Cultural Space and Oral Culture of the Semeiskie
Semeiskie are a community of Russian Old Believers (Starovery),
living in villages in the isolated Transbaikal Region. Their way
of life reflects 16th and 17th century Russian folk culture,
with traditionally built houses, costumes, ceremonies, music,
rituals, proverbs, idioms and religious beliefs.
have preserved their traditions which are deeply rooted in the
history of medieval Russia, Belarus hands Ukraine. The Semeiskie
are best known for their unique choral music, a form of old
Russian church music dating from before the 17th century. Since
1935, several village choirs skilled in this music have been
Semeiskie traditions are threatened with disappearance today.
Principal reasons for this are the political, sociological,
economical and cultural transformations taking place in the
region which during several decades have undermined their
traditional way of life.
A 10-year action plan prepared by the State House of the Russian
Federation includes research
and documentation of the traditional culture of Semeiskie, and
scientific conferences. Festivals, and a museum of the
historical wooden architecture and applied arts, are also