather conditions, use of silk and woolen fabrics and beads. The local specifics are manifetsed in the costume composition, silhouette variability, and techniques of decoration. In the end of the 20th — beginning of the 21st century, traditional clothing of the Khanty and Mansi changed in the appearance due to the use of modern synthetic materials (it changed the colour, sillhuette, means and techniques of decoration) and became merely festive. To the large extent those changes were caused by the industrial development on the territory occupied by the Ob Ugric population in the last quarter of the 20th century, and later by the cultural, social, and economic transformations in Russia. The range of use of the traditional clothing shrank due to the spread of factory-made clothing. The growing interest to the ethnic culture stimulated demand for the national costume. It has become made from import synthetic fabrics, because the home-produced cotton fabrics disappeared from the shops. New fabrics changed the appearance of the clothing and its function, as it became merely festive.
Keywords: traditional clothes, Ob Ugrians, costume history, traditional holidays, the festival, traditional costume, function costume.
The ethno-etiquette in the Yakut culture: sacred strategies and behavioral code
The ethnic etiquette of the Yakuts demonstrates traditional culture, worldviews, and ritual and mythological practices. The historical and anthropological approach used in this study allowed us to consider motives and strategies of the behavior, customs and rituals in space and time. The study of folklore and ethnographic and linguistic materials made it possible to identify and analyze responses of the behavioral strategies that expand the boundaries of the developed space (travel customs and rituals), eliminate the “otherness” of a guest (an etiquette), and provide for communications between the man and the deities/spirits (a ritual). For the first time, archival and field materials on the guest and travel etiquette are introduced into scientific discourse. The aim of the study is to conduct a historical and cognitive analysis of the travel and guest etiquettes, which begin with overcoming the developed space — the dwelling place. As the result, we have revealed that the travel etiquette is primarily aimed at ensuring that the traveler returns home without encountering any obstacles in his journey. To achieve that, they used words-taboos and made a sacrifice to the spirit of the fire and to the spirit of the road. The analysis of special travel terms has shown that the main guardian of the traveler is his horse, while the behavioral code serves as an assurance of a successful journey. Compliance with pre-travel and travel taboos and rules primarily contributed to a safe return of the traveler. It has been found that the status of the traveler is transformed when he overcomes a “cultural barrier” — the fence, enters the developed space, and becomes a guest. The guest etiquette mainly defines behavior of the hosts, since the arrival of the guest, his welcoming and parting with him strengthened their life values, stability, and prosperity. The guest was considered to be a messenger of an alien world, so that the first series of the ritual actions was aimed at removing the “otherness” of the guest, the second series was aimed at including the guest in the home space, and the third series was aimed at seeing off the guest. Nowadays, respectful welcoming of a guest is also of a great importance, and the metaphor "the Yakut’s hospitality" has still not lost its significance.
Keywords: Sakha people (Yakuts), behavioral code, symbolic communication, road etiquette, traveler/guest, sacred guest.
Women’s Hairstyles and Head Ornamentation of the Yakuts in the 18th century
Mass Christianization of the peoples of Yakutia (Eastern Siberia) at the end of the 18th century led to the development of a demotic Christianity throughout the 19th century. There were new rules, according to which a woman was not permitted to appear in public with her head uncovered, and therefore the marking function of the hairstyles became obsolete. This could explain the absence of rituals and rules associated with women’s hair and hairstyles in the Yakut culture of the 19th–20th centuries. The aim of this study is to prove a hypothesis, according to which pendants of hair ornamentation duplicate braids, and studying the pendants of the headrest ‘nachel’nik’ allows recreation of women’s hairstyle that had been in use before the period of mass Christianization. The article is based on the analysis of written, material, and visual sources of the 18th–19th centuries. Information about the hairstyles and adornments of the Yakuts is contained within the records of travelers of the 18th–19th centuries. Among the ethnographic works on the peoples of Siberia, one can find drawings depicting maidens and women, where particular attention is given to their hair. These materials were correlated with the data of the archaeological excavations of Yakut female burials of the 18th century. The obtained results were compared with the materials from the 19th century — photographs of women in national costumes and jewelry from museum collections. According to the results of the study, it can be stated that there was a tradition of changing maiden’s hairstyle to woman’s hairstyle in the context of the wedding ritualism. New rules of conduct, social roles, especially regulations on the appearance of women, were formalized in the society in the 19th century with the mass Christianization of the peoples of Yakutia. There were new rules, according to which a woman was not permitted to appear in public with her head uncovered, and therefore the marking function of hairstyles became obsolete. This could explain the absence of rituals and rules associated with women’s hair and hairstyles in the Yakut culture of the 19th–20th centuries.
Keywords: head decoration, hair decoration, hair, braids, rite, tradition, funeral monuments.
Everyday Life of the Russian Nuns in the Holy Land at the Time of Changes in the Middle East, 1940s–1950s
This study aims at providing an overview of the everyday life of Russian nuns in Palestine after World War II. This research encompassed the following tasks: to analyze the range of ego-documents available today, characterizing the everyday life and internal motivation of women in choosing the church jurisdiction; to identify, on the basis of written sources, the most active supporters of the Moscow Patriarchate to examine the nuns’ activity as information agents of the Russian Orthodox Church and Soviet government; to characterize the actors influencing the everyday life of the Russian nuns in the context of the creation of the state of Israel and new borders dividing the Holy Land; to present the motives and instruments of influence employed by the representatives of both secular and church diplomacies in respect to the women leading a monastic life; to describe consequences of inclu-ding the nuns into the sphere of interest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR; to show the specific role of “Russian women” in the context of the struggle for securing positions of the USSR and the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the region. The sources for the study were prodused by the state (correspondence between the state authorities, meeting notes) and from the religious actors (letters of nuns to the church authorities, reports of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, memoirs of the clergy). By combining the methods of micro-history and history of the everyday life with the political history of the Cold War, the study examines the agency of the nuns — a category of women traditionally unnoticeable in the political history. Due to the specificity of the sources, the study focuses exclusively on a group of the nuns of the Holy Land who came under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. The majority of the Russian-speaking population of Palestine in the mid-1940s were women in the status of monastic residents (nuns and novices) and pilgrims, and in the 1940s–1950s, they were drawn into the geopolitical combinations of the Soviet Union. The Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, staffed with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, becomes a key institution of influence in the region. This article shows how elderly nuns became an object of close attention and even funding by the Soviet state. The everyday life of the nuns became directly dependent on the activities of the Soviet agencies and Soviet-Israeli relations after the arrival of the Soviet state representatives. At the same time, the nuns became key participants in the inter-jurisdictional conflicts and began to act as agents of influence in the region. The study analyzes numerous ego-documents created by the nuns themselves from the collection of the Council on the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church under the USSR Council of Ministers. The study shows how nuns positioned themselves as leading a monastic life in the written correspondence with the ROC authorities and staff of the Soviet MFA. The instances of influence of different secular authorities on the development of the female monasticism presented here point to promising research avenues for future reconstruction of the history of women in the Holy Land based on archival materials from state departments, alternative sources should also be found. The study focused on the life of el-derly Russian nuns in the Holy Land and showed their activity in the context of the geopolitical transformations in the Near East in the 1940s–1950s.
Key words: Palestine, Holy Land, female monasticism, church diplomacy, cold war agency, orthodox nuns, Gornensky monastery.
Islamic religious buildings in the Tobolsk Province in the late 18th — early 20th century
A network of mosques in the Tobol Province (Western Siberia) in the end of the 18th — beginning of the 20th century is analyzed. The source basis for the work was represented by legal enactments, statistical materials, and clerical documentation. The scientific methods were employed, including historicism, statistical, and comparative-historical analysis. By the Imperial Decree of 1744, mosques were to be located in places inhabited by only muslims. Moreover, each mosque should have had no less than 200 and no more than 300 male parishioners. The set limit on the number of parishioners restricted the ability of the muslims to build religious structures. This appeared to be a discriminatory regulation for the residents of small settlements. In the studied time, most of the mosques were located in the countryside. In 1828, towns had two mosques and in 1909 — five. The total number of Islamic religious building was 137 in 1868 and 169 in 1909. In the meantime, muslim population had grown by one-and-a-half times. In general, the increase of the number of belivers is explained by the natural growth of the population. Besides, in the first half of the 19th century, there was a contunued migration of the population from Middle Asia, so called “Bokharans”. In the last third of the 19th century, there was a transit of the Volga and Cis-Urals Tatars. At that time, the number of the settlements inhabited by muslims changed insignificantly, from 260 in 1868 to 264 in 1909. Therefore, in the beginning of the 20th century, the mosques became more affordable for the population. During the studied period, the legal regulation on the limit of parishioners (no less than 200) was violated in building new religious houses. In 1868, there were on average 137 men per mosque in the countryside, and in the beginning of the 20th century – 188. The local authorities permitted muslims to build mosques for even less that 100 parishioners. That could have been influenced by the position of the Province’s authorities, natural and landscape specifics, distance to the nearest mosque, and financial capabilities of the commune. In our opinion, the politics exercised by the regional authorities in the end of the 18th – beginning of the 20th centuries were providing opportunity to the majority of the residents of the Tobol Province professing the Islamic faith to meet their spiritual needs. At the same time, the lack of religious houses precluded part of the practicing Islam from taking full part in the life of the religious commune, as well as from satisfying their religious needs, which was detrimental to their status.
Keywords: mosque, iconic building, Muslims, Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly, tatars, Bokharan.
Russian-Ukrainian population of the Russian territories bordering with Ukraine: ethnocultural or transition group?
One of the new directions in ethnosociology is the study of population groups with multiple (often double) ethnic identities, which are growing quantitatively due to the spread of ethnically «mixed» marriages, migrations, etc. Among such “hybrid” ethnic groups, residents with Russian-Ukrainian identity are one of the largest bi-ethnic communities in Russia. In particular, in the Russian regions bordering with Ukraine, residents with dual Russian-Ukrainian identity make up a significant proportion of the population. Accordingly, the studies of 2017–2018 show that in Belgorod region 16 % of residents have Russian-Ukrainian ethnic identities, whereas it is 23 % in the border municipalities. In this paper, the genesis and reproduction potential of a bi-ethnic Russian-Ukrainian population group at the Russian-Ukrainian borderland is discussed. The first part of the paper comprises an overview of the studies of multiethnic groups, including the Russian-Ukrainian population. The second part is based on empirical ethnosociological research conducted by the author and is devoted to finding the answer to the question: “Is the population with the double Russian-Ukrainian identity an independent, permanently existing ethnocultural community or a transitional group that temporarily emerged in the process of assimilation of the Ukrainians in Russia?”. Sociological data indicate that this group of population should be considered as a separate, permanently existing ethno-cultural community, and not a temporary, transitional group in the process of assimilation of the Ukrainians in Russia. In favor of the former speaks the fact that the population with the double Russian-Ukrainian identity consists mainly of autochthonous people, with a balanced age composition, who inherited bi-ethnicity by their “mixed” origin, rather than by assimilation. In the respondents in this group, endogenous factors of the formation of ethnic identity are dominant; they feel an inextricable ethnic connection with the population of the neighboring Ukrainian regions. At the same time, members of the Russian-Ukrainian ethnocultural group are predominantly pessimistic about possibility of inheriting their double identity by future generations.
Keywords: bi-ethnicity, multiple ethnic identities, Russian-Ukrainian population, Russians, Ukrainians, border regions.
Alcohol and its functions in the culture of the Khanty of the Surgut Ob region
The aim of the research is to show the functions of alcohol in the traditional culture of the Eastern Khanty. The basis of the work is formed by the author's field data collected in 2002–2018 in Khanty Surgut Ob region, including the right bank of the Ob River (Lyamin, Pim, Tromyegan, and Agan) and its left bank (Bolshoi Yugan, Malyy Yugan), as well as the right tributary of the Irtysh River (Demyanka). The study of the role of alcohol in the traditional rituals of the Eastern Khanty was based on the methodology of gift exchange proposed by M. Mauss . The structural-functional approach was used to analyze the functions of alcohol, its place in the traditional culture, and social relations of the Eastern Khanty [Malinovskiy, 2006]. Despite the problems associated with alcoholism, as well as the negative impact on the health of the Eastern Khanty, alcohol performs a number of functions in the traditional culture. The recognition of the legitimacy of alcohol in the traditional worldview is based on the cosmogonic myths. In the ritual sphere, alcohol is a gift to the deities, from whom the indigenous people, in return, expect assistance to a person in hunting and fishing, prosperity, health, and safety. Alcohol performs the function of erasing social boundaries in the community of participants in a traditional ritual. During traditional rituals, alcohol is a tool for a person's transition to an altered state of consciousness. In everyday life, alcohol performs the functions of relaxation and stress relief. Alcohol serves as a social catalyst when a stranger is included in a traditional collective. Until recently, alcohol occupied not the last place as an equivalent of money in the in-kind exchange of goods and services. At the beginning of the 21st century, structural changes caused by the industrialization of the Surgut Ob region, as well as economic and social reforms of the Post-Perestroika period, led to reduction in the consumption of alcohol by the Eastern Khanty. Today, these changes are represented by two oppositely directed trends. The first tendency is represented by the processes of the revival of traditional culture, nature management, and religion. The second trend includes reappraisal of traditional religion and transition of a part of the Eastern Khanty to Protestantism.
Keywords: Surgut Ob region, Eastern Khanty, drinking practices, social functions of alcohol, alcohol in traditional religion, alcohol in everyday life.
The Study of the Northern Tungus in the Academic Project “History of Yakutia”
In this paper, it is noted that new development in the Tungus-Manchu studies has begun by the virtue of writing a three-volume work “History of Yakutia”. It was found that, as the result, a new stage of the development of the fundamental science in the field of research of the peoples of Yakutia has begun. It is emphasized that the developed concept of creating the large-volume work allowed conducting a multi-faceted investigation; new archival and other materials were drawn into research, which had not received sufficient attention previously. It is shown how, according to the concept of publishing “History of Yakutia”, in the mainstream of the history of the peoples of Yakutia, presentation of the existing material is possible not only from the point of view of the traditional ethnographic approach by each group individually and by all conventional means of subsistence of the ethnic culture. It is concluded that the development and transformation of the territory by the nomadic Tungus-Manchu Cultures was actively manifested in the expansion to the North (an example of Even-Bytantai Ulus of Yakutia can be noted) and to the East (notably, to the Far East, including the insular territory of the Russian Federation). It is noted that the Tungus-Manchu peoples of Russia fell into the category of the “northern” nations in the very course of the development of the northern territories. These nations developed a unique school of adaptation of their culture to the environmental conditions of the northern spaces. It is the vision of the Tungus histoty as a whole, and of the history of small Tungus-Manchu nations, in particular, as a powerful momentum that played an important role in the history of the development of the vast territories, that seems new and topical. There have been presented examples of the updated source base for the study of the development of the territory by Tungus ethnic minorities, which reveals the potential of a synthesis of the study of the vocabulary and folklore of the Tungus-Manchu peoples and archaeological artifacts, in comparison with archival materials (primarily, archives of Yakutia.
Keywords: Yakutia, Tungus-Manchu peoples, nomadic cultures, Far East.