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Mongolica-III (from the Archives of Russian Mongolists from the 19th to early 20th Century) [Mongolica-III. Из архивов отечественных монголоведов XIX — начала XX вв.] / Ed. by S.G.Klyashtornyj, I.V.Kulganek. St Petersburg 1994.


The collection Mongolica-3 consists of two parts, From the History of the Mongolian Studies in Russia and Mongolian Studies Today (all papers in Russian).

The history of the Mongolian studies in Russia has not been written yet. It is only in separate miscellaneous collections, monographs and articles that this issue is briefly touched upon. To compile a history of a discipline which is two-odd centuries old, a huge body of data should first he collected to bridge the numerous gaps which prevent us from representing it as a progressive and coherent development in which continuity between generations is preserved. It appears that this crucial stage at which information is accumulated and published will not be completed before long, as quite a few blank spots and forgotten pages have remained relating to the entire periods in the existence of this discipline.

The first part opens with V.L.Uspensky's article Mongolian Studies at the Kazan Spiritual Academy. Kazan is believed to be the birthplace of our Mongolian scholarship. It is here that the study of history, culture, and religion of the Mongolian-speaking peoples, as well as the collection of Mongolian books and manuscripts was first placed on a scientific basis. However, the Russian Mongolists still take it for granted that after the Oriental Department had been transferred to Petersburg University, no Mongolian studies were conducted in Kazan any longer. This view is erroneous since in fact several generations of lecturers and visiting specialists in Mongolian linguistics, philology, ethnography, and religion were engaged in active and productive research at Kazan Spiritual Acadeny (KSA) until October 1917. Their activities included writing scholarly essays, training missionaries for working in parishes with a predominantly Buryat or Kalmyk population, translating a large number of Christian books into vernaculare (Buryat and Kalmyk). Mongolian studies at KSA were interrupted at a time when they were attaining their second peak. This page in the history of Russian science has not yet been read properly, although it does deserve attention for a number of reasons, including the high level of teaching at the Mongolian Department (attested for by textbooks and instructuins, which are still used bu the students of Oriental Departments), the personalities of lecturers and professors at KSA, who were prominent authorities in the religion of Mongolian peoples (A.I.Popov, V.V.Mirotvortsev, I.V.Popov, A.A.Bobrovnikov, and Archimandrite Guriy), the foreign ties of KSA, the library with its excellent collection of Mongolian and Tibetan books, the ethnographical museum where meny artefacts and ritual objects were exhibited, which had been made by the Mongolian-speaking people and collected by the missionaries who were former KSA graduates (the fate of the museum is also unknown). All this precious part of our spiritual culture, one which had nourished several generations of Russian Mongolists, is still being completely ignored. Also neglected is the continuity linking the first talented self-made natives and zealous missionaries, who worked in Buryat and Kalmyk uluses (communities), with the national intellegentsia of Buryatia and Kalmykia (quite a number of persons founded clans whose members could be described as intellectuals by birth, such as the Shar-akshinov, the Shastins, the Badmayevs, the Normayevs; most or all of these founders were associated with KSA.

There people belonged to the galaxy of Mongolists who worked in the 1920s and 1930s. Having become involved in the dramatic events in the new history of the Mongolian people both as eyewitnesses and as participants, they often performed daring exploits in a political situation which was by no means favourable for a full realization of their scholarly potential. Too much of their legacy has remained unknown and unpublished, including their records, views, analyses, and generalizations, which have retained the value of a primary source without which the modern authors' ideas concerning Mongolian life at that stage of history are deficient.

The next article, written by E.M.Darevskaya and entitled An Englishman from London at a school in Urga, describes the activities of a school in Urga, the first European-type nonreligious school of general education for the Mongols which functioned under the auspices of the Russian Consulate. It was founded by V.F.Lyuba (the Russian Consul in Urga), and Ts.Zhamtsarano, who was directly engaged in its activities. The first school year of 1912-13 was successful, and fourteen pupils were sent from Urga to Troitsko-Slavsk and Irkutsk where they were supposed to continue their studies. Darevskaya's article focuses on the teacher of English at the Urga school, Frederick George Whittick.

The 20th century has changed the face of the Russian Orientology, including the Mongolian studies. Parallel to the classical research into Mongolian, Buryat, and Kalmyk traditional culture and literature, a new subdiscipline was shaped by scholars who, having been brought to Mongolia by will of fate and being keenly interested in its people, began io get familiar with its culture and nature and to register their first amateurish and superficial impressions; subsequently, in the process of deepening their theoretical knowledge, they initiated new trends in Soviet Mongolian studies. Among them are N.P.Shastina, A.D.Simukov, and S.A.Kondratyev. At that time, young representatives of the new Mongolian scholarship concentrated around the Scientific Committee of the People's Republic of Mongolia. Tsyben Zhamtsarano and Bazar Baradiyn of Petersburg were invited to work with this institution. By that time they had gained a considerable experience in theoretical and field work. It was Zhamtsarano who invited two young researchers, A.D.Simukov and S.A.Kondratyev (both of them were working with the P.K.Kozlov archaeological expedition excavating the Noin-Ula burial mound) to stay in Ulan-Bator after the end of the expedition to work with the Scientific Committee. The invitation was accepted, and Kondratyev became the organizer and director of the first ethnographical museum in Ulan-Bator, while Simukov started doing research at the Geographical Department of the Scientific Committee.

Later, the name of Simukov, who devoted all his life to the investigations into the geography and economics of Mongolia, where he had spent sixteen years, became legendary in the Mongolian steppes. Yet in the 1930a it disappeared from the publications dealing with Mongolia and did not reappear for a long time, although the specialists believe Simukov's research to be so important in both scope and depth that he might be placed among the leading experts in 20th century Mongolian economics and geography. It is hoped that the publication of Simukov's writings, prepared by his daughter, Natalia Andreyevna Simukova, and a brief biographical sketch written by her will shed first light on some previously unknown facts from his life and work. Among the documents published are unknown fragments of the paper On the work done in the People's Republic of Mongolia over the past twelve years and its results and the report Results of the work conducted at the Geographical Department of the Scientific Committee of the People's Republic of Mongolia over the past fifteen years, which was printed in the journal Sovremennaya Mongoliya (Modern Mongolia), 1936, N 4, and has become a bibliographical rarity. The present publication is yet another in a series of attempts jointly undertaken by the Russian and Mongolian Academies of Sciences, and actively supported by the Russian and international associations of Mongolists, with a view of bringing the name of A.D.Simukov, who greatly contributed to the development of Mongolian studies in Russia, back to science.

Nina Pavlovna Shastina, who later became one of the leading Mongolists of the 20th century, appeared in Mongolia at the same time with the family of her father, P. N .Shastin, a physician who came thereto organize the medical care of the native population. Atthat time, she felt an interest towirds Buddhism, which became the focus of her attention for the rest of her life. The publication prepared by K. N.Yatskovskaya is rather unusual since she selected some of the first unpublished fragments of papers written by the young Shastina at the very beginning of her scholary career. The importance of these fragments is due to the fact they contain an extremely detailed, although incomplete, information concerning a unique monastery which unfortunately has not survived until the present. The introductory article gives a sketch of Mongolia at the time when the young Nina Pavlovna arrived there.

Two years earlier, Vladimir AleksandrovichKazakevich, a student of the Petrograd Institute of Spoken Oriental Languages, joined the Scientific Committee of the People's Republic of Mongolia where he had to do his practical work. Later he became the only major expert in the history of the 12th-17th century Mongols, as N.N.Poppe wrote in his memorandum to A.S.Samoylovich, who was then director of the Institute of Oriental Studies. Kazakevich's personality also failed to receive due appraisal in the community of Mongolists, his life was tragically severed like that of many Mongolists of that time, such as A.D.Simukov, Ts.Zhamtsarano, B.Baradiyn, and A.V.Burdukov: in 1937 he was executed in Leningrad, having left behind him unfinished projects of a deep archaeological exploration in Central Mongolia (Onon and Ongiyn Gol basins, and the Northern Gobi area). I.I.Lomakina, in her article V.A.Kazakevich as a Mongolist and his data on Jah-Lama, without touching upon many aspects of his research, focuses on just one episode of his life, connected with the legendary figure which played a certain role in the political life of Mongolia at that period, a figure which has not been properly understood or fully explained — Jah-Lama. The author presents documents and field records which were made by V.A.Kazakevich in Mongolia and later kept by V.D.Yakimov, his colleague at the institute, a historian of Mongolia, who in 1937 came up with an idea of writing a story of Jah-Lama, entitled The Holy Gunman: The Vicar of Buddha.

Memoirs concerning the Soviet Orientology of the 1920s and 1930s are rather few. All the more worth attention are those written by N.N.Poppe, one of the major modern Russian scholars, and published in the U.S.A. in 1982. The author portrays a gallery of the famous Orientalists who were active in the first third of the 20th century, such as A.N.Samoylovich, N.Ya.Marr, E.D.Polivanov, P.K.Kokovtsev, L.Ya.Sternberg, S.E.Malov, and others. But the most vivid of all is the portrait of Poppe himself, a man who was ready to make many compromises with life in order to have a possibility of being engaged with his favourite business to which he devoted seven decades of his work, having published some fifty books and a host articles and reviews. A critical analysis of these memoirs is presented in the article by V.M.AIpatov.

The possibility of establishing trade relations with Mongolia was always high on the agenda in Russia. The problem was solved by occasionally sending trade missions to Mongolia. One of the major missions, in which representatives of 73 firms took part, was launcged in 1910 by the Siberian merchant Trapeznikov. To maintain young Russian trade relations with foreign countries, the All-Russian Central Union of Consumers' Sociétés was created, whose Irkutsk office specialized in trade with the Far Eastern countries, including Mongolia. In spring 1918, the Central Union invited I.V.Maisky (Lyakhovetsky) to lead a small-scale mission which was to makeashort visit to Mongolia before the forthcoming cattle deal to clarify the further prospects of Russian-Mongolian trade. This was how the future prominent diplomat, who was also a brillaint journalist, writer of memoirs, historian, member ofthe Academy, a person widely-known both in Russia and abroad, first found himself amidst the half-primitive life of Central Asia. Here he came to know Aleksey Vasilyevich Burdukov, then head of the Russian-Mongolian trading centre in Khangeltsyk. This was atrue self-made man, a prominent Mongolist, a brilliant expert in Mongolian life, an author of numerous papers on Mongolian ethnography, language, history, and the compiler of the Mongolian-Russian dictionary. I .V.Maisky's letters to A.V. Burdukov, written in 1919-33 and published by E. I. Darevskaya, besides illustrating the friendly relations between th two extraordinary people who lived in a troublesome period of history, reflect also a difficult stage of their political biographies, the interaction of their political views to the mutual benefit for the spiritual worlds of both.

The second part of the collection is opened with S.V.Dmitriyev's article A version of Temuchin's coronation, from the viewpoint of Teb Tengri's political logic, in which Temuchin's coronation, reconstructed on the basis of various sources, orings the author to the conclusion that these sources reflect different political traditions in the treatment of the specific event. All these traditions proceed from the same political rule: when a fierce struggle is poing on for power, for the leadership, the winner, who strives to legitimize the power gained by him as a result of his victory, either discredits his opponent or idealizes his past image and their past relations, wishing to represent things in such a way as though their lives were governed by external factors rather than by themselves.

Although being unable to reveal the causes of historical events, the archive documents (certificates, protocols and other) may occasionally add new touches to our knowledge of these events. This is especially true of the confused and contradictory history of the early 20th century. Yu.V. Kuzmin's article Russian-Mongolian relations in 1911-12 and the attitudes of the Russian society deals with unique documents which are kept at Russian archives and almost completely overlooked by our modern scholars. They pertain to the international situation which arose in 1911 in the triangle Russia —Mongolia — China following the emergence of the independent state of Mongolia after the Sinhal Revolution in China and the national liberation movement in Mongolia. Outlining polar views of the development of the relations between Russia and Mongolia, Kuzmin focuses on documents illustrationg the attitudes of the Russian intellectuals, including Academician B.Ya.Vladimirtsov, journalist and writer I.I.Popov, linguist and ethnographer N. P. Yevstaf yev, who advocated the creation of an independent Mongolian state and the equitable nature of Mongolo-Russian relations; they also suggested that aid should be offered to Mongolia. The publication of these documents is especially topical nowadays, at the time when Russia actively extends her relations with the Eastern countries.

Frequent removals adversely affected the collection of phonographic recordings on wax cylinder which is now possessed by the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House); for example, two cylinders from Ochirov's collection of Kalmykfolk music, with the recordings of the Kalmyk epic Zhangar, were later possessed by Academician Vladimirytsov. The fact has been established by V.K.Shivlyanova, who worked at the archives of sound recordings in 188-89. Her article Academician Vladimirtsov's collection of phonographic cylinders, now at the archives of sound recordings of the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) deals with the recordings collected by Vladimirtsov in 1911-12 in northwestern Mongolia. Shivlyanova's publication includes the list of this collection, made by A.B.Burdukov in 1936.

Museum collections are still growing and being studied even today. Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography possesses a collection of musical instruments brought by the folklore mission to Mongolia which was organized by the Institute of Ethnography and Anthropology in the 1930s. Among the specimens are yechins, morin khurs, shanzes, and lutes. Mongolian music and musical instruments are an important element of Central Asian musical culture. Unfortunately, they are addressed by only few of the Russian musical studies. These include S.N.Kibirova's paper Central Asian lutes among the instruments of Mongols, Buryats, and Uygurs, which focuses on the origins and history of this musical instrument.

The concluding article is N.S.Yakhontova's translation of a Mongolian text titled Brief Outline of The Key of Mind and believed to have been written by Tengiz-Khan. This manuscript ia possessed by the Archives of the Institute of Oriental Studies and ia well known to the historians of Mongolia.

The collection has been prepared by people working at the Istitute of Oriental Studies Saint-Petersburg Branch, while separate papers have been written by specialists associated with various academic centres of Russia, including Buryatia, Kalmykia, Kazakhstan. The book may be of interest not only for the nattow circle of Mongolists, but for everybody who is not indifferent to the history of Russian science, that is, for the broad public.


Аннотация, Содержание, Foreword, Предисловие


Mongolica, annotations

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