FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2019, no. 41

 

THE INFLUENCE OF RELIGIOUS PRACTICES ON THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF YENISEI OLD BELIEVERS

Danila Rygovskiy
European University at St Petersburg
6/1А Gagarinskaya Str., St Petersburg, Russia
drygovsky()eu.spb.ru

Abstract: This paper examines religious practices and their connection to the social structure of Old Believers who live in the Republic of Tuva and the South of the Krasnoyarsk region (the Yenisei river-basin area). The author considers religious practices through the metaphor of “assemblage”, that is, a practice that produces the Old Believers’ communities as it is preconditioned by the specific attitude of Old Believers to Orthodox ritualism. This approach demonstrates that minute changes of the context result in a transformation of religious practices and, in turn, the social structure of the group. In particular, the paper discusses issues that are especially important to Yenisei Old Believers, such as the refusal to receive pension payments and blessing groceries with so-called “minor water”. Due to a close proximity to local towns and developed infrastructure, Southern Krasnoyarsk communities of Old Believers cannot maintain a fully sustainable and autonomous housekeeping; the opposite is true in Tuva. Thus, the former stay loyal to members of the community who receive pensions. They also actively practice the blessing of groceries, contrary to the Tuvan communities. Though they appeared in circumstances set beyond the control of Old Believers, variations in practices has led to ongoing debates and a reciprocal alienation of both territorial groups. The given examples show that the impact of the local economy “produces” religious practices, which — in turn — reassemble the social groups around them.

Keywords: Starovery, Chasovennye Old Believers, religious practices, transfer of ritual, technology of producing the community.

Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the RFBR, projects No. 17-39-50029 “Mapping Religious Practices of Old Believers in Tuva and Bordering Regions”, and No. 18-09-00723 “‘The Yenisei Meridian’ of the Old Believers: The Preservation and Development of Traditions in the Taiga Monasteries and Villages”.

To cite: Rygovskiy D., ‘Vliyanie religioznykh praktik na sotsialnuyu strukturu eniseyskikh staroverov’ [The Influence of Religious Practices on the Social Structure of Yenisei Old Believers], Antropologicheskij forum, 2019, no. 41, pp. 11–35.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2019-15-41-11-35

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/041/rygovskiy.pdf