Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2018 Volume XXIV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2018.24.431-434

УДК 391.7

New Data About the Bear Image in the Khanty Religious Practice

Salnikova I.V.

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In the traditional Khanty world outlook, the bear - “Koncyng-oika”, which means a clawed old person, is among the most important images. The article is devoted to the description of an image of a family guardian- spirit, the basis of which is a bronze cast of a bear likely of the Kulai culture. The animal is shown in the front view: the bear stands on its hind legs, with its forelegs raised up. This anthropomorphic multilayered image of a family guardian- spirit was found in the course of fieldworks of the Polar Ethnographic Party of IAET SB RAS in Shuryshkarsky region of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in 2018. The costume of the family guardian-spirit was formed in three stages: in the early 20th century, in the 1960s and the 1990s, which timing is supported by enclosed coins and the texture of the fabric. The found figurine confirms the conclusion that the modern Khanty people practice the bear cult and worship the bear as a totem animal.


guardian-spirit, the cult of a bear, totem, Kulai culture, enclosures, ethnographic party

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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