Folk Box: The Mordva

Each week Olga Shapovalova offers to folk music lovers a multicoloured display of customs and traditions, legends and tales, melodies and rythms of Russia.

So, who are we meeting up with today? The Mordva – a people populating the Volga river area. Now, I am really in for it if some linguists-ethnographers are hearing this!.. The fact is, for many decades now there has been a heated debate regarding this very name. Some insist the Mordva are a single people… Others say: nothing of the kind! There are ethnos such as mokshane, erziya, and several more sub-ethnos. True, they do have a great deal in common…true… And they will proceed to name a great many of these ‘true’ – there is the republic Mordovia itself, in the heart of the European part of Russia, and almost a million Mordovians… Then, if we dig deeper into antiquity, we can recall the words of Herodotus, who said: “This dignified country inhabited by the Mordva people”, why shouldn’t we follow his example?

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