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Traditional Customs of Caucasus

Class at Faculty of Arts |

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1.Caucasuswithin in the frame of Antiquity   2. The image of theCaucasusthrough the eyes of travellers and chroniclers: from Middle Ages to the Period of Enlightenment   3.

Caucasology as an academic discipline   4. Ethnolinguistic diversity of theCaucasus   5.

Geopolitical area of the North andSouth Caucasus   6.Caucasusas cross-border region: mythology, demonology, religions: Zoroastrism, Christianity, Islam, Mountain Jews, Yazidis, Djvari cult etc.   7. Ethnomusicology   8.

Material culture   9. Adats: customary laws   10.

Traditional roles in society: family, clan, laws of blood feuds, hospitality, sworn brothers, sworn virgins etc.   11. Birth rituals, Rituals of initiation   12.

Wedding rituals   13. Funeral Rituals

This text is not available in the current language. Showing version "cs".Annotation

Traditional Customs of Caucasus

The course aims to introduce students to the research field of Caucasus studies or Caucasology and to discuss some selected topics within the frame of anthropology, ethnology, history of the Caucasus region; an area that is widely known today mainly because of conflicts in Chechnya, Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh. However, the Caucasus always was and it is still considered one of the main crossroads of cultures and civilizations, where different traditions, ethnicities, identities, languages and religions have been in contact, often rivalizing, often cooperating in the longue durée. According to Arab cartographers, Caucasus was “the mountain of languages” - on the one hand the rare mosaic of settled nations, their ancient empires and complex pantheons, on the other hand the mountains, valleys and steppes of nomadic ethnic groups professing shamanism; an area where Zoroastrianism and Judaism met with early Christianity, Islam, and the indigenous religion of highlanders and their shrines (xati, djvari). Armenia and Georgia represent the treasuries of Eastern Christianity, through their churches, monasteries, “sacred” languages a number of important ecclesiastical and historical sources which have been preserved. Azerbaijan could be seen a sort of reflection of mysterious and mystical Persia together with its Turkic language and the mountains of the Greater Caucasus range are a distinctive region with its specific mixture of traditions, concept of honor, hospitality, blood feuds, defensive towers and sword dances. This geopolitical area situated on the border of the Middle East, Asia Minor, Black Sea, Eastern Europe and Central Asia is undoubtedly interesting for historians, linguists, ethnologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, comparative philologists, folklorists, musicologists any many others.