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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2021 year, number 2


A.A. Badmaev
Institute of Archeology and Ethnography SB RAS, 17, Acad. Lavrentiev аve., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation
Keywords: Buryats, traditional worldview, shamanism, fox, folklore


The article is devoted to identifying and characterizing the complex of Buryat popular views on the fox. The research is based on a variety of sources including written (ethnographic, folklore, linguistic) ones, as well as field materials. The main research tool is the structural-semiotic method, which involves establishing the fox symbolism. The study allows stating that the fox had a feminine origin in the traditional views of Buryats. Besides, this wild animal was endowed with producing symbols. It was associated with the fire element. The fox was associated with various celestial phenomena, and carried solar symbols. However, the fox image is dominated by the chthonic nature, which, in particular, is expressed in the idea of the fox as guides to the other world. This is due to its incorporation into shamanic rites as a spirit helper and black Shaman’s attribute. The study shows that a part of the pre-Baikal Buryats had the fox veneration in the past. It is found that some traditional Buryat judgments about the fox have parallels in the worldview of other peoples.