Accepted Paper:

The intimacy and sharing of food: animist ceremonies by the Bashkortostan Udmurts  


Eva Toulouze (INALCO Paris)

Paper short abstract:

The paper looks at the role of food as a symbol of the spiritual communion of the people involved and of communication with the divine.

Paper long abstract:

Relying on the author's fieldwork, this paper concentrates on the core of the animist ceremonies that are present in the Bashkortostan Udmurts' everyday life, the making of lamb porridge at different times of the religious calendar of this community, living compactly in a cluster of 19 villages in Northern Bashkortostan. The ceremonies revolve around the cooking of the porridge, which implies cooperation between families or whole villages, lamb sacrifice, ceremonial eating and distribution. Thus, worship is both communitarian, through action, and deeply individual, through the absorption of food. These are the lines the paper explores through comparative analysis of different ceremonies in different village communities.

Panel P073
Religious intimacy: collaboration, collusion and collision in ritual communication