Small and Unhappy Download PDF

Journal Name : SunText Review of Economics & Business

DOI : 10.51737/2766-4775.2021.042

Article Type : Opinion Article

Authors : Levintov A

Keywords : Besermians; Setos; Vyru; Small peoples; Folklore; Customs and traditions


The article is devoted to three micro-ethnic groups, whose fate is developing in different ways: tragically in Russia and quite happily in Estonia. A feature of these three peoples is a bizarre combination of world confessions with local pagan beliefs, which, it turns out, fit well into the modern picture of the world.


I have never been an ethnographer, but it so happened that, working mainly on the outskirts of the Soviet and Russian empires, I involuntarily came across small, dying out or already extinct peoples. To my shame, I paid little attention to their culture and other ethnic characteristics, and for the most part sympathize with the oval of the troubles, problems and sorrows, unfortunately, is almost the same. One listing of these peoples, among whom I have been for almost half a century, makes us bitterly regret how unfairly little I have done for them and how little I have written about them:

·         Izhora, Savokat, Ingermanlanders in the west of the Leningrad Region

·         Vepsians and white-eyed Chud on the border of the Vologda, Leningrad and Arkhangelsk regions

·         Sami on the Kola Peninsula

·         Nenets Naryan-Mara and Kanina Nosa

·         Setos of the Pskov region and Estonia

·         Trakai Karaites in Lithuania

·         Poleshans on the border of Ukraine and Belarus

·         Rusyns in Transcarpathia

·         Lipovans in the Danube Delta

·         Karaites and Krymchaks in Crimea

·         Tatars - Meshare in the Meshcherskaya lowland

·         Mansi on Ob and Konda

·         Selkups in Laryak and between the Ob and Yenisei

·         Nenets of the Gydan Peninsula, Salekhard and Tarko- Sale

·         Altaians

·         Nganasans of Taimyr

·         Tofalars of the Minusinsk Basin

·         Zeya Evenks 

·         Other

Many of them do not even appear in population censuses and statistical reference books, but they do exist, they are more real than the adjective “Russians”. According to the 1926 census, 194 peoples lived in Russia; as a result of the Cultural Revolution, collectivization, the rapid development of the Gulag and the Stalinist nationality policy, 130 peoples disappeared. Only after the collapse of the USSR were these peoples allowed to exist. Today there are about 150 - fifty of them disappeared without a trace, such as, for example, Merya, Muroma and others. And this tragedy was played out in all the other former republics of the USSR. Probably, it can be called ethnic genocide.


The hardest and most common problem is pollution. From a global nuclear explosion on Novaya Zemlya, which mowed hundreds of thousands of Nenets and this archipelago, and the tundra on both sides of the Polar Urals, as well as millions of deer, to an equally global one, along the entire coast of the northern and Far Eastern seas, along navigable rivers and in the centers of industrial development debris from the barrels of fuels and lubricants x materials. This also includes dropped but not detonated atomic bombs. Civilization is, first of all, rubbish, the indigenous "savages" are convinced. The dump along the BAM zone was of such a wide scale that the Komsomol and military leaders of the builders had to fly in helicopters 150-300 kilometres from the railway line for mushrooms, berries and fishing. But the exclusion zone near this, like any other railway, is only about 100 meters.

Habitat destruction is the second most difficult issue to fix. Everyone complains about it - both the Kola Sami, and the Nenets, and the inhabitants of the taiga part of Western Siberia, and the mountain Altai, near whom nuclear tests were constantly going on at the Semipalatinsk test site: after them poisonous green snow fell and a person bent to the ground in three deaths. The frequent nuclear tests in Yakutia were reflected in a different way - a thaw set in in the middle of winter and for some reason the strongest and healthiest men died. Deforestation as hunting grounds, pollution of rivers by molten rafting as fishing grounds, flooding of territories with reservoirs, burning of taiga, crossing the routes of migration of deer and people by roads, pipelines and other technical means - all this took away and is taking away the living space of peoples who, in their misfortune, found themselves in the grip of the Soviet-Russian civilization. Savokaty and Ingrian forced to give up and be their traditional fishing of Baltic herring and lamprey in the Gulf, because in the waters of their fishing grounds built Ust -Luzhsky port, known to anyone, apart from a handful of oil oligarchs desired.

Civilization interventions

We brought these peoples tuberculosis and syphilis, which have already become hereditary diseases for them. This should also include alcoholism; these peoples have no immunity against alcohol, alcohol here was cheaper than vodka, and was the only firmly supplied product of civilization, in contrast to tea, matches, cartridges (often uncalibrated), salt, flour, etc. The Tofalars of the Minusinsk Basin presented an especially miserable sight: watermelons and sugar beets ripen in this fertile land, and less than 400 people remained from the community from exhaustion. Now their number is estimated at 700-800 people [1]. An even more fertile land is Gorny Altai. A real fabulous milk river (Katun) - jelly banks (Mother of God, she's thyme, she's thyme), and the Altai people from the age of five have been pouring milk vodka all over the place. Diseases were also an intervention - acute respiratory infections, flu, etc. for Evenks and Yakuts it is a fatal disease. Food intervention is senseless and cruel: all the navaga caught by them is taken away from the Nenets Kanin Nos and frozen cod is brought in in return, in the north of Karelia they sell marinated mushrooms of Chinese production in the general store, in Chukotka, expensive collection and vintage Massandra wines were gathering dust on the shelves, and nearby there were scarcely scarce ones. Beaches women's bikini swimwear: all this is the apotheosis of uselessness. Violation of the production cycle - from the 20s, for a century, the practice of selection of children of the nomads and their placement in homes for the forcible domestication to the sedentary lifestyle. At the same time, the level of education in these boarding schools is so low that unfortunate graduates can rely only on the most unskilled labor and are doomed to a miserable existence. “Have you learned to deceive a Russian? - A cart to repent in the camp "- I once heard a conversation between a Nenets father and his son, 12-13 years old, near Naryan-Mar. Repression - both forced and casually, without noticing the aborigines. Compressed by St. Petersburg summer residents and local authorities, Setos leave for Estonia, where they are welcomed with joy and pride, Seto children have the right to study at the University of Tartu for free, and state support programs provide them with a comfortable life. The meanness and baseness of the situation lies in the fact that the Russians, displacing the Setos, mimic them and also flee to Estonia, under the incendiary speeches of the ps to the governor that the Russian tanks of the Pskov airborne division will reach Tallinn in forty minutes. Children of Russians in the north often “mow" under the "peoples of the North" - this gives them the right to enroll in St. Petersburg universities out of competition.

All were ousted and driven out under the sauce of state necessity. Once the famous before the war border guard Karatsyupu with his Dzhulbars was asked how he managed to detain more than two hundred violators of the state border. Karatsyupa naively replied, they say , it is very simple, because they are fleeing from collectivization and Soviet power, loaded with junk - it is easy to catch them, and catch, and arrest, and deliver them where they should.

Desecration of shrines and cultural vandalism

Almost everyone complained about this, and almost always - in the first place. Not just anywhere, but in a sacred place, they will certainly erect some kind of boiler room, dig a huge quarry, destroy reserved burial places, demolish memorial signs. This is done most often not out of malicious intent, but out of ignorance and disdain for someone else's culture and spiritual life.

Moral corruption and moral disorientation

Unfortunately, a necessary evil. Naive and kind by nature, from contact with Russian civilization, these people become evil, deceitful, cruel, insidious, and dishonourable - we taught them this. I put up with the outright meanness of the Kalmyks, steppe nomads, who laid down more than half of their people in the dull Yenisei taiga. The morally disoriented Vepsians during the early Yeltsin era spent all the funds allocated to them for ethnic restoration on their anthem, and the rest was peacefully drunk and plundered.


Oddly enough, but this form of destruction of peoples is becoming both the most widespread, and, alas, the most effective: rituals and customs, customs, clothing, kitchen, home decoration - everything turns into demonstrations, breaks out of reality and life. The problem here is that, opposing the global flows of civilization: computers, rock music, fashion, etc., local cultural characteristics, rituals and customs create meanings, reasons, and justifications for existence in localities, communities, villages and families. And when it breaks out of everyday life and turns into the status of museum exhibits, people lose themselves and these meanings. Resettlement across administrative divisions and state borders. One of the reasons for not recognizing the existence of many small ethnic groups is that their traditional area of residence does not coincide with the administrative and state boundaries - how did the officials know about these sacred boundaries that arose several hundred or thousand years ago?

Nanai and udegeytsy on the Amur , the Evenki in eastern Siberia, the Uighurs to China and Kazakhstan border, Tuva and Mongolia in the Sayan Mountains, the Kazakhs in the Volga delta, Lipovans on the Danube, the Ossetians in the Caucasus, Karelia and Finns, Saami 's - that's unlucky with government borders.

They are an obvious and extremely undesirable burden for the state, and especially for local authorities.

The situation in the west and east

We can say, the more east, the more sorrowful and hopeless the situation. Lapps, Seto Lipovans with difficulty, but can to migrate beyond the limits of our empire, in the depths of the Russian nowhere to run. Here the arbitrariness of the authorities is permissible, here anything can be covered with mystery, secrecy, non-disclosure and just silence. There is no one to complain to and no one to beg. And you can e scho - indignation, as the wave of indignation are suffering and dying Roma and Roma settlements. Here, even the most timid protest is a riot, suppressed quickly and brutally, since this reaction is called "the fight against obscurantism and fanaticism."

Here, however, it must be said that in the extreme east the Chukchi are quite well aware of the fate of their Alaskan tribesmen and relatives and, of course, cannot but envy them. If Russia, especially in the 3rd millennium, is clumsily marking time, letting ahead of itself not only the Europeans, but also until recently the backward countries of Asia and Latin America: Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, etc. , then the small peoples of Russia are openly rolling back and towards extinction.

What's the last thing?

They quickly lose everything: themselves, and territory, and language, and culture. The last centers and sparks of their ethnicity are:

·         Beliefs, primarily omens, myths, phenology, idioms

·         Party clothes

·         Food: dishes, their recipes and methods of preparation.

This text is a small essay about three small peoples, one lives in Russia. One - in Russia and Estonia and one - in Estonia, about their peculiarities, current state, difficulties and problems, as well as about a possible way out of a very difficult situation.

People on the border of Perm, Vyatka and Udmurtia

I am already leading a sedentary lifestyle and will hardly be able to visit any new forgotten or half-forgotten tribe. Now we have to, like Herodotus, question eyewitnesses. So I learned about the Besermyans from the representative of this people, Olya Kuznetsova.

According to the census of 189,7, there were almost 11 thousand people living there [2]. In Soviet times, this people was not considered an ethnos at all and was listed in the Udmurts. Now this right to the independence of the ethnos has been restored: according to the 2002 census, there were 3122 people in Besermyans, in 2010 – 2201 [1]. The historical significance of Besermyan (self besermany) said the fact that all the Moslems in Russia called infidels. The people are surprisingly meek, gentle, and easygoing, the beliefs of the Besermen are a bizarre fusion of paganism, Islam and Orthodoxy. According to Besermyanskaya cosmology and anthropogenesis, life arose from a huge lonely spruce. People are seeds poured out of the cones of this spruce. Once a year (the holiday is called karban , which is consonant with the Muslim Eid al-Adha), the men of the village or community sacrifice a young bull's spruce. Then the whole village or village noisily eats this meat, cooked in boilers on open fires. In winter, a sacrifice is made (products made of dough, porridge, etc) in a small ice-hole to the supreme deity, Igvara , as well as Vazho (to the drowned), but at the same time the "Our Father" is read.

This is nothing more than my speculation, but the spiritual world of Besermyans is very rich and diverse:

·         unknown and invisible gods (Allah, Christ, possibly Buddha - they precede the visible and real world)

·         pagan gods of the elements (rain, sun, heat, water, fertility, etc. )

·         gods of the place (brownies, water, goblin, fire, etc.)

·         important (those who died a violent death , and from this surprise their souls did not have time to properly part with their bodies, lost the peace put on the deceased body; these are formidable spirits that must be respected, propitiated, honored, afraid of their anger, but which are at the same time amulets and keepers from external intrusions and evils).

We are careless rotozees and scoundrels, passing, out of arrogance, not noticing small nations and insignificant ones, class ourselves among the big ones. But there are no big nations. The Chinese are 450 peoples, each of which is also differentiated within itself. Normans, Gascons, Alsatians, Bretons, Savoires - only conditionally French, like the Bavarians, Swabians, Prussians, Holsteiners, etc. - only conditionally, state, Germans. The so-called solidarity and monotony of the people is not worth a damn thing - what is important is ethnic, cultural, spiritual diversity, which is the true wealth of mankind.

Further - an interview with Olya Kuznetsova, a besermyanka, an unusually attractive girl, with the finest facial features and extremely thin-boned, but nevertheless a high-class sports climber. We met in Arco, the world capital of climbers, these rogue mountain athletes. Arco nestled comfortably north of Lake Garda in northern Italy.

Olya, where do today's Besermians live?

Besermyans settled in the northern part of the Udmurt Republic, and the Perm Territory bordering this geographic part. In Udmurtia, considered to be the center of the demon ep myanskih settlements - d erevnyu Yunda and village Balezino. According to legend, Yunda bears the name of its founder - Yanda Urasin. He was the head of the family who first settled in this place. The first mention of the village occurs in 1646 as the Yandashevskaya heath. I asked the questions you are interested in to my brother, who was born in the village of Yunda, whose parents also spent their whole lives on this land, and are considered purebred Besermyans. Unfortunately, from generation to generation, less and less authentic and primordial things are passed on. Are household items (dishes, clothes, bed linen) passed down from generation to generation kept? Are they used or stored?

In modern life, only tablecloths have survived. They are used for setting festive tables.

National costumes have also been preserved. They are worn only by the older generation and only for the Korban holiday, which I will tell you about separately, okay?

Are there any characteristic signs, including weather and climatic ones, are there taboos and taboo plants, animals?

The younger generation knows nothing about this. But the holiday "Korban" and the prayer to the deity “Inmal “(I will also describe this separately) are directly related to the signs: if you don't celebrate or don't pray, there will be no harvest.

Does local mythology, including fairy tales, have original elements or is it all intertwined with the culture of its neighbors? In the culture of Besermyans, some pagan rituals have survived, based on the worship of mythological deities. Korban is prayer and sacrifice for the sake of a good harvest. The history of the holiday dates back to ancient times. Early in the morning at 4 am, the men of the village (only men!) Sacrifice a bull, then the participants in the ritual turn to the deities and ancestors, and a ceremonial porridge is prepared from barley grits in meat broth. The bones are buried in the same place. All the villagers gather for prayer and a common meal. The sacred grove is the place where the sacrifice takes place, a sacred object among the Besermians. This place is also popularly called 'the place where the soup is prepared', 'the place where the goose is eaten'. There are sacred groves in all ancient villages. In Yund, this place is located behind the village, on a towering hill overgrown with spruce. This place in the village does not change, the forests are not touched, mushrooms and berries are not picked here, and they are not cut down. It is believed that if someone picks the branches of ate from this place, then the Gods will punish him. Violation of the prohibition is believed to cause disease. Small children are also frightened by this place: “Do you disobey? Now we will take you to the hill! “At this place, a bull is sacrificed during the celebration of Korban. According to popular beliefs, what will be the summer and the next harvest, whether the rains will fall on time, depends on the person himself. This is what they pray for during this holiday. The main thing is to hold the necessary prayers and make the sacrifice on time - in mid-June. Earlier in the sacred grove they prayed to the Master of the forest. The most important thing took place in the fall at the beginning of November, but until the day of Kuzma and Demyan (November 14). To spend later than these terms was considered useless - “the year was closed” and the forest was already “asleep”. The prayer is conducted by men, occasionally elderly women and children participate. Bring utensils, cauldrons and dishes with them. Sacrificial porridge and poultry meat (goose) are left here in special birch bark containers, which are placed under the spruce trees. With this prayer, they thank the Master of the forest for his help throughout the year, looking after the cattle during the summer grazing, and that people are not lost in the thicket. Now the collective prayers have ceased, but the custom of arranging a sacrifice in the event of the loss of livestock, someone's disease persists.

There was also a mention of a certain deity “Inmal ". Inmala is a dove that is identified with the tribal patron Inma / Imma-vozhshud, sometimes called Dydyk-vozhshud. From Vyatka a pigeon was called with them, they say, come with us, we live there. And they formed a special place of prayer in the Imma / Inma / Immala / Inmala-vozhshud forest.

Inmala is the tribal patron deity of the Besermians. It is known that Inmal is related to the celestial sphere. Its symbol was a birch.

Inmale public prayers are held in a deep forest on a small hill near a strong spring. Here, in a clearing with a fireplace, a sacred birch tree with a double top (kyk yilo) grows. Its trunk is wrapped in sacrificial offerings: scarves, shreds, ribbons, towels, duck feathers. Sacrificial coins are thrown to the roots of the birch and into the spring. Religious ceremonies are held in the summer on Peter's day and in the fall on Pokrov. However, the sanctuary is visited at any time with vows and requests if any misfortune has happened in the family. In order to be cured of diseases, Russians from the surrounding villages sometimes go to the sanctuary. In the past, residents of more than two dozen neighboring villages took part in the ancient ritual ceremony. Roads specially laid in the forest lead from each village to this place. The priestesses were two elderly women. In the modern conspiracy tradition and ideas about the physical and mental health of a person, techniques using anthropomorphic objects are preserved. Before the start of the public ritual ceremony, prayers are performed at home. For this, the legs of a live bird (duck or goose) intended as a sacrifice are washed with water, put in a basket (kuda). They put the basket on a white tablecloth and pray in front of the icons. At the same time, they turn with requests to the ancestral deity Chola-vozhiud, Chipya-vozhshud and Immala-vozhshud. They pray with the words: " Let it rise to Immalu, let it ride into the air"

They kill birds. The legs, head, entrails of animals are burned at the stake. According to one version, feathers, wool and down are also burned, and according to another, they are tied in bunches and hung on trees. Blood splashes into the fire. Then they pray in front of the fire, facing east towards sunrise. They are holding bread and butter, flat cakes (tabani) in their hands. It is not supposed to use alcoholic drinks when praying. Everyone handles their requests to the Imma-vozhshudu, Durga Pobya-vozhshudu, Kyldysin- vozhshudu. Then they walk around the fire three times, making obeisances, sitting on a full squat, stretching forward the peeled carcass of the sacrificial duck. Red shreds are hung on a tree, silver coins are thrown under a birch tree and into a spring. Subsequently, with this money, they buy candles in the church. After praying in Immal, they return home, but no longer visit the ancestral sanctuaries (Figure 1).


Figure 1: The place of prayer and the ritual ceremony itself is called Immala-wetlon.

Are there any Peculiarities of the Rites of Birth, Marriage and Death?

Information is extremely scarce. There was only mention of the ritual during childbirth "Burial of the placenta" or k'ldsinze vaton. The human placenta is denoted by the word (k'ldsin / k'ldsin sures ' kyldysin / kyldysin's road '), after giving birth it was buried underground. Subsequently, this place was sacred, it could not be disturbed. The placenta (k'ldsin) was considered the guardian and amulet of a person throughout his life, as evidenced by the numerous beliefs and rituals associated with it.

Seth u and vyru: At 8 o'clock in the morning our train reached Pskov, I ordered a taxi to the Estonian city of Vyru and began to wait for a black Ford under the station clock. The car arrived in half an hour instead of the 15 minutes promised by the dispatcher. It turned out that the driver did not have a passport, a "green card" and insurance for a car - we collected all this in different parts of the city for an hour, and then another hour traveled through the gloomy forest-tundra to Pechora. The border in Pechora was crossed quickly and without incident: on both sides, the border guards were shocked by how my American passport looks like. Duty free is right behind the Russian border post. Local people are shopping there - exclusively alcohol, high quality and cheap. People fill sacks and bags with swill, reach the middle of the bridge in the neutral zone, turn around and, without touching Estonia, and return to their home in Russia to drink until the end. In Voru, I had to meet with a local aborigine, the most intelligent Agu Vissel, and two of my Latvian friends. I arrived first and wandered into a cafe, from where I contacted Agu by mobile phone, and 10 minutes later a Latvian car appeared. Voru is a county center, a neat, pretty town on the shore of a lake, mostly wooden and low-rise, but there are both stone houses and brick houses, very modest and strict architecture, typical for all of Scandinavia - from the Urals to Greenland. 13 thousand people live here, mainly representatives of the Vyru people, which differs from the neighbouring ethnic group Set in religion: the Vyru are Protestants and Po-Testant pagans, the Setos are Orthodox pagans. I must immediately make a reservation: everything that is spoken and communicated to us by the Estonians was understood, at least, by me very presumably, for which there are at least three reasons:

·         Estonians, like all northerners, are introverts and are used to talking primarily to themselves, and therefore not caring about mutual understanding

·         Estonians have been living without close contact with Russians for thirty years already, thank God, and are slowly losing the Russian language, or, more correctly, they are being freed from it

·         With humor, Estonians are all right, they willingly and often joke, but it is humor that we understand least of all.

We ride four: Agu, Igor, Dima and I - to set in, that is, back to the border, the same road by which I came. The relief is expressive and picturesque, glacial-moraine: ozy, kama, drumlins, just like in a university textbook on geomorphology, there are many lakes. It should be noted that many highways in Estonia are accompanied by illuminated bike and ski trails. The land is plowed by 20 percent, but what has been turned into farmland really works and bears fruit, and is not abandoned, as in the neighboring Pskov region. Here and there the remains and ruins of Soviet collective farm farms come across, but in general, Estonia has completely got rid of this heritage in 30 years, even mentally, not only fundamentally. Setumaa is

a prominent eastern part of Voru County. With Pechersk set in the territory of Russia, I met before, even in 2015. Here is an excerpt from the diary of June 2015, when I was wandering around the Pskov region:

The problem set in: Even in the scientific literature Pskov clearly heard distaste for the Estonians, wh

ich blamed all the troubles and problems set in. On the territory of the Pskov region, the Finno-Ugric Orthodox and at the same time pagan tribe Set u lives on. Once there were 13 thousand of them here, the same as the Russians, now there are only 197 people according to the 2002 census and 214 people according to the 2010 census (according to Russian sources, about 2000 live in Estonia). They study for free at the famous University of Tartu, have a lot of benefits and privileges in Estonia, and therefore many Russians begin to mow to the set in order to dump in Estonia and get a free education. Estonians have long since stopped talking about returning their lands to them, because there are practically no Finno-Ugric people left on these lands. On one of the farms there are two museums of the Set u people - a state and a private one. The first tour is a real set at up, speaking in Russian with a slight accent, very welcoming and with a good sense of humor. Among other things, here we were fed a very tasty and cheap lunch, the highlight of which was mint tea with a fluffy apple pie (Figure 2).

Figure 2: A simple house is now a museum.

Private museum are composed of a set of things from, moved to Estonia. The museum is kept and presented by a teacher from Leningrad, who has long been retired. Both young ladies are touchingly disinterested and in love with the disappearing people. There and then a fairy tale was born, which, as I hoped in Estonia:

The tale of the disappearing people set u. Here, somehow trees, stones, animals, herbs and birds gathered at their veche. Everyone came, even the springs with their own streams, and these are just awful homebodies and never talk to each other. Why should they talk to each other? They are accustomed to murmuring and whispering with stones, trees, grasses, birds, animals, with everyone, but not among themselves. Those that beat out of the ground and flow to the east are curative, can heal from all wounds and diseases, extend the years of life. This is because one who falls to such a key is turned to the Jerusalem temple and, willy-nilly, takes a prayer position. Those flowing to the west give vigor, add strength and energy, having drunk the water from here, you can move mountains, take up any business that seemed so overwhelming. Those flowing to the north are sleepy, they give a deep and pure sleep, and they bring with them the brightest and most cherished dreams, the quietest and most peaceful dreams. Calm, calm, calm, Calm, calm, calm. In these springs, the dead are washed before burial. The springs that drive their waters to the south quench any, even very strong thirst, because the south is waterless and hot, and therefore it is so important to drink this water before a long journey. We have such a mountain, at the foot of which springs are gushing, oriented on all four sides. That is why it is called the Holy Mountain. From its top, everything around is visible to the most distant and blue edges. It was here that everyone gathered. In order not to obstruct the open spaces for others, at the very top are female trees, those with earrings, cones, noses and other flowers, fruits, ornaments. They are the most important in our country and are called the Mother of God. Behind them are the male trees, the Jesus trees. They protect their mothers, sisters, wives - from evil winds, from misfortunes and ailments, they give shade and coolness, shelter from rain and bad weather to all living things.

On the branches of the trees there is a carefree tribe of birds, both large and small. They are the ones who wake up the sun with their singing in the morning, and the moon in the evenings. Without birds, our world is empty and dreary - this is the time of winter, earthly death. Okoyom - herbs and animals, bushes and all sorts of other little things: bees, butterflies, insects. Here, they gathered themselves together and began to think that to set in to do, how to help them. Extinct set in, less and less of their remains, they displace other newcomers and visitors, demolish their homes and foundations. And set u are smart, quiet, peaceful, gentle, hardworking people, it is very easy to offend and oppress them, there is always a willingness to covet their economy. I feel sorry for them, but how to save and protect? Krutolobye oaks and slim pines, sage and cautious bear elk, Krasnogruda Ryaben'kii currant and rowan, silk grass and golden ears - and everyone thought his offered, everyone was trying to help and protect the set from, and those fewer and fewer remain. Cried combustible dew, and even sullen mossy stones oozing pity to set in. And then the Chamber has decided to turn to Mother Earth and ask her to take the last set in a, to draw them into the forest and field mushrooms. So Mother Earth did. Since then, there have been a lot of mushrooms around, to the delight of everyone, and people as well. And these fungi, in memory of the set have, wear fancy hats and worship him as their ancestors willingly sacrifice themselves and become tasty and wholesome food - just do not be lazy and go collect those mushrooms (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Few men, almost no young ones, the demographic situation of the Seto is obvious.

Unlike Russia, where the set u is truly dying out, the Estonian set u (11 thousand people, according to Estonian data ) are thriving and not just prospering: they have restored their language and now teach it in schools, they publish their own newspaper Setomaa , they have opened their own museum and a restaurant, moreover, they declared themselves a kingdom , and now all of Estonia is proud of them, because they have become a global ethnic landmark, with which not only Europeans, but even the Japanese come to communicate. They adopted Christianity relatively recently, since they were assigned to the Pechersky Monastery. Originally they are pagans, white-eyed chud. The Novgorodians "peacefully" conquered them: the Chud dug a huge hole for their entire settlement and from this hole fought off the armed aliens with sticks. When resistance dwindled, the unfortunates knocked out the stakes holding the turf and buried themselves alive. This historical episode was reflected in the legend of the invisible city of Kite, which went under the water so as not to get to the enemy. Chud has survived in the Russian language with a long train of words: "alien", "chu!", "Eccentric", "miracle" and many derivatives. The exhibition of the Estonian main core of the museum - Farmstead: completely intro about vertnoe building, which has no windows to the outside. The English window is the eye of the wind, the German Fenster is associated with defense and loophole, the Russian “window” is the eye , the eye of the house, here, as in the Muslim duvals , in the Old Believer farms of Siberia , the economy is folded inward, with agricultural implements outward. Two hefty geese are walking around the yard - in anticipation of the Christmas feast, the main characters of which they see themselves. Set in appearance markedly different from the Estonians - a broad-faced, over high cheekbones, a squat. Two girls set u very politely and promptly served us in the ethno-restaurant: a hodgepodge, albeit without capers, olives and lemon, but quite tasty, for the second - decent meat with chanterelles.

·         Do you have moonshine?

·         The girls looked at each other:

there is

·         I'm 150 grams , please

·         Only 100 - very strong moonshine, 65 degrees.

Without exchanging for trifles, moonshine was served to us not in glasses, but in weighty glasses.

Back in Võru, we checked into the Katarina cafe, a noble and very cozy, popular place. The evening and night had an epochal, extreme significance. Actually, for the sake of this first night, we were invited to Estonia. We went to the Haanja mountains , which I immediately called Canaan, among which there is the highest hill in the entire Baltic region, Suur Munamägi (318 meters above sea level), but that was not our goal (Figure 4).