Badmaev A.A.

Sable in the traditional culture of the Buryats

The work is aimed at identifying the image of the sable in the traditional worldview and rituals of the Buryats. The chronological boundaries of the study are determined by the time of functioning and translation of the complex of traditional beliefs and rituals among the Buryats — the end of the 19th — middle of the 20th century. Geographically, the study is focused on the Baikal region, which encompasses the ethnic Buryatia. Linguistic, folklore and ethnographic sources have been used for this research. Comparison-collation and structural-semiotic methods have been used to explore the research topic. As a result of assessing the utilitarian value of the sable, it has been determined that the animal's fur was used in sewing winter outerwear and hats, and its meat was occasionally eaten, as well as applied in folk and veterinary medicine. The all-Mongolian origin of the term for sable, and its gender nominations, is proved. It is assumed that this predator could be revered as a totem by some of the ancestors of the Buryats of the pre-Baikal clans. It has been found that in the traditional Buryat culture, the image of sable was ambiguous. In the traditional views of the Buryats, sable was endowed with a heavenly nature. It acted as a female symbol. At the same time, a negative characteristic of this fur-bearing animal has been determined: it was associated with the chthonic world. In the traditional family ritual of the Buryats, a sable fetish was associated with the image of this fur-bearing animal, which performed a protective function for children and represented a female image. The sable skin was an attribute of the shaman: for some black shamans, it represented the emblem of the clan. Furthermore, in the shamanic ritual of the Buryats, a fetish, embodying the shaman's spirit-assistant, was associated with this animal. In shamanic poetics, the soul of a deceased shaman turned into a sable; this predatory animal was endowed with the function of a shaman's transport in his mystical travels to other worlds.

Keywords: Buryat culture, mythological representations, rituals, fur-bearing animals.


Chudova T.I.

Traditions and innovations in nutrition of the Sysolsky Komi in the first half of the 20th century

Based on the analysis of original field materials, a characteristic of traditions and innovations in the subsistence system of Sysolsky Komi living in the southern regions of the Komi Republic has been provided. By the beginning of the 20th c., the most successful model of the integrated economy was formed among the Sysolsky Komi of the southern regions, which, along with agriculture and animal husbandry, retained hunting and fishing. Natural and climatic conditions did not always allow a good harvest of grain crops, and their shortage was compensated through trading operations, while hunting and fishing activities provided the opportunity to purchase grain. The basis of nutrition was cereals, from which bakery products, porridges, soups and drinks were prepared. Dishes of meat, dairy and fishing/hunting products were not served often, which was associated with the practice of observing Christian fasts, the number of which exceeded 200 days within a year. The forest products provided the overall diversity to the diet and in particular nutrition with a vitamin complex. The technology of cooking was predetermined by the presence of an oven which can bake, boil, stew and deep fry, while frying as a cooking method would be difficult to perform. The formed grain-meat-dairy model of nutrition with the inclusion of hunting/fishing products and wild plants is close to the cuisine of the Priluzsky Komi in terms of the composition of raw products and dishes, which can be explained by the territorial proximity of their habitats. However, a unique phenomenon of the Sysolsky Komi is the preservation of the practice of baking ritual Christmas cookies. Socioeconomic transformations in the country in subsequent years brought innovations to the food culture. The main role in the food provision of a family with was played, as before, by subsidiary farming; crop yields and livestock productivity were significantly higher than in the collective farm-state system. The increase of areas for potato cultivation and the reduction of areas for crop cultivation led to the replacement of grains by potatoes. Hunting and fishing products was significantly reduced in the diet. Innovative practices included the method of salting shredded cabbage, as well as the practice of cooking freshwater fish with potatoes in milk sour cream sauce, and brewing purchased dry-salted cod. The nutrition model during the Great Patriotic War can be defined as potato and vegetable with the inclusion of wild plants, and natural resources made it possible to keep the minimal level of food consumption during this period. In fact, produce from the forest allowed a minimum level of product consumption, while innovations in food traditions became means for overcoming crisis periods in food supply.

Keywords: Sysolsky Komi, first half of the 20th century, food raw materials, cuisine, food model.


Korolyova S.Yu., Brukhanova M.A., Kolegova O.A.

Censing in the funeral and memorial rites (vernacular religiosity of the Russian-Komi-Permyak borderland)

Church censing ritual — fumigation with incense or its substitutes — is widespread in folk culture. It plays a particularly important role in funeral and memorial rites, where the fumigation is usually carried out in order to ritually purify people, space and objects that have been in contact with the deceased. However, the significance of this ritual is not equal in different local ethnical traditions: in some communities, it is simply recommended, while in others it is of a prime importance. The accessibility of this ritual action for people also varies. In some traditions, only religious specialists (the priest and his assistants) can perform this ritual, in other traditions, anyone can do it. The article is concerned with vernacular forms of censing. The culture of Yurlians — Russians living in a different ethnic (Komi-Permyak) environment, and the culture of the northern (Kochevsky) Komi-Permyaks neighboring them, are among the traditions with a developed mythological semantics of censing. The main research data are materials collected during the fieldwork carried out in 2013–2017 and 2022 in the Northern Prikamye, in the Russian-Komi-Permyak borderland. The study is based on the structural and functional analysis of the rituals. It has been revealed that the locations of censing in the structure of traditional funeral and memorial rites partially coincides with church prescriptions, however, vernacular fumigation with incense is of more intense character; around it, a kind of “mythology of censing” develops, and dialectal ritual terminology is formed. Ñensing fulfills not only typical cleansing and apotropaic functions, but it also acts as a way of mediation between the living and the dead — it “wakes up” the souls, invites them to a ritual meal, guarantees the availability of food, etc. Special folklore formulas addressed to beings-intermediaries between the living and the dead (angels, wind, etc.) provide the realization of this function. Individualized versions may arise from the ritual, which adapts to the new life realities.

Keywords: Ural, Slavic-non-Slavic borderlands, vernacular practices, mytho-ritual tradition, ritual terminology, folklore formulas.


Bogordayeva A.A., Liskevich N.A.

After the Kazym rebellion: on one report on the collection of operational information from the Sosva Mansi in 1934

The purpose of the article is to analyze and publish a report on the collection of operational information by the Khanty-Mansiysk District Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) after the Kazym uprising of 1933–1934. The report is dated March 7, 1934, and it contains information about life, rights and customs of the indigenous inhabitants of the Sosva and Lyapin river basins located in the Berezovsky district of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug — Yugra (North-Western Siberia). In the history of the study of the Kazym rebellion, several main research lines are noted, including the identification and analysis of the factors of the uprising, their impact on life of the indigenous population, and also the analysis of the actions of the authorities to suppress the rebellion and to prevent similar protests. The events related to the Kazym rebellion and its consequences are preserved in historical and social memory. However, the documents still exist reflecting the actions of the authorities to prevent such events, which have not yet been introduced into scientific circulation. The prevention of protest movements was associated, first of all, with the identification of the “counter-revolutionary” sentiments locally, as well as of the religious and social status of local residents, and with the fight against shamanism and “kulaks”. A similar task was performed by an unknown author of the report. The report represents a logical narrative, with an emphasis on information related to the manifestation of religiosity by local residents and their attitudes towards the Kazym uprising; it contains the author's critical statements on his own observations and ends with recommendations for verifying the revealed facts. The author provides ethnographic description of the lifestyle, houses, dress, everyday features, home sanctuaries and cult attributes, bear celebration, maternity rites. In a number of cases, the document contains errors — in the name of the people living in the area, in the names of settlements. At the same time, noteworthy is the information on bear fangs, men's and women's hairstyles, the custom of “borrowing” from the sacrifices of the spirit, inter-ethnic relations, etc. Of particular value is the data on the rite of transition of a mother with a child back to the residential building after the childbirth, recorded in Verkhnenildino (Nildino), on the abandonment of a dwelling after the death of two children within it from illness (measles) in the village of Shomy (Shom). The information presented here largely complements the available materials on the social processes in the 1930s and represents a valuable source on the culture and life of the population of northern Sosva at the beginning of the 20th century.

Keywords: Soviet power, traditional ritual, hunting, fishing, customary law, indigenous peoples, Mansi, Komi-Zyryans, Ob-Irtysh North, Kazymskaya cultbasa.


Agapov M.G.

“Screen on the Chum”: Social Reconstruction and Mobile Film Propaganda in the North of the Ob region in the 1930s

Drawing on the example of agitation and propaganda campaigns carried out in the north of the Ob region in the 1930s among the indigenous population, a specific tool of the Soviet ideological indoctrination of the Great Break period — a mobile cinema (installations designed to screen silent and sound films to a small audience in open areas and in premises not equipped with stationary film projectors) — has been comprehensively studied. The mobile cinema is considered as one of the varieties of cultural management technologies that are equally characteristic of all states and empires of the modern era, including the USSR, where, due to the existence of state ideology and low literacy of the population, it was even more important than other cultural technologies. The management supported and strengthened the centralized power, serving as a complement to force and coercion. Based on the materials of the State Archive of the Socio-Political History of the Tyumen Region, it has been established that the first mobile cinema in the north of the Ob region was created under the auspices of the Committee of the North under the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the USSR, but it reached its fullest flourishing in the area during the period when the region came under the jurisdiction of the Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route (1935–1938). The repertoire of a mobile cinema was compiled centrally, and it included popular science and feature films, united by a common goal, which was the ideological indoctrination of the audience. For representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North, movie screening itself was the most important experience of joining a new life, akin to the rite of initiation. Indigenous peoples were most interested in movies that narrated about their own daily life: hunting, fishing, travelling. Mobile cinemas were moved around the north by sled and specially equipped boats. The work of a mobile cinema in the north of the Ob region was associated with constant overcoming of a number of problems: the shortage of films, frequent breakdowns of movie cameras, and the lack of qualified projectionists. Nevertheless, mobile cinemas made significant contribution to the modernization of everyday life and worldview of the indigenous peoples of the Ob North.

Keywords: Tobolsk North, Committee of the North, The Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route, a mobile cinema.


Shagapova G.R.

The buzzer: not just a toy

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 children’s hands.

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


Riazanova S.V.

On the issue of construction of social memory: anthropology of the “Perm-36” museum

The study does not imply either documentation of the repressions, or working in the field of oral history. The article provides a vision of how the key figures in the history of the museum form its history and image. The source base includes a series of expert interviews with the founders and administrators of the museum at various stages of its existence, and a number of concepts for the arrangement of Perm-36 during various years, as well as Internet and media publications, allowing to verify the obtained data. The text attempts to reconstruct the history of the formation and functioning of the Perm-36 museum, highlighting the periods of its activity associated with a change in leadership and the appointment of a number of new employees in its management and research structures. In the process of the analysis, the author compares various perspectives on what is the purpose of the museum located at the site of the camp, and what is the place of the museum in the socio-political reality. The analysis is based on the identification of groups of statements related to various aspects of creation and functioning of the Perm-36 memorial complex. The museum is considered as a place of application of multidirectional efforts of various actors, which provokes significant changes in approaches to its arrangement and to its functions in the public space. The concept of “demiurge” is introduced to designate a social agent who constructs the space of historical and social memory based on its own ideas and vision. Public figures, researchers and museum employees, who play a significant role in determining the structure of museum collections, ways of their presentation and types of social activities, are seen as the key factor that shapes the image of the museum in the region, nationally, and internationally. The material base in this situation appears secondary to the methods of its interpretation, principles of selecting items, and the use of supplementary means for their exhibiting. Research interests, social agenda and personal ambitions of the main actors become determinant for the formation of the museum chronotope.

Keywords: authorized discourse of cultural heritage, politics of memory, commemoration, museum anthropology.