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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2020 Volume XXVI

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2020.26.730-735

УДК 397+398

The Hare in the Traditional Rituals and Shamanic Practices of the Khakases (Late 19th - Mid 20th Century)

Burnakov V.A.

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The hare is one of the most popular animals in the ritual system and folklore among many peoples of the world, including the Khakases. Until now, its image has never been a separate topic in the study of Khakas ethnography and folklore. This article intends to analyze the image of the hare in traditional ritual shamanic practices of the Khakases. The importance of the hare and its image in the Khakas culture has been revealed. The most common type - white hare (akh khozan) - was a part of the traditional rituals and shamanic practices of the Khakases. Its seasonal white fur has become one of the key symbolic features contributing to its high semantic status. In the religious and mythological consciousness of the Khakases, it was identified with the sky; it had a heavenly origin and possessed the supernatural magic power. Individual parts of hare’s body, mainly its skin and right kneecap of its front leg were actively used for apotropaic purposes and prediction. Some Khakas seok clans, including the Purut and Khaskha had a cult of that animal. The practice of making ritual objects Khozan / Ah tos - ‘Hare / White fetish ’ with the corresponding system of norms and rituals was common in these clans. These objects were also used in popular medicine. The image of the hare appeared in the rituals of the Khakas shamans, acting as their most important assisting spirit. Symbolic image of the hare widely appears in shamanic attributes, such as headdress, orba staff, and tambourine.


Khakases, traditional culture, worldview, hare, rituals, shamanism

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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