North American Indians know any Russian. We all know the noble Mohicans, cunning Apaches and other characters in the books and westerns, which is very popular. But few people know that our country has its own "Indians" — Itelmen. December 7 opens photo exhibition dedicated to this small nation.
All to see Itelmen necessary to do not a short journey. Nine hours by plane from Moscow to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Then — ten hours by car to the village of Esso. Then half an hour to reach by helicopter to the village of Ust-Khairyuzovo.
Finally, forty minutes shaken in a car along the Sea of Okhotsk to ebb, and in winter by snowmobile or snow crust on dog sledding. The ultimate goal — a national Kovran village where live Itelmen.
Itelmen — Indians present, but not a "cinematic." It is proved that they have close family roots with the Tlingit Indians, who today live in Alaska. Have much in common and Itelmen with another famous Indian tribes — Navajo. For example, a common god — Raven Kutkh, creator of the earth and all life on it, which is the supreme deity of many northern peoples.
And American Indians Itelmens admitted that the last special delegation went to the U.S. to compare their ancestral legends, totems, ceremonial songs and dances with ceremonies overseas neighbors. In the end it turned out that both tribes surprising amount in common.
In Russian documents Itelmen known since the nineteenth century as "Kamchadals." Although this definition then fell and other indigenous people of Kamchatka — for example, Koryak. To date, there are only about 1,500 Itelmens. But once Itelmen were 12-13 thousand people. Like many small nationalities, Itelmen in the modern world to the brink of extinction.
However, this nation could preserve its centuries-old way of life, language and traditions virtually intact. But the analysis of archaeological excavations in Kamchatka has shown that the earliest monuments Itelmen culture 5200 years. The main occupation of Itelmen has always been fishing.
Itelmens religion was originally shamanism, but after the arrival of Russian settlers, they accepted Christianity. Retaining, however, and their traditional beliefs — animism, totemism, fetishism. They are all connected with the worship of the spirits of nature, already mentioned above Kutkh and others — for example, the owner of Sea Mitgu who sent Itelmens their main food, fish.
Of course, today Itelmen still succumbed to progress. They have their own specially designed for them in the 30s of the last century writing, their own schools. Some of them are still engaged in fishing, many artists have become folk groups.
Several photographers who happened to talk to these Russian Indians held in Moscow exhibition on contemporary life and culture of this unique nation. The authors, George Kiselev, Andrey Karpenko, Natalia Bogachev and Yegor Bogachev, believe that "the warmth, sincerity and cheerful disposition — the distinctive traits of the Indians of Russia."
In the camera lens were: religious ceremonies involving shamans Alhalalalay national holiday with a unique dance marathon, which at Itelmens lasts for about 16 hours continuously, and many other surprising and highlights from the life of the people Itelmens. The exhibition will run from 7 to 12 December 2010, from 11:00 to 19:00, and will be held in Moscow, in the "Photo Center" on Gogol Boulevard.
Of course, look at Itelmens'd be curious to everyone, but not everyone can afford such a long journey. But see the photos can be anyone who is interested in Russian history, folklore and ethnography. Besides, who knows, may be imbued with color Russian Indians, one of the visitors in the next time do not go on holiday at a beach resort, and a distant, but no less beautiful Kamachatku. In the end, for the exotic is not necessary to fly to Australia or Africa. We and its more than enough.