Issue 1 (58)

Year 2018 Number 1(58)
Pages 109-117 Type scientific article
UDC 904(470.4/.5) BBK 63.444(235.55)
Authors Shutova Nadezhda I.
Summary The paper analyzes the results of studying (articles, dissertations, monographs) on the cult sites of the Urals and the Middle Volga region in the Middle Ages. It allows to reveal the common and special features of sacred places and myth-ritual practices of the population in such areas as the Kama-Vyatka and the Vyatka-Vetluga interfluves, the Middle Volga, Upper and Middle Kama regions, the Northern and Middle Urals, and Vaygach Island. Locating at outstanding points of a local landscape, traces of fire using, findings of calcined, burned and raw bones, animals’ skulls and legs, as well as fragments of offerings are the common features of the cult monuments. The peculiarity of each sanctuary is manifested (shown) in its topography, form and structure, and in the character of sacrificial gifts. The classification of medieval sanctuaries is based on their public meaning (social significance). The topography of the monument, its connection with the settlement, and functional purpose is taken into account. Two extensive regions were identified according to religious practices and peculiarity of beliefs. The peculiarity of sacred places of the population lived at the East European plain is the indiscernible traces of rituals (hearth, pits, calcined and burned animal bones), the lack of cult plates, and using ordinary things as offerings to divine beings. Characteristic features of the sacred places of the peoples lived in the mountain-forest zone of the Urals are the findings of skulls and leg, other parts of wild animals and birds, sometimes traces of human sacrifices, cult plates, amulets and idols, various offerings. The sanctuaries of the Upper and Middle Kama region are occupied intermediate position between two ones as the East European and Urals zones. The sacred places were noticed to be visited by different groups of population regardless of their ethnic and confessional affiliation. Religious traditions of the ancient and medieval times have been preserved in the beliefs and rituals of the Finno-Ugric peoples living in these regions nowadays.
Keywords sanctuaries, the Kama-Vyatka region, the Kama region, the Urals, the Middle Volga region, Middle Ages, ritual, beliefs, public meaning, common and special

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