Salmin A. Discourse on Science and Life
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
ABSTRACT. The article contains the author’s reflection on his life journey. The author lays out his vision for training historical science specialists in higher educational establishments. In his opinion, the number of course hours at the history departments of the Chuvash universities is not sufficient for the study of folk traditions, ethnogenesis, folk art, ancient, medieval, and modern history of peoples, and the history of the languages of the ethnic groups which reside in the Chuvash Republic. At the same time, the departments and faculties of Chuvash philology study these very subjects at a fairly good level. It was the excellent knowledge received in the department of Chuvash philology, as well as self-education, that helped the author to become the first Candidate and then a Doctor of history among Chuvash philologists, as well as the only Chuvash doctor of history working in the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The author addresses this problem through the prism of his biography. The author’s works on ethnic history were instructive. While the traditional point of view was that the historical ancestors of the Chuvash people had come from Siberia and the Chuvash’s ethnic past dated back to the Bulgars, the author insisted that the historical ancestor of the Chuvash people had come from the Caucasus and connected the Chuvash’ ethnic history with the Sabirs. The author also expresses his opinion about the importance of I-identity in society, which should be given priority.
KEYWORDS: ethnography, history, the Chuvash, heroic fairy tale, religious and ceremonial systems, ethnic history, biography
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