ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2018. Vol. 23

Zoomorphic Image of the Mother-Progenitor in the Decorative Ornamentation of Traditional Woman Clothing of the Cis-Baikal Buryats

S. B. Bolkhosoev

The article is devoted to the study of symbolism in the decorative elements of traditional outerwear of the Cis-Baikal Buryats married women, which by virtue of their ethnic and local specificity contains a variety of decorative items that are of great interest for the study. In particular, this applies to the semantics of the breast decorative element ‒ Enger. To date, the symbolism of this ornament (as well as the decorative design front top women's clothing the Cis-Baikal Buryats) has not received appropriate analysis and explanation. Therefore, the study of the presented topic will clarify some unknown aspects of the Cis-Baikal Buryats tradition and expand the scope of ethnographic, ethnological and ethnocultural research. In this context, this article presents a new interpretation, according to which occurrence of the specified decorative ornament (Enger), which is a composition of different colors and some zig-zag configuration, dates back to the ancient mythological beliefs associated with the cult of the wild hoofed animal (deer), is endowed with aristomenis quality and identified with the image of Mother Earth, and the Sun. At this point an integral part of women’s clothing, the linguistic designation of its individual components, a graphical representation of chest fur patch, configuration, and color of the ornamental elements and details. At the same time, this whole complex set of values associated with the goddess the Primate, is a well-ordered worldview structure (picture of the world), where each element has its own place, is all the details and symbols of woman’s clothing of Cis-Baikal Buryats are coordinated and subject to a single composite concept, which is a whole system of myth. In other words, traditional clothing is associated with ideas about the macrocosm. It reflects the structure of the universe, the mythological concept of space, in which an important role is assigned to the image of the “world mountain” as the Center that connects the Earth with the Sky and expresses the creative principle embodied at the same time in the form of a living creature – a deer. From here, it is proved that features of the decorative decision of traditional women’s clothes proceeded from understanding of the world and were realized by Cis-Baikal Buryats in generally understood for them subjects and images in which the main role was assigned to luring of happiness, fertility and performance of protective functions.

About the Authors
Bolkhosoev Stanislav Borisovich, Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Department of Ethnology and Folk art Culture, East-Siberian State Institute of Culture; 1, Tereshkova st., Ulan-Ude, 670031, Russian Federation, e-mail: stanislav_bolhos@mail.ru
For citation

Bolkhosoev S. B. Zoomorphic Image of the Mother-Progenitor in the Decorative Ornamentation of Traditional Woman Clothing of the Cis-Baikal Buryats. Bulletin of the Irkutsk State University. Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series, 2018, Vol. 23, pp. 124–139. https://doi.org/10.26516/2227-2380.2018.23.124 (in Russ.)

Cis-Baikal Buryats, traditional clothing, decorative item, vitality, zoomorphic image, symbol of fertility, picture of the world

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