Articles / Izhora (Izhora men)

Izhora (Izhora men)

Subject / Ethnic culture/Ethnic communities
Subject / Ethnic culture/Ethnic communities/
Subject / Ethnic culture//

Izhora (Izhoras, the own native name is Izurit) is an ethnic community. Their language is related to the Baltic-Finnic subgroup of the Finno-Ugric branch of the Uralic language family. Accorging to the most widespread version the Izhora separated from South Karelian tribes in the period from the end of 1000 to the beginning of 2000 AD, they were settling in the basin of the Izora and Neva Rivers and since the period from the 11th to the 12th century they were moving along the south shore of the Gulf of Finland to the Narva River contacting with the Votes and Slavs. Since the 12th century Izhora Land was in the possession of Veliky Novgorod. Izhora men guarded borders. In 1240 Pelgusy, an Izhora elder, warned Prince Alexander Nevsky about debarkation of Swedes on the bank of the Neva River. In 1897 the number of Izhora was about 14 thousand people. They are divided into five groups differed with dialects : Soikinskaya group (the population of the Soikinsky Peninsula), Nishneluzhskaya group (the Lower Luga River), Khavasskaya group (environs of the Kovash River, in Finnish - Hevaa), Oredezhskaya group (the Upper Oredezh River) and Izhora group of the south part of Karelian Isthmus (they had been assimilated by Russian and Ingermanlandian Finns by the 20th century). In the period from 1926 to 1936 there was Soikinsky national Izhora village soviet, there were schools with teaching in Izhora language. In 1989 the number of Izhora in the Leningrad Oblast was 276 people; in the USSR the number was 820 people in all. In 2002 in the Leningrad Oblast the number of Izhora was 177 people (mainly in Soikinskaya and Ust-Luga Volost of Kingisepp District), in S.Petersburg there were 53 people and in Russian Federation there were 327 people in all. Izora's traditional occupation have been farming, animal husbandry, fishing (including ice fishing in the Luga Bay for making sprats). In the 19th - the beginning of the 20th century temporary leaving the place of residence for earning money in the regions with industry and agriculture developed and intermediate trade were spread among the Izhora men.
Till the 20th century some archaic elements of women's clothes were kept: women put on two widths (aanua and hurstut), which weren't sewed together and were held up by shoulder straps, over their shirt (ryatsinya). The religious Izhora men profess the Orthodoxy. As early as the 16th century lots of Izhora men were heathens and worshiped nature objects (stones and trees). The pre-Christian elements were kept in the rites up to the 20th century. The Izhora had their own epic poetry. Elias Lönnrot used some its elements while creating "Kalavala" (a cycle about Kullervo). The most famous Izhora narrators of folk tales are Ontropo Melnikov and Larin Paraske. Some objects of Izhora's culture are presented in the expositions of the Izhora folk museum, the local history museum of Kingisepp. In Vistino and Gorki Villages there are folk groups performing songs in the Izhora language. In June 2004 in Vistino Village "Izhorsky prazdnik" ("Izhora Folk Festival") took place.

Chistyakov, Anton Yuryevich

Alexander Nevsky, Prince
Larin, Paraske
Lennorot, Elias
Melnikov, Ontropo

Leningrad Oblast, the/Kingisepp District/Gorki Village
Topographical landmarks/Gulf of Finland, the
Topographical landmarks/Izhora River, the
Topographical landmarks/Karelian Isthmus, the
Leningrad Oblast, the/Kingisepp District
Topographical landmarks/Kovashi River, the
Topographical landmarks/Luga Bay, the
Topographical landmarks/Luga River, the
Topographical landmarks/Narva River, the
Topographical landmarks/Neva River, the
Topographical landmarks/Oredezh River, the
Topographical landmarks/Soikinsky Peninsula, the
Leningrad Oblast, the/Kingisepp District/Vistino Village

Ингерманландская эпическая поэзия: Антология / Сост. Э.С. Киуру. Петрозаводск, 1990.
Мы живем на одной земле: Население Петербурга и Ленинградской области. СПб., 1992, 89-109
Лаанест А. Ижорские диалекты. Лингвогеографическое исследование. Таллин, 1966., 89-109
Прибалтийско-финские народы России. М., 2003., 592-620
Рябинин Е. А. Ижора // Природа. 1992. № 9., С. 82-89

Subject Index
Finns of Ingermanlandia
Izhora festival
Izhora Popular Museum, the
Kingisepp Museum od the Local History, the

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