The Livonian language

Livonian (līvõ kēļ or rāndakēļ) belongs to the Finnic branch of the Uralic languages. It is a nearly extinct language, with one of its last native speakers having died in February 2009. It is closely related to Estonian. The native land of the Livonian people is Livonia, located in Latvia, in the north of the Kurzeme peninsula.

The Izhorian language

The Izhorian (Ingrian) language is spoken by a minor nation Izhora, inhabiting the St. Petersburg region in the Russian Federation. It belongs to the group of the Baltic-Finnic languages. It is related to the Evremeisky dialect in the group of dialects, rooted from the ancient Karelian language. It had a great influence on the formation of many Finnic dialects spoken in Ingria: the dialects of Narvusi, Soikkola, Kaprio, Tyuryo and on the Votic language as well.

The Last Shaman of Taymyr

The Nganasans commonly practiced shamanism. In the middle XX century the Nganasan shamanic kin of Ngamtuso had the authority and respect in Taymyr. One of the most outstanding persons in 1990s was Delsyumyaku Demnimeevich Kosterkin (1940-1997), the son of the eminent shaman Demnime. He inherited his father’s knowledge of the shamanic pantheon, ritual order, music and words repertory, artistic and musical abilities. He is now called ‘the last shaman of Taymyr’.

Shamanistic Ritual in Light Tent

Hardly ever dusk starts to fall, the inhabitants of neighboring districts come to the house where the shaman stays. Everybody takes a seat along the walls leaving the middle of the dwelling and the sacred place opposite the entry empty. The fire in the tent lights it. The shaman sits on the deer leather or bearskin stretched with fur to the left of the entry behind the fire. Next to him, nearer to the entry, his assistants, supporting voices (usually two) sits, helping the shaman during the shamanistic ritual.

Khebidya Ten

When they say about the Nenets Autonomous Area, first of all they say that the first advanced post of the Russian State - Pustozersk was built up here and that Protopope Avvakum here and was burnt for belief. Here in the holes of the town the rebellious victims of Russian autocrats since the Ioanovsky times till the Petrovsky epoch served their time. And very few people recollects, that in former times on the coast of the Empty lake the hills of Sjadei seda, which belonged to Nenets clans, wandering on this boundless tundra, settled down here.

Children Centre of Lylyng Soyum

In 2003 in Khanty-Mansiysk for the first time appeared the creative school for children “Lylyng soum” (“Living tiny brook“). And in September 2007 the ethno cultural-educational center for children “Lylyng soum”. This center is only educational institution in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug which deals with preservation of cultural values of Ob Ugric people and theirs transfer to rising generation.

Lopsho Pedun

Every nation, living in the territory of the multinational Russia, has its own fairy hero: the Russians have Ivanushka-durachok (or ‘Ivanushka, the Stupid’), the Tatars have Shurale, peoples of Central Asia have Nasreddin Hoca, the Germans have Hans, and the Udmurts have Lopsho Pedun – jester and merry fellow. It was a crafty and quick-witted man, who could easily turn his greedy and stingy master round his finger, and teach a good lesson to a boor and a slacker, because he himself was a hardworking man.

Cheremiss wars

I Cheremisskaya war started on 20th December, 1552, and ended on May, 1557.  There were three Cheremissky wars during the XVI century. II Cheremisskaya war flared up in the spring of 1572. III Cheremisskaya war went on during the 80th years of XVI century. The result of these wars - the general weakening of Russian state.

After the overthrow of Kazan the voevode B.I.Saltykov was appointed in this city by grand prince Ivan Vasilevich. Maris began to pay jasak to the the new government.

Mummies of the Town of Vac

The town of Vac is situated on the left bank of the Danube River, circa 40 km north of Budapest. On the main square of the town there is White Fraternity Church, named after the Dominican monks, wearing white clothes. It was built in 1699.

In 1994 during the reconstruction of the Church the remains of 265 people were found in the underground burial-vaults: quite a real underground town, where almost 200 years rested in peace mummified citizens. In spring 2006, 18 of them were exhibited in the Hungarian Museum of Natural Science in Budapest.

‘Kumu’ Museum

‘Kumu’ (‘Kumu Kunstimuuseum’ in Estonian) is an art museum in Tallinn, Estonia. It is the largest museum in the Baltic region and one of the largest ones in Northern Europe. It is one of the four branches of the Art Museum of Estonia, housing its main offices.

Epic Poem ‘Kalevala’

The epic poem ‘Kalevala,’ a composition of two great nations, collected and published in 1835 by the Finnish specialist in literature, scholar and poet, a doctor by education, Elias Lönnrot (1802—1884) originates from time immemorial. Myths and legends, described in the ‘Kalevala’, appeared as long ago as in II-I centuries B.C.


‘Kartuliporss’(literally means ‘potato piglets’) is a national Estonian dish, a kind of shepherd’s pie, that is to say, meat backed in mashed potatoes. The fact, that ‘kartuliporss’ is cooked with potato, results from the earlier spread of potato among the western Finno-Ugric peoples as compared with the eastern ones.

Ingredients required:

Lean pork 500-600 gm, 8 boiled potatoes, 2 eggs, a glass of sour cream, ¾ glass of milk, 3 tablespoonful of flour, 3 tablespoonful of semolina, 2 tablespoonful of butter, a pinch of salt to your liking.

Children’s Folk Song and Dance Group of ‘Linnut’ (‘Little Birds’)

The present-day Luzhitsy is an informal capital of Votes (people inhabiting Votia, which is situated in Ingria, northwestern Russia). Nearby there is Kurgalsky wildlife sanctuary with healing wellsprings and the large village of Krakolye with a secondary school.

Udmurt women’s costume

Unique character of the Udmurt women’s national costume is that it is worn in the present-day life. Its main parts are a dress, a cover-slut and a colorful kerchief. The undress clothes and cover-sluts are made of colorful cotton fabrics. Festive clothes differ in the type of fabric (monochromatic satin or silk cloth) and some additional decoration like beads or necklace. The young women wear them on special occasions like weddings, seeing-off men for the military service, New Year’s Day, concerts, performances and so on.

‘Tabany’ with ‘Zyret’

‘Tabany’ is a ritual Udmurt dish, served on weddings (it is to be baked by the bride; it’s a kind of test for her cookery skills before the new relatives), on the so-called Parents’ Day (funeral repast), and funeral. ‘Tabany’ is also a delicious treat for visitors and a holiday dish. It is made of leavened dough with eggs and butter, and baked on the oiled baking sheet in the Russian stove before the open fire. ‘Tabany’ is to be served quartered, buttered and with ‘zyret’ (a milk kissel made of high-grade flour and starch).

A Bride’s Trousseau

Since the baby was born, a mother starts making up a trousseau for her: feather-bed, pillows of goose down, various kerchiefs, traditional clothes, embroidered cover-sluts, pillow-cases, towels, blinds for windows and for the so-called ‘Krasny ugol’ (literally means ‘the beautiful corner’. It was the best and most important place in the house where the icons were kept), table-cloths and home-spun mats. All these things, except feather-bed and pillows, were put into the wooden chest. The bride herself or the close relatives are to embroider the trousseau.

Ethnographic open-air museum "Khohlovka"

Architectural and ethnographic museum "Khokhlovka" was founded in 1969 and was opened to visitors on September 17, 1980.

Obdoryanka Group

The Komi folk group Obdoryanka was organized in 1990. Its cast performs ritual folk songs. The group consisting of 18 people has made a considerable collection of national musical compositions for 20 years of its existing. The succession of generations can be found in the group: The “oldest” pass on their cultural heritage to the “youngest”, the “oldest” manage to carry young participants away by folk art.


‘Inmala’ is a tribal patron deity worshipped by the Slobodsky Udmurts and the Besermyans (the Slobodsky district, the Kirov region). No detailed description of how it looked like has remained till the present day. However, Inmala is known to be connected with heaven. The birch was the symbol of the deity. Public praying took place on a small height at the spring well, deep in the forest. On the glade there was a place for fire and a sacred birch with double top. Its trunk was wound round with sacrificed things: head scarves, pieces of cloth, braid, towels, duck’s feathers.

‘Leelo seto’- the Traditional Many-voiced Singing

At present ‘leelo seto’, the ancient tradition of many-voiced singing, is regarded as the basis of the cultural originality of the Setos living in south-eastern Estonia and on the river Pechora (the Russian Federation). The choir, dressed in the national costumes, sings the ancient songs. The specific character of ‘leelo’ is that the choir, revoicing the leader, firstly repeats the last syllables of the verse, and then the whole last line.

Rune Singer Museum in Kalevala Village

A rune singer tradition in the north of Karelia is known to exist for ages, legends and songs were passed on from one generation to another, keeping connection between them. It was rune singers who made the Kalevala region famous: The runes performed by them were carefully recorded for the descendants by Elias Lyennrot who compiled the epos “Kalevala”.

Olonets National Museum of Karelians-Livvics Named after N.G. Prilukin

Now the Olonets national museum is a keeper and collector of the biggest collection of monuments in Karelia characterizing material and spiritual culture of the Karelians-Livvics. The museum fund which is an integral part of both Russian and Karelian national patrimony numbers over 20,000 items.

Nenets-Russian Dictionary

Nenets-Russian dictionary, published in 1965, contains about 22000 words. This dictionary is compiled on the basis of two dialects: the dialect spoken by the Nenets population of the Bolshezemelskaya tundra, which was taken as a principle when creating the written language, and the dialect spoken by the Nenets of the Yamalsky District, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, which is typical of the eastern Nenets people. The Dictionary also includes a range of words from the dialect spoken in the Malozemelskaya tundra, which belongs to the western group of dialects.

‘Esya Somboy’ – Nenets Metal Adornment

The Nenets people are not known to have dealt with non-ferrous metal processing. They mastered only the skills of tin casting. The main ways of acquiring metal goods for the Nenets family were transurals Mangazeyskaya and Obdorskaya fairs and exchanges of goods with Komi. The relative fewness of the metal goods can result from their considerable price.

Krasnoselkupsky Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy

Krasnoselkupsky museum of local lore, history and economy was founded on February 23, in 1989. The museum was created on the initiative of V.V. Rudolf, journalist and local historian (1937-1991). The museum contains 8550 articles, 1925 of them being those of scientific supportive fund.

The main excursions held: the traditional culture of the Tazian Selkups; the religious beliefs of the Selkups; Russian polar town of Mangazeya; Stalin’s railway; the history of the Krasnoselkupsky district; fauna of the Taz river