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The semantic status of household objects of Bashkirs and their role in furniture of an interior of the Bashkir national dwelling

UDK 745 (470.67)


© T.A. Maslennikova

Bashkir state pedagogical university of M. Akmulla Russia, Republic of Bashkortostan, 450000 Ufa, st. of the October revolution, 3a.

Ph.: & #43;7 (347) 272 67 46.


In article groups of the volume objects filling a traditional Bashkir interior are considered. Parallels between their symbolics and art features of registration are drawn. The question of how various semantic status of products affected the nature of their distribution in internal space of the house becomes clear. As a result of a research the conclusion was drawn on existence of a complete system interconnected on sense and dressing of steady elements of furniture of an interior of the Bashkir national dwelling.


The appeal to problems of the Bashkir folk art acquires special relevance today in connection with attempts to keep cultural heritage and local traditions. The important point which defined timeliness of article can be considered the accelerated process of disappearance of elements of traditional tenor of life of Bashkirs. Especially quickly there is a loss of signs of habitual spatial reference points, "modernization" of an interior and disappearance of traditional objects from a household situation.

The novelty of work consists in a complex research of the Bashkir folk art, in attempt of consideration of objects of arts and crafts art in the traditional spatial environment. For the first time communication of symbolical maintenance of household products with features of their dressing and the system of their placement depending on the semantic status in an interior comes to light. Art characteristics are given on the basis of a traditional mirovideniye of Bashkirs and reconstruction of a picture of the world.

Main contents

Particular importance which told them a certain semantic status and the nature of dressing that, in turn, influenced their place in an interior and on the general nature of registration of internal space was traditionally attached to groups of household objects which Bashkirs - ware used, arms and a horse harness.

Ware represented the products characterizing furniture of women. A part of ware, generally wooden was rather mobile and was located during festive and daily meals in a zone of the guest place.

In general ware designated by the presence the lower tier of structure of the dwelling - a floor. It was close from an entrance, an element of the dwelling connected with dangerous transition in semantic aspect in

a zone and level of space, I preserve -

outside world. Therefore, first of all, in it the preserving function is distinctly expressed. Ware contained what directly entered the person as food or drink. At Muslims was considered that with food the shaitan therefore before food and after it, guests and owners had to say "бисмилля" [1, page 239] / bismi-llyakhi-r-rakhmani-r-rakhim - "For the sake of Allah Milostivy, Merciful" inside can get. In the Bashkir representations not blessed "бисмилля", the ware left for the night could be used by harmful gins. Then the person was surprised an evil spirit [2, page 2]. Thus, beliefs and ceremonial actions were connected with ware that demonstrated its special status. The form of utensils was very various: round, cylindrical, barrel-shaped. Bowls, plates, ladles in which food and drink moved had round shape. Round vessels had something in common with the general form of a yurta, and it was associated with ideas of Bashkirs of the world around. Ware of the big sizes for storage of products differed in a cylindrical form. Some of them were decorated by an ornament, on others it was not. The principles of placement of an ornament as it was told, corresponded to beliefs of Bashkirs about a possibility of penetration of evil forces through ware in the person. As showed special researches, since ancient times decorated ware with a carving, and in later time sometimes did painting that on ancient representations of Bashkirs was a security measure from evil forces of nature [3, page 196]. The pattern was located at the edges in the lower and top part, sometimes in the center of a product and on a cover, that is in places of the termination of forms, contacts of a subject with the world around. Besides the system of a decor in some cases especially on wooden tepena obviously designated three levels which had analogies to structure of the structure of space. It is the top part with a cover on which sometimes represented solar symbols, and edges decorated strips orna-

cop. In a middle part the round elements which were also reminding solar symbols met. The lower tier was accented ranks of a pattern in the form of a fir-tree, inclined notches and so forth. Acting complete with a ladle, cups and a patten napkin, tepen was kind of the main preserving means from influence of harmful forces. The same semantic function was performed by wooden ladles which handles were made in the form of bird's heads. Connecting these images with totemistichesky representations of Bashkirs and characters from folklore, one may say, that the image of a bird was a symbol of the top tier and its inhabitants. The ladle was usually hung up for the upper edge of a tepen, thereby it joined in the system of associations with the top world transferred on a keg by means of ornamental symbols. In turn ladles were attached to decorative chains on the opposite end of which in a circle images of a fox, a wolf, sometimes a bear were located [3, page 196]. Similar motives can be correlated already to an average zone of a cosmological picture of the world. As a result ware contacted two zones of space at once.

The vessels applied by Bashkirs were very various and some of them kept the special sense. In life the metal utensils were used leather, wooden, birch bark, lykovy, later. The ornament decorated only wooden vessels. In them especially valuable products, such as koumiss, honey, meat were stored and moved to a table. Except the sets for koumiss including bowls, tubs / tepen/and wooden ladles to an izha, Bashkirs made carved vases for honey and battements for its storage, a kadochka for a medovka to a kerega, the sets of tableware consisting of bowls, different in the size, and big soup ladles. Ware was decorated by a rare ornament, but selection of motives provided charm force. Basic elements of a pattern were solar signs and rhombic images in the form of the combined triangles; besides, at ladles there were zoomorfny motives of birds indicating images of birds and animals.

Big leather ware in which koumiss was made and stored stood high in esteem. In nomadic life dairy products were considered as the most valuable. As researchers of traditional culture of the Siberian Turkic peoples specify, they were collective property and the attitude towards them as to cultural values as to symbols of belonging to patrimonial group reported to their receptacles the special status [4, page 133]. For example, milk in the Bashkir folklore had cleaning properties. To them poured over construction or a tree on which the cuckoo as her emergence was considered as a bad sign sat down [5, page 534]. According to S.I. Rudenko, the house which lit up from a lightning, extinguished sour milk [6, page 316].

In fairy tales milk was poured out on the hero who left an azhdakha body that that did not die of poison [7, page 84]. Leather ware was placed not only in the dwelling, it was frequent attribute of furniture of a horse. A. Zhakmon noted that for preparation of good koumiss milk poured out in a leather tourist's bough which was thrown through a back of a horse and was counterbalanced with weight. Movements of a horse and warmth of her body strengthened fermentation, allowing to receive curative drink [8, page 67]. Thus, the leather vessel could be far outside the dwelling, keeping at the same time the value of a receptacle of the product possessing on local representations, special characteristics. The main, most honourable, embodying ideas of wellbeing of nomadic society were distinguished from leather products at Bashkirs. By such vessel it is possible to call a Saba / kab / in which koumiss was stored. Having the big sizes, it contained in itself(himself) up to eight buckets of koumiss and was the most noticeable subject on an economic half. P.S. Nazarov wrote at the end of the 19th century: "On women the main place is taken by Saba or the tourist's bough put on a special support - sabayak" [9, page 179]. Nab kind of symbolized life and wellbeing of the dwelling. In the Bashkir wedding ceremony, according to I.G. Georgi, the bride, leaving the parental house, embraced the kumysny bag feeding her and attached to it a small gift [10, page 18]. For simplification of childbirth the pregnant woman tapped with an empty leather vessel [11, page 41]. At Turkic peoples of Southern Siberia, according to scientists, "vessels receptacles of the consecrated drink mediated contact of human community with light deities. During the ritual they assimilated to a heavenly source of grace and, in essence, acted as analogs of dairy lakes of heroic legends" [4, page 126]. Something similar can be told also about leather vessels of Bashkirs which also had the high semantic status shown in the special attitude towards them and their participation in ceremonies.

The numerous group of objects was made by the hunting accessories, arms and a horse harness which were placed on the men. Unlike the ware connected more with the lower zone of an interior, arms and a horse harness were hanged out on walls and placed on a floor, designating by the presence as well an average tier. Being an element of furniture of a guest half, they performed the strengthened guarding functions. Semantic saturation of these products was concentrated not only in their purpose and motives of an ornament, but also in the nature of material and a form. In particular, metal and a form of the pricking objects possessed, on representations of Bashkirs, special protective characteristics. So, the shaitan was expelled, according to I.I. Lepyokhin, a naked saber and the arquebuse loaded with two bullets [12, page 74]. According to S.I. Rudenko's data, magic properties

were attributed to a bullet which one shot killed two birds. Particles of such bullet were accepted by women inside from infertility [6, page 326]. In funeral ceremonies cold weapon performed function of scaring away of evil spirits. About it N.V. Bikbulatov and F.F. Fatykhova write that they to the dead man put iron objects on a breast, for example, a knife [13, page 119]. For calling of a sunny weather, according to L.I. Nagayeva, to the earth stuck metal objects, including a knife, a piece of iron and so forth [14, page 69]. At a wedding as specified I.G. Georgi, the mullah gave to the groom an arrow and said that he was brave and protected the wife [10, page 16]. Onions with arrows in general in Turkic tradition were allocated with sacral sense. They were symbolical attribute of the goddess Umay [15, page 272, 274]. Besides, with - the containment of these two objects - an arrow and onions - gained cosmological sense. Box - p the mustache of onions was treated by scientists as the lower world or the period between a sunset and sunrise, between the birth and death. The arrow included in this space scheme acted as an analog of the central axis which connected the worlds and also was considered as the center of wellbeing of the house and played a role of a charm of its inhabitants [4, page 134, 135]. Possibly, in this sense it was used by Bashkirs in a wedding ceremony. In the Bashkir folklore the belief in the magic force of weapon is visually shown. In powerful fairy tales the subject about the hero's soul which is in some subject of weapon, usually in a sword often sounds [16, page 98]. Not casually quivers and naluchya, leather boards entirely became covered by an imprinted ornament, consisting of shamrocks and heart-shaped figures, patterns of comers from antiquity. As the researcher of the Tatar art G.F. Valeeva-Suleymanova notes, the heart, a steppe tulip and motive of a stalk - a bindweed became initial motives of a similar ornament. Connecting some of their these images, for example, a lotosovidny palmette with the idea about sacred fruits, the scientist claims that she symbolized fertility, averted an evil eye [17, page 25, 27]. Often for finishing silver - a universal charm was used.

From a horse harness in the lower zone, on a floor saddles were placed, all other elements of equipment of a horse were hanged out on dwelling walls. Saddles in some cases had to onions in the form of a bird's head that was probably connected not so much with symbolical structure of the house, how many with comparison of a horse with heavenly inhabitants. The lash is especially distinguished from objects of a horse harness in beliefs of Bashkirs. So, S.I. Rudenko, describing representations of Bashkirs, says that the lash impregnated horse then was considered as deadly to snakes [6, page 316]. There is direct link with image of a horse who was an assistant

the person also was irreplaceable in nomadic life. In the Bashkir folklore of a horse contacted also the top world (a winged horse Akbuzat who went down from the sky) and the lower underwater kingdom. It is confirmed by numerous plots of legends about the herds of horses leaving the lake. As showed researches of specialists in folklore and ethnographers, the horse at Bashkirs was a defender of people from the evil, diseases and misfortunes. Was considered that a horse eye is allocated with supernatural ability to see hidden from the person. Magic force was given to the ropes twisted from a horsehair or skin [18, page 212]. The similar attitude towards a horse was projected on registration of horse equipment. Special attention was paid to its decor. Proceeding from the dual meaning of an image of a horse, it is possible to make the following assumption. Being furniture of a horse, objects horse uprya - zhi probably designated the top world. Being in the dwelling, they pointed to the lower tier. Researchers of decorative creativity of Bashkirs wrote about the dome-shaped metal plates fastening junctions of belts of a horse harness. According to R.G. Kuzeev, N.V. Bikbulatov and S.N. Shitova's remark, "in a form and by the name (kembez - "dome") they reminded a yurta silhouette" [3, page 10]. Analogies to a yurta form, perhaps, once filled a harness with a certain cosmological sense. Silver was one of the fixed magic and decorative assets.


Thus, animation of natural objects - the rivers, lakes, mountains, worship of animals and natural phenomena created prerequisites of formation of language of the work of art. Its features were connected with existence of large archetypes of creation of the world - models of the general of the universe. Symbolic and semantic semantic generality and private structures of the subject and spatial environment defined an artistic image of household products. The schedule of figurative structure and subject and symbolical shaping decorating objects of ornaments depended on the initial motive (a tree, a bird, the sun, the earth, the star world, a horn of a ram, an amulet) comprehended in national representations. The Tsveto-koloristichesky structure, was also set by sacral markers and shown in manufacturing techniques of things, in use of certain materials and dyes.

Having carried out the analysis, we found out that sites of internal space were characterized by various groups of things. These are the significant objects described in folklore, participating in ceremonies and performing the preserving function. On -

vessels from a tree and skin was located on women and partly was present at the area of the guest place, making out it and performing protective functions of the periphery of an interior. Arms and a horse harness made furniture of the men, designating the special status of the called part of the house. Thus, objects played an important role in interpretation of each level of an interior (the floor, walls, the guest place and an entrance making art structure of the environment of the dwelling), emphasizing with the presence the semantic and decorative saturation of any given zones of internal space.


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Came to edition 15.03.2011

Lindholm Sara
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