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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2019 Volume XXV

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2019.25.700-707

УДК 392.5+398.8+391

Evolution of Symbols and Stages of Wedding Ritual Among the Barguzin Buryats in the 20th - Early 21st Centuries

Lygdenova V.V.

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The article analyzes the evolution of wedding symbols and metaphors among the Barguzin Buryats, as well as the main stages of their wedding traditions based on the field evidence gathered by the author during the expeditions to Barguzin and Kurumkan Districts of the Republic of Buryatia in 2012-2019. Ethno-local analysis of specific cultural features manifested by an ethnical group living on a specific territory has made it possible to identify symbols, traditions, and folk materials typical of the ethnic group of the Barguzin Buryats. Symbols of marriage agreement, matchmaking, pre-wedding girls’ party, and setting up the hitching pole, which are the key elements in the process of preparing and celebrating the wedding, have been established. The songs sung during bride’s dressing and preparation of dowry, and at the wedding are used as illustrations. Elements of archaic matrilocal cult have been found at all stages of wedding rituals; traces of shamanistic and Buddhist influence on the early religious cult (tribal totems worship, special role of Buddhist lamas while setting the dates of matchmaking and wedding, etc.) also appear. The author concludes that evolution of wedding symbols and metaphors is associated with changes in Barguzin Buryat religious worldview with their conversion to Buddhism, and with remnants of matrilocal cult.


wedding, Barguzin Buryats, matrilocal cult, wedding songs, ethnography

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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