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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.682-686

УДК 397+398

Kol Taiyg - Sacrifice to the Master Spirit of the Lake Among the Northern Kyzyl Khakas People (Late 19th - Mid 20th Century)

Burnakov V.A., Burnakov A.A.

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The article analyzes the phenomenon of sacrifice to master spirits of natural objects and elements, in particular to the water spirit - kol eezi, important for studying the traditional worldview of the Khakas people. Using the example of the Kyzyl ethnic group of the Khakas people, which lives in the northern part of Khakassia, the mythological and ritual complex associated with reverence for the master spirit of the lake - kol taiyg - is described. Both published and unpublished ethnographic materials were used as the main sources for the study, including the unpublished archival ethnographic evidence on the subject, collected in the 1950-1970s by Y.A. Shibaeva, M.S. Usmanova, and other scholars from Tomsk State University. It has been established that water element and its specific religious and mythological embodiment - the water master - played one of the key roles in the worldview of the Khakas people, including the Kyzyl group. This was caused by the natural landscape of the territory where they live with abundant water bodies - streams, rivers, lakes, etc. The Khakas beliefs about water are closely related to everyday life and economic activities of the people. In the traditional worldview, relationship between humans and nature transcends merely rational interaction. People believe in mystical influence of water sources on their lives and well-being. Ritual sacrifice was one of the ways to maintain stable harmonious relationship; it was performed regularly and had a collective nature with strictly defined structure, including the leader, other direct participants, and sacrifice as well as sequence of ritual actions confined by specific temporal and spatial parameters.


traditional worldview of the Khakas people, Kyzyl Khakas people, ritual, sacrifice, water, kol taiyg, shaman, image, symbol

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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