The folk medicine tradition of Estonians of the Minussinsk Region in Eastern Siberia: collecting strategies
Anu Korb (Estonian Literary Museum)
Paper short abstract:
In the years of the Soviet regime, it was considered safer to collect material related to folk healing as a disappearing thing of the past. In the freer society, since the 1990s, material on folk medicine could be collected without limitations.
Paper long abstract:
The paper studies how the folk medicine tradition of Estonians living in the Minussinsk region, eastern Siberia has changed in time. I will observe the collecting periods influenced by political ideologies characteristic of certain periods and shifts in the views of the transmitters of folklore and folklore communities, collectors and supervisors of collecting which are reflected in the material on folk medicine collected and stored in the Estonian Folklore Archives (EFA). Material related to folk healing has been collected from Estonians in Siberia since the late 1960s as part of broader collecting work. The material collected in the 1960s and 1970s was the most affected by the governing ideology and supervised folklore collecting. In the years of the Soviet regime, it was considered safer to collect and preserve material on folk medicine as a disappearing thing of the past. In the freer society, since the 1990s, material on folk medicine could be collected without limitations. As late as in the 1990s, the use of popular ways and methods of healing in the Estonian communities of the Minussinsk region was part of the wisdom shared by the entire folklore community, and it was believed that anyone can access and learn the necessary skills and healing spells. A few decades later, the folk healing skills were held exclusively by few wise women, as there were not enough people to continue the tradition in the aging village populations.
Dwelling in the cultural archives I: traces, experiences and meanings