Hidden rituals and public performances
Free

Hidden rituals and public performances

By Anna-Leena Siikala
Free
Book Description

Why are Khanty shamans still active? What are the folklore collectives of Komi? Why are the rituals of Udmurts performed at cultural festivals? In their insightful ethnographic study Anna-Leena Siikala and Oleg Ulyashev attempt to answer such questions by analysing the recreation of religious traditions, myths, and songs in public and private performances. Their work is based on long term fieldwork undertaken during the 1990s and 2000s in three different places, the Northern Ob region in North West Siberia and in the Komi and Udmurt Republics. It sheds light on how different traditions are favoured and transformed in multicultural Russia today. Siikala and Ulyashev examine rituals, songs, and festivals that emphasize specificity and create feelings of belonging between members of families, kin groups, villages, ethnic groups, and nations, and interpret them from a perspective of area, state, and cultural policies. A closer look at post-Soviet Khanty, Komi and Udmurts shows that opportunities to perform ethnic culture vary significantly among Russian minorities with different histories and administrative organisation. Within this variation the dialogue between local and administrative needs is decisive.

Table of Contents
  • Hidden Rituals and Public Performances
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abbreviations
  • I REPRESENTATIONS OF THE RUSSIAN FINNO-UGRIANS
    • 1. Societies in transition
    • 2. Traditions in a globalised world
      • Are traditions dying?
      • Tradition as a concept of introspective Western sociology
      • Locality, globalisation and identity-formation
      • Co-existence of divergent traditions
    • 3. Belonging and neo-traditionalism
      • Ethnic self-awareness
      • The state, intellectuals and the construction of heritage
      • Finno-Ugric ethnicities in the making
    • 4. Interest in Finno-Ugric peoples
      • Language, myths and folklore as “evidence of history”
      • The expeditions of Finns and Hungarians to their linguistic relatives in Russia
      • The aims of the Russian Academy of Sciences
      • The basic model of ethnographic field work in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
      • Field work after the collapse of the Soviet Union
      • From moments to understanding
      • Between cultures: dialogues, monologues and silences
  • II THE KHANTY: PRESERVING AND PERFORMING RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
    • 5. The land of the white crane
      • Behind the Urals
      • Worlds flowing into each other
      • Experience of locality: rivers and settlements like layers of an onion
      • The cross-draught in interethnic relations
      • Division of space and practices of avoidance
      • Gender: together but apart
    • 6. Dual organisation, totemic ancestors and kin groups
      • Moś- and Por-people
      • The animal protector
      • L’aksas, reincarnation of a person
      • The kinship system
    • 7. Discussions about myths and tales
      • Myths written in the heavens
      • The Small Moś Old Man
      • The elk hunt as astral myth
      • Myths of Uralic hunting cultures
      • Mythic corpus
      • Myths of individuals and small communities
      • Bear myths
      • Attitudes towards birds
      • The heroic tradition
      • Tales of deities and mythic beings
      • Changing interest in folklore
    • 8. Living with spirits
      • Religious worlds of the Northern Khanty
      • The cosmos
      • The hierarchy of spirits
      • Guardian spirits of home and family
      • Feeding the spirits at home
      • Why worship spirits?
    • 9. Holy groves and common rituals
      • The landscape of the spirits
      • Men’s and women’s holy groves
      • Offerings in holy groves
      • Common rites, different meanings
    • 10. Paths of souls, villages of the dead
      • Concepts of souls
      • Burial rituals
      • Ittәrma, the doll image of the departed
      • The funeral
      • Boat burial
      • The parting feast of the soul on the fiftieth or fortieth day
      • Remembrance rituals in graveyards
      • In two graveyards
      • The village of the lost
      • Rules and obligations in contact with the dead
      • The passages of souls and continuation of family
    • 11. The reawakening of shamanic rituals
      • Did the Khanty have shamans?
      • The concept of shamanism
      • Shamans in Khanty society
      • The shamanic séance
      • Shamans are performing publicly again
      • Different interpretations: belief and entertainment
    • 12. Religion, kin and environment
      • Hallmarks of Khanty religion
      • Unity of religion, kin and nature
      • Religion and belonging
  • III THE KOMI: PROLIFERATING SINGING TRADITIONS
    • 13. The singing culture of the Upper Vychegda Komi
      • Studying Komi singing
      • Did the Komi have a singing culture?
      • The Upper Vychegda Komi
      • Hunting artels as folklore arenas
      • Gender relations and songs
      • The fusion of singing traditions
    • 14. Folklore, cultural institutions and festivals
      • Folklore as verbal peasant art
      • Drama circles and the growth of poetry
      • Strengthening the village culture
      • The Upper Vychegda collectives
      • A life as a cultural director
      • Women leaders
    • 15. “Singing for myself and for my soul”
      • At Anna Ivanovna’s
      • Polyphonic singing
      • Transmitting traditions
      • Performing traditions
      • Dressing up for performance
      • Being together
      • From politics to women’s culture
    • 16. Folk-editing and variation in songs
      • Programmes of folklore groups
      • Textualisation and variation of songs
      • Old Komi folk texts
      • Macaronic and Russian songs
      • Songs translated into Komi
      • Folk translations
      • Translations of known poets
      • Songs to the words of Komi poets
      • Folk variants of the poems of known writers
      • Creating the programme
    • 17. A state project leads to multiple forms of tradition
  • IV COMPARISONS AND OBSERVATIONS
    • 18. An Udmurt case: from sacrificial rituals to national festivals
      • Holy groves and social order
      • Visible and hidden: the battle of ideologies and religions
      • From secret ritual into national festival
      • Female agency and marked diversities
      • The role of intellectuals and the media
      • Construction of tradition and cultural identity
    • 19. Traditions symbolising cultural distinction
      • Myths and rituals as political practice
      • The revival of nature religion
      • Reconstructing sacred histories
      • Performing ethnicity in festivals
      • Political and economic implications of neo-traditionalism
    • 20. Dynamics of tradition among the Khanty, Komi and Udmurts
  • Bibliography
  • Khanty words
  • Transliteration of Komi
  • Maps
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