Sergey V. Bereznitsky
The mythology of cosmogenesis in the folklore materials of V.K. Arsenyev
The article examines the mythological plots, archaic motifs of Tunguso-Manchzhurian cosmogenesis, collected by the outstanding ethnographer, traveler, writer Vladimir Klavdievich Arsenyev (1872—1930). During his many years of field research, he recorded valuable, and often unique, folklore information from the Udegei, Orochi, Nanai and other indigenous peoples of the Amur-Sakhalin region. Some of these materials were included in the published works of the scientist, some are stored in archival fonds. Their undoubted significance lies primarily in the fact that they contain information about the genesis of the world, which the modern peoples of the region no longer possess. The mythology of many human communities is filled with plots illustrating ideas about the origin of the universe, surrounding nature, the world or its separate objects from parts of bodies of totems, cultural heroes, various supernatural beings of anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, ichthyomorphic, ornithomorphic, etc. kinds. These creatures could be gods, deities, fantastic or real animals. After a fight with a hero, hard parts of their bodies (bones, teeth, fangs) turned into the earth’s solid, mountains, rocks, cliffs; hair, wool — into flora, taiga, forest; eyes — into solar objects; eyelashes — into rainbows. The existing variants of the process of cosmogenesis relate to the stages of development of the human worldview as a whole and with ethno-cultural peculiarities. Structural and semiotic analysis of folklore stories collected by V.K. Arsenyev will allow to reveal archetypes of mythopoetic consciousness of the Amur-Sakhalin ethnos, show modeling and structuring function of cosmogenesis as one of the main components of their ethnic picture of the world.
Keywords: mythology, cosmogenesis, indigenous peoples of the Russian Far East, folklore heritage of V.K. Arsenyev.
Elena V. Fadeeva
V.K. Arsenyev on the Position and Role of a Women Among the Indigenous Peoples of Primorye and Amur Region
Vladimir Klavdievich Arsenyev is a Russian traveler, geographer, ethnographer, writer, researcher of the Far East, military orientalist. The scope of his scientific interests is diverse and extensive: geography and ethnology, cartography, statistics, archeology, geology, hydrology and meteorology, museum work, and even ornithology and linguistics. For thirty years, Arsenyev has been studying the indigenous peoples of the Far East, mainly the Udege. The scientist, in addition to solving the problem of the name and self-name of the Udege, collected a lot of data on the material and spiritual culture of the ethnic group; also gave comparative material on clothing, vehicles, buildings and spiritual culture of the Udege and Oroch. Based on archival materials and published sources, the article examines the factors identified by the researcher that determine the role and status of women in the traditional society and family of the indigenous ethnic groups of Primorye and the Amur region. These include elements of the maternal clan that are preserved in the bowels of the paternal clan and are reflected in calendar rituals and traditional beliefs. Secondly, the rather high position of a woman was determined by her diverse economic activities, which made a significant contribution to the general economy of the family, and was of inestimable importance for the entire traditional society. If necessary, a woman could support, and sometimes even replace a man. In addition, the article reflects the scientist’s concern with the problem of the physical and cultural survival of indigenous aliens against the background of their acquaintance with Chinese otkhodniks and Slavic settlers.
Keywords: indigenous aliens, Primorye, Amur region, position of a woman, motherhood, avunculate.
Ivan A. Golovnev
Cinematographic Experiences of V.K. Arsenyev (on the Materials of Works with “Sovkino” in 1928—1929)
The article is based on archival documents, focuses on a significant episode in the history of visual anthropology — the theoretical developments and practical experiences of V.K. Arsenyev related to the peculiarities of the development of ethnographic cinema in the USSR at the turn of the 1920s — 1930s. With helping of the historical method and cultural analysis of these materials, as well as their comparison with related archival documents and thematic publications, the article reveals the scientific and artistic features of the cinematographic work of V.K. Arsenyev, which are relevant for consideration in a wide range of humanitarian disciplines. The main sources of this study were historical evidence (correspondence materials, periodical articles, scenario sketches for films), reflecting the collaboration of V.K. Arsenyev with the film crew of the Ussuri and Kamchatka film expeditions “Sovkino” while working (in 1928—1929) on the films “Forest People”, “Through the Wilds of the Ussuri Territory”, “Tumgu” and “The Deer Horseman”. A significant part of the materials presented in this article is published for the first time. The documents analyzed in the article highlight the cinematic pages of V.K. Arsenyev and have a multilayered significance: on the one hand, against the backdrop of an extreme lack of information about the history of Russian ethnographic cinema, they characterize the potential of interaction between ethnography and cinematography by a vivid example, on the other hand, they reveal proven methods, theoretical developments and effective production techniques that are in demand in modern visual anthropological activity.
Keywords: ethnographic cinema, visual anthropology, Vladimir Arsenyev, history of ethnography, Soviet national policy.
Elena L. Katasonova
Kurosawa Akira: Samurai with a Russian Soul
Akira Kurosawa is recognized as one of the greatest directors in the history of world cinema. In his bright creative biography, there are three films based on the works of Russian writers: “The Idiot” by F.M. Dostoevsky, “At the Bottom” by M. Gorky and “Dersu Uzala” by V.K. Arsenyev. However, motifs taken from Russian literature can be traced in many other works of the director. He was brought up on the Russian classics, loved Russian culture and Russian nature, had many friends among Russian directors and artists. He was highly honored in the Soviet Union, and today in Russia it is difficult to find a person who would not know the name Kurosawa and his films. In this article, the author describes the creative path of Akira Kurosawa. Inspired by the works of Russian classical literature, Kurosawa created an original author’s cinema that has not lost its relevance to this day and inspires modern directors to rethink it. Books by the famous writer and traveler V.K. Arsenyev formed the basis of the film by Akira Kurosawa — “Dersu Uzala”. This film was shot towards the end of the master’s career when he was already an experienced and eminent filmmaker. The shooting of this film became a big joint project of creative teams from the USSR and Japan.
Keywords: Akira Kurosawa, F.M. Dostoevsky, M. Gorky, V.K. Arsenyev, cinema, Russian classics.
Yulia V. Argudiaeva
Research of the First Russian Settlements of the South Ussuri Region
The article analyzes the study of V.K. Arsenyev of the Russian population of the southern part of the Far Eastern region of Russia. According to the traveler’s diary entries, the specific features of the life of the first Russian peasants and the difficulties that encountered in the process of forming new settlements are highlighted. In addition to the interest of the scientist himself, the collecting of materials on the results of peasant resettlement to the Far East was dictated by an order from the authorities: Arsenyev’s expeditions were tasked to identify lands that could be included in the colonization fund, determining their volume and studying the possibility of settling in the surveyed areas of South Ussuri region. Solving these problems, the researcher determined the quality of the land and the depth of the arable layer, the types of grasses in the meadows, collected information about rivers, the quantity and quality of drinking water in summer and winter, the degree of distribution of blood-sucking insects, and other conditions important for the life of future settlers. It is noted that the first Russian settlements of the South Ussuri region arose as military posts. And then peasant villages and farms appeared next to them. In this way, the basis for a permanent population was formed, which was necessary for the final consolidation of Russia on the eastern borders. Attention is drawn to the changes in the economic traditions of the peasants, which were due to the specific socio-economic and natural conditions of the new place of residence. V.K. Arsenyev in his works shows the difficulties of adapting the Vyatka, Perm and Tambov peasants who moved to the coast of the Sea of Japan.
Keywords: V.K. Arsenyev, Russians, peasants, resettlement, adaptation, Russian traditions in economic activity.
Viktor I. Dyatlov
Elena V. Dyatlova
Chinese Migrants in the Far East and the Russian Version of the “Yellow Peril” Syndrome (the Turn of the 19th — 20th Centuries)
The era of Modern had created a worldwide complex of ideas about the structure of society, stereotypes, fears and prejudices, which is known as “yellow peril”. It was a reaction of dynamic and crisis-modernizing society of the West to close contact with the people of Asia. It is based on the idea of existence of not just a “different” one or even a “stranger” but a deadly “stranger”. “The fundamental incompatibility of races” designed insurmountable border and impossibility of preventing the “war of the worlds” by compromise, agreement, bargaining. “Yellow peril” complex easily took root on the basis of rapidly and painfully modernizing Russian society. Both its synthes is with domestic (“Mongolian yoke”) and worldwide (“Jewish conspiracy”) xenophobic complexes and experience of close interaction with China and Chinese in the Far East created an original Russian version. Taking into consideration the role of the Far East as an all-imperial problem, it is important to find out to what extend the population of the region was influenced by the “yellow peril” complex. If the society had experienced this complex, did it bring in its peculiarity? Analysis of the private opinions and declaratory stance suggests that it did not have fundamental difference from the metropolis at the level of ideology, politics, administrative strategies and practices. Perhaps, due to almost complete concentration of the region population around power authorities, the power understanding and power assessment of the problem was almost monopolistic. Bureaucratic pluralism took place but the shades of opinions were within the department line and not along the line “center — outskirts”. The emerging public opinion with all the local features, generally reproduced the whole empire discourse. Nothing comparable to the project of “siberian oblastnichestvo” arose here. The syndrome of “yellow peril” did not survive the imperial era. Chinese as the object of relations and reason of the formation of the stereotypes, disappeared from the life of the Soviet society and from its historical memory.
Keywords: “yellow peril”, xenophobia, the Far East of the Russian Empire, Chinese migrants, racial discourse.
Vasily O. Avchenko
Fellow Countrymen. Life and Creative Connections of Vladimir Arsenyev and Alexander Fadeev
The article analyzes the features of the life paths and creative principles of two major Far Eastern writers: V.K. Arsenyev and A.A. Fadeev. The destinies of these people, belonging to different generations, different professions and who “missed each other” in a personal meeting in just a few years, intertwined in a close way both in everyday situations and in creative activity. Referring to the biographies of both famous writers allows you to outline on the map of Primorye and the Amur region common routes and places that have become important for each of them. Intersections took place not only in the geographical plane, but also acquaintances with historical figures and local guides were common. The literary work of Fadeev was largely filled with the legacy of Arsenyev, common themes can be traced here (the life and way of life of the Udege people, relations with the Chinese, the development of Primorye, etc.), even the names of literary heroes and the plots of legends echo. Considering the artistic heritage and the life path of the writers, one can note the contribution of each of them to the work of the other: Arsenyev largely influenced the motives of Fadeev’s works, gave a great basis for creativity and reflection, Fadeev continued Arsenyev’s work, transforming his descriptions close to scientific in his own way, undoubtedly relying on his own experience and historical realities, he opened Arsenyev’s work to a wide range of readers.
Keywords: V.K. Arsenyev, A.A. Fadeev, Udege, Primorye, Far East.