Opening Asia for Russia

19.08.2019 168 просмотров

Nivkhs are one of the smallest nationalities living in the vast expanses of Russia. One part settled in the Khabarovsk Territory, and the other - in the north of Sakhalin Island. In total, about 5 thousand Nivkhs live on the territory of our country.


Most peoples of the Amur region speak languages belonging to the Tungus-Manchu branch of the Altaic language family, but the Nivkh language is not similar to any of them. Back in the century before last, when these territories became de jure part of the Russian Empire, missionaries and clergy actively tried to convey Christian ideas to these people, but, alas, everything turned out to be in vain - Orthodoxy never took root among the peoples of Sakhalin and the Amur region. The Nivkhs are still trying to carefully preserve the faith of their ancestors in spirits. As for the language of this people, it is rather close to the languages of the peoples of Southeast Asia. At least that's what linguists say.

How many special missions were arranged for the Gilyaks, as the Russians called the Nivkhs, but in the end, Christianization by and large turned out to be a waste of time - this people refused to accept the foundations of the Orthodox faith, Yes, and not particularly aspired to it. Nivkhs everywhere refused in everyday life the names that they received at baptism, they also preserved the ancient traditions of pagan cults.

Nivkhs
Photo: customs-and-traditions.rf



According to some scientists, the independence of this people, especially in terms of language and culture, is a kind of evidence that Nivkh culture was the ancient basis on which the cultures of many other peoples of the Amur region developed.

Nivkh villages have long been located along the banks of rivers - mainly in areas inaccessible to floods. The usual winter dwelling is a stove with a chimney and huge bunks, which could accommodate up to 30 people. Nivkh huts were illuminated with a torch and lamps with fish oil. In the summer, the Nivkhs did not live in the same huts, but moved to barns, which were usually built on high pillars. What did the Nivkhs do? Yes, about the same as other small peoples of this region - mainly hunting, fishing and gathering.

Skis and dog teams were their main means of transportation in the winter. In the summer, the Nivkhs moved along the rivers in flat-bottomed boats, which were made of spruce and cedar boards. Somehow these boats resembled a wide trough. The boards were fastened with special wooden nails, and then they were caulked with moss. There was no rudder in these trough boats - the floating craft was controlled exclusively by an oar.

Nivkhs
Photo: nn.by
< /p>



The main arsenal of weapons of the Nivkhs, when the Russians came to the Amur region, consisted of a spear, a bow, a harpoon and the so-called crossbows. Of the home crafts, the creation of the most complex patterns on leather and birch bark was especially popular. But these people were not familiar with pottery and weaving - they learned about them after the arrival of the Russians.

The main food is fish that has been dried and frozen for future use. For the winter, large stocks were usually made - the dogs also fed on fish. As a rule, fish were caught with special nets made from nettle and hemp fibers. Sometimes large hooks were used for fishing. The Nivkhs also hunted sea lions, beluga whales and seals. Hunting and fishing was considered a male craft, while women, in addition to housekeeping, were engaged in picking berries - raspberries, wild garlic, lingonberries, rosehips, pine nuts. Even in the century before last, the Nivkhs did not know iron utensils, they did not know how to cook, and they often ate food cold, although sometimes meat and fish were baked on coals. Remarkably, since ancient times, tobacco was smoked in every family, including this was not forbidden & nbsp; do for small children.

Nivkhs
Photo: skr.su
< /p>



A Nivkh man was considered rich if he had several wives, several sets of clothes, several strong dogs and more silver coins. And the Nivkhs were very sensitive to their old people - they never left their sick or infirm relatives in trouble, they were looked after and fed. And in general, the elderly in the family were considered the most respected people, because it was the oldest in the family who kept the flint, which lit the festive “birth fire” during certain significant events. Shamans among the Nivkhs, as well as among many other peoples of the Amur region, were held in high esteem.

Nivkhs got married very early, sometimes parents brought their children together at the age of 4-5 years. It was not considered shameful to marry cousins. Nivkh men treated their women kindly, although parting with spouses happened often. But if someone stole someone's woman, then this was perceived as the toughest insult - the opponent had to take revenge or, at least, get a dowry from him. Sometimes such problems were solved by the death of one of the men. Nivkh women were rarely left alone if the husband died: it was common for her to go to the brother of the deceased husband or to another close relative. But if the woman still remained alone, then the relatives were obliged to help her, since all the property of the husband was inherited by his sons.

Nivkhs
Photo: skr.su
< /p>



Nivkhs are very calm people. This is generally reflected in their cultural heritage: they have no national dances, very few songs, the music is very simple. True, the old people, as a rule, know many traditions and legends, which they tirelessly tell to the youth. Moreover, this is done in a special way: in a low voice, with a long howl and drawling out the words.

Most often, the “legendary past” is talked about at holidays, which, by the way, are also not very numerous among the Nivkhs. For example, at the beginning of winter they celebrate the appearance of the first ice, in early spring - ice drift on the rivers, in summer they worship sacred trees and perform ritual sacrifices.

The biggest holiday - Bear - is celebrated now in winter, in January. It lasts two weeks. Previously, a bear cub was found especially for this holiday, fattened and taken around the villages. And before the start of the celebration, fights with a grown beast were usually arranged. There were many brave men, but not all of them survived - the jokes are bad with the clubfoot. Nevertheless, the fate of this bear was still tragic: in the end, he was tied to a pole, which broke in on purpose, and shot with a bow. Then the bear meat was eaten. At the same time, a local intoxicating drink was always served at the table, which was washed down with tea.

Nivkhs
Photo: skr.su
< /p>



The climax of the holiday is the introduction of the head and skin of a dead animal into the house through the chimney. It was believed that the owner of the taiga just like that comes to people's houses. Therefore, the skin and head of the beast were tied to a long pole and slowly lowered into the chimney. And all those in the house welcomed the bear as the dearest guest.

The Nivkhs professed the cult of wooden gods. Each village has its own sacred place - it is there that communication with the spirits takes place, from whom good luck is asked and forgiveness is begged, because the Nivkhs believe that the afterlife exists. They took their dead away to the taiga - there the bodies were burned on a funeral pyre, and the ashes of the deceased, his clothes and smoking pipe were buried in a special log house on the outskirts of the village. They commemorated the deceased with an intoxicating drink, smoked his pipe and wept bitterly. Not a single Nivkh rite could do without an intermediary between the living and the spirits - a shaman.

Subscribe:

News

Economy and business

Science and education

Partner news