Komi is a people living in endless forests in the north-east of the European part of Russia. Its main ethnographic groups are the Vymchi, Upper Vychegorsk, Pechora, Izhma, Udor, Sysoltsy. Perm Vychegodskaya is considered the predecessor of the Komi Republic.
Since ancient times, crafts related to wood processing have become most widespread among this people. It was impossible to find a peasant in the villages who did not know how to make any household item from this material. The Izhma Komi are a people who, in addition to this, had a very well-developed mossy industry. Leather dressing was done in houses specially built for this purpose - "suede huts". In the Sysolsk and Nizhnevychegodsk regions, the craft of making felt boots was once widespread.
Pottery was another ancient occupation of the Komi. Mostly women were engaged in the manufacture of dishes for the home. The potter's wheel was practically not used. It appeared among the Komi in the 15th century, but it never received wide distribution. crockerywere made by the ancient tape-harness method. Modeled blanks were fired in a Russian kiln.
The traditions of the Komi people, who lived for centuries next to the Russians, are similar to ours in terms of food. The main food of the peasants was porridge. As for the first courses, most often the housewives prepared soups and various kinds of stews, including those with meat. Liquid food was eaten mainly in the summer. The Komi fish menu was very diverse. Fish was boiled, fried, s alted, baked pies with it. Among the northern peoples, one could often see roasted game on the table. As for vegetables, turnips, radishes, onions, swedes were grown in the gardens. Since the 19th century potatoes have become widespread.
Very popular among the Komi was baking, for which they used mainly barley and rye flour. Round bread was served on the table daily. On holidays, housewives baked succhini, kalachi, pies, pancakes, etc. Pancakes made from barley flour were also very popular.
The agricultural customs of the Komi peoples are also very closely connected with the Russians. However, their most common crop was not wheat, but barley. Until the 11th century, the land was cultivated by hand. In the XII century. they began to plow and harrow using the draft power of livestock. Plowing among the Komi was mainly done by men. They were forced to harrow, like the northern Russian peoples, most often teenagers. Harvest barley in early August. This work was considered feminine. Often, due to early frosts, the bread was harvested while still green.
The crop was threshed using a special tool - a flail. Its design was extremely simple: a long wooden handle and a short beater connected to it with a rawhide belt.
Komi is a people with ancient traditions in terms of cattle breeding. The fact that settled animal husbandry existed in the Kama region already in the II-I millennium BC. e., evidenced by the archaeological sites discovered here. In the basin of the Vychegda River, cattle began to be bred, most likely, somewhat later - in the 1st millennium of our era. Scientists have found bones of domestic animals in the monuments of the Vym culture of the 11th-12th centuries. The Komi were bred in ancient times, mainly cattle. Sheep and horses were also kept in households. Wool, milk and meat were not sold, but used personally for themselves.
Culture and rituals
The culture of the Komi is distinguished by originality and originality - a people, among other things, unusually interesting for its rituals. The latter can be divided into three main varieties:
- Maternity. The rituals of this species were mainly aimed at the safe birth of a child. Newborns were called the unusual word "chock". The word comes from "ancestors". This indicates that the Komi firmly believed that children come to this world from the world of their ancestors. Many rituals of the Komi were saturated with the symbolism of fertility. For example, a sheepskin coat was made for the bride and groom at the wedding so that they would later have many children.In addition, before the wedding, the bride was put on her knees for the same purpose. The Komi showed great concern for the he alth of future children. Before the wedding, the relatives of the parties carefully checked whether there were any mentally retarded or sick people in the family with which they were going to intermarry.
- Wedding. The Komi had only three forms of marriage: with kalym, with dowry and with abduction. Komi weddings were characterized by a large number of various obligatory ceremonies.
- Funeral and memorial. The funeral rituals of this people were particularly complex. After the death of a person in the house, all windows, paintings, icons, objects with glossy surfaces were hung. The deceased was washed and laid in a spruce or pine coffin. The ceremony of breaking bread was very common.
Komi is a people with a rich culture, very original. Some of its rituals and traditions are similar to our Russian ones. However, there are also many differences. Today, the Komi are making a lot of efforts to ensure that the traditions of their ancestors are not forgotten, arranging various national festivals and holidays.