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Siberian ethnographers explored the appearance of the deities of the peoples of the North

Modern culture has had a great influence on the religious beliefs and rituals of the indigenous peoples of Siberia and the North of Russia, the Novosibirsk ethnographers studying their everyday life found out.
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Arkady Baulo, a leading research fellow at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who has been studying the culture of Khanty and Mansi in Khanty-Mansiysk and Yamal-Nenets autonomous districts for more than 30 years, described how the indigenous population’s ideas of deities had been changing in the course of development of the North.

For example, the Khanty and Mansi believe that the land was once inhabited by 'bogatyrs' (legendary warriors). The scientists believe that real events influenced these beliefs — the conquest of Siberia by the Russians. In the XVIII century the Khanty and Mansi dressed figures of deities in Russian soldiers' uniforms of the times of Catherine II.

Then, in the XX century, they used to put 'budenovkas' (pointed helmets) on heads of the figures of the gods and to hang a holster with a revolver on them. The gods were also decorated with badges of a warrior-sportsman (a decoration for soldiers who performed well in sports), of a high achiever in hunting craft, and of a «Voroshilov Sharpshooter» (an honorary title for marksmanship). A figure of the spirit-patron in a female form had an Order of Maternal Glory (awarded to mothers bearing and raising at least 7 children) on the chest.

Finally, in 2006 the deities were already wearing modern shirts, and the main spirit had on its head a knitted sports cap with the word BOSS on it — because it was the boss, of course.

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