Mansi sacrificial kerchiefs (typology and functions)

Bogordayeva A.. (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


                  page 100110


The aim of this study is to systematize information on kerchiefs that the Mansi present to the guardian spirits. The analysis is based on the typological method. The article analyzes materials kerchiefs are made of and their ornaments, ways of throwing on and tying, their functions. The research is based on information gathered during ethnographic expeditions, studies of museum collections and ethnographic literature. It is found out that kerchiefs are the most common type of sacrificial offerings at contemporary Mansi shrines. Regardless of sex, they are presented to female and male guardian spirits. A coin tied into a corner is a distinctive feature of sacrificial kerchiefs. Kerchiefs with pendants made of seed beads, beads, bells or small bells sewn on have a special status. Two types of sacrificial kerchiefs are distinguished: home-made and tailor-made kerchiefs. Currently, the most common kerchiefs are tailor-made. It was determined that sacrificial kerchiefs perform a number of functions at sanctuaries. They form part of a costume of the images of guardian spirits as headdresses, belts, bedspreads, etc. Sometimes they completely replace clothes in the images of guardian spirits. Kerchiefs often form a basis of a figure depicting a guardian spirit. They are used to cover the skin of a bear during a bear feast. It is found out that kerchiefs exercise magical (apotropaic and carpogonical) functions in family rites.

Key words: the Mansi, clothes, costume, kerchiefs, shawls, adornments, guardian spirits, sanctua-ries, fabrics, typological analysis, ethnographic researches, images of guardian spirits, magic functions.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2017-38-3-100-110




A.. Bogordayeva

Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation