Issues

Journal & Issues

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 15 (2021): Issue 2 (December 2021)

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

Search

17 Articles

Inspirational Insights

Open Access

To Explain Tradition

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 1 - 18

Abstract

Abstract

Tradition has been claimed to be a keyword in the folklore lexicon. Yet the word has not proved central to the thinking of many folklorists. More often, the term is simply used to mark territory. By characterizing certain songs, tales, dances, or customs as traditions, such expressions and behaviors are declared to be part of the discipline’s proper subject. But the term is usually theoretically empty. It is rarely defined, and it raises no critical questions. In this essay, tradition is defined, the critical questions evoked by this definition are specified, and some of the ways that folklorists might go about answering these questions are delineated.

Keywords

  • tradition
  • change
  • adaptation
  • evolution
  • innovation

Editorial

Open Access

Ancient Wisdom, Stigmatised Knowledge, and Sacred Landscapes: Ontologies and Epistemologies of New Age Culture in Post-Soviet Russia

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 19 - 24

Abstract

Abstract

The four articles in this section deal with anthropological study of New Age beliefs and practices in post-Soviet Russia. They are in part the result of a joint German–Russian research project titled New Religious Cultures in Late Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia: Ideology, Social Networks, Discourses, supported by the German Research Foundation and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. In this introductory paper I will briefly discuss the principal outcomes of this research as well as general analytical issues related to the field of New Age studies both in global and local (post-Soviet) contexts.

Articles (Special Issue)

Open Access

Traditions and the Imagined Past in Russian Anastasian Intentional Communities

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 25 - 42

Abstract

Abstract

This article* deals with the concept of tradition and the interpretation of the Vedic past in Russian intentional communities. The movement is based on the book series The Ringing Cedars of Russia (Zvenyashchiye kedry Rossii) by Vladimir Megre published in the 1990s. The main heroine of these books is Anastasia, who shares with the author her knowledge of the ancient ancestors. Some readers take her advice and build a new kind of intentional community – ‘kin domain’ settlements (rodovyye pomestiya). The Anastasians tend to restore lost traditions, which are usually associated with Russia’s pre-Christian past. Traditional culture is understood as a conservative and utopian lifestyle that existed in the Vedic Age during the time of the Vedrus people. The commodification of local culture and tradition is one of the resources that ecovillagers try to use. The ‘traditional’ and ‘organic’ labels increase the price of many of their goods and services. One of the most popular products made by intentional communities is Ivan-chay (‘Ivan tea’), declared an indigenous and authentic beverage of the Russian people.

Keywords

  • New Age
  • Anastasia movement
  • ecovillage
  • intentional community
  • traditions
Open Access

The Siberian Village of Okunevo as a Place of Power and its Sacred Landscape

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 43 - 62

Abstract

Abstract

The paper deals with contemporary places of power and New Age sacred landscapes in Russia.* It focuses on the Siberian village of Okunevo, its sacred sites, and their worshippers. Formation of this place of power was a result of the activity of individuals (both academics and adherents of new religious movements), combined with the specific interpretation of archaeological sites and the natural landscape of the area. The landscape around the village of Okunevo affects the interaction of people with the sacred loci and the ways the signs, symbols and narratives about them are created.

Keywords

  • New Age
  • Russia
  • places of power
  • Okunevo
  • Babaji
  • academic archaeology
  • natural landscape
Open Access

Alternative Archaeology and New Age Traditionalism in Contemporary Russia

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 63 - 73

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines how esoteric traditionalism in contemporary Russia searches for legitimisation using alternative archaeology. Although New Age spirituality is often considered a private religion, some of its manifestations have a significant impact on the public sphere. The author demonstrates that the New Age in Russia contributes to redefining of categories of religion, science, and cultural heritage through the construction of sacred sites and discursive opposition to academic knowledge. The research is based on analysis of media products that present esoteric interpretations of archaeological sites in southern Russia and ethnographic data collected in a pilgrimage to the dolmens of the Krasnodar region.

Keywords

  • New Age spirituality
  • traditionalism
  • alternative archaeology
  • sacred sites
  • cultural heritage
  • Caucasian dolmens
Open Access

Ossetian Ritual Feasts and Transpersonal Experience: Re-Description of a Religion as a Religious Practice

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 74 - 88

Abstract

Abstract

The protest of the North Ossetian nativist religious movement against discourses of dominant institutions in the public sphere involves as its necessary component ‘re-description’ of religion in general and ‘re-constructed’ religious systems in particular. Usually, this means revealing allegedly forgotten ancient meanings of indigenous customs, rituals and folklore texts through the use of various concepts taken from esotericism and/or practical psychology. The language for this re-description is provided by conceptual apparatus developed by New Age movements. Of particular interest in this respect is the language of ‘new science’, ‘alternative history’, ‘transpersonal psychology’, etc., employed as a tool for criticising the established system of Christian-centric understanding of what religion is and what its social functions are.

Keywords

  • North Ossetia
  • New Age
  • religious nationalism
  • nativism
  • transpersonal psychology

Articles

Open Access

Digesting the Finnish Nature and Past: Food, Pastness, and the Naturalness of the National in the Wiki-Inventory for Living Heritage

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 89 - 111

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines the inventorying of Finnish intangible cultural heritage with regard to UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. I analyse the participatory Wiki-inventory for Living Heritage, concentrating on entries that discuss food and foodways to study how food, materiality, and the national intertwine with practices of producing intangible cultural heritage. The article’s theoretical background draws from the fields of banal nationalism and critical heritage studies. Food is eminently important in narratives of Finnishness: by using the concepts of naturalness and pastness, I show how Finnish food becomes interpreted as ‘authentic’ Finnish heritage. The concepts illuminate the complex processes in which the materiality of food, the Finnish terroir and landscape, narratives of the past, and the consumer who prepares, eats, and digests the heritagised food are tied to each other. These processes reinforce the banality of Finnishness, although the practices of inventorying paradoxically strive for the ideal of cultural diversity that UNESCO promotes.

Keywords

  • food heritage
  • intangible cultural heritage
  • nationalism
  • naturalness
  • pastness
Open Access

Negotiating Food Heritage Interpretations: Experiences of a Project at the Estonian National Museum

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 112 - 134

Abstract

Abstract

The article examines varied interpretations of food heritage in contemporary Estonia, relying on the authors’ experiences of a three-year research and development project at the Estonian National Museum (ENM). The study focuses on the museum researchers’ collaboration with different stakeholders, representing small entrepreneurs and the public and non-profit sectors. The authors tackle the partners’ expectations and outcomes of diverse cooperational initiatives and the opportunities and challenges of a contemporary museum as a public forum for discussions on cultural heritage. The project revealed that diverse, complementary, and contested food heritage interpretations exist side-by-side on the Estonian foodscape. Additionally, the project enabled the authors to become better aware of the researcher’s role in the heritagisation process and of the museum as a place for negotiating the meanings and values of food culture.

Keywords

  • food heritage
  • heritagisation
  • museum
  • research and development
  • small-scale food production
Open Access

“You Have No Story, Yet!” The Role of the Online Community in Shaping Women’s ‘My Stories’ About the Journey to Motherhood

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 135 - 158

Abstract

Abstract

This article offers a folkloristic analysis of telling personal experience stories in the Estonian Midwives Association’s Family School discussion forum (www.perekool.ee), focusing on the Conception, Pregnancy and Childbirth sub-forums. In the article women’s My Stories about their journey to motherhood are under discussion. The central question is how the practice of telling these stories is shaped and affected by the peculiarities of the online community, its communication space, traditions, and daily operation. The article seeks to answer this question in relation to the following topics: accepted and non-accepted topics and experiences; the message of the stories; the structure of the stories; vocabulary competence; and the style of storytelling. From the theoretical perspective, the focus is on participatory storytelling, that is, on the interplay of the specific online environment, narrator, story, and group, as well as the process by which the teller and the audience co-create the stories.

Keywords

  • Conception
  • in vitro fertilisation
  • pregnancy
  • childbirth
  • personal experience stories
  • participatory storytelling
  • online communities
  • My Story
Open Access

Transformations of Old Believer Wedding Rites in Latvia: The Case of Latgale

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 159 - 178

Abstract

Abstract

The wedding2 is an integral part of family life. The ways in which it is organised can differ not only between representatives of different religious groups, but also between members of the same denomination. By applying cultural-historical, ethnographic and qualitative data processing method, the paper focuses on transformations in Old Believer wedding rites between the first half of the 20th century and the present. Analysis of interviews conducted in the south-eastern region of Latvia reveals that there have been several variations in Old Believer weddings (traditional, religious and civil) which interacted and overlapped, thus creating new hybrid forms. The transformations depended on urbanisation and economic processes, political conditions, and the development of the community in interaction with other ethnic and religious groups under conditions of globalisation.

Keywords

  • Latgale Old Believers
  • rite of transition
  • marriage
  • wedding
  • transformations
Open Access

Journey in a Life Story and Pilgrimage: Exploring the Connection Between Humans and Place in a First-Person Narrative

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 179 - 197

Abstract

Abstract

This paper will explore the relationship between humans and place mediated in first-person narratives. By focusing on episodes that reveal the change in the ordinary role of the person, we examine how they describe the place and how they perceive the environment in their changed role. Drawing on interviews with a man who has walked a pilgrimage/hiking trail as well as a written life story from the collections of the Estonian Cultural History Archives, we analyse the description of modern journeys and the journeys that took place in the vortex of events during World War II. We suggest that the descriptions of place-making under consideration are related not only to subjective experiences and storytelling skills, but also to more general contexts, such as historical-political, economic, or religious frames. Comparing various kinds of place-making description we attempt to find the universal and context-sensitive aspects of journey descriptions. Finally, based on studies of oral history and cultural borders on the one hand, and pilgrimage studies on the other, a methodological question is asked: how should one apply these research methods and results to place-making research? Combining these research methods has turned out to be fruitful in creating a dialogue between experiences that have been formed in different circumstances, and through this to understand better the factors determining one’s sense of place.

Keywords

  • Home and homelessness
  • journey descriptions
  • life story
  • pilgrimage
  • dreams
  • liminality
  • experience
Open Access

The Role of Place-Lore in Environmental Conflict Discourse: The Case of Paluküla Sacred Hill in Estonia

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 198 - 220

Abstract

Abstract

This article is a critical study of how local place-related narratives, i.e. place-lore, is integrated into environmental discussion and how it has significant potential to illustrate local and public, as well as vernacular and institutional, meanings concerned with the environment. Combining the frameworks of ecosemiotics, environmental communication studies, and place-lore research, the article explores how a new storytelling context, ideological selection, and the logic of conflict communication influence the re-contextualisation and interpretation of place-lore. The theory is applied to an empirical examination of public discussion of Paluküla sacred hill in Central Estonia. Tracking references to previous place-lore about Paluküla Hill in the media coverage of the conflict allows a demonstration of how the contextuality and referentiality towards an extra-narrative environment that are originally present in place-lore are often overlooked or ignored in conflict discourse. This, in turn, leads to socially and ecologically disconnected discussion.

Keywords

  • place-lore
  • ecosemiotics
  • environmental conflicts
  • sacred natural sites
  • cultural heritage
Open Access

“We Cannot Pray Without Kumyshka”: Alcohol in Udmurt Ritual Life

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 221 - 239

Abstract

Abstract

We trace the history of the uses of the alcoholic drink known as kumyshka among the Udmurt. Our focus is on kumyshka’s ritual uses both in public and domestic contexts in the second half of the 19th century, the early 20th century as well as the early 21st century. We suggest that kumyshka not only represents a site of resistance to the dominant religious regime, i.e. Russian Orthodoxy, but is also a tool for self-enhancement and identity making for this indigenous people in the Volga River basin in Central Russia. The consumption of kumyshka has been a frequent object of criticism in the accounts of Orthodox clergy, scholars, doctors, travellers and administrators. Most accounts show a moralising stance, which only occasionally reflects the local understandings behind its uses. As anthropologists working in the region, we compare these historical sources with the current practices. We discuss changes in the religious sphere as well as in gender roles related to the uses of kumyshka.

Keywords

  • rituals
  • alcohol
  • gender
  • historical change
  • animism
  • Udmurts

Notes & Reviews

Open Access

Notes and Reviews: I’m a Recorder: Interview with Asen Balikci

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 240 - 256

Abstract

Open Access

Book Review: Folklore in Baltic History: Resistance and Resurgence

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 257 - 259

Abstract

Open Access

Book Review: Orthodox Revivalism in Russia: Driving Forces and Moral Quests

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 260 - 261

Abstract

Open Access

Book Review: Landscape, Ritual, and Identity Among the Hyolmo of Nepal: Vitality of Indigenous Religions

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 262 - 264

Abstract

17 Articles

Inspirational Insights

Open Access

To Explain Tradition

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 1 - 18

Abstract

Abstract

Tradition has been claimed to be a keyword in the folklore lexicon. Yet the word has not proved central to the thinking of many folklorists. More often, the term is simply used to mark territory. By characterizing certain songs, tales, dances, or customs as traditions, such expressions and behaviors are declared to be part of the discipline’s proper subject. But the term is usually theoretically empty. It is rarely defined, and it raises no critical questions. In this essay, tradition is defined, the critical questions evoked by this definition are specified, and some of the ways that folklorists might go about answering these questions are delineated.

Keywords

  • tradition
  • change
  • adaptation
  • evolution
  • innovation

Editorial

Open Access

Ancient Wisdom, Stigmatised Knowledge, and Sacred Landscapes: Ontologies and Epistemologies of New Age Culture in Post-Soviet Russia

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 19 - 24

Abstract

Abstract

The four articles in this section deal with anthropological study of New Age beliefs and practices in post-Soviet Russia. They are in part the result of a joint German–Russian research project titled New Religious Cultures in Late Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia: Ideology, Social Networks, Discourses, supported by the German Research Foundation and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. In this introductory paper I will briefly discuss the principal outcomes of this research as well as general analytical issues related to the field of New Age studies both in global and local (post-Soviet) contexts.

Articles (Special Issue)

Open Access

Traditions and the Imagined Past in Russian Anastasian Intentional Communities

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 25 - 42

Abstract

Abstract

This article* deals with the concept of tradition and the interpretation of the Vedic past in Russian intentional communities. The movement is based on the book series The Ringing Cedars of Russia (Zvenyashchiye kedry Rossii) by Vladimir Megre published in the 1990s. The main heroine of these books is Anastasia, who shares with the author her knowledge of the ancient ancestors. Some readers take her advice and build a new kind of intentional community – ‘kin domain’ settlements (rodovyye pomestiya). The Anastasians tend to restore lost traditions, which are usually associated with Russia’s pre-Christian past. Traditional culture is understood as a conservative and utopian lifestyle that existed in the Vedic Age during the time of the Vedrus people. The commodification of local culture and tradition is one of the resources that ecovillagers try to use. The ‘traditional’ and ‘organic’ labels increase the price of many of their goods and services. One of the most popular products made by intentional communities is Ivan-chay (‘Ivan tea’), declared an indigenous and authentic beverage of the Russian people.

Keywords

  • New Age
  • Anastasia movement
  • ecovillage
  • intentional community
  • traditions
Open Access

The Siberian Village of Okunevo as a Place of Power and its Sacred Landscape

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 43 - 62

Abstract

Abstract

The paper deals with contemporary places of power and New Age sacred landscapes in Russia.* It focuses on the Siberian village of Okunevo, its sacred sites, and their worshippers. Formation of this place of power was a result of the activity of individuals (both academics and adherents of new religious movements), combined with the specific interpretation of archaeological sites and the natural landscape of the area. The landscape around the village of Okunevo affects the interaction of people with the sacred loci and the ways the signs, symbols and narratives about them are created.

Keywords

  • New Age
  • Russia
  • places of power
  • Okunevo
  • Babaji
  • academic archaeology
  • natural landscape
Open Access

Alternative Archaeology and New Age Traditionalism in Contemporary Russia

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 63 - 73

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines how esoteric traditionalism in contemporary Russia searches for legitimisation using alternative archaeology. Although New Age spirituality is often considered a private religion, some of its manifestations have a significant impact on the public sphere. The author demonstrates that the New Age in Russia contributes to redefining of categories of religion, science, and cultural heritage through the construction of sacred sites and discursive opposition to academic knowledge. The research is based on analysis of media products that present esoteric interpretations of archaeological sites in southern Russia and ethnographic data collected in a pilgrimage to the dolmens of the Krasnodar region.

Keywords

  • New Age spirituality
  • traditionalism
  • alternative archaeology
  • sacred sites
  • cultural heritage
  • Caucasian dolmens
Open Access

Ossetian Ritual Feasts and Transpersonal Experience: Re-Description of a Religion as a Religious Practice

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 74 - 88

Abstract

Abstract

The protest of the North Ossetian nativist religious movement against discourses of dominant institutions in the public sphere involves as its necessary component ‘re-description’ of religion in general and ‘re-constructed’ religious systems in particular. Usually, this means revealing allegedly forgotten ancient meanings of indigenous customs, rituals and folklore texts through the use of various concepts taken from esotericism and/or practical psychology. The language for this re-description is provided by conceptual apparatus developed by New Age movements. Of particular interest in this respect is the language of ‘new science’, ‘alternative history’, ‘transpersonal psychology’, etc., employed as a tool for criticising the established system of Christian-centric understanding of what religion is and what its social functions are.

Keywords

  • North Ossetia
  • New Age
  • religious nationalism
  • nativism
  • transpersonal psychology

Articles

Open Access

Digesting the Finnish Nature and Past: Food, Pastness, and the Naturalness of the National in the Wiki-Inventory for Living Heritage

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 89 - 111

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines the inventorying of Finnish intangible cultural heritage with regard to UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. I analyse the participatory Wiki-inventory for Living Heritage, concentrating on entries that discuss food and foodways to study how food, materiality, and the national intertwine with practices of producing intangible cultural heritage. The article’s theoretical background draws from the fields of banal nationalism and critical heritage studies. Food is eminently important in narratives of Finnishness: by using the concepts of naturalness and pastness, I show how Finnish food becomes interpreted as ‘authentic’ Finnish heritage. The concepts illuminate the complex processes in which the materiality of food, the Finnish terroir and landscape, narratives of the past, and the consumer who prepares, eats, and digests the heritagised food are tied to each other. These processes reinforce the banality of Finnishness, although the practices of inventorying paradoxically strive for the ideal of cultural diversity that UNESCO promotes.

Keywords

  • food heritage
  • intangible cultural heritage
  • nationalism
  • naturalness
  • pastness
Open Access

Negotiating Food Heritage Interpretations: Experiences of a Project at the Estonian National Museum

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 112 - 134

Abstract

Abstract

The article examines varied interpretations of food heritage in contemporary Estonia, relying on the authors’ experiences of a three-year research and development project at the Estonian National Museum (ENM). The study focuses on the museum researchers’ collaboration with different stakeholders, representing small entrepreneurs and the public and non-profit sectors. The authors tackle the partners’ expectations and outcomes of diverse cooperational initiatives and the opportunities and challenges of a contemporary museum as a public forum for discussions on cultural heritage. The project revealed that diverse, complementary, and contested food heritage interpretations exist side-by-side on the Estonian foodscape. Additionally, the project enabled the authors to become better aware of the researcher’s role in the heritagisation process and of the museum as a place for negotiating the meanings and values of food culture.

Keywords

  • food heritage
  • heritagisation
  • museum
  • research and development
  • small-scale food production
Open Access

“You Have No Story, Yet!” The Role of the Online Community in Shaping Women’s ‘My Stories’ About the Journey to Motherhood

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 135 - 158

Abstract

Abstract

This article offers a folkloristic analysis of telling personal experience stories in the Estonian Midwives Association’s Family School discussion forum (www.perekool.ee), focusing on the Conception, Pregnancy and Childbirth sub-forums. In the article women’s My Stories about their journey to motherhood are under discussion. The central question is how the practice of telling these stories is shaped and affected by the peculiarities of the online community, its communication space, traditions, and daily operation. The article seeks to answer this question in relation to the following topics: accepted and non-accepted topics and experiences; the message of the stories; the structure of the stories; vocabulary competence; and the style of storytelling. From the theoretical perspective, the focus is on participatory storytelling, that is, on the interplay of the specific online environment, narrator, story, and group, as well as the process by which the teller and the audience co-create the stories.

Keywords

  • Conception
  • in vitro fertilisation
  • pregnancy
  • childbirth
  • personal experience stories
  • participatory storytelling
  • online communities
  • My Story
Open Access

Transformations of Old Believer Wedding Rites in Latvia: The Case of Latgale

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 159 - 178

Abstract

Abstract

The wedding2 is an integral part of family life. The ways in which it is organised can differ not only between representatives of different religious groups, but also between members of the same denomination. By applying cultural-historical, ethnographic and qualitative data processing method, the paper focuses on transformations in Old Believer wedding rites between the first half of the 20th century and the present. Analysis of interviews conducted in the south-eastern region of Latvia reveals that there have been several variations in Old Believer weddings (traditional, religious and civil) which interacted and overlapped, thus creating new hybrid forms. The transformations depended on urbanisation and economic processes, political conditions, and the development of the community in interaction with other ethnic and religious groups under conditions of globalisation.

Keywords

  • Latgale Old Believers
  • rite of transition
  • marriage
  • wedding
  • transformations
Open Access

Journey in a Life Story and Pilgrimage: Exploring the Connection Between Humans and Place in a First-Person Narrative

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 179 - 197

Abstract

Abstract

This paper will explore the relationship between humans and place mediated in first-person narratives. By focusing on episodes that reveal the change in the ordinary role of the person, we examine how they describe the place and how they perceive the environment in their changed role. Drawing on interviews with a man who has walked a pilgrimage/hiking trail as well as a written life story from the collections of the Estonian Cultural History Archives, we analyse the description of modern journeys and the journeys that took place in the vortex of events during World War II. We suggest that the descriptions of place-making under consideration are related not only to subjective experiences and storytelling skills, but also to more general contexts, such as historical-political, economic, or religious frames. Comparing various kinds of place-making description we attempt to find the universal and context-sensitive aspects of journey descriptions. Finally, based on studies of oral history and cultural borders on the one hand, and pilgrimage studies on the other, a methodological question is asked: how should one apply these research methods and results to place-making research? Combining these research methods has turned out to be fruitful in creating a dialogue between experiences that have been formed in different circumstances, and through this to understand better the factors determining one’s sense of place.

Keywords

  • Home and homelessness
  • journey descriptions
  • life story
  • pilgrimage
  • dreams
  • liminality
  • experience
Open Access

The Role of Place-Lore in Environmental Conflict Discourse: The Case of Paluküla Sacred Hill in Estonia

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 198 - 220

Abstract

Abstract

This article is a critical study of how local place-related narratives, i.e. place-lore, is integrated into environmental discussion and how it has significant potential to illustrate local and public, as well as vernacular and institutional, meanings concerned with the environment. Combining the frameworks of ecosemiotics, environmental communication studies, and place-lore research, the article explores how a new storytelling context, ideological selection, and the logic of conflict communication influence the re-contextualisation and interpretation of place-lore. The theory is applied to an empirical examination of public discussion of Paluküla sacred hill in Central Estonia. Tracking references to previous place-lore about Paluküla Hill in the media coverage of the conflict allows a demonstration of how the contextuality and referentiality towards an extra-narrative environment that are originally present in place-lore are often overlooked or ignored in conflict discourse. This, in turn, leads to socially and ecologically disconnected discussion.

Keywords

  • place-lore
  • ecosemiotics
  • environmental conflicts
  • sacred natural sites
  • cultural heritage
Open Access

“We Cannot Pray Without Kumyshka”: Alcohol in Udmurt Ritual Life

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 221 - 239

Abstract

Abstract

We trace the history of the uses of the alcoholic drink known as kumyshka among the Udmurt. Our focus is on kumyshka’s ritual uses both in public and domestic contexts in the second half of the 19th century, the early 20th century as well as the early 21st century. We suggest that kumyshka not only represents a site of resistance to the dominant religious regime, i.e. Russian Orthodoxy, but is also a tool for self-enhancement and identity making for this indigenous people in the Volga River basin in Central Russia. The consumption of kumyshka has been a frequent object of criticism in the accounts of Orthodox clergy, scholars, doctors, travellers and administrators. Most accounts show a moralising stance, which only occasionally reflects the local understandings behind its uses. As anthropologists working in the region, we compare these historical sources with the current practices. We discuss changes in the religious sphere as well as in gender roles related to the uses of kumyshka.

Keywords

  • rituals
  • alcohol
  • gender
  • historical change
  • animism
  • Udmurts

Notes & Reviews

Open Access

Notes and Reviews: I’m a Recorder: Interview with Asen Balikci

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 240 - 256

Abstract

Open Access

Book Review: Folklore in Baltic History: Resistance and Resurgence

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 257 - 259

Abstract

Open Access

Book Review: Orthodox Revivalism in Russia: Driving Forces and Moral Quests

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 260 - 261

Abstract

Open Access

Book Review: Landscape, Ritual, and Identity Among the Hyolmo of Nepal: Vitality of Indigenous Religions

Published Online: 22 Dec 2021
Page range: 262 - 264

Abstract

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo