Hybridity in a Western Siberian Bear Ceremony

  • Stephan Dudeck University of Tartu


Hybridity is often discussed in connection with the postcolonial condition. The cultural revival of the Khanty bear ceremony in Western Siberia could be a perfect example. It is on one hand a key representation of local Indigenous ontology and on the other has become a token in cultural heritage preservation by state actors and a cultural commodity for local tourism and media outlets. Indigenous activists struggle against the loss of authenticity with ideas of purism and scholars identifying the amalgamation of Indigenous ritual elements with Christian ideas and inventions of tradition on the other hand. I argue that the perception of original purity of elements that develop into hybrid forms in the colonial and postcolonial context is somewhat misleading. Instead, I propose that we look at hybridity and purity as intertwined dialectical aspects of cultural politics with a multiplicity of voices and perspectives and negotiated relations at several levels.
How to Cite
DUDECK, Stephan. Hybridity in a Western Siberian Bear Ceremony. Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics, [S.l.], v. 16, n. 2, p. 43–85, dec. 2022. ISSN 2228-0987. Available at: <https://jef.ee/index.php/journal/article/view/503>. Date accessed: 02 june 2023.
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