Golikova S.V.

Smallpox good and bad: evolution of popular perceptions of the personification of the disease in the Urals in the 19th — early 20th century

In this paper, elaboration of the image of smallpox in popular perception, which manifested itself in connection with the organization of smallpox vaccination by the Russian government, is examined. In the context of the cultural dominance of the ruling class over the people and paternalistic attitude towards it, promulgation of the vaccination is a unique phenomenon for the early 19th century Russia, when the “amount at stake” forced the authorities to appeal to their subjects. It provides an opportunity to analyze the symbols generated by the dominant ideology and their perception by traditional consciousness. Propaganda started by means of sermons by the clergy. Numerous Exhortations emphasized contraposition of the benefits of the vaccinated smallpox and the harm of the natural smallpox. The verbal channel of the agitation was supported by a visual one — publication of ”popular prints”. Analysis of the plots in nine images from D.A. Rovinsky’s collection showed that corporeality was recognized as the main means of the visual agitation. Through the image of human body, health and beauty of persons vaccinated against smallpox was transmitted, as well as deformity and hideousness of those who went through the natural smallpox. Having absorbed the dualism of the pro-government propaganda, popular consciousness went to create an alternative version of perceptions of the infection and vaccination. By applying the binary oppositions ’friend-foe’ and ’sacred-profane’, people made an important change in their own system of values: unlike other epidemics, such a particularly dangerous infection as smallpox had changed its place in the traditional worldview. It stopped being associated with plague and death and became recognized as being “one’s own” and ”godsent”. Therefore, it should not be opposed but should be accepted with gratitude as a ”gift of God”. Intercultural communications on the subject of smallpox vaccination are not only a vivid illustration of the ambiguous impact of the dominant ideology on a folk culture; the emergence of socially and culturally differentiated images of smallpox, having drawn a new demarcation line between the scholarly and folk cultures, deepened the rift in the Russian society, as well as introduced additional difficulties in the process of immunoprophylaxis and made it difficult to identify and treat the smallpox patients.

Keywords: personification of disease, history of immunoprophylaxis, smallpox vaccination, “popular prints”, opposition “our-alien”.


Tikhonov S.S.

Natural and geographical peculiarities of the territory of resettlement of Russian peasants in the northern forest-steppe of the Middle Irtysh River region

In this paper, the features of the natural and geographical conditions of the northern forest-steppe of the Middle Irtysh region, which Russian peasants began to develop at the beginning of the 18th century, are examined. The criteria that led the peasants to consider these lands convenient for resettlement have been analyzed. Nowadays, these lands belong to the Gorkovsky and Sargatsky districts of the Omsk Region. The sources for conducting this work were represented by archaeological, ethnographic, and geographical data on this area. The author believes that the natural conditions of the right and left banks differ significantly in the studied area. On the left bank, there is a wide floodplain with a large number of the flooded lakes, small rivers and streams. On the floodplain, there are uplands which become islands during the floods. On the left bank, two lines of villages appeared: the first was located on the terrace of the Irtysh River, the second — along the hills on the floodplain. The terrace approaches closely the right bank of the Irtysh; therefore, the cases of coastal collapse and the associated processes of intensive formation of the ravines are frequent there. There is a small amount of water of good quality, while the groundwater runs at a depth of more than 20 m; therefore, cascades of dams were built in the ravines. The villages are arranged in two lines, first of which is located directly on the terrace, most often at the mouths of the ravines. The second line of the villages is 8–12 km from the terrace at the tops of the ravines. Here, good quality groundwater is available at a depth of about 3 m. Arable lands, comprising rich black soil, stretch along both banks of the Irtysh. With distance from the Irtysh, more and more lands appear to be less suitable for agriculture. Therefore, these areas were populated later than the banks of the Irtysh. Landslide processes, stimulating the active formation of the ravines on the right bank of the Irtysh, were unfavorable in a long term perspective. Firstly, they occurred with a period of 50 years. Secondly, the coast collapsed at its maximum over about 1 km length. Therefore, the first settlers might have not known about these processes. However, if one takes into account the patterns of the resettlement of the indigenous population, then the absence of archaeological sites does not necessarily indicate uninhabitedness of the territory, since their settlements could have been destroyed. Although in general, if one to talk about the criteria of the favorableness of land for resettlement, then the presence of not only land, but also arable land and good water must be contemplated.

Keywords: ecology, resettlement system, Middle Irtysh River region, peasant’s colonization, ethnographic and archaeological research.


Pozanenko A.A.

How people perceive their role in the natural environment. The Primorye paradox

In the North, Siberia and the Far East, most villagers live in close connection with nature, primarily through using renewable natural resources. However, there is hardly any coverage in literature as to how people position themselves in relation to the surrounding nature. Even when the issue is raised, it addresses only indigenous peoples, and not all local inhabitants without reference to ethnicity. People living in different types of localities tend to have dissimilar perceptions of their role in the natural environment. For urban residents, we propose distinguishing four main self-perception types: outsider (stays away from nature), visitor (e.g., holidaymakers, athletes, and tourists), user (e.g., anglers and gatherers of wild plants), and protector (various eco-activists). Residents of small towns and densely populated rural areas tend to perceive themselves mainly as users. Where the population density is low and natural resources are vital for sustenance, the basic perceptions are master and son. Masters believe they have exclusive rights to use the surrounding natural resources and claim to be doing it responsibly. Perceiving oneself as a son is mostly common for indigenous peoples; their discourse about respect for nature stems not only from a rational, but also sacred attitude. Field research on the east coast of Primorye revealed a self-perception untypical for villagers. Many locals call themselves thieves of natural resources. This means the subjective perception, and not objective differences in practices (doing the same thing, a person in the Russian North can consider himself a master, in Altai — a son, and in Primorye — a thief). We propose three reasons for this “Primorye paradox”. 1) Weak rootedness of the local population, spurring its turnover, which, in turn, makes it difficult to integrate into the natural landscape. 2) Saturation of the surroundings with outsiders, preventing to perceive the territory as “one's own”. The main outsiders are seasonal fishing crews from elsewhere; the Chinese; and crews of North Korean fishing vessels, whom the border guards treat more loyally than the local fishermen. 3) Constant pressure from the supervisory authorities. Primorye has a high concentration of hunting, plant, and aquatic biological resources. Business based on procuring natural resources is profitable, but according to the State, it is mostly illegal. If one can remain unnoticed in the taiga, on the water such chances are next to none. The situation is aggravated by a variety of specially regulated territories (federal and regional protected areas, maritime frontier regime, hunting grounds with different status), which expands the range of supervisory authorities.

Keywords: Primorsky Krai, Russian Far East, human attitude to nature, use of natural resources, appropriating economy, rural areas.


Kaziev S.Sh., Starchenko R.A., Mogunova M.V.

Marriages of the urban Kazakhs and Russians of Northern Kazakhstan: current trends and prospects

Inter-ethnic marriages are relevant markers of the blurring of ethnic boundaries, and they show the degree of integration of the society. Mixed marriages between Russians and Kazakhs were previously rare, despite the continuance of side-by-side residence and tolerant relationships. Among the impediments were the concerns of the Kazakhs about the loss of ethno-cultural traditions and subsequent assimilation. The situation changed since the mid-1990s, when the accelerated urbanization and modernization led to the increase in the number of mixed marriages among the Kazakh population. In this article, main trends in the development of marriages between the Russians and Kazakhs are shown with the example of urban residents of Petropavlovsk from the mid-1990s to 2020. The aim of the work is to study the factors contributing to the intensification or blocking of inter-ethnic marriage and to analyze the impact of inter-ethnic marriages on ethno-cultural attitudes and identity. The source base of the study comprised the materials of the act books of the state registration of the civil status acts from the city department of the Civil Registry Office of the Department of Justice of the North Kazakhstan region. The trends identified in the materials of the Civil Registry Office were verified by conducting ethno-sociological studies. The research showed a steady increase in the number of marriages between the Kazakhs and Russians and a change in the attitude of the Kazakhs on the mixed marriages in a positive direction. The analysis of the sociological surveys indicates a positive or neutral attitude of the majority of the respondents to the very fact of mixed marriage and its further consequences. Quantitative data on the city of Petropavlovsk confirm the long-term trend of increase in the number of marriages between the Russians and Kazakhs. Qualitative changes are represented by the involvement of Kazakh women in marriages with Russians, since previously such marriages were a rare exception. Inter-ethnic marriages between the Kazakhs and Russians has a profound effect on preservation of ethno-cultural traditions, shifting them towards a "European" family with such characteristics as gender equality and individual choice. However, mixed marriages between the Russians and Kazakhs do not lead to the formation of hybrid and panethnic groups, there is no construction of new ethnic borders. The choice of identity is made primarily by the father. The increase in the proportion of the urban Kazakhs leads to the intensification of interethnic marriage and formation of a two-part local community due to the assimilation of ethnic minorities.

Keywords: interethnic marriages, Kazakhs, Russians, identity, ethno-cultural attitudes.


Shcheglova T.Ê., Rykov A.V.

Study of the culture of the Russian population of South of Western Siberia by the staff of the Research Institute of Art Industry in the 1950s–1970s

In this paper, the contribution of the staff of the Research Institute of Art Industry to the study of Russian long-term resident population on the territory of the Altai Krai, which up to 1990 included Gorno-Altai Autonomous Region, is presented and analyzed. The analysis is conducted on the basis of studying the collection of the field materials by identifying all expeditions which took place, their routes, participants, and results of the field research. The main sources of the research were represented by the archival funds of the institute, which appeared to be fragmentary. The main part of the materials was deposited to the Russian National Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Arts. For the subject of this paper, the reports on scientific topics and field trips are of the most interest; an extensive body of visual sources (sketches and photographs) have been used as well, whose superior quality was achieved through participation of professional staff artists and photographers in their production. The population of the Altai Krai (modern Altai Krai and the Altai Republic) were embraced in the field work in the 1950s — 4 expeditions (1951, 1954, 1955, and 1956) and one in 1979. The initial interest was in the culture of the Turkic-speaking population and Turkic traditions of rug weaving and ornamentation. The later expeditions were conducted by two groups — on the study of Turkic and Russian populations. The main objects of the research were architecture, house construction and decoration, weaving, homeware and household appliances and other items which preserved the traces of the long-term residence culture. The revelation for the researchers from the institute was the abundant presence of wooden house carving, both as fragments and as whole complexes. The objects and pieces of art recorded by the researchers are the unique sources which had already disappeared by the 1970s. Part of the collections kept in the Russian National Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Arts has primary field materials. These sources were partially published in the works of art historians, but their great ethnographical potential is not yet exhausted.

Keywords: Research Institute of Art Industry, Altai Krai, field expeditions, field work methods, Russian long term residents, the South of Western Siberia, 1950s–1970s.


Sakharova A.S.

A coloristic image of the modern northern city (the example of Norilsk).

In this paper, mutual influence of the color and image of the city in the perception of the residents is studied with the example of the city of Norilsk located 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. The chronological span is limited to the present moment, however, part of the study concerns the period since the foundation of the city (1935). The aim of the study is to determine how the coloristics supports the image of the city in the minds of its residents. Concerning the methods, the study was divided into several blocks. In the first part (the actual palette of the city), the method of categorization of color carriers and method of generalization of color shades were used. In the second part (hypotheses about the contours of group images), the content-analysis of the social networks and media was used. In the third part (hypotheses testing), the methods of questionnaires and quota sampling were employed. In the fourth block, in-depth interviews with Photo-Voice were conducted. As a result, it was found that coloristics is closely interconnected with the image of the territory. In particular, the use of bright colors in the architecture of the 1950s in Leninsky Prospect accurately identifies the historical events associated with the builders of the city (political prisoners of GULAG). The architecture of other historical periods is less contemptable, thus the events are not integrated into group images. Therefore, the city is associated with the talent and resilience of the prisoners and supports a sense of self-continuity of the exiled intellectuals among the inhabitants. The life in the city is still thought of through the categories of ‘heroism’, whereas all subsequent events are perceived as imposed (industrial exploitation of resources, type-design practice in building). Therefore, when the residents contrapose the beauty of Leninsky Prospekt to the rest of the city, actually, the talent, intelligence, and respect to the nature are opposed to the degradation of the territory. The presence of the blue-colored buildings and symbolism of the city-forming company reinforces the image of Norilsk as a center of metallurgy, since the production is present in the city in the form of symbols. The image of Norilsk as an isolated city is enhanced by the difference in color between the back yard and street facades. The city is perceived by the residents as a decoration, its problems are not interesting to external observers. The perception of the city as a larger category of the Far North is reflected in the coloristic image of the city.

Keywords: Arctic, coloristics, image of the city, visual geography, urban studies.