Chuvash Village Sacred Spaces in the Samara Trans-Volga Region
AbstractThe article* examines the sacred landscape in the space of Chuvash villages in the Samara Trans-Volga region. A sacred space is understood as a territory that, from the point of view of local people, has special properties and performs certain functions in their spiritual practices. Among the Samara Chuvash, represented in the majority by Orthodox communities, in the minority by pagans and Muslims, there are sites of various confessional origins as well as varying degrees of functionality and relevance in modern ritual practice from a actively used to completely forgotten. The article describes various types of sacred objects1 found in Chuvash villages in the Samara Trans-Volga region in the context of relevant religious practices, showing the attitude of the villagers to sacred sites and their significance in the formation of the religiosity of the Chuvash population in the region. The purpose of the research is to identify the principles of the sacralisation of space, its semantic characteristics, and the specificity and purpose of sacred sites. The object of study is cult sites associated with the natural-geographical environment and formed in close relationship with it (for example places of prayers and pilgrimage), as well as those arising in the course of human activities to create man-made sacred-spatial environments. The study showed that sacred sites make up an integral part of the religious space in Chuvash villages in the Samara Trans-Volga region, and set its spatial coordinates. These objects reflect both general ethnic traditions and local-historical plots associated with a specific area and its people. The formation of the sacred landscape took place with the development of new land, in the course of which a traditional model of the microcosm of the Chuvash peasant was created. The research is based on the archival, published and field material of the authors.
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