Home    Number 6, 2011

Burkhanism and Etiquette among the Altai

Type of publication: Research Article

About author(s)

Nadezhda A. Tadina | ntadina@yandex.ru | Gorno-Altaisk State University


ethnography, socio-cultural anthropology, altai, burkhanism, ethnic image, norms of conduct, etiquette, ethical values, ritual symbolism


The article explores Burkhanism as a phenomenon which was prohibited during the last century and which settled in the depths of ethnic life under the guise of moral values, etiquette code, and ritual symbolism of the heaven world that gives life and well-being. The observance of Burkhanist rules strengthened in the Altai worldview the “correct” image of human being, which implied the following of etiquette prescriptions as well as the knowledge of the native tongue. The Altai-Kizhi, as a rather large and centrally important group of the Altai, happened to become a leader in the preservation of Burkhanism, thus making moral values and other categories appear as ethnic marks.


Tadina, N.A. 2011. Burkhanism and Etiquette among the Altai. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 6: 127-140

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