Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences / The Phenomenon of the Skull Masks of the Lower Amur Petroglyphs

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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences: 2016, Vol. 9, Issue 6
Lapshina, Zoya S.
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Lapshina, Zoya S.:Khabarovsk State Institute of Culture 112 Krasnorechenskaia Str., Khabarovsk, 680045, Russia;
primitive art; Lower Amur; skull-type masks; petroglyphs of the Amur and the Ussuri rivers; worldview; cosmos

In the Lower Amur basin, there are numerous monuments of rock art. They are characterized by the predominance of skull masks. The semantic content of these artifacts allows to identify them as the main attributes of the rituals of the secret male unions. At the end of the Stone Age and the early Metal Age, the power of men and patrilineal kinship begin to prevail. The ancient model of the world was changed. The importance of the underground world and inevitability of death was dominating in the minds of the people. Authority was claimed through rituals with human sacrifices and cannibalism. The leader of the ritual was wearing a skull-type radiant mask. It was also drawn on the stones as the accumulation of power of the spirit-man-eater and called the “pile of cannibal”. These facts are also observed in the rituals, folklore and petroglyphs of the Indians in Canada and North America. The theme of cannibalism is also present in the myths of the Amur indigenous peoples. The article describes the concept of the ideogram the “pile of cannibal” in the Lower Amur petroglyphs. The ideogram is presented as a three-part model of the world. The paper discusses the ideogram the “pile of cannibal” of Sikachi-Alyan and Sheremetyevo. This ideology and rituals could have been brought to America by the migrants from the Amur River basin

Paper at repository of SibFU

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