8 dic 2010

Yakut ritual cup

Name: Yakut ritual cup for drinking fermented mare milk
Origin: Yakutsk Region, Siberia, Russia
Date: Early 20th century
Museum: The Russian Museum of Ethnology
Materials: wood
Yakuts originally migrated from Olkhon and the region of Lake Baikal to the basins of the Middle Lena, the Aldan and Vilyuy rivers, where they mixed with other northern indigenous peoples of Russia such as the Evens and Evenks.
The northern Yakuts were largely hunters, fishermen and reindeer herders, while the southern Yakut raised cattle and horses.
In the 1620s Russians began to move into their territory and annexed it, imposed a fur tax, and managed to suppress several Yakut rebellions between 1634 and 1642. The discovery of gold and, later, the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway, brought ever-increasing numbers of Russians into the region. By the 1820s almost all the Yakuts had been converted to the Russian Orthodox church although they retained, and still retain, a number of Tengrianist practices.
In 1919 the new Soviet government named the area the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In the late 1920's through the late 1930's, Yakut people were systematically persecuted, when Joseph Stalin launched his ruthless collectivization campaign. The Soviet regime established numerous forced labour camps (generally known as the GULAG system) where hundreds of thousands from all over the Union were sent for imprisonment. Tens of thousands of Yakuts also disappeared there, and not until the late 1960s had the Yakut population recovered to pre-collectivization levels.
The cuisine of Sakha consists predominatly of traditional drink kumis, sliced frozen salted fish, loaf meat dishes, venison, frozen fish, thick pancakes, and Salamat - a millet porridge. Kourchah, a popular dessert, is made of mare milk. Indigirka is a traditional salad. This cuisine is only used in Yakutia.

Yakuts, the most Northern horse-breeders in the world, moved twice a year (from the winter camp where they lived in a stationary log dwelling " tent" to the summer camp where they lived in the birch-bark dwelling "uras"). They moved mounted. In front of the procession teenagers drove cattle, then loaded pack animals followed, then members of the families on the horsebacks. Women put the cradles with babies in front of them on the saddles. It took only two or three hours to dismantle yurts, pack things and load animals. When people moved to the summer camp it was considered to be a festive occasion and was preceded with various purification rites and was held according to strict ritual rules.

© Photos and text: www.eng.ethnomuseum.ru

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