The Steppe, the Forest and the Tundra Components in Siberian and North American Cosmonymies

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: 3 University Emb., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia
Journal nameEtnograficheskoe obozrenie

The data on the spread of the folklore motifs related to the objects of the night sky in Siberia, Central Asia and North America are statistically processed and three areal patterns are discovered. In each case, motifs related to the Cosmic Hunt theme play a significant role but the corresponding stellar objects are different, being Orion for the Steppe pattern, the Big Dipper for the Forest pattern and the Pleiades for the Tundra (Arctic) pattern. All the three sets of motifs had their origin in Asia and were brought to America at the late stages of its peopling (Terminal Pleistocene – Holocene). Correlation with the linguistic data can be traced for a few millennia. For more remote periods, the results of the folklore, linguistic, archaeological and genetic research never coincide in details but clarify different aspects of the historic process.

KeywordsSiberian and Central Asian folklore, peopling of America, cosmonymy, exact methods in humanities
AcknowledgmentThis research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Science Foundation, [grant no. 18-18-00361]
Publication date28.12.2018
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