Martynova E. P. What are People in the North Astonished at?

Elena P. Martynova
Tula State Pedagogical University
Tula, Russia


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ABSTRACT. The article is based on the author’s field materials collected during her expeditions in Khanty-Mansiysk and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Districts between 1990 and 2012. The author’s observations of her Nenets, Khanty and Mansi informants showed that, despite their traditional culture and education not allowing them to demonstrate their feelings openly and intensely, they tend to frequently express the emotion of astonishment. It occurs when they encounter something unusual or unexpected. The author distinguishes betwen two types of astonishment in the reactions of the indigenous peoples of the North — those associated with curiosity and fear. Traditions, customs and mores of “other” cultures are usually perceived with curiosity. Meanwhile fear often occurs when the informants face the consequences of the intensive industrial development of the region. The author believes that the short-term emotion of astonishment as a reaction to the unexpected and unusual serves an incentive mechanism for the perception of the new and thus contributes to the adaptation of many innovations of the modern society into the lives of the indigenous peoples of the North. Nomads, fishermen and hunters appear to be able to overcome their fears and anxieties, as well as to surprise an industrial man with innovations of their own. 

KEYWORDS: ingenious people of the North, emotions, astonishment, oil and gas development, concerns and fears, perception of the new phenomena 


УДК 159.942:39(=1.17-81)
DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2018-2-7-11



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