Komi Zyrians Traditional Culture

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: -. 24—30 VII 1985 SYKTYVKAR. Congressus Sextus Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum. . Thesen. Abstracts. III. Vol.III. Bd.III. , 1985.

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In the works of pre-revolutionary investigators, travellers and Soviet scientists Komi dance folklore is mentioned only fragmentarily. The essence of a dance, plastic movements had not yet been fixed.

We started systematic investigations of Komi dance folklore in 1975, and they are in progress now in the regions of compact Komi settlement: in the basins of the Upper Vyćegda, Višera, Ižma, Pećora, Sysola, Luza, Vym and Mezeń. The observations of Komi folk dance performances were carried out in different seasons of the year and timed to different calendar and all-Union Soviet holidays.

The literary-graphic method was applied for the fixation of the folk dance plastic movements. The musical accompaniment of a dance was tape-recorded; its interpretation and notation being done by our musicologist P.I.Ćistalev - a participant of all the expeditions. More than 240 dances of different genres have been collected, among them round dances (with a variety of variants), improvised dances, dances with a fixed plastic of movements, quadrilles and "shondibans".

All these genres are widely spread now and are performed by all age groups of the indigenous Komi population with great mastery. As a rule, a dance gives a picture of the people's life. The clear and abrupt movements of men, the gentle, smooth and graceful ones of women depict the features of original national Komi character.

The dances are performed to the accompaniment of such musical instruments as the chipsans, sigudoks, accordions and others; folk songs accompanying a dance give peculiarity and colouring to Komi dance folklore.

The material on dance folklore collected is an additional source of judging Komi ethnic and ethno-cultural history in the system of the Finno-Ugric and other peoples.

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