UDEGE LEGENDS OF THE BIKIN RIVER

Description


UDEGE LEGENDS OF THE BIKIN RIVER

1. Theme

SIGHTSEEING & FIRST SIGHT

ETHNOS, NATURE, CULTURE

NATURE & WILDLIFE

CRUISES & WATER TRIP

2. Region, city, itinerary

Khabarovsk – Krasny Yar Village, Bikin River

3. Seasonality

May – September  

4. The complexity, style of the tour

Moderate

Soft adventure

Auto-expedition

Water trip

5. Accommodation

Homestay, hostel, guest house

6. Number of days

2-3 days

7. Number of people

Up to 20 people

8. Booking conditions

3-5 weeks before the tour start

 

The history of the Udege people goes back to the times of antiquity. Once their lands were part of the Golden Empire of the Jurchen. The ancestors of the Udege people in those days lived throughout Primorye: on the territory from present-day Vladivostok to Khabarovsk. But about 700 years ago, the Mongols invaded the Golden Empire.

Hiding from the Mongols, the Udege began to wander from place to place, similar to their grandfathers in ancient times. So since then it has become customary. They ate meat and fish, engaged in fishing and hunting. They walked on poles across rivers. They stopped in places where there was a lot of fish and they lived near forests full of prey.

The Udege people became excellent hunters, and no one else knows habits of taiga animals better than them. The whole lifestyle, material and spiritual culture of the Udege, both in the past and in the present, is associated with hunting.

 

In the heart of the religious worldview of the Udege people was an animistic idea of ​​nature, the essence of which was that all nature is alive, and its many inhabitants - people, birds, animals, reptiles, insects, plants - have a soul.

The Udege beliefs associated with the hunting ritual are inextricably linked with worshiping of animals such as the Bear and the Tiger. The Udege people sincerely believed that their distant ancestors owed their origin to animals, so they worshiped their totems, hoping for their protection and help. Particularly detailed narration is found in the legends about the origin of Man from the Bear. According to the Udege, a person occasionally has to communicate with the spirit of his ancestor - the Bear by inviting it to pay a visit, i.e. killing and eating its meat.

In addition to the Bear, the Udege people paid great respect to the Tiger ("kuti mafa"). The Tiger was considered an honorable relative, a “man of a different kind”, therefore it was forbidden to kill tigers or eat their meat. However, if the beast attacked the hunter, to kill it was not considered a sin. When forced to kill a tiger, the Udege people buried a dead beast like a human, exposing two stakes with shavings on the sides of a log-grave: evidence that this place is forbidden. The tiger was considered a sacred animal, it was forbidden to even speak out loud about it, because people believed that the tiger understood the language of man. Recognizing the superiority of the Tiger in strength and cunning power over the hunter, the Udege people elevated him to the rank of a deity and prayed to him, for example, asking the Tiger to send them good luck in hunting.

An Udege shaman always acted as a mediator between people and the masters of Nature. Not everyone could become a shaman, but only those who possessed hypnotic abilities. The shamanic gift was passed down from generation to generation. The Udege culture is extremely rich. This includes folklore (historical tales, legends, myths, fairy tales and other genres), fine art (patterns, ornament, plot drawing), decorative and applied art. Household items, tools, cult accessories were decorated with patterns and ornaments. Female crafts of embroidering patterns and ornaments on colored fabrics, fish skin and suede, embossing on birch bark were widely practiced. Male crafts were associated with the processing of solid materials - wood, bone, metal. Udege masters created ritual sculptures of large and small sizes (figures of a tiger, a dog, a person, a bird, etc.), decorated material objects for daily life (tables for eating and cutting meat and fish, pans, cutting boards, sticks against mosquitoes), tool handles (awls, jumpers in ruffles, oars, etc.).

Today, Krasny Yar is the most populated village living according to the traditions of their ancestors and sacredly keeping their customs. Visit this unusual place on the banks of the Bikin River situated 200 km from Khabarovsk.

 

In the program of a two-to-three-day tour:

- A visit to the ethno-cultural center and acquaintance with the culture of the Udege people, a master class in national crafts - embroidery, birch bark products, wood carvings.

- A concert of national songs and tales, shaman rituals.

- A visit to the local high school and school museum.

- A visit to a local family of the village’s old-timers

- A walk through the woods, accompanied by a local Udege, who will teach you how to navigate in the forest, how to distinguish paw prints of wild animals and observe products of their life. Depending on the season, you yourself will be able to collect mushrooms, berries, cones, fern.

- Fishing in the national style from dingy boats with accommodation in a hunting hut.

- Tasting and joint cooking of national dishes

Gallery

Bonuses