Winter Hunt”: Ice Fishing for Herring in Soroka Bay of the White Sea (Based on the Papers of the Local Karelian Historian I. M. Durov)

Key words
Western Pomorie, Pomors, White Sea, herring fishing, fishing
Elvira A. Dzhioshvili
About the Author
E-mail: elvira‑ Tel.: +7 (8142) 78-44-96
11, Pushkinskaya str., Petrozavodsk, 185910, Russian Federation
Junior Researcher, Institute of Linguistics, Literature and History, Karelian Research Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences
Date of publication

Financial support for this research was provided by federal funds for carrying out the state project Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences (121070700119–5).


This article considers for the first time the organization of winter herring fishing and the customs that Pomor fishermen practiced in Soroka Bay (Sorokskaia guba) of the White Sea (Belomorsky District, Republic of Karelia). It is based on unpublished materials of the local historian Ivan Matveyevich Durov (1894–1938), supplemented by other archival materials and publications. It provides a description of the main stages of winter herring fishing: its preparation, organization, distribution of the fish, and its completion. There is a lack of works devoted to the socionormative component of herring fishery in the Karelian Pomor region in the context of the traditional culture of the Pomors. In this regard, I. M. Durov’s papers are a unique source that contains rich material concerning local beliefs and the ritual side of White Sea fishing. Herring fishing in Soroka Bay was managed by a set of regulations and prohibitions that was generally typical for fishing as a traditional livelihood and for Pomor households; it was based on communal living but had its own specific features due to the way fishing areas were claimed.


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For citation

Dzhioshvili E. A. “Winter Hunt”: Ice Fishing for Herring in Soroka Bay of the White Sea (Based on the Papers of the Local Karelian Historian I. M. Durov). Traditional Culture. 2023. Vol. 24. No. 2. Pp. 106–115. In Russian.