Article name Symbolism and Functions of Birds’ Images in the Folklore of the Kuril, Sakhalin and Hokkaido Ainu
Authors Osipova . . Candidate of History, Associate Professor; Research fellow,
Bibliographic description Osipova M. V. Symbolism and Functions of Birds’ Images in the Folklore of the Kuril, Sakhalin and Hokkaido Ainu // Humanitarian Vector. 2020. Vol. 15, No. 3. PP. 145–152. DOI: 10.21209/1996-7853-2020-15-3-145-152.
UDK 398.1
DOI 10.21209/1996-7853-2020-15-3-145-152
Article type
Annotation The researchers of the XIX–XX centuries mentioned in their works dedicated to the Ainu spiritual culture the exceptional role of birds as a mythopoetic classifier. A lot of functions performed by birds made their presence in people’s lives necessary. Some of the birds’ qualities were admired by people. Gradually, birds became an object of worship and a special wildlife symbol, and among the Ainu there was even a cult of representatives of this animal world. But the question of the reasons of the origin of this cult and the question of their place in the traditional way of life have so far not been investigated by the ethnographers, though it is well known, that the most revered birds were brought up by the people in the settlement for a certain period of time and then “sent off” (killed) as deities with the special honor to the heaven. Therefore, the main goal of this article is to identify the origin of this cult by analyzing the Ainu legends kamuy yukar about deities and fairy tales wepeker. This article is an attempt to systematize the ways of birds’ origin and to identify the complex of functions performed by birds in the people’s world, which led to the birds’ cult origin. The analysis was based on the study of a wide range of texts written in foreign languages and not translated into Russian. The represented material can be used in comparative studies of the similar religious phenomenon in the spiritual culture of the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East.
Key words the Ainu, birds‘ cult, folklore, special wildlife symbol, traditional way of life
Article information
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Full articleSymbolism and Functions of Birds’ Images in the Folklore of the Kuril, Sakhalin and Hokkaido Ainu