Mytholinguistic Interpretation of Sacral Toponym Astana in Sociocultural Practice of the Siberian Tatars

  •  Irina Sovetovna Karabulatova    
  •  Flera Sagitovna Sayfulina    


Siberia takes a special place among the regions of Russian Federation; its population has its own mentality,unique historical past, moral and economic consciousness. The authors fix their attention on the specificity ofmythologized consciousness of the Siberian Tatars in order to reveal the places of Sufi views and stories aboutAstana.Today we agree that the name, as a bundle of psycho-energetic forces of the ethnos, has a doubtless influence onthe evolution of history in whole, forming the collective unconscious, promoting the consolidation of thearchetypical images force to perceive yourself integrally. Modern onomastics leaves the interpretation of theproper name exclusively under the frames of etymology. As a rule, the basis can be presented by imagery,metaphor-metonymic processes, lying in the basis of denomination of specific denotations and lexicalbackground, i.e. the combination of information, referring to the named object. In this connection, mental spaceof the proper name presents a special interest, because, functioning in polyethnic environment, all elements ofregional onomastic system are subject to the influence of perception-stereotyped standards, peculiar of a man, asa knower.Saint places of the Siberian Tatars, Astana, take one of the central places in traditional sociocultural practice ofthe Siberian Turki. Astana complexes themselves present the material implementation of the Sufism idea aboutimplicit knowledge communication. Siberia was associated and is still associated with some mythological space,where the reality, forgotten by the civilized world, is the actuality, where the world edges come in touch witheach other, where the heroes live and act, that is why this space is marked by the special sacral places - Astana,which offer a clue to understand Sufism among the Siberian Tatar. The stories about Astana were published by N.F. Katanov. The stories themselves were written in variants: the first version - by Saad Vakkas, the son ofRadjab, Allakulov, and the other - by Kashshaf Abu-Said. At present, these notes are kept in Tobolsk RegionalMuseum of Local Lore and are available for the researchers.The researchers pay special attention to the significance of Sufism in traditional views of the Siberian Tatars,fairly underlying, that Sufism has a lot of directions. The authors tend to think that worship practice to Astana isconditioned by Sufism, equally as the manuscript literature of the Siberian Tatars, reflecting theethno-sociocultural practice of the Siberian Tatars.Oral folk arts always presented that ideologic and artistic property of people, where they could express theiroutlook and attitude to life. According to the data of folkloristics, which counts nearly one and a half centuries,the Siberian Tatars has a rich folk-poetic heritage, including different genres of the oral folk arts. Unfortunately,in the flow of time, there are less and less opportunities left to collect and record the folklore pieces, as they gointo wilderness together with their bearers, oldsters. Fortunately, a great volume of folklore material wascollected and studied so far, based on which is possible to make several conclusions. As a result offolklore-dialectological expeditions of scientists from Tobolsk, Kazan and Tyumen, there were written thestories about Astana, among which the following are distinguished: 1) the stories, telling aboutconservative-protecting function of Astana; 2) the stories, telling about wonderful curing energy of Astana; 3)the stories about vindictive force and power of Astana spirits. Many Sufi folk tales about santons and legends ofthe Siberian Tatars about Astana have similar episodes. These plots tell about miraculous power of sheiks: mind reading, curing of the ill, control of nature and jinns, movement by air and water etc. According to Sufi ideas, theman's spirit presents the man's essence, and the body is only the ash. If you die, you will be mourned by yourchildren, but only Tengere (the God) will know your essence. At present, the Kazan and Tyumen researcherscarry out a meticulous work to certificate all Siberian Astana.

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