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Religious features of the ethnic tradition of the Ossetians in the conditions of social modernization of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, according to the folklore legend “The Tale of the Lonely”

Journal: RUDN Journal of Russian History (Vol.18, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 922-937

Keywords : Ossetian ethnic religion; oral folklore; Gappo Baev; mythological worldview; religious worldview;

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The article analyzes transformation processes in the Ossetian ethnic tradition that resulted from the modernization of the Great Reforms era. While the article covers the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the changes in question stretched beyond these limits, being complex in nature and increasing gradually. As mountainous Ossetia was drawn into the orbit of Russian influence the ethnic isolation was ended, and certain aspects of the tradition changed. The period of Great Reforms contributed to the strengthening of capitalist development in the Russian Empire. This period provided significant changes not only in the economic but also in the socio-cultural life of the Ossetian highlanders. We observe a gradual modernization of the archaic tradition of the ethnos at that time. This transformation of the traditional ethnic worldview of the Ossetian highlanders is reflected in various narrative sources. In particular the folk legends recorded by representatives of the educated part of Ossetian society carry significant information. The bearers of oral folklore - the inhabitants of mountainous Ossetia - often introduced new realities into the narratives, elements that were atypical for the archaic consciousness. Folk legends therefore constitute an important source for studying the processes of modernization of the traditional consciousness. The present article studies these processes with the folklore legend The Tale of the Lonely recorded in the nineteenth century, which reflects ideological transformations characteristic of the ethnic consciousness in this period.

Last modified: 2020-08-04 06:34:42