Semiotics of Myth - The Non Literate Culture of Russia’s Peoples
|Author: ||Ostrovsky, Aleksandr|
This book is the fruit of a leading Russian ethnologist’s researches into religious and mythical tradition and thought among various peoples living on the territory of Russia. The term “mythological thought” was for long used to describe either archaic artistic styles, or to characterize the spiritual peculiarities of prehistoric society. Ostrovsky here offers a quite new formulation, maintaining that “the type of thought functioning in non-literate societies is an ontological process that binds together cultural tradition”, and that “it is myths that provide a source, or a repository, for particular logical constructs and schemes of thought, defining and giving access to the internal structure of cultural factors”. As evidence, he refers to the most valuable collections of amulets created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by peoples of the Amur-Sakhalin region, and preserved in the Russian Ethnographical Museum and the Russian Academy of Science’s Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. In addition, he researches hitherto unstudied mythical texts of the Nivkh people, citing materials collected on several field trips to the Amur Basin and island of Sakhalin.