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Ethnographic materials

Ethnography of Eastern Europe and the Baltics
Tне Russian Wedding

Usually the three stages of the wedding are distinguished: the period before the wedding (matchmaking, bride shower, marriage agreement, girls’ party), properly wedding (wedding train, crowning, banquet, wedding night) and the period after wedding (the rites of the first day, visiting). 

Belarusians origins of People and Ethnonym

Belarusians are the Slavic ethnos formed in the ethnocontact territory of Slavs and Balts. The name of the people Belarusians (Belorusy) is the ethnonym given to the Slavic population lived near the White and Baltic Seas by other peoples.

From the Ethnic History of Belarusians

The Belarusians are one of the most numerous Slavic peoples living in the territory of the Eastern Europe. Today they live in all continents and according to the data provided by S. I. Bruk in the late 1970s there were 968000000 Belarusians, 7568000000 of them lived in Belarus and 2112000000 abroad.

Belarusians .Traditional Economic Activities

Agriculture was the base of economic life of   Belarusian villagers and the entire population of the East-European cultural space.  

The region is the specific historical area populated by different ethnic groups. The East European Plain which characterized by integrity of territory, severity of climate and meriodional direction of large rivers and latitude position of natural zones occupies the most part of territory.

Peoples

Today three related peoples Russians, Ukrainians and Byelorussians similar in linguistic and cultural respects and belonging to the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic group are the most numerous on the territory of the East Russian Plain.

Of other Slavic peoples Poles, Czechs, Bulgarians, Slovaks and some small-numbered groups generally established in large cities live here.

The Non-Slavic peoples occupy predominantly periphery territories.

The Finno-Ugric peoples – Karelians, Izhora, Vod’, Veps, Finns, Sami, Komi, Komi-Permyaks populate the North.

In the Volga Region and Prikamye the Finno-Ugric ethnic groups Udmurts, Mordva and Mari also live alongside with the Turkic peoples Chuvashes.

Tatars and Bashkirs.

The Mongolic Kalmyks inhabit the South-East. 

The Finno-Ugric Estonians and Livonians and Baltic Latvians and Lithuanians live on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. 

The South-West and the South of the East European Plain is populated by Moldavians belonging to the Romanian group in linguistic respect, the Turkic-speaking Gagauzes and Greeks.

Jews and Romani live almost everywhere, Germans, Hungarians, Karaimes and some other ethnic groups live more compactly. 

Although environmental conditions in greater degree favored formation of cultural-economic unity in the East European Plain, the areas distinguishing by original elements of material and spiritual culture exist in the ethnocultural space.

The Central Area

The Central Area is predominantly populated by the Eastern Slavs.

The economical complexes of the area are characterized by combination of agriculture and livestock breeding with other occupation — hunting, fishing, foraging. 
The geographical conditions and socio-political, economical factors are the reason of formation of specific economical groups within each ethnos (Cossacks, Pomors, Odnodvortsi, etc among Russians, Rusins, Verkhovins, etc-among Ukranians; Polekhs — among Byelorussians).

The Baltic Area

The Baltic area is populated with Balts and Baltic Finns. The cultural specific of the area in greater degree was determined by its intermediate location between the Central and the Eastern Europe.

The Northern Area

The northern area is populated by Russians and Finno-Ugrians. As a result of century-long vicinity these people got many common features in their culture which in its characteristics (occupations, settlements, dwelling) resembles to the North Russian one.  

The Volga Area

Apart of Russians the Volga area is populated by Finno-Ugrians and Turks. The economy of ethnic groups is characterized by combination of agriculture and livestock breeding with hunting, bee-keeping and crafts. In course of centuries common ethno-cultural symbols of the area appeared – the heavy plough saban, woman jewelry, embroidery, etc. Kalmyks who were nomads up to the recent time stand apart in linguistic, anthropological and confessional respects.

The  South West Area

The South West area is populated by Moldavians, Gagauzes and Bulgarians whose ethno-cultural interaction facilitated formation of common cultural base including viniculture, wattle-and-daub houses, costume set, etc. Jews and Romani live almost everywhere, Germans, Hungarians, Karaimes and some other ethnic groups live more compactly. 

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