FFC 282

Lauri Harvilahti in collaboration with Zoja S. Kazagačeva:
The Holy Mountain: Studies on Upper Altay Oral Poetry.
Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia (Academia Scientiarum Fennica). 2003. 166 pp.

ISBN 951-41-0951-1 (hardback)
ISBN 951-41-0952-X (paperback)

17 euros (hardback)
13 euros (paperback)

The Holy Mountain is based on cooperation between the Institute for Altaistics of the Altay Republic, the Institute of World Literature at the Russian Academy of Science, and the University of Helsinki, Department of Folklore Studies.

In the course of a joint project financed by the Academy of Finland the research team conducted a survey of the state of archaic genres of tradition (epic poetry, shamanism, Burhanism) in the Altay Republic, a member of the Russian Federation. During the expedition carried out in autumn 1996 and 1997 the Altay–Finnish–Russian research team worked with Aleksej Kalkin, the best-known performer of shamanistic epics in a peculiar overtone singing style, and Tabar Čačijakov, a performer of epics in recited prose.

The aim of the study is to achieve a synthesis in forming a new overall view of the stylistic-poetic and structural devices used to produce the archaic mythical and epic cultural tradition of the Upper Altay region. Attention is also being paid to the inherent ethnic nature of the Altaian ethnic groups, to cultural influences and to some extent their present cultural identity.

LAURI HARVILAHTI is currently working as Professor at the University of Helsinki in the Department of Folklore Studies. His theoretical interests are directed at the study of the systems producing oral traditions, problems of ethnocultural identity, and ADP folkloristics. Harvilahti has carried out fieldwork in Altay Republic (Russian Federation), Mongolia, Bangladesh, India, and China.

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