BookPDF Available

Plural World Interpretations. The case of the South Siberian Tyvans.



Plural World Interpretations are part of our everyday lives, even if we are not aware of the fact. They result from the simultaneous existence of different but equal models for interpreting the world we live in. These models are the product of human constructivity and co-exist as parallel realities, complementing and contradicting each other. Based on fieldwork among the Tyva of southern Siberia, this book discusses practices of dealing with this multiplicity of world interpretations and shows how individual actors oscillate flexibly between two of many possible models for interpreting specific situations and act on them. The author analyses the rules Tyvans apply in varying contexts, the reasons behind their choices and the consequences they have to deal with. The result is an account of contemporary culture that explores the flexibility and plurality of human interpretation, action and behaviour.
A preview of the PDF is not available
Full-text available
The acoustics of the Lower Chuya River area rock art landscape are analyzed through both the exploration of its acoustic properties and the ethnographic information gathered about the region. The results obtained in the acoustics tests undertaken in the area, in particular at the rock art sites of Kalbak-Tash I, Kalbak-Tash II, and Adyr-Kan, are examined. They indicate that the perceived loudness resulting from a natural amplification of sound (strength parameter) and music and speech clarity may have been some of the reasons behind the selection of these locations for rock art production. The ethnographic sources related to the Altai and other Siberian areas are then reviewed as a way of providing an ontological framework for the study of Altaian sonic concepts and behaviors in nature. As the sources indicate, at least for the historical period and presumably earlier, in the prehistoric period, all existing beings are entangled by sound, and they mimic each other in endless ways. We argue that these sites were selected in a non-linear relational ontological framework. It is suggested that the multidisciplinary perspective combining archaeology, physical acoustics, and ethnography has considerable potential for providing a new, richer understanding of rock art landscapes.
Full-text available
Produktion und Beudeutung von Milchprodukten bei den West-Tyva im Süden Sibiriens
This thesis explores the social, economic and political aspects of reindeer husbandry among the Komi, a people living in the north of European Russia. Taking agency as an initial concept, successive chapters examine how agency can be understood in various domains: the reindeer-herding unit and enterprise, the household and village community, relations with oil companies which are using the same land, and other actors further afield. The concept of agency is developed in counterpart to forms of structural and other constraints, yielding a complex picture of opportunity and resources. A simultaneous historical strand allows us to focus down on the concept of tradition. Through an analysis of differing and contradictory scales of image and value, I show how the concept of tradition is the most constraining of all since it originates and is validated from outside. In conclusion, I argue that gaining control of their own image is a vital requirement for the reindeer herders and their family members in order to develop a viable future.
Studies of attitudes to nature in Mongolia and Tuva, Russian Federation, show that concern for the environment is one of the most important issues for rural people. This paper describes preliminary findings from the MacArthur Project (University of Cambridge) using materials gathered in 1992-93. It discusses indigenous ideas of nature as an interactive system, hunting and killing, reproduction and artifical insemination, natural products as medicines, rituals to influence nature, attitudes to nomadism, and practical efforts of the concern for the environment. -Authors
Endlessly fascinating, often moving, and a must read for anyone interested in the cultures of Siberia. Adele Barker, Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies, University of Arizona The history and contemporary transformation of south Siberia is illuminated through this exploration of the shamanic revival in the Turkic Republics of Tuva and Khakassia. Based on extensive field-work and including folktales, legends, and shamanic poems that elucidate spiritual traditions as well as descriptions of local rituals, Singing Story, Healing Drum is at once travel narrative, autobiography, history, and ethnology. Kira Van Deusen weaves together traditional scholarship and a personal account of her travels through Siberia and contacts with scholars, shamans, and storytellers active in reviving traditional culture. Highlighting the importance of oral literature and music, Singing Story, Healing Drum guides the reader through the often confusing phenomena of the shamanic revival, both in Russia and abroad.