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

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

Проход по ссылкам навигации

* (asterisk) at the end of the search string means any number of any characters.

2020 Volume XXVI

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2020.26.820-824

УДК 316.723

Examples of Horse Spirit Worship in the Altai Mountains and in Japan

Sekiya A.

Full Text PDF RU


The article discusses the results of surveys carried out in the Kosh-Agach region of Altai Republic near the village of Ortolyk, as well as in small mountain villages in Japan. Materials on the household equine use over the past century were collected during the surveys. The author focused his attention on the issue of preserving the ancient tradition of the horse spirits worship. The first section of the article provides an overview of the Altai people customs. The ritual of sacrificed horsehide hanging on the trees (poplars) growing in the valley of a dried out mountain river has been recorded. Based on information collected from local residents, author concludes that hanging of a horsehide on a tree brought the of fering closer to those living in the Upper World, in the sky, i.e. to Gods; the rite of sacrifice was carried out to achieve the general well-being of the clan. The second section of the article provides data on equine use in households of a number of prefectures in Japan as well as information on potential burial places for horses. Author pays a lot of attention to the veneration of the Buddhist deities who are directly responsible for the livestock welfare. The foremost attention is paid to Bato Kannon, a deity that protects animals and prayers to whom ensure pacification of their spirits and their rebirth. The veneration period of Bato Kannon lasted from the second half of the Edo period up to the Showa period, but at present the cult of horse-headed goddess is in decline and the statues and sanctuaries of Bato Kannon are abandoned in many prefectures of Japan. The article also analyzes the horse-related New Year rites in certain mountain villages.


worship, cult, horse, Altai, Japan, sacrifice

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

Editorial Board
17, Ac. Lavrentieva ave, Novosibirsk 630090 Russia
Tel.: 8 (383) 330-22-80