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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2021 year, number 2


A. A. Rubleva
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS, 17, Acad. Lavrentiev ve., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation
Keywords: Pritomie, XX century second half, traditional rural wedding, “extinguishing barn (ovin) fire” ritual, intercultural interaction, Siberian immigrants and old-timers


A wedding ceremony of extinguishing barn fire completing the wedding celebration was recorded during the ethnographic expedition of 2018-2019 in Pritomie (Mariinsk, Chebulin and Tyazhin districts). The article objective is to describe this rite that existed in the second half of the XX century and was characterized by great variability. The main research source are stories of villagers about the wedding traditions of the second half of the XX century. The author uses techniques of interviewing, photo, audio and video recording of field materials, as well as a descriptive method. One of the variants of the extinguishing barn (ovin) fire ritual (ovin could contain hay, straw, etc.) involves a married couple and wedding guests jumping over the fire. Sometimes the ritual included checking the household skills of a newlywed: she was sweeping up litter. In addition, the ovin could be set on fire in a cart and carried around the village. The ritual of extinguishing barn (ovin) fire was played out in many cases as a comic bath where the newlyweds and wedding guests were taking a steam bath. Sometimes, the guests who extinguished the barn (ovin) fire smeared soot on their faces from the fire. The process of smearing could turn into mummers walking around the village. This ritual was not typical only of Pritomie. It was common for the Middle Povolzhie, Ter, Rostov Regions, etc. The variants of extinguishing barn (ovin) fire ritual described in the publications do not contain any mention of the combined actions recorded such as smearing faces with soot, walking mummers, and a comic bath. The collected ethnographic material does not make it possible to trace belonging of each variant of the extinguishing barn (ovin) fire ritual to a specific ethnocultural group. On the authors view, the reason for such variability of the ceremony in Pritomie could be the populations ethnocultural diversity (old-timers of Siberia - chaldons, yasaks, Russian immigrants, Ukrainian and Belarusian immigrants), whose wedding traditions were complementary as a result of mixed marriages.