Fishery in the folklore traditions of the Kalmyks and peoples of Southern Siberia

Автор: Ubushieva D.V.

Журнал: Новый филологический вестник @slovorggu

Рубрика: Фольклористика

Статья в выпуске: 2 (53), 2020 года.

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Kalmyk folklore narratives contain traces of fishery practices, which attests to the fact that the people had been familiar with them since ancient times. The archaic codes mirroring historical worldview concepts of the Oirats, the Kalmyks’ ancestors, represent both local and cross-cultural ties within the cross-border regions. The Jangar epic and Kalmyk myths managed to preserve such concepts as ‘fish’ and ‘water’ and manifest the national worldview since the era when the ethnos had been clustered with the ‘forest peoples’. The paper analyzes a number of mid-to-late 19th-century fairy tale texts recorded from the Astrakhan and Don Kalmyks to have inhabited the Volga and Don valleys respectively. Some of the texts depict the Kalmyk fishery practices in such detail which seeds the idea that the anonymous taleteller could have been a professional fisherman, the latter being evident from most delicate figurative phrases within the fairy-tale framework. The fairy-tale narrative describes the Kalmyk fishery realia through the names of fish species, fishing gear and techniques, specific lexemes (‘shallow water’, ‘low tide’, ‘squid’, etc.), food preferences of certain Kalmyk sub-ethnic groups. The Kalmyks have retained fishery rites in the forms of spells, magic formulas, beliefs and superstitious signs. A vivid example is the offering to the ‘king of waters’ once administered by the Volga and Caspian Kalmyks. The Kalmyk folklore contains direct and indirect evidence of fishery practices that in course of time would serve either as a key source of livelihood or an auxiliary one.


Fishery in the kalmyk folklore, realia, cross-border and cross-cultural interaction, worldview

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IDR: 149127447

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