Mansi Spirit Life

Photos belong to Vladimir and Lidiya Androsov from Nyagan, Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Russia.

  1. Mansi cemetery. At the front to the left is the grave, at the back on the right is Sali-Sopan (deer log house) with sledges at the top. After the funeral on top of the log house are piled up tthe sacrifices, deer skins and bones.On the top of the grave of the Mansi are only allowed kettle, plates, cups.
  2. Deer log house (sali - sopan), which is placed next to the grave of the buried Mansi. This is where the family puts the skin and bones of an sacrificed deer.
  3. The photo clearly shows, next to the log house in which the bones are placed, the skin of a deer killed at the funeral, maybe two, three. And a few meters away is the Mansi grave. This is a natural attribute of the funeral of the Upper Lozva Mansi.
  4. Raised platform (labaz) for temporary storage of meat. Mansi do not perform "sky burials". This and the next photo taken by Dyatlov group are purely hunting structures.
  5. Photo taken by Dyatlov group on January 29, 1959. This is labaz, platform for temporary storage of game.
  6. Miron Alexandrovich Bakhtiyarov with his patron spirits tied in a scarf.
  7. Figure of a patron spirit dressed in a bathrobe. Traditional for Lozvynskie Mansi.
  8. Typical household shelf for Ivdel Mansi. We can boxes, chest, bags, gods, patrons, idols. In the center, a chest with patron spirits is clearly visible. There are also dishes for cooking.
  9. Miron Aleksandrovich Bahtiyarov. Family deities are kept on this platform. Typical for Lozvenskie Mansi, Bakhtiyarov in particular.
  10. In these places stood and continues to stand, (patron spirit), the idol Chakhryn - Oyka. The patron on water, on land, from the weather. At the time, dozens of deer were sacrificed to him.
  11. Vasiliy Sambindalov with his son in a sacred place near the lake Turvat (Tur-Vam)
  12. An old sanctuary.
  13. The interior of the sanctuary. These are patron spirits dressed in clothes.
  14. Family spirit patron, a figure made of fox fur wrapped in cloth.
  15. The figure of the patron spirit in a Russian infantry soldier uniform from the late 18th century.
  16. Sacrifice from coins and rings. The coins show which years the offering was made. One can tell which year was the richest in offerings.
  17. Presentation of gifts in the form of money to the patron spirit of the home. Coins of the last century.
  18. 19. 20. Sacrifice from coins and rings.
  19. Patron spirit of the Mansi. Coins are tied in a knot at the ends of a scarf.
  20. Rings as a gift to the spirits. Rings were made by Mansi women.
  21. An offering to the spirit in the form of otter skins.
  22. A rotten log house with sledges placed on top of it contains bones, the skin of a sacrificial deer and some utensils. Sali Sopan (deer log house).
  23. Rotting Sali-Sopan (deer log house)
  24. Rotting Sali-Sopan (deer log house)
  25. Pine tree fell on the grave.
  26. Log house with sledges called Sali-Sopan (deer log house).
  27. Mansi graves. All bottles remain in the cemetery, as are dishes, teapots, wine glasses, tables, benches. On the left are empty bottles, on the right is a kettle.
  28. The grave of Nikolay Vasilyevich Anyamov. A window is cut in the log house to talk and "feed" a loved one.
  29. The peg to close the window in the log house is called Kat-as.
  30. Aleksandra Vasilyevna washes a mug that was on the grave to pour tea and put next to the window.
  31. Memorial table.
  32. Wake. Aleksandra Vasilyevna Anyamova, daughter Elizabeth and granddaughter Nastya
  33. Wake. They bring homemade dried meat, sweets, and bread. The table remains next to the grave.
  34. At the wake of Nikolay Vasilyevich Anyamov
  35. Elizaveta Pavlovna pours vodka into the glasses.
  36. Fire is made close to the grave to warm the food. In the old days, deer were also slaughtered at commemoration. Now they bring dried meat only.
  37. We put a glass of vodka and a mug of tea at the window. All this stands until the end of the meal. Five minutes later, they pour themselves vodka in a glass and tea in a mug. They drink vodka themselves, and only half drink tea, and pour the second half near the grave for the deceased.
  38. At the cemetery.
  39. Aleksandra Vasilyevna and her relatives at the funeral. Nikolay Vasilyevich Anyamov died in 1995, the kidneys gave up.
  40. Vodka is left in a glass in this place, above the window, put and a snack, covering it with an empty mug. Arriving at the wake next time, use the same dishes.
  41. They cover the bread with a mug and so everything is worth until the next wake.
  42. Closed tight so that none of the birds ate the bread.
  43. The window in the log house is closed with a peg called Kat-as.
  44. The Kat-as is inserted into the window.
  45. Closed tight.
  46. Closed. One can see a glass of vodka and bread closed in a mug. This is the Mansi wake tradition.
  47. The window is then further covered with boards.
  48. 51. The sisters of Nikolay Vasilyevich Anyamov are buried here: Ekaterina, Praskovya, Martha.
  49. On this grave the window of the log house is covered with a stone.
  50. Grave of Vasily Mironovich Sambindalov. Nobody is visiting her. No vodka bottles and utensils.
  51. Mansi grave. Everything remains on the graves and plates, mugs, wineglasses, bowls, teapots, buckets, empty vodka bottles.
  52. And this grave is more modern with a monument. Elena Vladimirovna Anyamova
  53. Elena Vladimirovna, daughter of Albina Aleksandrovna died of tuberculosis.
  54. Old grave. Old people say that graves should not be disturbed or moved. One can walk alongside and you will not notice that there is a grave.
  55. This grave, almost disappeared, equaled the forest cover. Only the dishes say that there is the grave of Mansi.
  56. This grave is not visible at all.
  57. And this grave is no longer visible. You can collect berries and not notice anything. Only a small bump tells those who know that a person is buried here.
  58. Kettle, tea party attribute. The deceased had not drank tea for a long time.
  59. It is customary to leave empty vodka bottles on the graves as an evidence how often relatives visited.
  60. Dishes on the grave, such is the custom, everything is bottom up.
  61. When you leave the cemetery to go home you need to look around five times and put a stick across the path so that the dead do not follow you. This is what Aleksandra Vasilyevna is doing.
  62. This is the path to the cemetery with a stick laid across. Now we can safely go home. None of the dead will follow us.
  63. When you walk along the path from the cemetery, after a hundred meters you see a tree. When you leave the cemetery you need to leave a notch. We didn’t have an ax with us. And so we did not leave a notch on the tree. But the old nicks are well visible.


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