Compared with other Uzbekistani publications of the same kind, something in this volume smells irresistibly pre-post-Soviet: the topics of the contributions, their hierarchy and the style in which they are written and under which arguments are brought forward.  The papers (38 altogether, celebrating the late Shoniyozov’s eightieth birthday) are grouped in four sections under the following headings: theoretical questions, ethnic history, material culture, and finally customs and values.  One striking common feature is the importance of historical evidence as a main factor of explanation, which reminds us how deeply ethnology is, within the Soviet domain, a historical science.  Among the most noteworthy articles one may mention Rtveladze and Ustaev’s paper on customs related to tamarisk (in Russian), an ethnographic but yet very informative paper on funerary rituals by Payzieva (in Uzbek) and, last but not least, a very promising paper on smithy based on a risala-yi ahangari

François Ömer Akakça, Humboldt University, Berlin
CER: I-7.4.G-662