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Atamans of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Territory in the Don Country

11.05.2017

A delegation of atamans from the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Territory visited the homeland of M.A.Sholokhov. It was headed by Nikolay Ryzhkov, Ataman of the Ob-Polar Departmental Cossack Society of the Siberian Troop Cossack Societies, Valery Stepanchenko, Ataman of the Ob-Polar Cossack Line of the Siberian Cossack Troop of the Russian Union of Cossacks, and Larisa Yevdokimova, Director of the Centre for External Relations Development of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Territory. The program of the 3-day visit of the guests in the Sholokhov country was interesting, informative and rich.

On May 5, 2017, the Siberian Cossacks were met in Stanitsa Karghinskaya by the Don Cossacks headed by Maxim Oleinikov, Ataman of the Upper Don District. They all visited the District Headquarters, the Worship Cross and the memorial sign in the form of a divided and chain-connected millstone symbolizing unification of Cossacks.

They began visiting the National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve with the Karghin parochial school, where they attended a calligraphy class and tried to write with an old metal pen. Then they visited the Memorial House in Stanitsa Karghinskaya, the farmstead of T.A.Karghin, where a mill and cinema “Ideal” are situated. They had an interactive tour to learn about the history, traditions and distillation features in the Upper Don area in the XIX – early XX centuries.

The guests visited the parental house in Kruzhilin Village, where the future writer was born, and were shown about the Sholokhovs’ estate.

In the Cossack farmstead of the Museum-Reserve, which is a living illustration of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M.A.Sholokhov, the guests saw an old device for making ropes and tried to use it, tried to grind grain in an old hand mill with millstones and tasted traditional Don Cossack dishes.

On that day, the Cossacks visited the excursion and exhibition centre People’s House in Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya, attended the exhibition “The Peoples of the Crimea” from the Crimean Ethnographic Museum, and “I Can’t Live without Nature…” from the collection of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov and opened their exhibition about Siberian Cossacks. Just there, a ceremony of signing cooperation agreements of the National M.A.Sholokhov Museum-Reserve (O.A.Anistratenko) and the Ob-Polar Departmental Cossack Society (N.K.Ryzhkov), the Ob-Polar Cossack Line (V.I.Stepanchenko) and the Centre for

External Relations Development of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Territory (L.L.Yevdokimova) was held. The ceremony was joined by A.M.Sholokhov, Deputy of the State Duma. He greeted the guests and underlined that Cossacks had carried through centuries their traditions, experience and culture, and that the event of signing the agreements showed that the Cossacks clearly see their goals and objectives, and that is why they unite their efforts.

In Vyoshenskaya, in the homeland of the great writer, who told about Cossacks to the whole world, there was held a Council of atamans of the Ob-Polar Departmental Cossack Society of the Siberian Troop Cossack Society, where they exchanged their views and shared their experience on the revival of Cossack culture, traditions and spirituality in the Far North.

Then, the Siberian Cossacks visited the Museum-Reserve Stables, where they learned about the traditions of the Don Cossacks well-known to be brave horsemen and connoisseurs of horses, about preparation of young Cossacks for military service, special features of horse breeding on the Don, saw real Don horses and tried themselves as riders.

The second day began with a church service in the stanitsa’s church of St. Michael the Archangel together with the Cossacks of Vyoshenskaya and the members of the Upper Don District Cossack Society.

Then the guests had a sightseeing tour about Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya, laid flowers to the tombs of the writer and his wife, and visited the Estate of M.A.Sholokhov and the Old House, where the Sholokhovs lived in the 30s.

The guests were taken to Lebyazhy Yar, the writer’s favourite natural sight, they admired the panorama of the Don expanses, forests and chalky mounts. Also, they visited the natural monument – the 400-year old giant oak of Vyoshenskaya and were impressed by its great size.

The guests made their contribution in planting greenery in the Sholokhov country: they planted Ash Green seedlings in the unique forest park “Forest Pearl of Eurasia” thus expanding the geography of the planting participants. The planting party was joined by A.M.Sholokhov, Deputy of the State Duma, and O.A.Anistratenko, Director of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov, and V.V.Sholokhova, Deputy Director for Development of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov.

On May 7, the delegation visited the historical literary exhibition “M.A.Sholokhov. The Time and Destiny”, learned about the history of the world-

known novels “And Quiet Flows the Don” and “Virgin Soil Upturned”, the literary work of the writer during the war and postwar years.

Then the guests joined the literary ethnographical holiday “Steed is the Dearest for Cossack (Cossack Battle Arts of Vyoshenskaya)”, saw the performance of Cossack corps cadets and met with their young countrymen – a delegation of students of the Cossack Cadet Corps of Tazovsky District of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Territory. The holiday brightly impressed the Cossacks. They tried themselves in cutting with a sabre, shooting, and in a knife and javelin throwing, found themselves in the centre of the Cossack mass attack, heard old Cossack songs and tasted dishes of the field kitchen. They especially enjoyed a horsemen show: racing, fancy riding, sword and lance flanking and a show of Cossack battle arts.

The atamans N.Ryzhkov, V.Stepanchenko and director of the Centre for External Relations Development of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Territory L.Yevdokimova greeted the holiday public, and A.Dmitriyev, Deputy Ataman of the Purov Stanitsa’s Cossack Society, sang a song to which D.Tikhonov, Ataman of the Tazov Village Cossack Society, demonstrated his remarkable strength juggling three pood weights.

The days in the Sholokhov country passed very quickly. Saying good-bye the Siberian Cossacks thanked the hospitable residents of Vyoshenskaya, Karghinskaya, Kruzhilin Village and shared their bright impressions of the Don steppes, sights connected with the life and work of great Sholokhov, and the Upper Don cultural traditions.

 

Nadezhda Rasskazova