The buzzer: not just a toy 

Shagapova G.R.



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The article analyzes the buzzer toy for boys. It is very easy to make from a button with a rope passing through the two holes. In past times, it was made of wood, bone plate, leather. When the rope with the plate is twisted and sharply released, the toys make a specific sound. The name of the toy in many languages reflects its buzzing. The aim of this work is to study the geography of the buzzer game in the Old and New Worlds and to reconstruct the ritual that underlies the game. The main research methods are mapping and comparativehistorical method. The source base is represented by published materials on the games of the peoples of the world, as well as the author's field materials from the Southern Urals. The following conclusions have been drawn: the toy is most commonly young male, all-season, and is associated with sound. Sound in archaic culture played an important role; it limits and structures space, establishes contacts between the worlds and protects a person from evil spirits. In most cases, the buzzer has lost its sacred meaning, but among the peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East, the elements of the ritual are still tangible which makes it possible to reconstruct the male ritual. The ritual was aimed at weather change, and at influencing the existing state of affairs. The geography of the buzzer distribution in North America and Eurasia has been studied. It can be assumed that it came to the New World from Eurasia, shortly before the disappearance of Beringia. The agreement of details and specifics of its use suggest its connection with the ritual. Subsequently, the ritual spread together with tribes and cultures, and to date, all that has remained from the millennial ritual is just a noise toy in childrens hands.

Keywords: buzzer, sonic toy, aerophone, ritual, game motif, game culture, Eurasia, North America.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 27.02.2023

Article is published: 15.06.2023


Shagapova G.R., Bashkir State Pedagogical University named after M. Akmulla, October Revolution st., 3a, Ufa, 450008, Russian Federation, E-mail:,