In a well-documented article based on ethnographical data from the Governorates of Kazan and Simbirsk, this article draws attention to the multi-ethnic and multi-confessional reality in which the peasant populations of these regions were plunged at the end of the nineteenth century. Coexistence of Islam, Orthodoxy and Pagan belief systems on a territory populated by communities historically distinguishable was of such complexity that the author has chosen to focus on a limited set of trends, especially on the rapprochement and estrangement tendencies among different groups living in the same villages. Very interesting statements are made on hierarchy of identities and behaviour patterns that developed among the considered communities: Hoping for a restoration of their statehood, the Tatars are credited with more national activism that the Chuvash populations more generally inclined to a submissive attitude.

Xavier Le Torrivellec, French-Russian Centre for Human & Social Sciences, Moscow
CER: II-3.2.C-185