God, Spirit and Devil: The Status and Image of Keremet in Modern Mari Folklore

Key words
Keremet, Mari folklore, non-fairytale prose, Mari gods
Diana Yu. Efremova, German Yu. Ustyantsev
About the Author
Diana Yu. Efremova
E-mail: diana-efremva@yandex.ru Tel.: +7 (8326) 34-75-30
153, Sovetskaya str., Yoshkar-Ola, Republic of Mari El, 424006, Russian Federation
PhD in History, Vice Director for Scholarly Work, T. Evseev National Museum of the Republic of Mari El

German Yu. Ustyantsev
E-mail: ustyan-93@mail.ru Tel.: +7 (495) 938-18-20
32a, Leninskii av., Moscow, 119334, Russian Federation
PhD Candidate, Center for European Studies, N. N. Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Science
Date of publication

In this article the authors analyze the image of Keremet, a character of Mari nonnarrative prose, in modern narratives. On the basis of a corpus of oral texts, the authors scrutinize current ideas about Keremet, the character’s visual characteristics and status in the semiotic system of Mari folklore. Special attention is paid to the respondents’ interpretation of the image. The researchers identify the main role ascribed to Keremet in Mari folklore (as deity, spirit, etc.), as well as the attributes and functions attributed to him by narrators. In addition, the authors compare the recorded evidence with material from earlier ethnographers. This allows them to identify the transformation of the Keremet’s image in non-narrative prose. The relevance of the work lies in the researchers’ attempt consider the different approaches of respondents to the Keremet depending on their personal involvement in the discourse of folklore. The work reveals the heterogeneity and inconsistency of the Keremet’s image, as well as the diversity of its interpretation in modern Mari culture.

The article is based on oral texts (memorats and fables) that the authors collected indepen- dently of each other in the Kirov Region and in the Republic of Mari El in 2015–2019. 


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For citation

 Efremova D. Yu., Ustyantsev G. Yu. God, Spirit and Devil: The Status and  Image of Keremet in Modern Mari Folklore. Traditional Culture. 2020. Vol. 21. No. 1. Pp. 114–123. In Russian.