Fedorova M. The Visual Heritage of the Datsans of Buryatia (Based on Materials of the Russian Museum of Ethnography)

Marina Fedorova
Russian Museum of Ethnography
Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation
ORCID: 0000-0002-3703-8809
E-mail: fedorovarme@mail.ru


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ABSTRACT. The article is dedicated to archival photographs of datsans of Buryatia made in the end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th century from the collections of the Russian Museum of Ethnography. The author analyzes the history of creation of such photographic collections and the process of their acquisition for the museum. The article also describes their contents, systemizes extensive photographic material, grouping images by specific topics, such as views and interiors of temples, rites and festive ceremonies held in monasteries, portraits of Buddhist priests, images of lamas and huvaraks (novices) during work and in their everyday life. At the heart of the museum photographic collection is the collection of photographs acquired in 1908 from C. D. Iroltuev, the XI Pandito Khambo lama. Taken by P. P. Shimkevich in 1893, these photographs present various aspects of the life of Buddhist monasteries in Buryatia. The photographs taken by N. A. Charushin in the Transbaikal region in the 1880s are considered to be the earliest in the museum collection. Photographs of Burytian monasteries are found in the collections from expeditions to the Transbaikal region by D. E. Ukhtomsky (1908), L. Z. Zhabe (1910), S. I. Rudenko (1923). The collection of the Russian Museum of Ethnography with more than 160 historical photographs of datsans is of great scientific significance. It represents a rare and often unique source for the study of the Buddhist tradition of the Buryats in the end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th century.


KEYWORDS: The Russian Museum of Ethnography, Buryatia, datsans, Buddhism, photographic collections 


DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2022-4(18)-137-154



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