Russian Anthropological
Film Festival
Northern Travelling
Film Festival

Andrei Golovnev. Talking cultures: Samoyed and Ugrian Traditions


The book is devoted to the ethnographic description of aboriginal cultures of Northwest Siberia – Nenets, Sel`kup, Khants, Mansi. It is founded on the author’s field work materials researched from long-term expeditions to remote parts of a taiga and tundra. It is written in a such manner, that cultures “talk about themselves” with the help of author–interpreter.
Subjects of conversation are wars and chiefs, a thing and space, nature and tactile time, ceremonies and pantheon. The center of exposition is person with its archetypal philosophy. The book is intended especially for ethnographers, culturologists, archeologists, historians and all interested at the mode of life and world outlook traditions of North people.

The editor-in-chief:

Member of the Russian Academy of Science Sergei A. Arutyunov 



Language of Culture

Understanding Culture

Window to the Culture

Sounding Culture

Why so, not Another


Chapter1. Ethnocultural Panorama

Ecology and Economy

            Economic Activity

            Economic Systems

            Economic Units

Peoples and Languages

            Outlines of Archeological Areas

            Territorial-Linguistic Communities

            Ethnic Groups

            Historical stages

Chapter 2. Wars and Chiefs

Seats of War

            Ugrian-samoyed Conflicts

            Conquest of the Tundra (Nenets)

            Princes Intestine Wars (Ob-Ugrian)

            Defeat Turning into the Victory (Sel`kup)

Military norms and Tempers



            Motifs of the Conflicts

            Tactics of the Raids

            Victors and Vanguished


            Tactics of Survival

            Lessons of sly Icha

            Eradication of the Enemies


            Defense of the Towns

            Tactics of Attacs

            Fighting Spirit

            Hostile Magic and Peaceful Oath

Epoch of the Revolts

            Rebelletion of Vauli

            Kazym Uprising

            Sedition on Tol`ka River

            Mandalada on Yamal Peninsula

Chapter 3. Space of the Things



            Tent in the Middle of the Tundra

            By the Home Fire

            There, Behind the Back of the Earth


            Scull on the Post

             Around the Kettle


            Earth with Skin and Hair

            Return to the Hearth

            Under the Badge of the Kiss

Chapter 4. Calendar


            Nara (Spring of the Crust of Ice Over Snow)

            Yunui (Spring of the High Water)

            Epdya (Summer of the Heat)

            Sel`venyangy (Summer of the Rain)

            Ngearei (Autumn)

            Syrei (Winter of the Snow)

            Syv (Winter of the Cold Sun)


            Tachety (Year-Summer)

            Katae (Year-Winter)


            Tavy (Spring)

            Thum (Summer)

            Sus (Autumn)

            Tal` (Winter)

Chapter 5. Pantheon


            “This is My Face”

            “Every Two Thousand Years”

            “You Always Forget Your Name”

            Under Seven Layers of the Permafrost

            Ridge of the Sky

            From the Sea to the Sea

            Nomadic Man

            Along the Bear Track

            Ashy Woman

            Womb of the Earth


            Devil’s Lake

            Cold, but Hot Country

            What to Kill Cuckoo for?

     Ob-Ugrian (or from One to Seven)

            Everything Appears from Nothing

            Who among the Firsts was the First (from Two to Three)

            Between Earth and Sky (from Four to Five)

            Eagle’s Seven flights (Everything = Seven)

Not the last Word (Instead of the Afterword)




It is available only in Russian!

© 2008 “Ethnographic Bureau

620078 Russia, Ekaterinburg, Gagarin Street, 35/a47
Tel/fax: + 7 (343) 362-90-96, e-mail:

Made in “Softmajor

Ural State University Anthropology and Ethnology Institute by N.N. Miklukho-Maklay Films from the Far North