Opening of the exhibition of Even fur clothing "Preservation of ancestral heritage. Fur clothing: a vital necessity of a nomadic family"

On November 19, 2022, NGO "Union of Even people” of Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and the dynasty of teachers of Sakha Republic, Nikitins family, with the support of the A. E. Kulakovsky Peoples' Friendship House, organized the opening of a unique exhibition – the exhibition of Even fur clothing "Preservation of ancestral heritage. Fur clothing: a vital necessity of a nomadic family", dedicated to the Year of the Mother and the Year of the Cultural Heritage of the Peoples of Russia.

At the opening of the exhibition, E. K. Golomareva, Chairman of the Committee on Indigenous Peoples of the North and Arctic Affairs, People's Deputy, made welcoming remarks. She was followed by A. V. Krivoshapkin, People’s Writer of Yakutia, the president of the Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the North of Sakha Republic; A.D. Marfusalova, Chairman of the Council of Elders of the Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the North of Sakha Republic, member of the Public Council for the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation; E. A. Krivoshapkina, chief expert of UNESCO Chair at NEFU, deputy chairman of the NGO “Union of Even people; D.D. Starostin, representative of the administration of the municipal district "Eveno-Bytantaysky ulus (district)"; G.M. Fedorov, Lead expert of the Yakutian branch of the FSBI "Federal Institute of Native Languages of the Peoples of the Russian Federation"; Z.A. Stepanova, methodologist of the Even language and literature of P.A. Lamutsky Sebyan-Kuel School, head of the Even folk ensemble "Merlenke"; M.K. Andreev, Chairman of the Laboratory of Clothing of Indigenous peoples of the North of Sakha Republic "Sirekte".

The guests of the exhibition got acquainted with the concept and activities of the Nikitin teacher dynasty aimed at teaching and educating children based on the cultural heritage of the people. Among the representatives of the Nikitin dynasty of teachers were R.S. Nikitina, Cand. Sc. Education, Honored Teacher of the Russian Federation; V.S. Nikitina, veteran of labour, honorary citizen of the Eveno- Bytantaysky district. 

The exhibition presents over 50 exhibits of Even winter fur clothing: national outerwear, various versions of shoes, mittens, gloves, hats, women's caftans with breast-collars, children's clothing. In general, the collection contains 5 adult and 5 children's clothing sets. In addition, Even artworks in the form of bags, rugs, etc. are presented. Some of the exhibits of the collection were restored from the foundation of the Nikitins' unique family heirloom, made in the 20 th century by the caring hands of mothers: Matryona Vasilyevna Nikitina, a native of Batagai-Alyt village – the mother of the older generation of the Nikitin dynasty and Ulyana Egorovna Krivoshapkina, a native of the village of Sebyan-Kuel – the mother of Andrei Vasilyevich Krivoshapkin. According to Rosalia Serafimovna Nikitina, all members of the Nikitin dynasty took part in the restoration and manufacture of national clothes. Currently, successors to the traditions of the national sewing of the Evens are the sisters Raisa Serafimovna Struchkova, who lives in the Eveno- Bytantaysky ulus in the village of Batagai-Alyt and Evdokia Serafimovna Kirikova, who lives in the Vilyuysky ulus. By the efforts of the Nikitins' children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the solemn part of the evening was decorated with musical and dance numbers. The event ended with the Even round dance Heedye, and the Yakut circle dance Osuokhai.

Event was written and hosted by E.A. Krivoshapkina, Chief expert of UNESCO Chair at NEFU, Deputy Chairman of the NGO “Union of Evens” of Sakha Republic, member of the Coordinating Council of the Association of the Indigenous Peoples of Sakha Republic.

The exhibition is held in the Gallery of the Peoples of Yakutia at A. E. Kulakovsky Peoples’ Friendship House. It will last until December 12, 2022.

E. A. Krivoshapkina
International UNESCO Chair at NEFU

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