In the last decades under Tsarist rule, millions of Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian peasants quit their home villages in the western empire to head east — to Siberia — for free land and a fresh start. Many of their descendants still live in the villages founded by their forebears, often preserving the ways and language of the original settlers. As part of the project “Dynamics of Folklore Traditions” this team will collect songs, stories, beliefs and rituals that survived transplantation to the village of Tagna, Siberia in order to compare them with the traditional lore of the “mother” villages in Ukraine and Belarus. What changes? What stays the same? What forces are at work in preservation, change or abandonment of traditional ways? The work of this team will contribute to the answers.

The expedition will start in Moscow and end in Irkutsk. Apply by May 19, 2020.

Photo by N.I. Belova

About This Expedition

  • Dates:

    August 1, 2020 to August 17, 2020

  • Location:

    Siberia Irkutsk province, Zalari district

  • Arrive & Depart Through:

    to be determined

  • Expedition Languages:

    Russian, Englshj

  • Team Size:


  • Projected Fee:


  • Apply By:

    May 24, 2020

Meet The Team

  • head shot Yelena Minyonok

    Dr. Yelena Minyonok

    Major Researcher and Chief Curator of the Folklore Archive
    Gorky Institute of World Literature, Moscow

    Lena Minyonok is a philologist, folklorist, and Principal Investigator of the American Friends of Russian Folklore. Dr. Minyonok graduated from the Philological Department of the Moscow State University, where she received her M.A. degree from in 1988. Her postgraduate studies were at the Gorky Institute of World Literature (Russian Academy of Sciences, 1988-1991). She received her Ph.D. in Folklore (Moscow, 1998) and now serves as Chief Curator of the Folklore Archive and Major Researcher in the Folklore Division of the Gorky Institute. Dr. Minyonok has been a Principal Investigator for countless folklore expeditions and has published over 60 articles about Russian folklore traditions. Most recently, she has led expeditions for the American Friends of Russian folklore in conjunction with the Institute of World Literature at the Russian Academy of Sciences. She was a visiting professor at the University of Kentucky in 2007, as a Fulbright scholar.

See Also