The Symbolism of Archaic Rites, Signs, and Superstitions of Teleuts

The Symbolism of Archaic Rites, Signs, and Superstitions of Teleuts

Maria Obraztsova (Kemerovo State University, Russia), Elvira Stepanovna Denisova (Kemerovo State University, Russia) and Ursula Valeryevna Kereksibesova (Kemerovo State University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7853-6.ch016
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The chapter is devoted to the description of the cultural traditions of the indigenous people of the North-Teleuts, which currently numbers approximately 2,600 persons. It gives an analysis of signs and superstitions of the Teleut people. There are considered two archaic ritual symbol of female “эмегендер/emegender” and male “сомдор/somdor” amulets. The burial ceremony of Teleuts and Telengits is described. The chapter consists of three sections, written by the project executors “Language and culture of Teleuts,” which is supported by grant RHSF/RFBR Nº 17-04-00252 ONG/18.
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A significant part of the population is bilingual in the multicultural ethno-geographic space. Bilingualism, enriched by the heritage of two cultures, creates favorable conditions for learning a foreign language. As a rule, modern studies speak about bilingualism, associated with knowledge of modern world languages that is necessary for the development of economic, political and intercultural relations in developed countries. Meanwhile, a large number of people, who speak both the state language of a country and their genetically native language, live in the territories of different countries. This language situation is typical of Russia. The issue of preserving the languages and culture of the indigenous minorities of Russia is particularly acute. The Teleut language is such a language, there are about 2600 speakers. Teleuts assimilated with the Russian population. Adoption of Christianity in the early twentieth century played an important role in it. At the same time, it should be noted that Teleuts live compactly in the villages of the Kemerovo region, engaged in breeding of sheep, horses, cook national food, celebrate Teleut holidays. Teleuts remember their birth (сеоки \ seoki). To date, they have preserved amulets, funeral rites, used both archaic and new, modern signs. Description of the symbols of rites, amulets, signs and superstitions allows complementing the linguistic worldview of Teleuts, to identify the features of their linguistic personality.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Polysemy: From the Greek polysemos “multiple meaning”; presence at language unit more than one value.

Superstition: Wrong belief in something; belief in something wonderful, supernatural, in fortunetelling, in signs, etc.

Gender Ceremonial Symbols: The symbols, used at male's or female`s ceremonies.

Gender: From the Latin genus “sort”; a range of the characteristics, relating to masculinity and femininity.

Paremia: Proverbs and sayings, which along with aphorisms of non-folklore origin form rather independent layer of language expressions, which are conditionally united with phraseology.

Teleuts: The indigenous small Turkic-speaking people of Russia (the self-name Telennet, Tadar, Bayat-Pachat) living in the Southwest Siberia (generally on the territory of the Kemerovo region); shamanism is a historical religion of Teleuts.

Meteonym: The lexeme, designating changes of weather: humidity, temperature, wind, pressure, overcast, rainfall, sunshine, etc.

Ceremonial Symbol: The sacral element of culture, used during the ceremonial rituals.

Shamanism: An early form of religion, based on the belief in communication between shaman and spirits in a condition of trance.

Signs: The small folklore genre opening a ratio between the visible phenomena and future events, occurring besides human will.

Linguistic Worldview (LWV): Recorded inside the language units, specific to concrete language and cultural tradition, it is propositionally organized scheme of representation of reality: a worldview through a language prism. In every language LWV is implemented in specific complex of frames (fragments of LWV), forming frame network within LWV.

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