Home    Number 1, 2023

Traumatic Memory and the Cossack Revival

[Travmaticheskaia pamiat’ i vozrozhdenie kazachestva]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523010062


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 15.09.2022

Accepted: 25.11.2022

About author(s)

Victor Shnirelman | http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8469-6583 | shnirv@mail.ru | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (32-a Leninsky prospect, Moscow, 119991, Russia)


North Caucasus, Cossacks, Brodniks, traumatic memory, national revival


As a rule, a traumatic memory includes two points: a memory of the recent tragedy and a view of the lost Golden Age, i.e. victimization combines with glorification which has to offset a disadvantage with the help of symbolic images. This dichotomy is analyzed with respect to the Cossacks whose memory maintains both the tragedies of the Civil war including their relocation, and a reference to the deep past with an emphasis on indigenous ancestors and also dreams of the own state. At the same time, the Cossack’s narrative confronts the North Caucasian views of the past which are also fed by the traumatic memory. A clash of memories provokes a territorial conflict. The historical constructs of the Cossack emigree historians made an impact on the post-Soviet Cossack historiography.

Funding Information

This research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant no. 22-18-00241]


Shnirelman, V.A. 2023. Travmaticheskaia pamiat’ i vozrozhdenie kazachestva [Traumatic Memory and the Cossack Revival]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 84–101. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523010062 EDN: PMLYQN

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