Reviews

The present book composes the third part of a multivolume work on Chuvash oral tradition. Consisting of a critical edition of published, archival and field materials, it contains 1,168 blessing and prayer texts in Chuvash language, for the most part coming from manuscripts preserved in the Chuvash State Institute for Humanities. The texts have been composed by transmitters of traditional culture from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century, from the present territories of Chuvashia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Samara and Simbirsk Regions and Siberia. The present edition also includes texts collected by ethnologists N. I. Ashmarin, G. T. Timofeev, A. A. Fuchs, V. K. Magnitskii, K. Milkovich, D. Mesarosh, I. A. Dmitriev and A. K. Salmin. The rich critical apparatus includes comments, indexes, and lists of literature. The result is a unique collection of oral poetry related to family and communal festivals. Blessings contain wishes for children and prayers include many corpuses connected with the people’s everyday life and their relationship to nature. Influenced by Christianity, pagan Chuvash villagers prayed for sun, fire, wind, water, earth, for God and his assistants, the secondary divinities. There are also sacrifice prayers for spring and summer; family prayers for everyday life and peasant farming and cattle breeding appeals. The material provides the picture of the ideal world reflected in the religious and mythological concepts of Chuvash cosmological representation. In all, the present book will certainly become the major reference for future research on Chuvash folklore.

E. V. Fedotova, Chuvash State Institute for Humanities, Cheboksary
CER: II-5.3.A-469