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U345  Finno-Ugric & Siberian Mythology & Religion
Gyula Décsy

The course offers an overview of the folklore of the 20 Finno-Ugric peoples. Illustrations of the different genres (lyrics, narrative, drama) will be given in English translation for each of the peoples. Special attention will be given to such internationally known examples of Finno-Ugric folklore as the Finnish Kalevala, traditional Hungarian folk poetry, Ugric heroic songs, Shamanistic practices. The material will be presented on the basis of the Stith Thompson Motif-Index and the classificatory works of Finnish folklore scholars. Characteristic features of the popular religions of the area will be outlined in their relationship to the particular high religions. Attempts will be made to reconstruct the proto-Finno-Ugric mythology.

Papers: Term papers are expected from graduate students only.

Required Readings:

Helmberg, Finno-Ugric & Siberian Mythology, 1927 (in the series: Mythology of all Races. Reprint edition available).

Virtanen, Leea, & Thomas Dubois, Finnish Folklore, (University of Washington Press), 2001. (On reserve in the main library.)

Hoppál, M. - Sadovszky, Shamanism - Past and Present I-II, Budapest - Los Angeles: Istor, 1989.

Days and Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30-10:45.