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Semantics of a women's wedding clothing of Yakuts to the XVII sulfur of dyne of the 18th centuries

e. M. Yefimova



Work is presented by department of the theory and cultural history of the East Siberian state academy of culture and arts.

The research supervisor - the candidate of cultural science, associate professor O.N. Sudakova

Article is devoted to a research of semantics of a women's wedding clothing of Yakuts of the XVII middle of the 18th century. The undertaken description of wedding clothes of the bride which bear an image of the female soldier and it is connected with a cult of a totemic animal, allows the author to draw a conclusion on archaic outlook of the people.

E. Efimova


The paper is devoted to studying the semantics of Yakut women's wedding clothes of the 17 th - mid-18th centuries. The description of bride’s wedding clothes, which bear the image of a woman-warrior and are associated with the cult of a totem animal, allows the author to make a conclusion about the archaic world outlook of the Yakut people.

The wedding ceremonialism of Yakuts of XVII - the middle of the 18th century is closely connected with marriage on a courtship, with a bridewealth and is characterized by complexity and variety. The Yakut women's wedding clothing of the studied period is reconstructed on written sources and materials of the archeological excavations which remained in museum funds.

A wedding dress of the bride of XVII - the middle

XVIII consisted of a rovduzhny shirt, mekho-century

a vy coat tangalay, a fur fur-coat a jota-dookh a dream (a fur coat with an eagle), caps of an ura bergese, a cash cover annas, leather pan-coupons (nataznik), nogovitsa (kneecaps) and torbas.

The earliest samples of ancient shoulder clothes of Yakuts were found and taken in 1914-1922 by E.D. Strelov. The women's dress from blue Chinese that, on linen under - occurs among the taken things

a laying, decorated with beaded stripes, on the style treats type of East Asian oar clothes.

The most remembered element of wedding clothes of the Yakut described by almost all researchers is the fur coat tangalay which the bride put on over a rovduzhny shirt. The fur coat was sewed from expensive bellows, decorated by applicative stripes from a pro-carved rovduga or skin, beadwork in combination with metal plaques. The style at such fur coat represents the silhouette which is made narrower above and expanded below. Fur coat sleeves tangalay - plug-in, shortened, sewed them entirely from sable fur, sometimes from beaver [5, page 3, 10, 65]. According to R.K. Maak's description, the fur coat tangalay in many respects reminds a dress of Buryats of the Transbaikal region and Irkutsk province [6, page 225].

The similar fur coat is taken from burial of the daughter-in-law of Drorho Bai in 1937 by M.I. Kovyni-ny, I.D. Novgorodov and S.I. Bolo. Presence of a fur coat at burial speaks about funeral value of a fur coat. Metal plates - stripes tangalay reflect ideas of Yakuts of an entrance to the Lower world through a mouth of a snake in a fur coat, are designed to protect a body of the dead from her teeth. According to A.P. Okladnikov, this fur coat is semantic knit with a cult of a swan where sleeves are wings which cut off when the girl marries [8, page 250]. The etymology of this fur coat testifies to close connection with the Turkic people where it is called a dyagala, and at Buryats - dygyl [7, page 5-7].

Over a fur coat tangalay the Yakut bride in a distant trip to the house of parents of the husband put on a fur fur-coat - sangyyakh. The fur coat was sewed by fur outside from expensive bellows, with a fringe from multi-colored cloth. On a fur coat back, about shovels, crescent inserts from fur of a beaver or an otter are always embroidered, put on this fur coat not only in winter, but also in the summer. Such fur coat makes the bride's dowry [6, page 232-233]. It agrees Yakut olonkho, the described fur coat is one of the most ancient Yakut wedding fur clothes - "fur coat with an eagle" (hotoydookh a dream). One of the most ancient samples of the Yakut wedding fur clothes remained in Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography

(MAHE, inventory No. 745-1). Such fur coat was put on by the woman with a totem of a genus of an eagle - toyon kyyl [2, page 66]. Eagle was honored as preserved souls of the person and called him not an eagle, and is allegoric - Toyon.

The symbolical value of a fur coat can be tracked in wedding ceremonies of the tyurko-Mongolian people. For example, at the Buryat wedding the fur coat - degel the married woman from the family of the groom was considered as an obligatory ritual subject. The fur coat was hung out on a pole turge during worship of the bride of ancestors of a family of the groom at patrimonial fire [1, page 103].

The ancient traditional headdress of the Yakut bride of the 16-17th centuries has the form of a kalfak - an uraa bergeke [9, page 5]. A cap of a hemispherical form, top it is decorated with feathers, on each side from a cap to the level of a breast fall metal and beaded jewelry. On a frontal and chest part the metal disks "motive of the sun" are sewn. Its form and rich metal jewelry go back to headdresses of the tyurko-Mongolian people. This cap bears in itself a complex of the oberegatelny and sacral patrimonial signs serving as ymya amulets charms [2, page 62].

Dressing of a cap feathers and metal disks says that the cap figuratively symbolizes the top world as feathers and the sun - symbols of deities of the Top world. Except designation of the Top world the cap of an ura bergeke performs sacral protective function. The cap form repeating a form of a military helmet, pro-carved metal pendants with the protective function - all this gives rise to an image of the female warrior. Possibly, it goes back to images bogatyrsh which are described in the heroic epos Olonkho.

The difficult semantic complex is connected with a cash wedding cover annas. It can be perceived at the same time as a part of a military helmet and as a symbolical image of death. Annas served as a charm. Sewed annas from different bellows or from a rovduga and a hair grid, proceeding from material prosperity of the bride. The cash cover had different length. They were decorated with beadwork or color threads, leather applikatsi-

it, plaques also had various pendants with bells. Cuts for eyes were bordered with beadwork. The wedding cash cover shows archaism of a wedding dress of the Yakut bride. For example, in the Tuva wedding ceremony put on a cape the head of the bride dumaalay which had several versions [4, page 255]. This attire completely hides the face of the bride and reminds a burqa of women of the Muslim East [11, page 24].

Closing of the face of the bride is known also in the Evenki wedding ceremony as A.I. Gogolev considers, it is time echo when to the kidnapped woman did not allow to see the road that it could not return back [3, page 49]. The similar cape is known and in the Buryat wedding ceremony where there was a custom to cover the bride's face with a white piece of fabric with cuts for eyes [1, page 104].

The wedding clothes did not lose the sign function after the wedding, and, on the contrary, kept throughout all life of the married woman. Upon termination of wedding rituals the clothing of the bride became best and festive, and during the pre-Christian period the elegant festive clothes in case of the death of the person became even burial [2, page 62]. Custom to store wedding clothes as funeral it is recorded at Buryats in the 18-20th centuries [1, page 106].

The image of the female soldier can also be tracked in a complex of next-to-skin clothes of the Yakut bride. These are leather drawers churum-chu-syaldja or nataznik with a wide belt and the whole system of the rustling pendants of a kyabak sime5e, the openwork metal plates consisting of several rows alternating with a beads and which are coming to the end with kolokolets. Drawers sewed from the soft horse or veal processed skin fur inside. The Natazny complex was decorated by leather pro-carved appliques or strips of beaded ranks. Directly nogovitsa suturuo, sewed from the combined bellows and leather materials were attached to drawers. A knee part wedding suturuo was sewed from a skin of white color, the border was done of dark fur. Kneecaps of nogovitsa of the Uke -

be plaid pranks by decorative leather applique or beaded sewing [2, page 64-65]. The semantic link of wedding and funeral ceremonies is traced also in dressing of nataznik [10, page 29]. At the same time decoration of a next-to-skin complex protects the open, unprotected places of the person and in it has strong likeness with a men's military suit, an armor.

The complex of next-to-skin clothes of the bride is connected with a part of a wedding ceremony - "step by the bride of a threshold of the house of the groom", or "the bride's entrance to the house of the groom". In the description of a ceremony it is necessary to pay attention that the natazny zone complex was hidden under clothes and found itself only a ring. The bride untied an outerwear belt before the entrance to the house of the groom. Sign function was performed by a wide belt of leather pan-coupons.

the Belt - the symbol of military valor, a class indicator, is known at many people. Except the direct appointment the belt performs function of semantic border of "top bottom" of a suit. In the field of a belt special semantic signs symbols, with obligatory definition of the center are always placed. Such binary division reflects the most archaic idea of the world.

Like a cover annas, during a wedding ceremony the belt passed "invisible", "visible" in category, from category. This transition can be tracked on the example of the epigonation of a belepcha described by Ya.I. Lin-denau and found in burials of the 18th century, genetically and etymologically knit with traditional clothes of the cattle-farmer-tabunshchika and the Kyrgyz women's wedding nabedrenny apron of a beldemcha with an intricate embroidery a vestibule seam [2, page 51].

In our opinion, an epigonation and a nataznik in the ancient time made a uniform zone complex, semantic related to a men's belt as borders of "top and a bottom" and as parts of a military armor.

The Yakut bride put on a torbas of a sarya legs on a soft leather sole from the light or saturated with smoke rovduga. Wedding footwear was decorated with an embroidery color threads. Traditionally on it it was embroidered binding

fir-tree seam difficult pattern of vegetable motive. The embroidery on footwear on the subject "Life Tree", originating in the earth, symbolizes the lower world.

According to the researcher of the Yakut traditional clothes R.S. Gavrilyeva, all silhouette of a suit creates a courageous, impressive image which corresponded to a female ideal in the period of pre-Christian Yakutia, time of cruel intertribal intestine wars kyrgys uyete [2, page 66].

Thus, the suit of the bride of XVII - the middle of the 18th century discloses archaic outlook of the people. This binary division of the world on top and lower where the belt acts as border. Presence of motive of "ritual death" allows to use wedding clothes as funeral. All set of wedding clothes of the bride is perceived as an image of the female soldier that is connected with olonkho and a cult of a totemic animal.


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Edward Smith
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