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Volume 16 (2022): Issue 1 (June 2022)

Volume 15 (2021): Issue 2 (December 2021)

Volume 15 (2021): Issue 1 (June 2021)

Volume 14 (2020): Issue 2 (December 2020)

Volume 14 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)

Volume 13 (2019): Issue 2 (December 2019)

Volume 13 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)

Volume 12 (2018): Issue 2 (December 2018)

Volume 12 (2018): Issue 1 (June 2018)

Volume 11 (2017): Issue 2 (December 2017)

Volume 11 (2017): Issue 1 (June 2017)

Volume 10 (2016): Issue 2 (December 2016)

Volume 10 (2016): Issue 1 (June 2016)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 12 (2018): Issue 2 (December 2018)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2228-0987
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

11 Articles
Open Access

Editorial Impressions: Bricolage and The Ethnographic Field

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 3 - 7

Abstract

Open Access

Related By Contradiction: Folklore and Archive

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 9 - 20

Abstract

Open Access

An Introduction to the Sattra Culture of Assam: Belief, Change in Tradition and Current Entanglement

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 21 - 47

Abstract

Abstract

In 16th-century Assam, Srimanta Sankaradeva (1449-1568) introduced a movement known as eka sarana nama dharma - a religion devoted to one God (Vishnu or Krishna). The focus of the movement was to introduce a new form of Vaishnava doctrine, dedicated to the reformation of society and to the abolition of practices such as animal sacrifice, goddess worship, and discrimination based on caste or religion. A new institutional order was conceptualised by Sankaradeva at that time for the betterment of human wellbeing, which was given shape by his chief disciple Madhavadeva. This came to be known as Sattra, a monastery-like religious and socio-cultural institution. Several Sattras were established by the disciples of Sankaradeva following his demise. Even though all Sattras derive from the broad tradition of Sankaradeva’s ideology, there is nevertheless some theological segmentation among different sects, and the manner of performing rituals differs from Sattra to Sattra. In this paper, my aim is to discuss the origin and subsequent transformations of Sattra as an institution. The article will also reflect upon the implication of traditions and of the process of traditionalisation in the context of Sattra culture. I will examine the power relations in Sattras: the influence of external forces and the support of locals to the Sattra authorities. This research is the result of various interactions and encounters in the field.

Keywords

  • Sattra
  • Neo-Vaishnavism
  • tradition
  • belief
  • change
  • narrative
Open Access

The Agricultural Deities of Q ’Eqchi’ Mayas, Tzuultaq’as: Agricultural Rituals as Historical Obligation and Avatar of the Cultural Reservoir in Rural Lanquín , Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 49 - 63

Abstract

Abstract

This study, based on fieldwork in rural Lanquín, Guatemala, discusses cultural continuity and the sense of historicity through agricultural rituals and worship of the agricultural deity Tzuultaq’as. The place, Lanquín, and the Q’eqchi’ Maya peasant farmers are situated within a two-fold tension and contradiction. Geographically remote in relation to the economic centers in Guatemala, and marginal in infrastructural development, while their cash crop harvests never fail to be effected by the fluctuations of the global market. From the eclectic stance merging both theories of cultural essentialism and constructivism, by juxtaposing the emblematic event of the anti-Monsanto Law movement in 2014 in Guatemala, and by the calendrical cycles of ritual events, routines, and ceremonials in rural Lanquín, the subsistence practices of milpa (corn field) cultivation emerge as a central theme for cultural survival and continuity. The aggregated clusters of ritual processions and the system of symbolism used manifest the Q’eqchi’ peasant thought and practice of sustainability and conservancy in their construction of a modern cultural identity that maintains congruency with the cultural essence of a nativist identity.

Keywords

  • Maya cosmology
  • Q’eqchi’ agricultural rituals
  • Tzuultaq’as
  • San Agustin Lanquín
  • Guatemala
Open Access

Alcohol as a Unifying Force in the Shamanic Community: Nanai Case Study

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 65 - 77

Abstract

Abstract

The issue raised in the present article is shamanists’ ideas about why there should be unity in drinking in the shamanic community. In the framework of the shamanic worldview, each act of drinking, not only ritual acts but also everyday acts, can comprise the features of worshipping the spirits and making an offering to them. Hence there is the need to make an offering during any domestic drinking, and an obligation to share the drink with everyone present. From the shamanic perspective, by rejecting alcohol a person demonstrates a refusal to subordinate him or herself to the spirits, which can cause problems.

Keywords

  • Nanai culture
  • shamanism
  • alcohol in ritual praxis
  • offering
Open Access

A Man of Words and Silence: A Siberian Intelectual’s Mixed Patterns of Communication

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 79 - 94

Abstract

Abstract

Yuri Vella (1948-2013) was a well-known personality in Western Siberia’s indigenous world. Unlike most Western Siberia indigenous inhabitants, Yuri Vella was exceptionally skilled with words. He used words in everyday life in order to achieve his goals, among which the main one was to protect his kin and neighbours in the forest from the destructions induced by the oil industry. He was able to hold his own in discussion with the oil industry representatives and to have the last word with them. But how did Yuri Vella use words in private life? That is what months of fieldwork sharing the hut he lived in with his wife allowed me to ascertain. I shall concentrate on patterns of speaking - how? with whom? - and silence in everyday life, outside the attention of an audience. Or was my presence in the hut enough of an audience to change his patterns? These reflections are what this article is about.

Keywords

  • Siberia
  • Forest Nenets
  • silence
  • speech
  • gender
  • intercultural communication
  • dialogue
  • monologue
Open Access

Contemporary Mari Belief: The Formation of Ethnic Religion

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 95 - 114

Abstract

Abstract

In this article* I describe the process of developing of Mari ethnic religion based on the tradition of animistic beliefs. I aim to consider two areas of contemporary Mari religion, the activities of the official religious organisation and the vernacular tradition as practiced by people in the countryside. The Mari vernacular belief system has been seen as one of the components of Mari ethnic identity. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mari religious tradition has played a role in strengthening national identity, and so the religious organisation has been officially registered. Today there is an attempt to adapt Mari religious practices to the conditions of the religious market, in the face of which vernacular tradition seems to lose its connection with the ethnic worldview and rural way of life. My analysis of research material from fieldwork conducted shows the existence of belief rituals that are followed independently from the official Mari religious movement. Contemporary Mari religious tradition has two layers and can be described as a process of transformation from vernacular belief to ethnic religion with its religious institutions and group of experts.

Keywords

  • ethnic religion
  • animism
  • vernacular belief
  • Mari people
  • Finno- Ugric ethnology
Open Access

Curators With and Without Collections : A Comparative Study of Changes in the Curator’s Work at National Museums in Finland and in the Baltic States

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 115 - 138

Abstract

Abstract

Traditionally, the curator’s work has been in close connection with the main functions of the museum - preservation, research, and communication. The changes that have occurred at museums over the past few decades have also influenced the profession of curator. Specialisation has taken place inside the museum, and so the curator’s functions have also changed. This article focuses on the curator’s field of work at national museums in Finland and in the Baltic states. The analysis is mainly based on interviews conducted with curators and other museum professionals at the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian History Museum, the National History Museum of Latvia, the National Museum of Lithuania, and the National Museum of Finland. Emanating from the PRC model provided by the Reinwardt Academy as well as the global changes induced by the new museology, the focus is on the curator’s connection with museum collections. The analysis shows that the curator’s role is not similar in all the museums under discussion; there are regional differences in structure, curatorial duties, and priorities. While at some museums the curator is regarded as a collection keeper who can also do some research, at others they are rather researchers and have only infrequent contact with collections.

Keywords

  • museum
  • collection keeper
  • researcher
  • new museology
  • curator
Open Access

Believing, Belonging, and Durkheiming: A Report on the 16th Annual EASR Conference

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 139 - 141

Abstract

Open Access

Drinks in the Culture of the Peoples of the Volgaurals Region. 3rd Ethnographic Field Symposium in Ludorvay, Udmurtia, September 18 –20, 2018

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 142 - 146

Abstract

Open Access

Book Review: Sustaining Russia's Arctic Cities

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 147 - 149

Abstract

11 Articles
Open Access

Editorial Impressions: Bricolage and The Ethnographic Field

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 3 - 7

Abstract

Open Access

Related By Contradiction: Folklore and Archive

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 9 - 20

Abstract

Open Access

An Introduction to the Sattra Culture of Assam: Belief, Change in Tradition and Current Entanglement

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 21 - 47

Abstract

Abstract

In 16th-century Assam, Srimanta Sankaradeva (1449-1568) introduced a movement known as eka sarana nama dharma - a religion devoted to one God (Vishnu or Krishna). The focus of the movement was to introduce a new form of Vaishnava doctrine, dedicated to the reformation of society and to the abolition of practices such as animal sacrifice, goddess worship, and discrimination based on caste or religion. A new institutional order was conceptualised by Sankaradeva at that time for the betterment of human wellbeing, which was given shape by his chief disciple Madhavadeva. This came to be known as Sattra, a monastery-like religious and socio-cultural institution. Several Sattras were established by the disciples of Sankaradeva following his demise. Even though all Sattras derive from the broad tradition of Sankaradeva’s ideology, there is nevertheless some theological segmentation among different sects, and the manner of performing rituals differs from Sattra to Sattra. In this paper, my aim is to discuss the origin and subsequent transformations of Sattra as an institution. The article will also reflect upon the implication of traditions and of the process of traditionalisation in the context of Sattra culture. I will examine the power relations in Sattras: the influence of external forces and the support of locals to the Sattra authorities. This research is the result of various interactions and encounters in the field.

Keywords

  • Sattra
  • Neo-Vaishnavism
  • tradition
  • belief
  • change
  • narrative
Open Access

The Agricultural Deities of Q ’Eqchi’ Mayas, Tzuultaq’as: Agricultural Rituals as Historical Obligation and Avatar of the Cultural Reservoir in Rural Lanquín , Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 49 - 63

Abstract

Abstract

This study, based on fieldwork in rural Lanquín, Guatemala, discusses cultural continuity and the sense of historicity through agricultural rituals and worship of the agricultural deity Tzuultaq’as. The place, Lanquín, and the Q’eqchi’ Maya peasant farmers are situated within a two-fold tension and contradiction. Geographically remote in relation to the economic centers in Guatemala, and marginal in infrastructural development, while their cash crop harvests never fail to be effected by the fluctuations of the global market. From the eclectic stance merging both theories of cultural essentialism and constructivism, by juxtaposing the emblematic event of the anti-Monsanto Law movement in 2014 in Guatemala, and by the calendrical cycles of ritual events, routines, and ceremonials in rural Lanquín, the subsistence practices of milpa (corn field) cultivation emerge as a central theme for cultural survival and continuity. The aggregated clusters of ritual processions and the system of symbolism used manifest the Q’eqchi’ peasant thought and practice of sustainability and conservancy in their construction of a modern cultural identity that maintains congruency with the cultural essence of a nativist identity.

Keywords

  • Maya cosmology
  • Q’eqchi’ agricultural rituals
  • Tzuultaq’as
  • San Agustin Lanquín
  • Guatemala
Open Access

Alcohol as a Unifying Force in the Shamanic Community: Nanai Case Study

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 65 - 77

Abstract

Abstract

The issue raised in the present article is shamanists’ ideas about why there should be unity in drinking in the shamanic community. In the framework of the shamanic worldview, each act of drinking, not only ritual acts but also everyday acts, can comprise the features of worshipping the spirits and making an offering to them. Hence there is the need to make an offering during any domestic drinking, and an obligation to share the drink with everyone present. From the shamanic perspective, by rejecting alcohol a person demonstrates a refusal to subordinate him or herself to the spirits, which can cause problems.

Keywords

  • Nanai culture
  • shamanism
  • alcohol in ritual praxis
  • offering
Open Access

A Man of Words and Silence: A Siberian Intelectual’s Mixed Patterns of Communication

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 79 - 94

Abstract

Abstract

Yuri Vella (1948-2013) was a well-known personality in Western Siberia’s indigenous world. Unlike most Western Siberia indigenous inhabitants, Yuri Vella was exceptionally skilled with words. He used words in everyday life in order to achieve his goals, among which the main one was to protect his kin and neighbours in the forest from the destructions induced by the oil industry. He was able to hold his own in discussion with the oil industry representatives and to have the last word with them. But how did Yuri Vella use words in private life? That is what months of fieldwork sharing the hut he lived in with his wife allowed me to ascertain. I shall concentrate on patterns of speaking - how? with whom? - and silence in everyday life, outside the attention of an audience. Or was my presence in the hut enough of an audience to change his patterns? These reflections are what this article is about.

Keywords

  • Siberia
  • Forest Nenets
  • silence
  • speech
  • gender
  • intercultural communication
  • dialogue
  • monologue
Open Access

Contemporary Mari Belief: The Formation of Ethnic Religion

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 95 - 114

Abstract

Abstract

In this article* I describe the process of developing of Mari ethnic religion based on the tradition of animistic beliefs. I aim to consider two areas of contemporary Mari religion, the activities of the official religious organisation and the vernacular tradition as practiced by people in the countryside. The Mari vernacular belief system has been seen as one of the components of Mari ethnic identity. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mari religious tradition has played a role in strengthening national identity, and so the religious organisation has been officially registered. Today there is an attempt to adapt Mari religious practices to the conditions of the religious market, in the face of which vernacular tradition seems to lose its connection with the ethnic worldview and rural way of life. My analysis of research material from fieldwork conducted shows the existence of belief rituals that are followed independently from the official Mari religious movement. Contemporary Mari religious tradition has two layers and can be described as a process of transformation from vernacular belief to ethnic religion with its religious institutions and group of experts.

Keywords

  • ethnic religion
  • animism
  • vernacular belief
  • Mari people
  • Finno- Ugric ethnology
Open Access

Curators With and Without Collections : A Comparative Study of Changes in the Curator’s Work at National Museums in Finland and in the Baltic States

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 115 - 138

Abstract

Abstract

Traditionally, the curator’s work has been in close connection with the main functions of the museum - preservation, research, and communication. The changes that have occurred at museums over the past few decades have also influenced the profession of curator. Specialisation has taken place inside the museum, and so the curator’s functions have also changed. This article focuses on the curator’s field of work at national museums in Finland and in the Baltic states. The analysis is mainly based on interviews conducted with curators and other museum professionals at the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian History Museum, the National History Museum of Latvia, the National Museum of Lithuania, and the National Museum of Finland. Emanating from the PRC model provided by the Reinwardt Academy as well as the global changes induced by the new museology, the focus is on the curator’s connection with museum collections. The analysis shows that the curator’s role is not similar in all the museums under discussion; there are regional differences in structure, curatorial duties, and priorities. While at some museums the curator is regarded as a collection keeper who can also do some research, at others they are rather researchers and have only infrequent contact with collections.

Keywords

  • museum
  • collection keeper
  • researcher
  • new museology
  • curator
Open Access

Believing, Belonging, and Durkheiming: A Report on the 16th Annual EASR Conference

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 139 - 141

Abstract

Open Access

Drinks in the Culture of the Peoples of the Volgaurals Region. 3rd Ethnographic Field Symposium in Ludorvay, Udmurtia, September 18 –20, 2018

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 142 - 146

Abstract

Open Access

Book Review: Sustaining Russia's Arctic Cities

Published Online: 18 Jan 2019
Page range: 147 - 149

Abstract

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