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Folklore of Russkoye Ustye

Russian revolutionary and scientist Ivan Aleksandrovich Khudyakov in the late 60s of the XIX century made the first record of folk art of Russian old-settlers of the lower reaches of Indigirka. He collected samples of almost all major genres: fairy tales, Russian epics (bylina), excerpts from historical songs, and so on.

In 1912, the exile V.M. Zenzinov lived here. He wrote a detailed historical and ethnographic essay about the Russian Ustye and noted the ancient features of the language of the Russko-Ustinians, their preservation of Russian customs, vocals, bylinas, and pointed out their "extraordinary national stability".

In 1928, an ethnographic expedition of the Travin brothers visited Russkoye Ustye. The 7th chapter of their manuscript is devoted to the folklore of the Russkoye Ustye. Travin tries to examine the origins of folklore, religious ideas, beliefs, and rituals of the Russian Ustians, comparing them with the spiritual culture of some peoples of Siberia, as well as Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Novgorod, and other provinces. D. Travin's folklore records are notable for their conscientiousness and accuracy; there was an attempt to compare the folklore living here with the folklore of those regions from where the Russian old-timers of the lower Indigirka River moved.

Here since ancient times peculiar tunes under the general name of "andylytsins" have been spread.They are semi-improvised love songs, both male and female. They contain the memory of the past time. The main roles in them are played by a dove and a nightingale, which the performer knows only by rumor. It is also characteristic that "Andylshchina" uses a lot of diminutive words, such as "kolymochka", "chukchanochka", "indigirshichki", "okoshechko", "Mishanochka" and others. Many researchers believe that "andylshchina" arose under the influence of Yukaghir poetic creativity and in its expression could do honor to a more cultured people. In the memory of some old-settlers there are still songs with which they used to lead round dances.There were other round dance songs, for example, "Where to go, to carry longing" and "Like Sunny-Vladimir". At evenings they sang "We sowed millet", "The month is shining", "Podgornaya".

With the passage of time, new dances appeared - polka, quadrille, waltz.The dances were accompanied by ditties or songs. They were great masters of accompanying the dance with the accompaniment "under the tongue", imitating the playing of different instruments - balalaika, violin, harmonica. The spectators watching the dancers encouraged them with shouts of "Higher! Higher!". There were dances at a faster pace, with hops, sharp turns, fractions. Especially popular was the dance "Rassokha" with choruses-chastushki. In general, Russian northerners are great fans of singing and dancing, favorite dances are performed at all festivals and evenings, and the performance of ditties, composed on the fly, turns into real battles, the victory in which is a genuine pride.

Folklore ethnographic ensemble "Russkoustiyensy"

The dance culture of the Russian Ustians is diverse, people danced at various festivals, as a rule, it was the so-called "Russian dance"(plyaska), which this people brought with them from central Russia. The inhabitants of Russkoe Ustye have preserved the memory of the existence in the past of local Russian dances (round dance, pair dances, "dance with a handkerchief", dances "Bychok", "Gorunok", etc.), which were performed under singing. The people were great masters of accompanying the dance with accompaniment "under the tongue", who masterfully imitated playing on different instruments - balalaika, violin and three-row accordion. Over time, assimilating with the local indigenous population, the Russian old-settlers developed their own dance culture, which can rightly be called Russkoustinsky.

Russians dance "Omukanovo" here. As the legend goes, there lived an "omuk" - a Yukaghir named Varaksin. He came from Kolyma and knew Russian well. He was a cheerful man. He liked to sing loudly, and I wanted to dance to his song. The name of the dance "Omukanovo" came from him.

 Frolova A.N.

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