Old Belief in Vyatka region

One of the first cases where Old Believers are mentioned relates to the end of the XVII century, when the "peasant schism" made it's way from deep forests of Kerzhen to Vyatka. Participants of the 'Solovetsky monastery revolt' (1667-1678) began to show up in the land. Little by little Old Believers started to settle in secluded places of the Vyatka region. According to official statictics of the year 1887, there were 8799 members of Edinoverie (edinoverie was a government trick/attempt to unite Old Believers with the official church: old costoms, but new pristhood), 104523 Old Believers. After 'The Toleration Ukase' (1905) number of the Old Believers increased. Old Belief was spread in all the areas of the region, except the Kotelnich one. According to official information, most of them were of the belokrinitsky (austrian), danilovsky and fedoseevsky trends.

As in other regions of Russia, culture of the Old Believers demonstrated some peculiarities in preserving and developing the ethnic tradition.

First of all, a number of typical traits showed up in their housekeeping management. They formed remarkable immunity to economical development under adverse conditions to be able to overcome difficulties. The religious austerity with it's rational, a little understated comsumption, contributed to formation of the well thought-out organisation of the labor in Old Ritualist culture. This is not in cosent with the opinion that Old Belief is only past-oriented, regressive historical phenomenon. Peculiar religiousness allowed Old Believer peasants in Vyatka region to have some incomings from their housekeeping to spend them on the production development, education and god-pleasing actions for the unity of the group.

It's a commonplace to say that traditional russian costume preserved longer in Old Believer circles. That is why clothing of the Old Believers in Vyatka region included chemise, sarafan, headscarf (women); russian shirt (men). Belts, crosses (men and women had different kinds of them), as 'lestovka' and 'podruchnik' during prayer were required.

Old believers in Vyatka region present unique chanting tradition. Family foundations are preserved. There is a special interest in education, specific way of thinking, etc.

At the end of XX century Old Ritualist culture in Vyatka region began to rise owing to reforms in social and political life. Fellowship and religious life revived. Constraction of temples began. For instance, just in 1990-s Old Rite temples were built in Omutninsk, Kilmez, Mikvarovo (Kilmez area) and Kuvakushi (Afanasyevo area). In the year 2001 Old Rite parish in Kirov started to build the temple in the capital of the region - Kirov.


Ural state University publishes part of: "The articles on the history of the Old Ritualists of Ural and neighbouring territories.". Detailed history of the Fedoseevsky trend on Vyatka Territory.

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