Landscape and Gods Among the Khanty

Open access

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine Khanty spatial ritual behaviour in the context of the simultaneous application of different ideas about sacred landscape. I aim to demonstrate the functional pattern behind handling seemingly ambivalent characteristics of cosmological models in the tangible ritual performance of the Khanty, an indigenous people inhabiting the taiga and forest taiga zone of Western Siberia. I explore three cases in which the concept of sacred topography is applied among the Khanty by exploring two public ceremonies of reindeer sacrifice and one episode of a post-funeral rite. It appeared that the spatial conceptualisation is different in different rituals. During sacrificial ceremonies, the Khanty position the Upper World in the southern direction, while in the case of death rituals, the Upper World is projected towards upstream of a river, even if it remains in the north. Studying different spatial orientations during rituals provides a methodological key for approaching other concepts of vernacular belief among Siberian indigenous communities.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Ajkhenvald Aleksandra; Eugene Helimski and Vladimir Petrukhin. 1989. On Earliest Finno-Ugrian Mythologic Beliefs: Comparative and Historical Considerations for Reconstruction. - Uralic Mythology and Folklore. Ethnologica Uralica 1 edited by Mihály Hoppál and Juha Pentikäinen. Budapest; Helsinki: Ethnographic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Finnish Literature Society 155-159.

  • Anttonen Veikko. 1996. Ihmisen ja maan rajat. ‘Pyhä’ kulttuurisena kategoriana. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran toimituksia 646. Helsinki: SKS.

  • Appleby R. Scott. 2000. The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion Violence and Reconciliation. Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

  • Balalajeva Olga and Andrew Wiget. 2004. Handi kollektiivne põdraohverdus: usk olemasolu ja kultuuriline püsimajäämine tänapäeva Siberis. - Mäetagused 26: 69-103. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7592/MT2004.26.ohverdus.

  • Balzer Marjorie Mandelstam. 1999. The Tenacity of Ethnicity: A Siberian Saga in Global Perspective. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Barkalaja Anzori. 1997. On the Sacrificial Ritual of the Pim River Khanty in December 1995. - Pro Ethnologia 5: 57-68.

  • Barkalaja Anzori. 1999. On the Sacrificial Rituals of the Pim River Khanties: Part Two. - Pro Ethnologia 8: 57-72.

  • Chernetsov Valeriy Nikolayevich. 1959. Predstavleniye o dushe u obskikh ugrov. - Trudy Instituta Etnografii n. s. 51. Moskva; Leningrad: AN SSSR 114-156. [Чернецов Валерий Николаевич. 1959. Представление о душе у обских угров. - Труды Института Этнографии н. с. 51. Москва; Ленинград: АН СССР 114-156.]

  • Chernetsov Valeriy Nikolayevich. 1987. Istochniki po etnografii Zapadnoy Sibiri. Tomsk: Izdatel’stvo Tomskogo universiteta. [Чернецов Валерий Николаевич. 1987. Источники по этнографии Западной Сибири. Томск: Издательство Томского университета.]

  • Descola Philippe. 2004. Constructing Natures: Symbolic Ecology and Social Practice. - Nature and Society: Anthropological Perspectives edited by Philippe Descola and Gísli Pálsson. London; New York NY: Routledge 82-102.

  • Doniger Wendy. 1995. Foreword. - Claude Lévi-Strauss. Myth and Meaning. New York NY: Schocken Books vii-xv.

  • Ellen Roy F. 2004. The Cognitive Geometry of Nature: A Contextual Approach. - Nature and Society: Anthropological Perspectives edited by Philippe Descola and Gísli Pálsson. London; New York NY: Routledge 103-123.

  • Favorsky Maria. 2015. The Old Man and the Sea of Oil. - Greenpeace International. http://m.greenpeace.org/international/en/high/news/Blogs/makingwaves/russian-taiga-lake-imlor-oil-drilling/blog/53825/ (accessed March 6 2016).

  • Foucault Michel 1986 [1967]. Of Other Spaces. - Diacritics 16: 22-27. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/464648.

  • Georgi Iogann-Gotlib. 2007 [1799]. Opisaniye vsekh obitayushchikh v Rossiyskom gosudarstve narodov: ikh zhiteyskikh obryadov obyknoveniy odezhd zhilishch uprazhneniy zabav veroispovedaniy i drugikh dostoprimechatel’nostey. Sankt-Peterburg: Russkaya simfoniya. [Георги Иоганн-Готлиб. 2007 [1799]. Описание всех обитающих в Российском государстве народов: их житейских обрядов обыкновений одежд жилищ упражнений забав вероисповеданий и других достопримечательностей. Санкт-Петербург: Русская симфония.]

  • Gottowik Volker. 2014. Introduction. - Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia: Magic and Modernity edited by Volker Gottowik. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 9-29.

  • Gračeva Galina N. 1989. Nganasan Shaman’s Ways and Worldview. - Uralic Mythology and Folklore. Ethnologica Uralica 1 edited by Mihály Hoppál and Juha Pentikäinen. Budapest Helsinki: Ethnographic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Finnish Literature Society 233-238.

  • Harwood Frances. 1976. Myth Memory and the Oral Tradition: Cicero in the Trobriands. - American Anthropologist 78: 783-796. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1976.78.4.02a00040.

  • Ingold Tim. 2002. The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood Dwelling and Skill. London; New York NY: Routledge.

  • IWGIA 2015 = Russia: Guardian of Khanty sacred lake facing prison for defending himself against stray dogs brought in by oil workers. http://www.iwgia.org/news/search-news?news_id=1232 (accessed March 6 2016).

  • Karjalainen Kustaa Fredrik. 1900. Ostjakkeja oppimassa. Matkakirjeitä. - Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Aikakauskirja XVII: 1-74.

  • Karjalainen Kustaa Fredrik. 1918. Jugralaisten uskonto. Suomensuvun uskonnot III. Porvoo: Werner Söderström osakeyhtiö.

  • Kulemzin Vladislav Mikhaylovich. 1984. Chelovek i priroda v verovaniyakh khantov. Tomsk: Izdatel’stvo Tomskogo universiteta. [Кулемзин Владислав Михайлович. 1984. Человек и природа в верованиях хантов. Томск: Издательство Томского университета.]

  • Kulemzin Vladislav Mikhaylovich and Nadezhda Vasil’yevna Lukina. 1992. Znakom’tes’: Khanty. Novosibirsk: Nauka. http://groh.ru/map/hant/hant.html#3 (accessed March 7 2016). [Кулемзин Владислав Михайлович; Надежда Васильевна Лукина. 1992. Знакомьтесь: Ханты. Новосибирск: Наука. http://groh.ru/map/hant/hant.html#3]

  • Leete Art. 1997. Sacrificial Ceremony at Lake Num-To. - Pro Ethnologia 5: 35-55.

  • Leete Art. 1999. Ethnopolitical Comments About the Sacrificial Ceremony At Lake Num-To. - Pro Ethnologia 7: 21-26.

  • Leete Art. 2004. Ritual Politics and Mentality: The Nenets and Ob-Ugrians of Siberia. - Creating Diversities: Folklore Religion and the Politics of Heritage edited by Anna-Leena Siikala and Stein Mathisen. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society 125-135.

  • Leete Art. 2014. Sacrifices de rennes et pétrole: dialogue entre rituel et droits des peuples autochtones. - Études finno-ougriennes 46: 57-88.

  • Lévi-Strauss Claude. 1995 [1979]. Myth and Meaning. New York NY: Schocken Books.

  • Lukina Nadezhda Vasil’yevna. 1990. Predisloviye. - Mify predaniya skazki khantov i mansi compiled by N. V. Lukina edited by E. S. Novik. Moskva: Nauka 5-58. [Лукина Надежда Васильевна. 1990. Предисловие. - Мифы предания сказки хантов и манси сост. Н. В. Лукина (под. ред.) Е. С. Новик. Москва: Наука 5-58.]

  • Lunaček Izar. 2004. The Good the Bad and the Outcast: On the Moral Ambivalence of Folk Heroes. - Studia Mythologica Slavica 17: 207-219.

  • Malinowski Bronislaw. 1922. Argonauts of the Western Pacific. London: Routledge.

  • Malinowski Bronislaw. 1954 [1926]. Magic Science and Religion and Other Essays. Garden City NY: Doubleday & Co. Inc.

  • Moldanov Timofey. 2010. Obshchiye mesta provedeniya obryadov lesnykh nentsev i kazymskikh khantov (po dannym fol’klora). - Timofey Moldanov Tat’yana Moldanova. Ocherki traditsionnoy kul’tury khantov: izbrannoye by. Khanty-Mansiysk: OOO Tipografiya “Pechatnoye delo” 48-52. [Молданов Тимофей. 2010. Общие места проведения обрядов лесных ненцев и казымских хантов (по данным фольклора). - Тимофей Молданов Татьяна Молданова. Очерки традиционной культуры хантов: избранное Ханты-Мансийск: ООО Типография «Печатное дело» 48-52.]

  • Nagy Zoltan. 2011. Vasyuganskiye khanty. Izmeneniye religioznoy sistemy v XIX-XXI vekakh. Tomsk: Izdatel’stvo Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo universiteta. [Надь Золтан. 2011. Васюганские ханты. Изменение религиозной системы в XIX-XXI веках. Томск: Издательство Томского государственного педагогического университета.]

  • Nakova Yu. 2008. Kompleks obryadov pokloneniya na obshchikh kul’tovykh mestakh khantov Yamalo-Nenetskogo okruga. - Mifologiya khantov: Materyaly nauchno-prakticheskogo seminara posvyashchennogo 50-letiyu kandidata istoricheskikh nauk T. A. Moldanovoy. 21-25 maya 2007 goda g. Khanty-Mansiysk edited by Tat’yana Aleksandrovna Moldanova. Khanty-Mansiysk: Poligrafist 79-84. [Накова Ю. 2008. Комплекс обрядов поклонения на общих культовых местах хантов Ямало-Ненецкого округа. - Мифология хантов: Матерялы научно-практического семинара посвященного 50-летию кандидата исторических наук Т. А. Молдановой. 21-25 мая 2007 года г. Ханты-Мансийск под. ред. Татьяна Александровна Молданова. Ханты-Мансийск: Полиграфист 79-84.]

  • Napolskikh Vladimir. 1992. Proto-Uralic World Picture: A Reconstruction. - Northern Religions and Shamanism. Ethnologica Uralica 3 edited by Mihály Hoppál and Juha Pentikäinen. Budapest; Helsinki: Akadémiai Kiadó; Finnish Literature Society 3-20.

  • Napolskikh Vladimir. 2012. The Earth-Diver Myth (A812) in Northern Eurasia and North America: Twenty Years Later. - Mythic Discourses: Studies in Uralic Traditions. Studia Fennica Folkloristica 20 edited by Frog Anna-Leena Siikala and Eila Stepanova. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society 120-140.

  • Niglas Liivo. 1997. Reindeer in the Nenets Worldview. - Pro Ethnologia 5: 7-33.

  • Pálsson Gísli. 2004. Human-Environmental Relations: Orientalism Paternalism and Communalism. - Nature and Society: Anthropological Perspectives edited by Philippe Descola and Gísli Pálsson. London; New York NY: Routledge 63-81.

  • Pyatnikova T. R. 2008. Mifologicheskoye predstavleniye o “verkhnem mire”. - Mifologiya khantov: Materyaly nauchno-prakticheskogo seminara posvyashchennogo 50-letiyu kandidata istoricheskikh nauk T. A. Moldanovoy. 21-25 maya 2007 goda g. Khanty-Mansiysk edited by Tat’yana Aleksandrovna Moldanova. Khanty-Mansiysk: Poligrafist 63-68. [Пятникова Т. Р. 2008. Мифологическое представление о «верхнем мире». -Мифология хантов: Матерялы научно-практического семинара посвященного 50-летию кандидата исторических наук Т. А. Молдановой. 21-25 мая 2007 года г. Ханты-Мансийск под. ред. Татьяна Александровна Молданова. Ханты-Мансийск: Полиграфист 63-68.]

  • Rodman Margaret C. 1992. Empowering Place: Multilocality and Multivocality. - American Anthropologist 94 (3): 640-656. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1992.94.3.02a00060.

  • Rombandeyeva Evdokiya Ivanovna. 1993. Istoriya naroda mansi (vogulov) i ego dukhovnaya kul’tura (po dannym fol’klora i obryadov). Surgut: Severnyy dom. [Ромбандеева Евдокия Ивановна. 1993. История народа манси (вогулов) и его духовная культура (по данным фольклора и обрядов). Сургут: Северный дом.]

  • Schmidt Éva. 1989. Bear Cult and Mythology of the Northern Ob-Ugrians. - Uralic Mythology and Folklore. Ethnologica Uralica 1 edited by Mihály Hoppál and Juha Pentikäinen. Budapest; Helsinki: Ethnographic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Finnish Literature Society 187-232.

  • Siikala Anna-Leena. 2002. What Myths Tell about Past Finno-Ugric Modes of Thinking. - Myth and Mentality: Studies in Folklore and Popular Thought. Studia Fennica Folkloristica 8 edited by Anna-Leena Siikala. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society 15-32.

  • Siikala Anna-Leena. 2012. Myths as Multivalent Poetry: Three Complementary Approaches. - Mythic Discourses: Studies in Uralic Traditions. Studia Fennica Folkloristica 20 edited by Frog Anna-Leena Siikala and Eila Stepanova. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society 17-39.

  • Sirelius Uuno Taavi. 1900. Ostjakkilaiselta matkaltani v. 1898. - Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Aikakauskirja XVII: 1-29.

  • Sokolova Zoya Petrovna. 2009. Khanty i mansi: Vzglyad iz XXI veka. Moskva: Nauka. [Соколова Зоя Петровна. 2009. Ханты и манси: Взгляд из XXI века. Москва: Наука.]

  • Taringa Nisbert. 2006. How Environmental Is African Traditional Religion? - Exchange 35 (2): 191-214. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/157254306776525672.

  • Valk Ülo. 2008. Inimene ja teispoolsus eesti rahvausundis. - Eesti Rahvakultuur edited by Ants Viires and Elle Vunder. Tallinn: Eesti Entsüklopeediakirjastus 379-395.

  • Wiget Andrew and Olga Balalaeva. 2011. Khanty People of Taiga: Surviving the Twentieth Century. Fairbanks AK: University of Alaska Press.

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor


CiteScore 2018: 0.18

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.112

Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 282 127 1
PDF Downloads 234 125 1