Obrazcy sovremennyh russkih govorov Karelii
Suomi / English / Vybor russkoj kodirovki: UNIX KOI8-R / WINDOWS CP 1251
KUZARANDA - THE SHORE OF FIR TREES
The village of Kuzaranda, situated in the Zaonezh'e region (a peninsula in the north-western part of Lake Onego) has an ancient history. The name of the village (literally, "the shore of fir trees", cf. Finnish kuusiranta) was given by its first inhabitants who belonged to Balto-Finnic tribes. The arrival of Slavic migrants from the Novgorod area led to ethnic and linguistic interaction, a process that started at the beginning of the second millennium. As a result, the peculiar language variety of Zaonezh'e was formed. It has preserved many Old Russian words and forms that have already been forgotten in their original home in Novgorod. The local dialect also displays clear Balto-Finnic influence. This can be easily noticed by examining the toponymes of Zaonezh'e. For example, in the surroundings of Kuzaranda one can find fields with names such as Peldozha (Vepsian peld 'field'), a rocky field called Chury (Vepsian chur, Karelian chuuru 'gravel'), Kohty (Vepsian, Karelian koht, kohtas 'situated opposite to, across something'), etc.
Kuzaranda is a "nest village", typical of the northern Russians and the neighboring Karelians and Vepsians. Small villages consisting of only a few houses are linked to each other by the central pogost. An account of settlements in Karelia, based on information from the year 1933, lists 29 small villages and separate farms, situated from one to three kilometers from the center of Kuzaranda. Most of the names of the villages are based on anthroponyms related to their first inhabitants or land owners (Beljaeva Gora, Koshkino, Pal'cevo, Mishalevo, Petrovo, Lisicyno, Samsonovo, etc.).
Until now, the old image of Kuzaranda has been well preserved. New buildings are rare. One can often see traditional country houses that have been built on stones carried from the fields. There are many empty houses that are no longer being maintained.
At the turn of the century, traditional folk culture was still flourishing in the area. Calendar festivals were celebrated according to ancient rituals, oral folklore was in full life. In this respect one must particularly mention the local folk poetess Irina Andreevna Fedosova. She spent most of her life in the Kuzaranda village of Lisicyno. Fedosova was an exceptionally talented performer of laments that were recorded by E.V. Barsov. The publication of her works at the end of the last century attracted world-wide attention.
Now the inhabitance of Kuzaranda has greatly diminished, oral folklore is dying out. The local language variety is also gradually changing. Presently, one can meet villagers with a varying command of the traditional dialect. Many have been forced to move out, some have been living elsewhere for a while. The impact of the press, radio, television and other factors is clearly evident.
V.P. Kuznecova, I.I. Mullonen
Back to the front page