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10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.091

THE MAMMOTH (MAMMUTHUS PRIMIGENIUS) AS A GEOCULTURAL IMAGE OF THE NORTH

E. Romanova, M. Vanhonnaeker
Monday 9 October 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2017, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-24-9 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 30 August, 2017, Book 6, Vol 2, 739-746 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.091

ABSTRACT

The images of permafrost and cold can be depicted through a combination of myths and ethno-cultural representations designed for self-determination and self-presentation of Arctic territories. Related to a multiplicity of images and conceptions in the contemporary culture of the peoples of the North, the symbol of the mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) stands as a semantic nucleus in the Arctic zone. The fossilized animal of the Pleistocene period, through the discovery of remains in the permafrost, was introduced by the indigenous peoples in myths, legends and stories, creating links between reality and fiction. The most striking example is the mythological story about the Winter Bull which, for the Jakuts, is an allegory of winter with a frosty breath coming out of it muzzle and huge horns inspired by the tusks of the mammoth. According to the Jakuts, the latter is a huge Aquatic Bull and is considered by them as a spirit-master of water : the combination of the two mythological images — the Winter Bull and the Aquatic Bull - led to the creation of winter symbols. Through field material and written sources we will analyse the evolution of the mammoth figure in a cognitive context in relation to the winter and more generally to the harsh climatic conditions of the Arctic territories, from a multi-cultural perspective.

Keywords: Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), Arctic territories, Sakha Republic (Jakutija), mythology, geocultural representations

PAPER DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.091 ; THE MAMMOTH (MAMMUTHUS PRIMIGENIUS) AS A GEOCULTURAL IMAGE OF THE NORTH

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