and mutual understanding, rather than making the denial of past practices the strength of the academic world. Conclusion, or Space for Reflection In this article we brought together two villages (Päžar’ and Pondal), three researchers from different
Two Vepsian Villages and three Researchers
Laura Siragusa and Madis Arukask
The 2010 Israeli Democracy Index raised a number of serious questions regarding the status and strength of Israeli democracy. We believe it is an appropriate topic to kick off our Forum, which presents essays representing a variety of points of view by eminent Israeli scholars.
Stepan N. Katyginskii and John P. Ziker
Stepan Katyginskii’s manuscript “Dolgan National Games” (Tyalyn Narodnai Onnoolor) is presented here in translation from the Russian. Katyginskii’s material on games is a contribution to knowledge of the traditional means by which organized physical activity occurred in indigenous communities of the Russian Arctic. As an integral part of Dolgan traditional ecological knowledge, Katyginskii’s material includes games that develop skills of aim, endurance, and strength. The article also presents some ethnographic information on the social context of performance of traditional games.
“Taking the Waters” in Tunka Valley, Russia
This article examines the sacred mineral springs in Arshan, Buriatiia. These springs have been inscribed as sacred due to their medicinal properties and are marked as sacred through rituals and material offerings. Residents lament the loss of healing, and implicitly sacred, strength of Arshan. The author argues that the sense of loss is due to the medicalization of healing in Tsarist and Soviet times and from the commodification of this type of sacred site through bottling and tourism.
This article discusses indigenous methodology in the context of Tuvan studies. Tuvan studies have a rich history, with significant contributions by local Tuvan researchers as well as Russian and foreign scholars. This article presents an overview of this research before, during, and after the Soviet period. The paper examines possible strengths and weaknesses of both “insider” (indigenous) and “outsider” research, with the consideration that these opposing categories are not so easily delineated. Through case studies describing the work and insights of the renowned Tuvan researcher Valentina Suzukei and the cultural “thesaurus” approach of Lukov and Lukov (2008), the article assesses the potential of indigenous methodology in the field of Tuvan studies.
Bridges from Ethnography to Art
In an interdisciplinary workshop in the former Iron Curtain borderlands of the Czech Republic and Bavaria seven multi-national artists and one European ethnologist revealed the cultural dynamics of boundaries both by exploring an expressive landscape and memory field, and by experiencing cultural difference as reflected in the co-operation and creation processes within the group. By using ethnographic approaches to assist the process of developing and conceptualising artworks and self-reflexive, ethno-psychoanalytic interpretation, the project followed the impact of twentieth-century border frictions and violence into collective identities, but also the arbitrary character of borders. The results suggest how a multi-perspective, subjectively informed methodology of approaching space and spatially expressed memory could be developed both for ethnology and for art, bridging the supposed gap between 'artistic' and 'scientific' methods by combining their strengths in a complementary way.
The Sibirica Editorial Team
This second issue of volume 7 marks the completion of three volumes of Sibirica under the current editorship and with our publisher, Berghahn Books. We have been working to improve the content and delivery of the journal, organizing several issues around special themes, often as the result of interdisciplinary conferences related to the region. Our partnership with Berghahn has been great from the start and is only gaining strength. They have been expanding the electronic infrastructure for web access to subscribers, and Sibirica is accessible through Ingenta via links on Berghahn’s own website. We are in the process of digitizing all the back issues of Sibirica, all the way to its first incarnation as photocopied typescripts in the 1980s. This will give subscribers and others easy access to important scholarly material on Siberian studies.
Why Should Anthropologists Care?
At a time when European integration faces many crises, the efficacy of public policies decided in Brussels, and in member state capitals, for managing the everyday lives of average Europeans demands scrutiny. Most attuned to how global uncertainties interact with local realities, anthropologists and ethnographers have paid scant attention to public policies that are created by the EU, by member state governments and by local authorities, and to the collective, organised, and individual responses they elicit in this part of the world. Our critical faculties and means to test out established relations between global–local, centre–periphery, macro–micro are crucial to see how far the EU's normative power and European integration as a governance model permeates peoples' and states' lives in Europe, broadly defined. Identifying the strengths and shortcomings in the literature, this review essay scrutinises anthropological scholarship on culture, power and policy in a post-Foucaultian Europe.
The Case of Lubuskie, Poland
Robert A. Parkin
While it can claim some historical depth, essentially Lubuskie is a new province in western Poland that emerged from the local government reforms of 1999. It is thus located in a part of the country taken over by Poland from Germany in 1945, which as a consequence experienced a complete replacement of populations (Polish for German) at that time. This makes the province a useful case in which to study the emergence of a new identity over time. At present its identity is not as strong as in the case of its neighbours like Silesia and Wielkopolska, though it is being cultivated where possible by some local bureaucrats and politicians. It is argued that it is nonetheless justified to study such cases in order to determine and account for differences in the strength of regional identities in the same nationstate. The wider framework is regional identities within Europe as part of the process of European integration and its articulation with nation-states in the EU.
All scholarly fields feed on rhetoric of praise and criticism, mostly self-praise and self-criticism. Ethnology and folklore studies are not exceptions in this, regardless of whether they constitute a single field or two separate but related ones. This essay discusses questions concerning ethnological practice and object formation, cultural theory and the theory of tradition (or the lack thereof), cultural transmission, cultural representation, and the ethics and politics of cultural ownership and repatriation. It draws on general observations as well as on work in progress. The main concern is with a discursive move: from tradition to heritage, from the ethnography of repetition and replication to cultural relativist descriptions and prescriptions of identity construction and cultural policy, from ethnography as explanation to ethnography as representation and presentation. In addition, the essay seeks to delineate other underlying tenets that appear to constitute our traditions and heritages - both as strengths and as long-term constraints and biases. Where is ethnology headed in its quest to transcend theories and practices? Less theory and more practice? More theory on practice? Or more practice on theory?