RYBLOVA M.A. The Organization of Fishing and Hunting Crafts Among the Russian Population of the Don and Lower Volga Area: Its Artel Roots

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.5.8

Marina A. Ryblova

Doctor of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Leading Researcher,

Laboratory of Kazachestvo, Federal Research Center Southern Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

Chekhova St, 41, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation;

Leading Researcher,

Department of History and International Relations, Volgograd State University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1451-2579


Abstract. Introduction. The article reveals the peculiarities of the organization of fishing and hunting among the Russian population of the Lower Volga region and the Don in the 18th – 19th centuries, which were associated with the artel (collectivist) beginning. The author shows that the general principles of the organization of male fishing artels of fishermen and hunters find direct analogies with the organizational principles characteristic of archaic male, including military, traditions, for example, for the Cossack communities of the Don and Volga in the early period of their history.

Methods and materials. The study was carried out on the basis of data from the periodical press of the 19th century, archival and field materials, reflecting both the fishing activities of the Russian population of the region and the forms of self-organization of the Don Cossacks in the early period of their history. This made it possible to conduct a historical and cultural comparison and identify common or similar norms and principles associated with archaic social institutions.

Analysis. Conducting a comparative analysis, the author discovers that these similarities manifest themselves in the traditions of the free seizure of territories and ideas about their land and the common share, in the electability of the leaders of the artels, other officials and the presence of general meetings of its members, in the ways of dividing the loot, in the presence of unwritten law, rituals, prohibitions and regulations.

Results. Many of these principles and norms are opposed to those that were typical, for example, for agricultural communities, demonstrating a connection with such categories as “strength”, “luck”, “competitiveness” on the one hand, and the denial of equality in work and the division of production, on the other. Contrasted with those that were typical, for example, for agricultural communities, demonstrating a connection with such categories as “strength”, “luck”, “competitiveness” on the one hand, and the denial of equality in work and the division of prey, on the other. Russian colonization of the Don and the Lower Volga area, starting from the 16th century, was carried out mainly by free Cossacks (also engaged in hunting and fishing), and later – by the Russian commercial population. The formation of neighboring land communities in the region began much later (from the beginning of the 18th century). There is reason to assert that the people’s “Cossacks” and artel principles were subsequently periodically revived at a later time in the fishing activities of the male part of the population, consolidating in the public consciousness strong stereotypes of survival in extreme living conditions based on deep social and cultural archaism. The actual folk forms of self-organization existed along with official structures, representing a deep layer of social life, some elements of which survived until the end of the 20th century.

Key words: hunting and fishing, archaic principles of the organization of crafts, the artel principle, the idea of one’s territory and share, rituals and customary law in fishing artels.

Citation. Ryblova M.A. The Organization of Fishing and Hunting Crafts Among the Russian Population of the Don and Lower Volga Area: Its Artel Roots. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 108-119. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.5.8.

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The Organization of Fishing and Hunting Crafts Among the Russian Population of the Don and Lower Volga Area: Its Artel Roots by Ryblova M.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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