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4. Mapping Etnos: The Geographic Imagination of Fёdor Volkov and his Students

Sergei S. Alymov and Svetlana V. Podrezova

© 2019 Alymov and Podrezova, CC BY 4.0

The first formulation of the concept of etnos in the history of Russian ethnography has thus far been viewed as a somewhat isolated phenomenon — “a scientific insight, [that] apparently outpaced its time” (Soloveĭ 2001: 103). Nonetheless, Nikolaĭ M. Mogili͡anskіĭ (1871–1933) , who first introduced the concept, was a representative of the “school” of Fёdor K. Volkov (1847–1918), which played a significant role in Russian science of the beginning of the twentieth century and had clear methodological and theoretical principles (Platonova 2010). In chapter 3, we discussed the context of Volkov and Mogili͡anskіĭ’s activities, including the Ukrainian national movement, museum construction, and ethnography’s institutionalization as a university discipline (Alymov 2017). In this chapter, we would like to discuss one additional — but no less significant — context, namely the role of ethnographic and anthropological mapping (and of geographic imagination in a wider sense) in the formation of the concept of etnos. We aim to demonstrate how Volkov and his students were striving to use methods drawn from anthropology, ethnography, and cartography in order to establish scientific descriptions of “etnoses”:

The ἔθνος [etnos] concept — is a complex idea. It is a group of individuals united together as a single whole [odno tseloe] by […] common physical (anthropological) characteristics; a common historical fate, and finally a common language — which is the foundation upon which, in turn, [an etnos] can build a common worldview [and] folk-psychology — in short, an entire spiritual culture (Mogili͡anskiĭ 1916: 11).

The search for geographical correlations while mapping these characteristics was one of their main methodological instruments.

Volkov provided an example of work with such correlations in his 1916 publications discussing the findings of his anthropological and ethnographic researches. In his review of Volkov’s work, Mogili͡anskіĭ noted that an important characteristic of the article “Anthropological Features of Ukrainian People” is that “the somatic attributes are considered by him with regards to linguistic data” (Mogili͡anskiĭ 1917: 133). Indeed, Volkov analysed anthropological indicators within three linguistic groups: northern (Polissya and Northern Polissya dialects), middle (Ukrainian and Galician dialects), and southern (Slobodsko-Ukrainian, Podol’skіĭ, upper-Strelian-Galician, and south Carpathian dialects) (Volkov 1916a: 432). He explained the anthropological differences between those groups as the results of “ethnic influences” upon the northern and middle groups, whereas the southern group “stayed purer” and preserved Slavonic traits to a larger extent (Volkov 1916a: 453). Conclusions and comparisons of that kind became typical for Volkov’s students and colleagues. They tried to obtain material that covered a considerable geographic scope, used surveys as research methods, identified anthropological and cultural “types” within the territories under study, and came to conclusions concerning the origin of those “types”, which were later labelled ethno-genetic conclusions.

Institutional conditions influenced the geographic orientation of those studies. Volkov and his students Mogili͡anskіĭ, David A. Zolotarëv (1885–1935), Sergeĭ I. Rudenko (1885–1969) as well as Dimtriĭ K. Zelenin (1878–1954), Sergeĭ M. Shirokogorov [Sergei Shirokogoroff] (1887–1939) and others worked within the frameworks of the Commission for Making Ethnographic Maps of Russia (KSEK), established by the Imperial Russian Geographic Society (IRGO) in 1910. The work of this commission has been discussed by researchers (Hirsch 2005; Psi͡anchin 2004; Zolotarëv 1916b), but mostly with regards to the Commission for Studying the Tribal Composition of the Population of the USSR and of the Adjacent Countries (KIPS) which was established in 1917 based on the outcome of the KSEK (Cadiot 2007). Nevertheless, the existing literature does not fully engage with the methodological aspect of the Commission for Making Ethnographic Maps of Russia’s work, resulting in a certain conflation of its work with the work of its successor, which was charged with the study of tribal composition. This article, however, pays close attention to the theoretical and methodological aspects of the commission’s activity as well as to its influence on the work of its key participants. Three most vivid individual cases are chosen as examples: those of Zelenin, Zolotarëv, and Rudenko.

Map, Archive, Museum: The Sources and Methods of the Commission’s Work

The commission followed and elaborated on the idea of a geographic approach to studying cultural phenomena and their correlations. In Russia, by the beginning of the 1900s, the geographical method had been already put to use with respect to linguistic and ethnographic material. Specifically, it had been employed in making a map of southern Russian dialects and regional accents (produced by the Southwestern Department of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society) and, later, for mapping dialects of the Russian language (undertaken by the Moscow Dialectological Commission of the University of Moscow). It was used in the expositional and collecting activities of the Ethnographic Department of the Russian Museum of Alexander III.

Such a large-scale undertaking as making ethnographic maps of Russia was based on well-established mechanisms of gathering data: the compilation of bibliographic references on current issues, the development of special surveys and questionnaires, the attraction of a wide range of correspondents, and drawing on what was by that time an already rich experience of ethnographic map-making in Russia.

Ethnographic Map-Making

In the second half of the nineteenth century, ethnographic map-making in the Imperial Russian Geographical Society was developing quite rapidly, as evidenced by such ambitious projects as the “Ethnographic Map of European Russia” by Pëtr I. Këppen [Peter von Köppen] (1851), “Atlas of Populations of the Western Russian Region According to [Religious] Confessions” (1864), “Ethnographic Map of Slavonic Peoples” (1867), and the “Ethnographic Atlas of European Russia” by Aleksandr F. Rittikh [Alexander Rittich] (1875) (Seegel 2012). At that time, an “ethnographic map” referred to a geographic representation of the ethnic composition of the Russian Empire, or part thereof. Peoples were classified on the map primarily according to language, self-designation, and/or confession criteria. The so-called revizii [imperial census-like documents] were used as the main source for identifying populations’ ethnicity, and as a result, researchers had to directly approach state and military agencies as well as religious institutions to get data to work with (Psi͡anchin 2004: 26–27) (NA RGO 1(1846)-1-8).

Sometimes cartographers were required to determine “the physical particulars of the type of tribe” along with languages and “way of life”, but, as Steven Seegel showed in the case of the northwestern branch of the IRGO cartographer I͡Uliĭ Kuznet͡sov, it was extremely difficult “to find, discover, measure, and essentialize their [nationalities’] traits in true form” (Seegel 2012: 193). In the 1880s, however, Ėduard Petri attempted to critically revise the linguistic criterion as a major criterion in ethnic divisions of the population. At the end of 1887, he made a speech to the Department of Ethnography of the Russian Geographic Society and suggested that, when producing ethnographic maps, researchers should take into consideration “not some single attribute, but all known information, linguistic as well as somatic, ethnological, and psychological” (NA RGO 1(1888)-1-16: 35). In a certain way, the commission (KSEK) was following this idea and, for the first time, set itself the goal to produce, “not linguistic maps, ordinarily called in the past and still often referred to as ethnographic, but truly ethnographic maps, i.e. indicating the geographic spread of characteristic elements of folk ways of living” (Volkov 1914: 193).

Language: Creating a Dialectological Map

In 1872, the Southwestern Department of the Russian Geographic Society published the first exercise in linguistic geography in Russia: the “Map of Southern Russian Dialects and Accents”, developed by Konstantin P. Mikhal’chuk on the basis of materials collected by Pavel P. Chubinskіĭ (1839–1884) and illustrating theses of his work “Dialects, Sub-Dialects, and Parlances of Southern Russia with regards to Dialects of Galicia” (Mikhal’chuk 1872). Vladimir I. Lamanskіĭ (1833–1914), when he became chair of the Department of Ethnography of the IRGO for the second time in 1886, announced that a study of the geography of the Russian language would be one of the department’s main goals; this involved compiling the “corpus of Russian dialectology” and a corresponding map (Veselovskiĭ 1915: 4).

This idea was further developed during the early 1900s by the Moscow Dialectological Commission (MDC), which operated within the University of Moscow and had Alekseĭ A. Shakhmatov (1864–1920) among its founders. In addition to a variety of objectives aimed at undertaking a systematic study of the various dialects of the Russian language and their classification, the commission suggested creating a geographic representation of those particularities (Durnovo, Sokolov, and Ushakov 1915: iii). The publication of the “Dialectological Map of the Russian Language in Europe” resulted from a collaboration between the MDC and the KSEK of the IRGO. At the end of March 1911, they reached an agreement concerning the map’s publication. The authorship was assigned to the MDC, while the preparation of the map as such (the choice of the template, its refinement, marking data on the map, editing and proofreading) was entrusted to the KSEK of the IRGO (NA RGO 24-82: 29–30).

The participants of both commissions agreed that the map should be published quite quickly (MDC was aiming at summer 1911), be of middle scale (100 verst [1.07 km] per inch), and be of a general, schematic character, that is, “provide a picture of the main types of dialects” (Ibid: 39, 41–42, 62). Despite the long-term collaborative work of the commissions, the atlas was issued only in January 1915, “without its authors’ awareness”, revealing certain shortcomings and, also requiring “a great deal […] of corrections and [making several] additions without consideration”, that caused a negative reaction on the part of Dmitriĭ N. Ushakov (1873–1942), who was communicating with the IRGO commission on behalf of the MDC (Ibid: 26–28v, 31–32v).

The Language Department established in 1911 under the KSEK, planned to make a linguistic map of the whole of Russia that, while not pursuing some “particular subtleties”, would point to “the existence of the main dialectical differences even between quite small language groups”, paying special attention to regions with two languages (NA RGO 24-82: 43). However, the work was limited to compiling the list of languages and dialects of the Russian Empire for further exploration of “their ethnographic and national foundations”, and to identifying the persons willing to study them (Ibid: 44–45). Nevertheless, this idea served as the impetus in 1914 for beginning to prepare a tribal (linguistic) map of Siberia at the initiative of one member of the Language Department, Serafim K. Patkanov [Serovbe K. Patkani͡an] (1860–1918) (Patkanov 1915).

Museum Activities as a Platform for the Commission’s Work

Geographic imagination became the cornerstone of the activities of the Russian Museum of Alexander III. From its foundation in 1901, active research and collecting work in the museum combined the efforts of the leading ethnographic researchers and, initially, members of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society (Fig. 4.1). Lamanskiĭ viewed the aim of ethnographic museums as “the representation of the ethnographic diversity of the globe” (Sergeeva 1992: 4). He believed that the purpose of the Russian Museum’s Ethnographic Department was to represent Russia within its imperial borders and the exhibition of its collections was to be organised according to the historic-geographic (or ethno-geographic) principle, that is, by cultural-ethnographic regions (Ibid: 5, 11).

In 1902, the museum compiled and published the general “Programme for Gathering of Ethnographic Objects” aimed at local amateurs and people knowledgeable about folk lifeways (Ėtnograficheskiĭ otdel Russkogo Muzei͡a 1903: 6). Calling for the accurate certification of objects, the authors of the second edition of the programme pointed out: “In the ethnographic museum, the human beings, the people, who created this or that object are in the foreground” (Ibid: 12). It is well known that the author of this Ethnographic Department project, Lamanskіĭ, had a wide circle of correspondents — teachers, doctors, and social activists — with whom he communicated extensively. According to the reports, collections of objects gathered by local enthusiasts were coming to the museum even in the first years of its existence (Ibid: 13).

On the basis of the general programme, museum personnel developed their own guidelines concerning particular peoples. For instance, Alekseĭ A. Makarenko (1860–1942) prepared a handwritten programme especially for his trip to the Tungus on the river Katanga in 1907 (ARĖM 1-2-386: 121–22). The museum also designed and issued a detailed questionnaire that was to be mailed to amateur ethnographers for studying the Malorussians (NA RGO 1(1911)-1-32: 21v–26v). We found no indications of its authorship, but it is highly probable that it had been developed by Volkov, who had been taking part in the museum’s activities almost since its foundation. Since 1904 he had been gathering collections of exhibits on behalf of the museum; from 1907 until 1918, for twelve years, he headed the museum’s Department of Southwestern Russia and Foreign Countries (Cherunova 1992: 53). Volkov combined the aims of his own expeditions with the needs of the IRGO’s KSEK and worked on the “identification of the geographic spread of ethnographic phenomena” (qtd. in Cherunova 1992: 56, 58).

Fig. 4.1 A group of the employees of the Ethnographic Department of the Russian Museum in Starai͡a Ladoga. Sitting: Nikolaĭ M. Mogili͡anskіĭ (far left). Standing: Fëdor K. Volkov (second from left), Aleksandr A. Miller (third from left). 1908–1910 (RĖM IM9-129-1). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

Organization, Methods, and Results of the KSEK Commission’s Work

The KSEK Commission was established as an outcome of discussions about the future and goals of Russian ethnography as a separate discipline that occurred at the twelfth Congress of Russian Naturalists and Doctors in Moscow in winter 1909–1910 (Bartol’d 1910) and adjacent meetings of the IRGO’s Department of Ethnography (Fig. 4.2). This period of disciplinary formation coincided with a change in the leadership of the Russian Geographic Society: on 13 March, Sergeĭ F. Ol’denburg was elected chairman of the Department of Ethnography, replacing Lamanskіĭ (Sergeĭ K. Bulich was elected vice-chairman and Aleksandr N. Samoĭlovich became the secretary).

Key meetings were held on 30 April (chaired by Ol’denburg) and 10 May 1910 (chaired by Shakhmatov), at which, following debate, Volkov and Miller stressed the need for a systematic study of the peoples of Russia according to special programmes designed with regards to ethnographic categories. Ivan P. Poddubnyĭ added to this line of argument the idea of creating an ethnographic map of Russia. In response, Shakhmatov proposed organizing a commission to undertake the preliminary work needed to produce the ethnographic map (NA RGO 24-78: 56v–57) (Zolotarëv 1916b).

Fig. 4.2 A group of Russian ethnographers, anthropologists, and orientalists, prior to 1917. First row (sitting): V. I. Iokhel’son, S. I. Rudenko, N. M. Mogili͡anskіĭ, V. V. Bartol’d, the sixth from the left is F. K. Volkov. Standing in the second row, the fifth from the left is D. A. Zolotarëv. The bald man with closed eyes in the upper row is A. A. Miller, the tall man to the left of him is B. F. Adler. The second to the right from Miller is B. E. Petri (RĖM IM9-193). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

The goals and methods of work of the resulting KSEK were not defined immediately. Debate continued at the meetings of the commission held from the autumn of 1910 until the spring of 1911, and sometimes revealed ethnographers’ opposing viewpoints on the immediate goals of the commission’s research. The choice of the main criterion for map-making — should it be “peoples” (narodnosti) or “ethnographic subjects/topics” — prompted a heated discussion.

At several meetings, Zelenin argued in favour of preparing “separate maps for ethnic groups, with the aim of compiling one common map afterwards” (NA RGO 24-78: 64); that is, he advocated for the primacy of the ethnic map and a corresponding division of the commission into sub-commissions “according to nationalities” (po narodnosti͡am) (Ibid: 59v). At one of the meetings, Bulich, the meeting’s chair, put Zelenin’s proposal to make the “preliminary map of peoples” to a vote; it was defeated in a vote of two to fifteen. Volkov, in his turn, insisted on making maps of separate ethnographic attributes: “drawing the boundaries of known types of buildings, clothing, agricultural tools and so on, according to ethnographic categories” (NA RGO 24-78: 64v). The general map would synthesise the individual maps developed by the thematic sub-commissions (Ibid: 65). The majority of Volkov’s colleagues, including Shakhmatov and Ol’denburg, supported his idea.

At the heart of the debate about categories there were fundamental disagreements regarding the attributes that define the narodnost’. Some scholars viewed language as the major ethnic marker. Lev Shternberg suggested they also consider ethnonyms (self-designations), while the academician Nikolaĭ [Nicholas] I͡a. Marr, on the contrary, emphasised the “shakiness of self-designation as an attribute” (Ibid: 59v).

Volkov’s proposal broke with Russian ethnography’s traditional prioritisation of narodnost’ and its exclusively linguistic definition. Like the majority of the department’s members, Volkov considered this notion to be “undetermined” and complicated (Mogili͡anskіĭ, NA RGO 24-78: 59v), one that could only be “distinguished” by establishing the correlations between several attributes “linguistically, anthropologically, and ethnographically” (Volkov, NA RGO 24-78: 64v), that is, as a result of work of the KSEK (Volkov, NA RGO 24-78: 64v; Marr, NA RGO 24-78: 59v). In Volkov’s opinion, the commission’s main goal was to “establish the criteria for dividing the population into ethnographic groups and, in accordance with these criteria, to design programmes for studying language, clothing, food, etc.” (NA RGO 24-78: 57v). Many members of the RGO approved of the proposal to organise sub-commissions dealing with separate ethnographic categories.

The identification of ethnographic categories to be represented in the map was quite challenging because, in addition to the conceptual considerations, it also required considering technical aspects of cartography. In Shakhmatov and Mogili͡anskіĭ’s opinion, it was essential “to avoid fractured tasks” and to limit the task to the most substantial attributes (Ibid: 65). Volkov, who had volunteered to compile a preliminary list of categories, discovered that some of them, such as “hunting”, “fishing” (“the same forms here are often determined by the natural conditions of the zoological zones”), and “folk technology”, “are hardly cartographically viable” (Ibid: 64v). He suggested beginning by examining (1) agriculture and animal husbandry, (2) modes of transportation, (3) food, (4) clothing and ornamentation, (5) built structures, (6) folk art, and (7) language and folklore. Beliefs, rituals, social concepts as well as folk knowledge and law should be mapped afterwards (15 Oct. 1910, NA RGO 24-78: 64v–65).

Initially Volkov did not put stress on the language among the other categories and did not rank them by their significance, supposing that the sub-commissions would work simultaneously (NA RGO 24-78: 65). However, other members of the commission, including Mogili͡anskіĭ and Shakhmatov, prioritised the making of a detailed linguistic map that would provide the basis of comparisons with the other ethnographic criteria. Volkov agreed that the linguistic map could become the substratum for further work (Ibid: 60) and suggested that the other attributes be added to the maps with “already drawn linguistic borders” (Ibid: 65). Thus, at the very first meeting, the commission chose “language” as its central category and, as we will show below, consistently followed this line in the future. Another outcome of the discussions was the revision of the category of “agriculture and animal husbandry”. The colleagues offered various options for combining this category with the others and chose the notion of “economic mode of life” (khozi͡aĭstvennyĭ byt, proposed by Shternberg) which embraced “agriculture”, “food”, “modes of transportation”, and “crafts and utensils” (proposed by Miller).

It is worth mentioning that the list Volkov compiled did not include “anthropological features”, although it was a significant category for him and his followers. Regarding anthropological map-making, Volkov noted some “practical difficulties”, specifically, a lack of collected anthropological data and the high costs of gathering it. Mogili͡anskіĭ and Shakhmatov, however, suggested adding this category into the list (at number 8). Mogili͡anskіĭ, in particular, argued that, “after the dialectological borders, anthropological features have the next greatest significance”. The proposal was approved by the members of the commission (NA RGO 24-78: 59).

As a result of the debates and the organizational activities of 1911, the commission was to include eight departments: (1) Department of Language, chaired by Shakhmatov with Andreĭ D. Rudnev as secretary; (2) Department of Anthropology, chaired by Volkov, with Rudenko as secretary; (3) Department of Housing and Building, chaired by Mogili͡anskіĭ, with Aleksandr K. Serzhputovskіĭ as secretary; (4) Department of Economic Life, chaired by Eduard A. Volter, later by Mogili͡anskіĭ, with Serzhputovskіĭ as secretary; (5) Department of Clothing and Decorations, chaired by Volkov, with Prince Diĭ Ė. Ukhtomskіĭ as secretary. The last three departments, (6) Department of Music, (7) Department of Folk Art, and (8) Department of Beliefs, failed to “organise themselves’ and, unfortunately, did not work within the commission’s framework (Zolotarëv 1916b: xix).

The mutability of ethnographic realities and, especially, of material culture would cause difficulties in the forthcoming research. Focusing exclusively on the “ethnographic” criteria that were “disappearing” and not accounting for the “new forms supplanting them” (Volkov; NA RGO 24-78: 65v), the commission stated that the maps would focus on “the present times”, mapping current ethnographic characteristics and material culture, and, in some cases, be supplemented with “historical information in the form of special maps” that would consider the “vanished” characteristics (Zelenin, Mogili͡anskіĭ, NA RGO 24-78: 65v).

The KSEK was a separate structure under the Council of the IRGO and had its own budget comparable with that of the Department of Ethnography itself. The commission was usually headed by the chairman of the department: in the first years, it was Ol’denburg (with secretaries Aleksandr N. Samoĭlovich and Aleksandr A. Miller); at the end of 1912, he was replaced by Vsevolod F. Miller; from the end of 1913 until 1915, it was Shakhmatov (with secretaries, Aleksandr A. Miller and David A. Zolotarëv); then, in 1916, again Ol’denburg (with secretary Zolotarëv). The commission acted as the governing and unifying body for its departments. At general meetings, which in the pre-revolutionary period took place from one to four times a year, it discussed their plans, general issues, questionnaires, and trips, coordinated the activities of the departments and approved their proposals and budgets (Zolotarëv 1916b: xv). The main work, however, was done in the departments.

In 1913, on the initiative of the Siberian expert Alekseĭ A. Makarenko, an independent Siberian Sub-Commission was formed within the commission (NA RGO 24-78: 98) under the leadership of Shternberg (deputy chairman, Serafim K. Patkanov; secretary, Makarenko). The sub-commission’s permanent bureau included the researchers and cartographers of Siberia: Lev [Leo] S. Bagrov, Vasiliĭ N. Vasiliev, Berngard Ė. Petri, Diĭ Ė. Ukhtomskіĭ, and Sergeĭ M. Shirokogorov (NA RGO 1(1912)-1-17: 78). At the end of 1914, the commission decided to single out two main divisions. “The First Division” (chairman, Volkov; secretary, Zolotarëv) continued to study the peoples of the European part of the empire and absorbed all the existing departments, which were transformed into sections. Another division (the former Siberian Sub-Commission) was renamed “The Second Division: Siberia and Central Asia”, “due to the supposed expansion of its activities and their extension to Turkestan and the Stepnoĭ Kraĭ [Steppe Region]” (NA RGO 1(1912)-1-17: 78). In their first years, from 1911 until 1914, the departments were engaged in the preparation of questionnaires, the identification of the main categories that should be mapped, and the definition of the principles of mapping.

At one of the KSEK’s first meetings (29 October 1910), Volkov proposed using the “questionnaires for South Russia”, which were printed in large numbers by the Russian Museum of Alexander III. On 16 September 1911, 2,500 copies of the questionnaire (four boxes) were delivered to the IRGO (see the minutes of the meeting on 23 September 1911 [Otdelenie ėtnografii I.R.G.O. 1911: xxv]) and in the summer of 1912, they were sent to the field. This project used a unique format of the questionnaire, which made it convenient for further processing (see Fig. 4.3). In its left-hand part, there were a few questions grouped by topics (housing, clothing, agriculture, and food) and placed, in numbered order, in separate squares (the theme “housing” included nine sections, or micro-themes). The right-hand side, intended, apparently, for a short answer or summary, remained empty. It also contained the topic’s title (for example, “Housing-1”, “Agriculture-2”, etc.) and a blank space for indicating the location of the survey. It was not recommended to write on the back of the sheet.

The completed questionnaires were subsequently cut along the lines. This greatly facilitated processing of the data: the replies were literally stitched together, that is, they could be grouped according to the type of the information or geographically. By the end of 1912, the commission had received over 2,500 questionnaires with 587 “excellent answers”, which were immediately “brought into the system” (NA RGO 24-78: 92).

Fig. 4.3 Bashkir questionnaire, p. 1 (NA RGO 24-1-72-111). © Research Archive of the Russian Geographical Society, St Petersburg

Having completed their review of the existing literature and having concluded that “the already available literary material […] is too inadequate and, most importantly, too casual”, the departments began compiling questionnaires (Volkov 1914: 194).

Basing their work on the Russian Museum’s research on the Malorussians, in 1911 Volkov prepared approximate schemes for collecting data on housing, clothing and decorations, and economic life, which were to “also serve as a canvas for developing questionnaires for each nationality [ethnic group] or a group of nationalities” (NA RGO 24-79: 2v–3v; NA RGO 24-81: 6–7, published in (Primernai͡a skhema 1916). Public school teachers were considered to be the best correspondents, so the questionnaires needed to have an accessible and convenient form to complete, contain a small number of questions that would be “completely exhaustive [in terms of the] content of the future maps”, while “clearly formulated” in such a way that “the answers to them could not be difficult [confusing]” for non-professional gatherers (Volkov 1914: 194). The commission hoped to receive help with dispatch of the questionnaires from the trustees of the educational districts, directors of the public schools, and the chairmen of the Zemstvo Boards (NA RGO 1(1911)-1-32: 58–59v, 75–75v, 79–79v).1

On 8 February 1913, the commission approved programmes for collecting data on the housing, clothing, and economic life of the Belorussians, Poles, and Bashkirs; in the summer, the questionnaires were printed and their dispatch began. During 1913, about 3,800 forms were sent out to the Belorussian Gubernia (925 copies), and to the Malorussian (1,802 copies) and Bashkir (990 copies) provinces (NA RGO 1(1911)-1-32: 90–91). The beginning of the war in 1914, however, made it difficult to mail questionnaires to and receive answers from the European part of Russia. Printed in the spring of 1914, the questionnaires “for the ethnographic study” of the Velikorussians (i.e. Great Russians) (10,000 copies) were put in envelopes, but their distribution was suspended “until [a] more favourable time” due to military operations (NA RGO 24-78: 113v, 116).2 The large-scale dispatch of the Velikorussian questionnaires began only in the spring of 1916, and they were sent primarily to schools in the Moscow and Petrograd educational districts and to those of the central provinces (Ibid: 124-26, 128-29, 134).

Beginning in 1912, upon the receipt of the completed questionnaires, their analysis was carried out rather quickly. The responsibility for processing the materials regarding Malorossia was assigned to Volkov; Serzhputovskіĭ took care of the Belorussian data (Ibid: 102–02v); Rudenko handled the questionnaires on the Bashkirs. Towards the end of the war, in 1917–1918, the results of the Great Russian questionnaire were being analyzed under Zolotarëv’s leadership. Indeed, the responses began to arrive in such great numbers that their processing required an increase in the number of staff and additional financing (Ibid: 132). The “summaries and the development [processing] of the questionnaires” resulted in detailed ethnographic descriptions of specific gubernias; these were deposited in the Archive of the IRGO (see NA RGO 24-105).

Simultaneously with the questionnaires’ processing, the commission’s sections discussed the principles of cartography and the compilation of preliminary maps. On 18 April 1914, the commission approved the “schemes worked out by the sections for mapping individual ethnographic and anthropological features” (Otchёt 1915: vi). These features (see Table 4.1, NA RGO 24-78: 3) were originally developed with regards to the Ukrainian materials, and by that time were already well generalised, but they also served as reference points for the compilation of maps of other ethnic groups.

Drafting of the maps took place in stages as fresh materials came from processing (NA RGO 24-78: 104–05). The “breakdown” of the material on the maps was entrusted to specialists who were paid from the IRGO’s coffers (Ibid: 102).

Table 4.1. Ethnographic and anthropological features to be mapped by the KSEK’s departments.



Name of the map

Main attributes, marked by the shades of the same color


Department of Housing

Map 1


1) The material of built structures

2) The form of the roof


Department of Housing

Map 2


1) The yard

2) The disposition of built structures


Department of Economic Life


The type of bread-like food


Department of Clothing and Decorations

Map 1

Female clothing

The shirt with or without a collar


Department of Clothing and Decorations

Map 2

Male clothing

The way of wearing the shirt: over the trousers, tucked into the trousers


Department of Clothing and Decorations

Map 3


Material (wool, paper, etc.)


Department of Anthropology

Map 1

Map of the pigmentation of hair and eyes; broken by ethnic groups

Pigmentation of hair


Department of Anthropology

Map 2

Map of the height; broken down by ethnic groups



Department of Anthropology

Map 3

Map of the head index; broken down by ethnic groups

Head index

The most consistent and coordinated work was conducted in the Department of Anthropology. The members of the department carried out regular expeditions according to Volkov’s anthropometric programme, which was based on the principles of the French anthropological school (for the list of trips and their participants, see Zolotarëv 1916b: xviii). At Volkov’s suggestion, the unpublished material of the Cabinet of Geography and Anthropology of St Petersburg University was also used in the maps’ compilation. Following the example of the Moscow anthropologist Dmitriĭ N. Anuchin, who wrote a famous monograph about the height of the population of Russia based on the data about military recruits, the possibility of collecting data on physical height in the areas of “military presence” was also discussed (Ibid: 2). Volkov and his colleagues from the RGO admitted that “it is impossible to collect information on the categories of anthropological characteristics by means of a questionnaire”, nor could “local people” — doctors, for example — be commissioned to do the measurements using the given instructions.

Finally, a review of the printed and manuscript materials on the measurements carried out by the department’s staff during 1911–1912 (Volkov for the Ukrainians; Rudenko for the Bashkirs and the Urals Finns; Mogili͡anskіĭ and Zolotarëv for the Velikorussians; Chekanovskіĭ for the Poles, etc.) ultimately convinced the department’s members to conduct a large-scale project on anthropometry in the field. In Volkov’s opinion, only a few publications could be used in drawing the maps, and those only partially, while the rest “could not be taken into account” because they did not meet the Commission’s requirements:

due to the execution of the measurements not according to the generally accepted schemes but [according] to those invented by the authors themselves, and, moreover, often [following] quite imperfect instructions or without the proper differentiation of ethnic groups (NA RGO 24-83: 18).

Fig. 4.4 The Members of the Upper Volga expedition among peasants. The man taking measurements is most likely David A. Zolotarëv. I͡aroslavskai͡a gubernia, 1922–1925 (RĖM IM12-83). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

In the first years, the trips took place in the form of expeditions composed of students and employees of the Russian Anthropological Society, the Anthropological Laboratory of St Petersburg University, and of the ethnographic department of the Russian Museum of Alexander III, with the permits issued by the commission (NA RGO 24-78: 83; see also the minutes of meeting on 29 Apr. 1911 [Otdelenie ėtnografii I.R.G.O. 1911: xix]; Volkov 1914: 194). Gradually, Volkov invited his students — Rudenko and Zolotarëv (summer of 1911), Boris G. Kryzhanovskiĭ (1912), Sergeĭ A. Teploukhov (1915), etc. — to participate in the IRGO expeditions and then in the activities of the Department of Anthropology (Fig. 4.4). Many of them later became members of the society and made a serious contribution to the work of the commission. The majority of the measured people were men, but Zolotarëv also took measurements of women (see his report on the trip to Novgorodskai͡a and Tverskai͡a gubernii [provinces] in 1912: NA RGO 24-83: 12). This is how Rudenko described his method:

36 measurements were taken on each subject, 10 descriptive features were noted (the contours of the hand and foot were sketched out) (5 measurements), except for the information on the age, location, kin, [and territorial designations] volost’, ti͡ub and aĭmak (and so on) of each person measured; the places where the measurements were taken were immediately indicated on the map (NA RGO 24-83: 11) (Figure 4.5 and 4.6).

Fig. 4.5 A card for the record of anthropological measurements published by the IRGO in 1914 (NA RGO 48-1-223-1). © Research Archive of the Russian Geographical Society, St Petersburg

Fig. 4.6 A drawing by A. L. Kolobaev of Z. P. Malinovskai͡a, taking measurements of a peasant woman during an expedition to the Rybinskai͡a gubernia in 1922. The writing on the drawing reads: “It is a French fortunetelling, goody […] you will live long, and your cow will be found” (RĖM IМ14-1/19). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

It was likely Volkov who suggested the idea of compiling several anthropological maps of particular characteristics, about which he wrote to Anuchin on 15 March 1911: “I wanted to consult with you also regarding those maps […] how to present them? I think that it would be necessary to make at least 3 maps: height, head index, and colour, rather than to combine everything into one [map]. What do you think?” (OR RGB 10-20-138: 20v). Initially, the department decided to make four maps according to four categories: (1) height, (2) head index, (3) hair colour, (4) eye colour, respectively (6 Apr. 1911, NA RGO 24-78: 83). However, at the beginning of 1914 the anthropologists decided to prepare three types of maps (combining the last two categories on one map, see Table 1), to break down the data by ethnic group, to consider a territorial unit (uezd) as the main unit, and to publish the maps as soon as they become ready — for a separate ethnic group or a district (10 Mar. 1914, NA RGO 24-83: 7).

In December 1911, at a meeting of the commission, Volkov presented the first anthropological map of Malorossia, prepared by him on the basis of the data collected by St Petersburg University’s Anthropological Committee (NA RGO 24-78: 86v). By the end of 1913, Rudenko had compiled the maps of the height and head index of the Bashkirs (NA RGO 24-83: 6). At the end of 1914, the anthropological map of Malorossia was almost ready, with the exception of a few uezds (NA RGO 24-78: 104). However, due to the delayed production of the template of the map of southern Russia, Volkov’s three Malorussian maps — covering (1) pigmentation, (2) height and some indicators characterizing body proportions, and (3) head and facial indexes — were completed only at the end of 1915 (Zolotarëv 1916b: xviii) and their publication with an explanatory note was postponed, initially, to 1916 (Otchёt 1916: vii) and then to 1917 (NA RGO 24-78: 134).

By the end of 1915, the draft versions of the combined ethnographic maps of Malorossia were completed, but the department was forced to refrain from printing them “due to the exceptional timing [i.e. the war] and lack of funds” (Otchёt 1915: vii). By the same time, Rudenko had processed all the collected material on the Bashkirs and had prepared the corresponding anthropological and ethnographic maps that had been scheduled for publication in 1916 (Otchёt 1915: vii). However, because of the difficult financial situation caused by the war, the publication of these maps did not happen in that year. A number of the maps prepared by Volkov and Rudenko were included, on an enlarged scale, in their monographs to illustrate the most important theses of their research.

So, in 1916 Volkov published three anthropological maps (covering hair colours, height, and head indexes; see (Volkov et al. 1914-1916: 432, 440, 448) and one ethnographic map (“Geographical Distribution of Ukrainian Huts by Building Material”; see Ibid: 520. Fig. 4.7). In the same year, Rudenko supplemented the first volume of The Bashkirs, titled The Physical Type of the Bashkirs (1916), with three anthropological maps and a map of Bashkir dachas3 and clan groups, while the monograph’s second volume, published in 1925, was accompanied by three maps representing the geographical distribution of household elements among the Bashkirs and the final, combined, map.

Fig. 4.7 “The Map of the Hair Colour of the Ukrainian Population” (Volkov 1916a: 432)

The commission could not fully realise its plans. The maps were not published; the collected data remained largely in the archives or in personal collections. Nevertheless, it served as a laboratory in which the methods of not only the future KIPS, but also those used by the researchers participating in its work were developed.

From Questionnaire to Monograph: A Model for Describing an Etnos

As detailed above, the compilation of questionnaires was recognised as an important part of the commission’s work. Volkov’s Malorussian research programme became the prototype for questionnaires and schemes developed for studying other peoples, including, the Belarusian (compiled by Serzhputovskіĭ under the leadership of Volkov), the Velikorussian (compiled by Zolotarëv, Zelenin, and Serzhputovskіĭ) and the Bashkir (Rudenko) questionnaires; “Schemes for the types of dwellings and buildings of Siberia” (compiled by Rudenko in 1914, NA RGO 24-78: 52, 53); and the survey form, “For Travellers”, developed by the Siberian Subcommittee (1914, NA RGO 24-72: 14-46). The origins of these questionaires can be traced to Volkov’s programme when we examine their general structure, formulations of their themes, the order of their questions, and their design. Because of its convenience, the form of Volkov’s questionnaire was later used by the members of the Irkutsk-Zabaikalsk and Amur Sections headed by Shirokogorov for preparing their thematic — “tribal” — forms for the peoples of Siberia (NA RGO 24-72: 7-8, 9-11; AMAĖ RAN К1-8-1: 1).

Thus, the “Programme for Collecting Ethnographic Items” questionnaires developed by the Commission, as well as the well-known Bibliographic Index compiled by Zelenin for the needs of the KSEK (Zelenin 1913) relied on a single structure. This structure gave dwellings and/or clothing primary importance in describing the ethnographic features of an ethnic group, followed by sections devoted to the so-called khozyaystvennyi byt (economic and household life): folk technology, cultural products/material culture, food, utensils, and forms of transportation. Two of the questionnaires — the Great Russian and Bashkir — deviated from this structure and closed with questions about clothes and decorations (Table 4.2). The same model formed the basis for the “Scheme of Ethnographic Characteristics Subject to the Clarification by Means of the Questionnaire and to the Application on Ethnographic Maps of Siberia” proposed by Makarenko on 4 December 1913 (NA RGO 1(1913)-1-23: 10–11).

Table 4.2: The structure of the Commission’s questionnaire

The program for collecting ethnographic artifacts (issued by the Russian Museum)

Malorossian questionnaire (compiled by Volkov)

Velikorussian questionnaire (compiled by Zelenin, Zolotarev, Serzhputovsky) 1914

Belarussian questionnaire (compiled by Serzhputovsky), 1913

Bashkir questionnaire (compiled by Rudenko)

I. Settlements, buildings, dwelling and its utensils

II. Clothing and decorations

III. Household appliances

IV. Food and beverages

V. Activities, works and trades

VI. Domestic household

VII. Superstitions and fortune-telling

VIII. Folk healing

1. Housing

2. Clothing

3. Agriculture

4. Food

1. Dwelling and buildings

2. Domestic household

a. Folk technology (fire, processing of substances)

b. Works and trades, agriculture, etc.)

c. Food and beverages

d. Methods of transportation

3. Clothing and decorations

A. Clothing

B. Decorations

C. Folk technology

D. Works and trades (hunting, agriculture)

E. Food

F. Methods of transportation

G. Buildings and dwelling

1. Dwelling (“Where the village mates live.”)

2. “Activities, food, utensils, etc.”

3. “What clothing men wear.”“What clothing and decorations women wear.”

4. “Are there musical instruments”

However, in the published works a paradigm shift occurred with regards to the descriptive model, beginning with the “The Ukrainians” by Volkov (Volkov et al. 1914–1916) and followed by Rudenko’s monograph, The Bashkirs (Rudenko 1925, 1916), the “Subject Index” on Siberia (Rudenko and Mark Azadovskіĭ: NA RGO 119-1-35) and, finally, Zelenin’s Russische (Ostslavische) Volkskunde (Zelenin 1927). In these works the emphasis shifted to economic activity—the category underlying the traditional categories of means of subsistence. The other components of this system (folk technology, modes of transportation, housing, clothing, utensils, etc.) were conceptualised in connection with the most important kinds of activity: economic activity. Compare, for example, the structures of the abovementioned works with the questionnaires sent out by the commission and with the Bibliographic Index by Zelenin (Tables 4.2 and 4.3).

Table 4.3: The structure of the published works of the Commission’s participants

Zelenin, 1913

(Bibliographical Index)

Volkov, 1916b

Rudenko and Azadovsky, 1923

(Index on Siberia: the Bashkirs)

Rudenko, 1925

(Monograph on the Bashkirs)

Zelenin, 1991

(Monograph, 1927)

General division




Folk arts

Economic and household life

Utensils, cradle, weapons

Methods of transportation

Food and beverages

Activities of various peoples:

agriculture, irrigation,

flax growing, animal husbandry, fishing,

hunting, etc.


- Utensils and weapons

- Measures and weighting

- Methods of transportation

- Food

- Activities, works and trades



Animal husbandry


Folk technology

Methods of transportation






Folk lore



Animal husbandry


Folk technology






Decoration and tattoos

Hair style

Folk entertainment



Superstition and sorcery

Folk lore

Family life


Greeting rituals

Social relations

Foreign relations

1. Brief literature overview

2. Hunting and fishing

3. Animal husbandry, aviculture, and bee-keeping

4. Agriculture

5. Food

6. Technology

7. Clothing

8. Dwelling and buildings

9. Methods and means of transportation

10. Family and kin 11. Social life and arts

12. Beliefs and elements of knowledge


I. Agriculture

II. Animal husbandry, fishing, and bee-keeping

III. Food preparation

IV. Work stock, harnessing, means of transportation

V. Making of clothes and footwear

VI. Clothing and footwear

VII. Personal hygiene (from hair style to bathing and folk healing)

VIII. Dwelling

IX. Family life (from birth to commemoration [of the dead])

X. Social life

XI. Calendar-related rituals

XII. Folk beliefs

This model was later firmly entrenched in Soviet ethnography, as reflected in Kirill V. Chistov’s representative evaluation of the Compendium of Eastern Slavic Ethnography:

D. K. Zelenin well understood the socio-economic conditioning of the history of culture. He begins the study of traditional folk culture from agriculture, which was at the heart of the peasant economy of the Eastern Slavs, and [studies] agriculture from land use systems and tools (Chistov 1991: 441).

This idea of placing economics as the central activity is seen in the list of categories for ethnographic cartography proposed by Volkov in October 1910 (see above). In addition, beginning with Volkov, ethnographic monographs began to be accompanied by maps offering a geographical embodiment of scientific conclusions. The work of Zolotarëv, Zelenin, and Rudenko, reflects the influence of the idea of a comprehensive geographical approach that resulted from the commission’s work.

David Alekseevich Zolotarëv (1885–1935)

David A. Zolotarëv was born in the city of Rybinsk to the family of a clergyman (Fig. 4.8). In 1904, he enrolled in Moscow University’s Department of Natural Sciences, but he was expelled that same year for participating in student protests. In 1905, the young man continued his participation in the revolutionary movement, for which he was exiled to Siberia. His Siberian sentence was soon changed to deportation abroad, and in 1906 Zolotarëv arrived in Paris for a second time. On his first visit, in 1904, he had been a student of the Russian Higher School and became acquainted with Volkov. According to his brother, Alekseĭ A. Zolotarëv (1879–1950), these “two stays in Paris had left its mark on David’s further scientific work: he remained a supporter and adherent of the French School in anthropology and the closest disciple and follower of Fëdor K. Volkov until the end of his days” (Zolotarëv 2016: 108).

Following his return from exile, from 1908–1912, David Zolotarëv studied in the Department of Physics and Mathematics at St Petersburg University under Volkov’s direction. The rest of his scholarly life was connected with St Petersburg University, the Ethnographic Department of the Russian Museum, where he was in charge of the Russian-Finnish Ethnography Division, KIPS, and other scientific institutions (Shangina 1985). In 1930, Zolotarëv was arrested as part of a legal process (delo kraevedov) in which local historians were accused of counterrevolutionary activity; in 1932, he was released, but in the following year he was arrested again and died in a camp near the town of Mariinsk in Kuzbass.

Fig. 4.8 David Alekseevich Zolotarëv, 1929 (RĖM IM9-185). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

Zolotarëv’s early works are devoted to the physical anthropology of the Velikorussians and are based on his expeditions in the Arkhangelsk, Novgorod, and Tver provinces. His attempts to describe the generalised type of a “mixed” population and to distinguish the anthropological types from which the “mixed” one was formed can be considered the leitmotif of these works. Studying the western part of the Tver province, for example, the scientist tried to explain the anthropological characteristics of the population there in the light of linguistics and history. The types he singled out supposedly corresponded to Deniker’s “Dinar race”, the Chud’, the Finns, and the Lapps (Zolotarëv 1912). In his work on the Velikorussians of the Sukhona and Northern Dvina Rivers, Zolotarëv interpreted his data in the light of the history of the colonization of the region. Pointing to the similarities between the Velikorussians and the Novgorodians, as well as the Balts and Scandinavians of the “northern race”, he called for a “closer connection with the West” in the search for the origin of the population of the Russian North, rather than seeking the answer “primarily in the East” (Zolotarëv 1916a: 79).

Methods for distinguishing anthropological types were one of the key questions that excited Volkov’s students. Zolotarëv published a critical review of the work of the Moscow anthropologist Efim M. Chepurkovskiĭ [Ethyme Tschepourkowsky] (1871–1950). In his work, Chepurkovskiĭ distinguished two types of the Velikorussian population: the Valdaĭ type (broad-headed and fair-haired) and the Ri͡azan’ type (long-headed and dark-haired). He considered the former to be “the latest newcomer Slavs”, and the latter to be descendants of the “ancient first settlers”. Chepurkovskiĭ argued for abandoning the multiplicity of measurements examined by Zolotarëv, Rudenko, and Shirokogorov, and, instead, focusing on the main features and their geographical distribution. Zolotarëv, however, considered that Chepurkovskiĭ’s material did not support his conclusions (Zolotarëv 1913). Rudenko was also “embarrassed” by Chepurkovskiĭ’s work: “If Chepurkovskiĭ did not come to tangible results with the head index and colour [of hair]”, he wrote to Anuchin, “then if he adds [to these] the height and at least the nasal index or the skull height, then, I know for sure, he will get such a chaos, which he, apparently, won’t be able to sort out” (OR RGB 10-13-469: 3v).

Chepurkovskiĭ, meanwhile, continued his criticism of the works of Zolotarëv, Rudenko, and Shirokogorov, considering their method of distinguishing anthropological types to be based on “arithmetical misunderstandings” (Chepurkovskiĭ 1918; 1916: 140; 1924: 33, 45, 153). In Soviet anthropology, Chepurkovskiĭ’s criticism was accepted as reasonable. Thus, Maksim G. Levin viewed the identification of the types based on the combination of the height, head index, and hair colour used by the Volkov school to be a method capable of producing a great variety of results (Levin 1960: 132).

Apparently, the polemics with Chepurkovskiĭ had a certain influence on Zolotarëv. Amongst Volkov’s students, he stood out as the one who drew his conclusions with the utmost caution. His monograph, The Karelians of the USSR, summarizing his ten-year study of this group, was almost entirely devoted to detailing the data on anthropological measurements that he had collected, on the basis of which he made very cautious conclusions about the presence of elements of the northern, Baltic, Lappish, and other races among the Karelians’ ancestors, as well as about the existence of two “variants” of the type: the Finnish-Karelian and the Russian-Karelian. Although the author argued that these variants were connected “with the uniqueness of the physical appearance reflecting both physical as well as mental and cultural-domestic features”, there was no substantiation of this thesis in the monograph (Zolotarëv 1930: 110). Nevertheless, Zolotarëv’s contribution to the development of the geographical conception of etnos was great. His influence is primarily seen in his organization of large-scale interdisciplinary field expeditions in the 1920s (such as the Verkhnevolzhskai͡a [Upper Volga], southeastern, and northwestern expeditions), during which dozens of Leningrad-based and local researchers collected linguistic, folklore, anthropological, and ethnographic materials within significant areas of European Russia (Shangina 1985: 79–81).

Dmitriĭ Konstantinovich Zelenin (1878–1954)

The biography of Dmitriĭ K. Zelenin, a classic figure in Russian ethnography, would be incomplete without relating his research to the programmatic work of the KSEK and the circle of Volkov’s students. Zelenin came to ethnography, apparently, because of Mogili͡anskіĭ, who, recalling his travels along the Kama river, wrote in his memoirs: “Here I managed to find a valuable collaborator for the museum in the person of a teacher, Zelenin, who for several years had been gathering collections for the museum in the Viatskaia Guberniia [Viatka province], mainly among the Votyaks” (GARF Р-5787-1-17: 110). In 1911, the KSEK instructed Zelenin to compile a general bibliographic index of ethnographic literature (NA RGO 24-78: 85v).

Earlier, on 11 February 1911, on his own initiative, Zelenin had drafted the “Project of Instructions to the Compiler of the [Bibliographic] Index” (NA RGO 24-78: 76–76v). Upon receiving the offer from Ol’denburg to compile the Bibliographic Index, Zelenin had actually been preparing it for several months and introduced it for publication in April 1913.4 This index, prepared by the young scientist under the guidance of his teacher Shakhmatov (Zelenin 1913), reflected the commission’s structure, met its needs, and included the following sections: (1) The General Section (including also ethnographic maps and lists of populated areas within individual gubernias); (2) Dwelling; (3) Clothes; (4) Music; (5) Folk Art; (6) Economic and Household Life (see Table 3).

Zelenin’s second major work, “An Inventory of Manuscripts of the Scientific Archive of the IRGO”, was also implicitly linked to the work of the commission. At its meetings, “the introduction of the archival material to a wider knowledge” was considered as a necessary stage of the preparatory work for mapmaking (NA RGO 24-78: 57v). The sorting and reviewing of the archive were included in the budget for 1911 (NA RGO 24-78: 68. See also the minutes of the meeting on 25 Feb. 1911 in Otdelenie ėtnografii I.R.G.O. 1911: 5). In the preface to the first issue of his Inventory, Zelenin wrote that he “came to the idea of making a detailed description of the manuscripts in the archive precisely because of my search for materials for studying the visible features of the Russian people’s way of living” (Zelenin 1914: vii).

Apparently, it was during his work on the “Velikorussian Questionnaire” for the commission that he discovered that “a whole range of valuable manuscripts” in the IRGO’s archives could provide “important material for the study of the geographical distribution of different types of dwellings, utensils, etc.” (Zelenin 1914: vii). Applying the geographical principle to the systematization of the archival sources, Zelenin tried to make his work useful for solving the commission’s research tasks. This probably explains the limitations of Zelenin’s Inventory, which focuses on the materials related to European Russia — the territory for which the “Velikorussian Questionnaire” was being developed at that time.

Simultaneously with his work in the commission, Zelenin wrote his master’s thesis, “Velikorussian [Great Russian] Dialects with Inorganic and Intransitive Palatalization of Velar Consonants in Connection with the Flows of the Latest Velikorussian [Great Russian] Colonization”, in which he revealed his interest in the notion of an ethnographic type or group — in this case, of the southern Russian odnodvortsy, whom he identified not only on the basis of dialectology, but also on the basis of the characteristics of clothing, food, and “mental constitution” (Saburova 1979: 17–18). In the opinion of Nikita I. Tolstoĭ and Svetlana M. Tolstai͡a, in this work Zelinin had already substantiated his thesis about the ethnic and dialectal division of the eastern Slavs into four “branches” or peoples (Tolstoĭ and Tolstai͡a 1979: 72–73).

This concept was theorised in detail in the book Russian (East Slavic) Ethnography, published in Germany in 1927. In the book’s first pages, Zelenin stated that there are “sharp differences” between the northern and southern Great Russians and a significant ethnographic and dialectological proximity of the latter to the Belarusians. According to him, the two Russian ethnic groups “differ sharply from each other by the type of dwelling, clothing and other features of everyday life. This ethnographic distinctiveness that sets the southern Russian people apart from the northern Russian people will be examined in various chapters of this book” (Zelenin 1991: 29). Thus, a comprehensive approach to the definition of ethnic differences and to the identification of various peoples and ethnographic types in Zelenin’s works was in line with the methodology of the commission.

Sergeĭ Ivanovich Rudenko (1885–1969)

Volkov’s and the KSEK’s methodology was developed to its fullest extent in the works of Volkov’s most famous student: Sergeĭ Ivanovich Rudenko (Fig. 4.9). Rudenko was born in Kharkov in 1885 to the family of a nobleman and spent his early childhood in Transbaikalia (Zabaĭkal’e), where his father worked as an assistant to the chief administrator of the district (okruzhnoĭ nachal’nik). Later, the family moved to Perm’, where Sergeĭ lived until he graduated from the gymnasium and was admitted to St Petersburg University. In the last years of his secondary schooling, the future researcher spent a great deal of time among the Bashkirs with his father, a former member of the Delimitation Committee of the Bashkir Lands, and “had an opportunity to learn their way of life in detail” (SPF ARAN 1004-1-199: 15). Rudenko considered himself to be of Ukrainian origin and wrote “Ukrainian” as his nationality in a 1924 questionnaire (Ibid: 5). Even while studying at the gymnasium, Rudenko was already collecting Bashkir items for the Ethnographic Division of the Russian Museum.

In 1904, Rudenko was admitted to the Department of Natural Sciences at St Petersburg University. His acquaintance with Volkov, who started teaching at the university in 1907, determined the direction of his scientific work and his specialization in geography and anthropology (Ibid: 16). By the time of his graduation, Rudenko was an experienced field anthropologist and museum worker. Staying at the department to prepare for a professorship, Rudenko spent a year (from summer 1913 to autumn 1914) on a foreign assignment, mostly devoted to attending classes at the Paris École d’anthropologie and working in Léonce Manouvrier’s laboratory. However, in his letters to Anuchin, the young scholar stated that French anthropology “utterly did not satisfy” him and that most lectures in the École d’anthropologie were “something like the lectures at our public university” (OR RGB 10-13-469: 1).

Fig. 4.9 Sergeĭ Ivanovich Rudenko (RĖM IM9-131). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

In 1913, Rudenko became a member of the Paris Anthropological Society; in 1914 he became a member of the Taras Schevchenko Scientific Society. In 1915, he started teaching at the Department of Geography and Ethnography of St Petersburg University and became a secretary of the Russian Anthropological Society. As early as in 1911, Rudenko started actively contributing to the work of the KSEK.

Rudenko’s first major anthropological work was an article titled “Anthropological Study of the Inorodtsy in the North-West Siberia” — the result of his 1909 and 1910 expeditions commissioned by the Russian Museum. In addition to gathering ethnographic collections, the researcher had conducted measurements of the Ostiaks (Khanty), Voguls (Mansi), and Samoyeds according to Volkov and Manouvrier’s scheme. Based on various measurements of 256 adult males, he identified generalised anthropological “types” within the studied groups. Then, by comparing these generalised “types”, he arrived at the following conclusions about their relationship: “The anthropological types of the Samoyeds and Voguls are so different that their close relation is out of question”, while the Voguls are “in a half-way position” between them that can be explained by the “mixing of the lower Ostyaks with Samoyeds”. Referring to these physical anthropological comparisons, Rudenko also supported the hypothesis of the Samoyeds’ Sayano-Altai origin and acknowledged the “isolated” position of the Ostyaks and Voguls, who “cannot be placed in the same tribal group on the basis of their physical features” (Rudenko 1914: 102–13).

Undoubtedly, it was his book, The Bashkirs: An Ethnological Monograph, that established Rudenko as one of the leading Russian anthropologists. It was published in two volumes: The Physical Type of the Bashkirs (1916) and The Way of Life of the Bashkirs (Byt bashkir) (1925). This book was written under the obvious influence of Volkov’s methodology and reflected the model Volkov suggested in his writings on the “Ukrainian People in its Past and Present”. Concurrently, in 1917 Rudenko defended the first part of his book as a dissertation at Moscow University to a committee chaired by Anuchin. The conflict between Anuchin and Volkov regarding the article of the latter provided a significant background for the work of the young researcher. Moreover, in a letter to Anuchin from 26 October 1915, Rudenko agreed with all Anuchin’s criticisms of the “Anthropological Features of the Ukrainian People”, offering only the haste and the brevity of the presentation as excuses to his teacher (OR RGB 10-13-472: 10).

A letter to Anuchin in December 1913 demonstrates Rudenko’s concern about the debates on the identification of types that ran among Russian anthropologists. Rudenko confessed that the issue of whether one should “spend such an amount of labour, energy, and resources to measure such a mass of the Bashkirs” confused him, as did the work of Chepurkovskiĭ, who “came to no tangible results” by considering only two parameters: the [hair] colour and the head index. Rudenko formulated the purpose of The Bashkirs as follows:

My goal was to establish the local types and match the regions (zones would be too much) of diffusion of the known ethnographic phenomena (or groups thereof) within these types; if along the way I come to any palpable results, I will feel satisfied (OR RGB 10-13-469: 3–4).

Therefore, the task of the geographical correlation of anthropological and ethnographical data promoted by Volkov was also central to Rudenko’s monograph. Rudenko, in a letter to Anuchin, essentially repeated Volkov’s description of the activities of the IRGO, whle describing his methodology:

Besides, wherever the measurements were made, i.e. in 3/4 of the Bashkir clans, I conducted a survey concerning the types of dwellings, clothing, economic way of life (khoziaistvennogo byta), etc. Now 1100 copies of the questionnaire that I compiled has been distributed by the Geographical Society, with the help of the zemstva, over the entire Bashkiria and, according to my knowledge, the responses are arriving in large numbers. Therefore, I can track the geographical distribution of all the most important ethnographic factors and compare ethnographic and the anthropological data (OR RGB 10-13-470: 5–6).

Fig. 4.10 A Bashkir from Orenburgskai͡a gubernii͡a, Troitskiĭ uezd. 1912. Photo by Sergeĭ I. Rudenko (RĖM 3935-15 a, b). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

Fig. 4.11 A Bashkir from Orenburgskai͡a gubernii͡a, Cheli͡abinskiĭ uezd. 1912. Photo by Sergeĭ I. Rudenko (RĖM 3935-31 a, b). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

Fig. 4.12 A family in a kosh (a mobile summer house of the Bashkirs). Orenburgskai͡a gubernii͡a, Cheli͡abinskiĭ uezd. 1912. Photo by Sergeĭ I. Rudenko (RĖM 3935-163a). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

Rudenko could indeed feel quite satisfied because he was able to present solutions to all the postulated problems. In the first part of his monograph he attempted to describe the common physical-anthropological type of the Bashkirs, but acknowledged the large amplitude of the inter-type differences, which he argued indicated the presence of “several heterogeneous elements” of foreign ethnic groups that had been integrated into the Bashkirs (Rudenko 1916: 276). At the same time, Rudenko identified three basic types corresponding to three geographical settlement regions of the Bashkirs: (1) eastern, (2) southwestern, and (3) northwestern (Figs. 4.10–4.12). The monograph was accompanied by four maps that plotted: (1) Bashkir dachas and kinship groups, (2) pigmentation, (3) head index, and (4) a final map of the “division of the Bashkirs by the physical type”, which showed the distribution of the three aforementioned basic types.

The second part of the monograph, The Way of Life of the Bashkirs (Byt Bashkir), was structured similarly to the article “Ethnographic Characteristics of the Ukrainian People” (Volkov 1916b). Like Volkov’s work, Rudenko’s monograph had twelve chapters and began with descriptions of hunting, animal husbandry, agriculture, and “technology”. These were followed by chapters on food, dwelling, clothing, and transportation. Like Volkov’s paper, Rudenko’s work ended with a chapter on beliefs and the “elements of knowledge”. Rudenko’s only departure from his teacher’s scheme was the presence of sections devoted to family, clan, and social life.

According to Rudenko, the “regional variations of the physical type” and the “variations of the way of life” (variat͡sii bytovye) demonstrated a significant correlation. The three regions identified in the monograph’s first volume also had different cultural and domestic characteristics. The author’s explanation was that “the physical mixing and the cultural interaction of the Bashkirs with the neighbouring peoples were apparently evolving side by side” (Rudenko 1925: 325). Rudenko strongly supported the theory of the Bashkirs’ Turkish origin, since the most “enduring” (stoĭkie) elements of their culture (the cut of their clothing, social structure, and beliefs) belonged, according to him, to the “Turkish cultural world”. The purest forms of these features were preserved by the Bashkirs of the eastern group, he contended, who retained many aspects of the nomadic cattle-breeding way of life. They revealed the connection of those Bashkirs with “their remote relatives — the Kazakh-Kyrgyz people”, while the northern Bashkirs shared many elements with their neighbours — the Finns (Rudenko 1925: 320–25).

In conclusion, Rudenko expressed confidence that “roughly the same regions that we outlined, based on the study of the physical type and way of life of the Bashkirs, will be established through dialectological investigation” (Rudenko 1925: 327). Attached to the monograph were a map of the tribal composition of the Bashkir region compiled by the KIPS, two maps of the localization of cultural (bytovye) elements, and a map of the division of the Bashkirs into regions by cultural (bytovye) elements (Fig. 4.13).

The Bashkirs present an interesting case of the conceptualization of differences in the Russian Empire. According to Charles Steinwedel, there were three main stages of categorization. From the sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth century the Bashkirs were seen as a group of “tribes” and “clans”, united by Islam, a common dialect, and a semi-nomadic lifestyle. In the late eighteenth century, the Bashkirs were recognized as an estate (soslovii͡a) of military landowners analogous to the Cossacks. Finally, by the late nineteenth-early twentieth century, they were described with increasing frequency as a narodnost’ or nat͡sional’nost’. Steinwedel argues that this change reflects the tendency of the late Tsarist regime to promote “the organization of a polity based upon ethnic or national distinctions” (Steĭnvedel 2004; Steinwedel 2000: 80).

The historian and ethnologist Igor’ V. Kuchumov argues that Rudenko’s work played a key role in transforming the Bashkirs “from an estate into an etnos” (Kuchumov 2015: 161). In the process of creating a map of Bashkir ethnic territories, Rudenko reinterpreted Tsarist statistics, effectively transforming the Bashkirs from an “administrative” category into an ethnicity: “Having constructed the Bashkir territory, the etnos itself and “mapped it” [on to the territory], S. I. Rudenko thus for the first time institutionalized borders of the territory, which until this time had existed as an abstract and amorphous substance” (Ibid: 174). When the “Great Bashkirii͡a” was officially created by the decree of the VTsIK5 on 14 June 1922, its territory “astonishingly resembled” the map published by Rudenko in 1916 (Ibid: 178).

Fig. 4.13 Sergeĭ I. Rudenko’s map of the division of the Bashkirs into regions by cultural (bytovye) elements (Rudenko 1925)

At the First Turkological Congress in 1926, Rudenko gave a paper titled “The Current State and Next Tasks of the Ethnographical Studies of the Turkish Tribes”, in which he presented an ambitious research programme and made a series of theoretical observations characteristic of the Volkov school. Starting from the premise that language functioned as the primary uniting factor for the Turks, he demonstrated that:

the language, the culture, and the physical type live their own independent lives, without the seemingly natural links between the elements which we deem essential for every ethnic group (Rudenko 1926: 77).

Having noted that language is the “least resilient of the ethnical characteristics”, Rudenko suggested concentrating on “the basic features of the Turkish physical type and the Turkish household”. He claimed that it was possible to speak of a physical type that is characteristic for the Turks and which manifests itself most vividly in the Kazakh-Kyrgyzes. As the distance from this “center” increased, it was modified by the “metisation”. He also described a generalised type of the “Turkish culture per se”, with cultural features characteristic of nomadic cattle-breeders. Rudenko proposed to “determine the geographical distribution of the individual cultural (bytovye) elements and their combinations in the closed biological units that we call ethnic groups” (Rudenko 1926: 86). This study was to reveal the “provincial and regional groupings” that presumably coincided with the peculiarities of a physical type and dialects. His presentation ended with a reference to exact scientific methods and biological metaphors:

In order to succeed in developing our knowledge about the biology of human societies, the life of ethnic groups, and the factors of their life activity, in order to clarify the evolution of the human culture, we must switch from dilettantism to precise scientific investigation (Ibid: 88).

Rudenko formulated his programme right before the Great Break6 that, among other things, included an “ideological ban on any attempts to link the biological and the social” — a link described by the specially invented term “biologization” (Adams 1990: 184). It is well known that in Soviet ethnography Valerian B. Aptekar’ spearheaded criticism of the terms “etnos” and “culture”, defining them as a result of a “metaphysical hypothesising or biologization”. He proclaimed these convictions at the pivotal Meeting of the Ethnographers of Leningrad and Moscow in 1929 (qtd. in Arzi͡utov, Alymov, and Anderson 2014: 21).

Rudenko was arrested in the summer of 1930 in Ufa, but there is no direct evidence that the repressions against Rudenko were related to his scientific views. The researcher was named in the so-called “academic case” against the All-People’s Union for the Revival of Russia — an organization fabricated by the OGPU,7 based on the testimony forced out of its “founder”, the historian Sergeĭ F. Platonov. Rudenko was charged with the squandering of resources during his expeditions. According to the published materials of the “case”, he denied these accusations throughout the investigation and pleaded guilty only to “shutting himself up within the confines of academism” (Reshetov 1998: 15–16; Tishkin 2004: 126). At the same time, in the scientific institutions where Rudenko had worked, his arrest led to an entire campaign to eliminate the rudenkovshchina (the Rudenko movement) and of uncovering the “class nature” of the Volkov school. The harsh ideological criticism of the “bourgeois heritage” hit many researchers, but in the epicenter of this campaign were Zelenin, Zolotarëv, and Rudenko.

The “Working-Through”

Soon after the momentous Meeting of Ethnographers in April 1929, in August 1929, a campaign was launched at the KIPS to review its tasks and structure that resulted in the reorganization of the KIPS into the IPIN (The Institute for the Study of the Peoples of the USSR). The initial events, which were held under the auspices of the audit of the Academy of Sciences apparatus, did not yet imply tangible consequences,8 although they revealed certain disagreements within the KIPS. The board of the KIPS identified shortcomings in the work of some divisions (in particular, of the Siberian Division and of the KIPS itself that were described in the report of junior researchers Kapitolina V. Vi͡atkina, S. D. Churakova, and S. D. Rudneva to be insignificant and easily redeemable, while some of them were simply implausible (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 9–9v). However, at the meeting of scientific workers on 15 August 1929 (Ibid: 7–8v) and at subsequent meetings of the Economic Bureau of the KIPS, more serious complaints were formulated: the unjustified expansion of the tasks of the KIPS, multiplicity of these tasks, inadequate to the funds and staff, overlapping of the KIPS’s tasks with the tasks of other institutions, specifically, the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (MAĖ) and the Central Statistical Directorate, the “irrelevance” of certain projects to the plans of the KIPS, the absence of a general plan for the KIPS’s “core” activity, as well as the autonomy of the divisions when “each department declared itself an independent republic with its own president” (Vi͡atkina, Ibid: 36).

According to the Resolution of the Commission for the Inspection of the KIPS and MAĖ, “a number of quite significant but derivative defects” (fifteen points) stemmed from two “cardinal shortcomings” of the KIPS — shortcomings of a political and methodological character (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 102–09). The KIPS was charged with having a close relationship with the tsarist regime, with assisting the Provisional Goverment in resolving the “national question”, as well as with the failure to “establish a connection with the needs of the proletarian state”, resulting in the situation that “all the work on studying the ethnographic composition of our country, so necessary for carrying out national zoning and for finding solutions to a number of cultural and economic problems, flowed past the KIPS” (Ibid: 102). The “methodological guidelines” of the KIPS were found to be untenable, while the research work “was not sufficiently developed nor built on the basis of the Marxist methodology” (Ibid: 102). All attempts of Ol’denburg, Zarubin, Zolotarëv,9 Rudenko,10 and others11 to oppose the critics and to refute their allegations turned out to be useless and only intensified the snowballing accusations. As a result, “in connection with the ever-growing need of the USSR to study the national [ethnic] composition of the country and the impossibility of the KIPS, in its present form, to cope with this task”, it was proposed to recognise the KIPS as unnecessary and to reorganise it (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 104). The idea of the reorganization was also supported by the representatives of the “older generation”, including, for example, Nikolaĭ I͡a. Marr, Vladimir G. Bogoraz [Waldemar Bogoras], Petr L. Mashtakov, and others (Ibid: 33, 46).

The causes of the KIPS’s dismantling were not limited to these scientific and methodological issues. The manner in which the discussions of the commission’s weaknesses took place shows that there were targeted actions to change its leadership that eventually turned into the open harassment of the senior researchers and established a new system of organization of scientific institutions. The main targets for this criticism were Ol’denburg (chairman of the KIPS), Rudenko (scientific secretary), and Zolotarëv (head of the European Department) who, according to the anthropologist Boris N. Vishnevskіĭ, had established “imperialism in science”: they headed all the work, oppressed younger employees, and created barriers obstructing the attraction of new workers. In the spirit of the times, the verdict was delivered quite sharply: “A small group captured the command positions in a number of institutions — in the KIPS, in the University, in the Russian Museum, and in the I[nstitute] of Lesgaft — ‘imperialism in science’, [creating] a kind of ‘anthropological and ethnographic trust’” (Ibid: 11).

The lack of proper guidance, “both from the academic secretary as well as from the majority of the departments’ heads”, was also mentioned in the Resolution (Ibid: 103). Ol’denburg, outraged by the distrust expressed to him and the KIPS, resigned from heading the KIPS on 1 October 1929 (Ibid: 34). Rudenko and Zolotarëv were expelled from their posts. The meetings of the early 1930s, according to academic Vasiliĭ V. Barthold, who became indignant at the on-going process, had “the nature of a trial of the activities of the KIPS and its European Department” to which Zolotarëv was invited “only for explanations” (Ibid: 148). In 1930, the KIPS was disbanded and — on the basis of the merger between the KIPS and the MAĖ — the Institute for the Study of Peoples of the USSR was established under the leadership of Nikolai I͡a. Marr.

Fig. 4.14 The Employees of the Ethnographic Department of the Russian Museum on the museum’s stairs, c. 1920s. Rudenko is the second from the left in the first row, Zolotarëv is the forth in the third row (bald-headed) (RĖM IM9-7-1). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

Fig. 4.15 Sergeĭ I. Rudenko and David A. Zolotarëv with members of the Upper Volga expedition in folk clothes. I͡aroslavskai͡a or Tverskai͡a gubernii, 1922–1925 (RĖM IM 12-92). © Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

In May 1931, a series of meetings were held in the Russian Museum (Fig 4.14), where the pupils of Volkov “worked through” (prorabatyvali) their former colleagues. A report on the Volkov school was made by his student Aleksandr A. Miller. He acknowledged its “progressiveness for its time”, but pointed out the “biologism” of the teacher’s views and his purpose to fulfil the “order of the bourgeoisie” (ARĖM 2-1-361: 13). Two of Volkov’s students, archaeologists Mikhail P. Gri͡aznov and Sergeĭ A. Teploukhov, tried to withstand the critical attack, but their formal attitude towards Rudenkos works induced a storm (Khudi͡akov 1931).

The outcome of “working-through” the rudenkovshchina was a resolution in which Volkov and his student Rudenko were declared adherents of the “racial theory”, and the latter was also accused of supporting the migration theory and Great Russian chauvinism. Rudenko’s former colleagues blamed him for organising a group of like-minded individuals in the museum, in the KIPS, and in other institutions that opposed the entrenchment of Marxism and where anti-Soviet sentiments and the “caste closed-ness” reigned (ARĖM 2-1-361: 26–30) (V Metodbi͡uro 1932).

Soon, the accusation campaign spilled onto journal pages where Rudenko’s legacy was characterised as nothing short of “the final scream of the dying class crushed by the iron heel of the proletarian dictatorship” (Bernshtam 1932: 27). According to Aleksandr N. Bernshtam, Rudenko “link[ed] the peculiarities of culture development with the immutable properties of various races” and, by correlating physical type with “cultural (bytovye) elements”, supplanted the materialistic explanations of history with the “supersession of cultures”. Further, he approached the problem of ethnogenesis with a “biologically constructed ethnogroup”, deriving “ethnocreation from the physical properties of races” (Bernshtam 1932: 24).

Sergeĭ N. Bykovskіĭ emphasised Rudenko’s tendency to explain all the changes in the Bashkirs’ culture by their borrowing from other peoples, denying them the capacity for independent cultural creativity. When citing the above-mentioned speech by Rudenko at the Turkological Congress, Bykovskіĭ accused him of adhering to the idea of a unique Turkish culture that was either preserved in a pure form or “faded” under the influence of other cultures (Bykovskiĭ 1931: 7). Identification of the “geographical zones of diffusion of cultural elements among the Bashkirs” was interpreted by Bykovskіĭ as adherence to the theory of cultural circles (Ibid).

In 1932, a volume entitled Ethnography at the Service to the Class Enemy appeared, where the central role was given to the works of Zelenin, Zolotarëv, and Rudenko. The authors, Bykovskіĭ and Mikhail G. Khudi͡akov, assumed that those researchers had served both international imperialism as well as Russian great-power chauvinism. They all allegedly supported a race theory, which was very broadly understood by the critics:

Such are all ethnographic works where any analogy in the culture of two adjacent peoples is necessarily explained by borrowing. At the same time, the borrower is unavoidably the oppressed people and the inculcator of culture — the dominant nation in the country (Bykovskiĭ 1932: 8–9).

Bykovskiĭ presented the establishment of the KIPS as ‘helping the government of a bourgeois imperialistic country in the implementation of its aggressive intentions’ (Ibid: 10). The KIPS was criticised not only for “imperialism”, but also for great-power chauvinism. According to Khudi͡akov, Rudenko’s work was influenced by Alekseĭ A. Shakhmatov — a kadet12 who maintained “great-power views on the unity of the Russian, Ukrainian, and the Belorussian nationalities” (Khudi͡akov 1932: 68). He claimed that the KIPS members consistently adhered to this classification in their works until the end of the 1920s (Ibid).

The issues of methodology, ideology, and politics in the campaign against the “old school” ethnographers made for a volatile mix. Bykovskіĭ criticised Zolotarëv primarily for his studies of the Karels. According to Bykovskіĭ, Zolotarëv’s identification of two “variants” of the Karels (the Russian-Karels and the Finn-Karels) ultimately aligned with the goals of the “old KIPS”, i.e. to the division of the Karel people between the Russian and the Finnish imperialisms. For instance, the article “In the North-Western Karelia” justified the affiliation of the Ukhta region with Finland due to similarities in culture and language (Bykovskiĭ 1932: 13–17). By “tearing” the Karels into two groups, Zolotarëv presumably carried out the “kadet” national policy and attacked the self-awareness (identity) of this people as a whole (Bykovskiĭ 1930: 12).

Khudi͡akov, in his turn, accused Zelenin, Zolotarëv, and Rudenko of Russian great-power chauvinism, equating them to such right-wing conservatives as Timofeĭ D. Florinskіĭ or the racist Ivan A. Sikorskіĭ. Zelenin was declared chauvinist and the follower of Vladimir I. Lamanskіĭ, not only based on his early articles on “inorodt͡sy”, but also his book, East-Slavic Ethnography. According to Khudi͡akov, references to “East Slavs” in Zelenin’s language replaced the old chauvinistic union of the three peoples as Russians, and on the map accompanying the work, “Zelenin with a particular accuracy listed those formerly Hungarian comitats where the ‘Russian language [was] widespread’”. Zelenin’s theory of the “four Russian ethnic groups” was viewed as chauvinistic because it equated the differences between the southern and northern Velikorussians [Great Russians] to that between the Belorussians and Ukrainians. This comparision led to the denial of the literary languages and the political independence of those peoples. The same direction, according to Khudi͡akov, was inherent in Zelenin’s views on the “purity” of the Velikorussian [Great Russian] ethnic group free from the Finnish influences, which also induced a politicised critique by Sergeĭ P. Tolstov (Khudi͡akov 1932: 80–2).

The ideological criticism of the beginning of the 1930s singled out Zelenin, Zolotarëv, and Rudenko as the researchers sharing a common methodology and a hostile ideology. Khudi͡akov even wrote about a “group of S. I. Rudenko — D. A. Zolotarëv”, who practically controlled Leningrad ethnography in the 1920s (Ibid: 69–72). In addition, the critique built upon the statement formulated by Valerian B. Aptekar’ about the practical equivalence of the notions of race, etnos, and nationalism in the ethnographic discourse:

It seems not an incident that this very etnos is nothing more than a projection of the bourgeois nationalism. And not incidentally, such modern terminology as “culture” or “cultural circle” or even “cultural complex” is nothing more than a replacement for the old and rather worn-out notion of “race”’ (qtd. in Arzi͡utov, Alymov, and Anderson 2014: 196).

The alternative was a complete rejection of these terms, based on Marr’s theory: “Neither tribal nor national [masses] exist. This conclusion of the Japhetic theory is indisputable. There exists no tribe, not a single people or a nation, which in their culture and language, in particular, would be a seamless whole (edinoe t͡seloe)” (Bykovskiĭ 1932: 21). That, Bykovskіĭ reasoned, made the studies of borrowings and of the geographical spreading of cultural phenomena meaningless, because an arbitrary choice of “ethnic characteristics” could enable one to “arbitrarily establish the boundaries of the ethnical or national regions in the interests of this or that imperialistic country” (Ibid).


In this article, we demonstrated that the circle of Volkov’s students who first began to use the term etnos was closely connected with the activities of the Commission for Making Ethnographic Maps of Russia (KSEK) and relied on the ethno-geographical research methodology it developed. In 1917, the centre of gravity of the study of the ethnic composition of the population of Russia shifted from the KSEK to the Commission for Studying the Tribal Composition of the Border Regions of Russia, organised in early 1917 under the Academy of Sciences, and after the February Revolution, on 1 April 1917, transformed into the Commission for Studying Tribal Composition (KIPS). The work of the KSEK in those years was hampered by the scarcity of funding, the deaths of its founders (Volkov, Patkanov, Poddubnyĭ, Ukhtomskіĭ, Radlov), as well as a long absence of some members due to World War I and of others because of their involvement in the work of the KIPS (NA RGO 24-102: 14–15). The commission’s activities were carried out at a modest scale and were reduced mainly to the processing of the Malorussian, Belorussian, and a large volume of the Velikorussian questionnaires and the continuation of the Second Division’s bibliographic work.

The KIPS played an important role in the formation of the ethno-territorial division of the USSR in the 1920s and 1930s. By 1929, it had compiled a “List of Peoples of the USSR”, and prepared and published ethnic maps of virtually all regions of the state and about twenty books on ethno-geographical issues (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 14–14v). Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that it included the main figures of the RGO’s13 KSEK and that Volkov’s, Zolotarëv’s, and Rudenko’s students became its key employees, the general methodology of the KIPS was remarkably different from the ideas of the KSEK. The initial intention of the KIPS closely correlated with the activities of the RGO commission: the identification and mapping of the regions where various peoples were settled had to be based on a set of characteristics and be produced “on the basis of the data of language and, in part, religion, cultural (bytovykh) characteristics, and objective self-identity or self-determination of individual peoples, as well as characteristics of their physical types (anthropological data)” (Ob uchrezhdenii 1917: 10). However, later the KIPS created ethnic maps based mainly on census materials (mostly the 1897 census) and other statistical sources (Psi͡anchin 2010: 12); that is, the KIPS returned to the idea of ethnic cartography and to the type of maps that were compiled in the last third of the nineteenth century, with some amendments.

Shortly before its dissolution, according to Rudenko, who became the academic secretary in late 1929, the KIPS hoped to continue the development of the KSEK’s and the Volkov school’s ideas and outlined a serious research plan that included the task of “working out and issuing a classification of the tribal composition of the population of the Union which should be based both on the self-determination of peoples and on linguistic, racial, and cultural (kul’turno-bytovye) attributes” (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 35). However, under the new political and administrative conditions of the early 1930s, this project was not destined to be realised. At the same time, the discussions about the determinants of “nationality” that the KSEK had started led to the adoption by the KIPS of “self-determination”, or self-identification, as the main criterion of “nationality” and of a two-step procedure for defining ethnic identity that had been laid down in the 1926 census (Hirsch 2005: 112; Sokolovskiĭ 2001: 157–84).

Methodologically, the work of the KSEK bears a certain resemblance to the “systemic structuralism” of Pëtr Savitskіĭ and Roman Jakobson. As Sergei Glebov has shown, in the 1920–1930s Eurasianist thinkers identified a specific “Russian science”, whose method of finding regularities and geographical correlations of various phenomena implied “a systemic exploration of interrelationships between different forms of organic and nonorganic nature on the given territory, including humans and their societies” (Glebov 2017: 158). Both scholars attempted to define the unity of Eurasia by mapping geological, geographical, and linguistic characteristics of that space. This method, as Glebov explains, “consisted in comparing data from various disciplines and followed Savitskіĭ’s attempt to put Russian dialects on the map side by side with the lines marking major climatic and orographic changes”(Glebov 2017: 163).

The idea of the geographical correlation of the physical-anthropological, ethnographic, and language characteristics has been most vividly realised in Rudenko’s work. Apparently it was not a coincidence that, in the middle of the 1920s, he urged the staff of the Russian Museum to use the notion of etnos as central to the museum’s work (Hirsch 2005: 196). The emphasis placed in Rudenko’s concept on the “objective” cultural and physical-anthropological characteristics of etnos went against the “constructivist” national politics of the Bolsheviks, which led to the later accusations of biologisation and racism.

It was not until 1950 that Rudenko was able to return to his reflections on etnos. In his sketch “Etnos and Culture”, written in response to Stalin’s works on linguistics, he defined etnos as a people [narod] or a group [narodnost’] demonstrating all the characteristics of a nation and differing from the latter by the “presence of the commonality of the somatic origin of its members, which is not a requirement for a nation” (SPF ARAN 1004-1-40: 1). In 1966, during a discussion at the RGO, he repeated his thesis that “each etnos is distinguished by a specific physical type of its member specimens”, as well as by the commonality of language and culture determined by the ‘landscape conditions, which it inhabits’ (SPF ARAN 1004-1-118: 8).

It is, nevertheless, significant that Rudenko never applied the term etnos to the group he studied most of his life: the Bashkirs. In 1955, a new expanded edition of his monograph was published under the title The Bashkirs: Essays in History and Ethnography. In a newly written chapter on the “questions of ethnogenesis” of Bashkirs, Rudenko, following Stalin, placed his emphasis on language as the determining factor in Bashkir identity. He dated the origin of the Bashkirs as a “united group of tribes” to the beginning of the first millennium AD — the period of the “formation of the Bashkir language” (Rudenko 2006 [1955]: 298, 304). He saw the issue of a “specific physical type”, presumably unifying the etnos, as highly ambiguous. In a single paragraph, Rudenko stated that “a single type, characterictic to all Bashkirs, is out of question” since they formed out of various Caucasian and Mongoloid tribes, but added that “the intermarriage between Bashkir tribes on a relatively limited territory […] facilitated the formation of their relatively unified physical type” (Rudenko 2006 [1955]: 282). In spite of all the diversity of lifestyles of Bashkirs that he documented and their “complicated historical past”, numerous ethnic contacts “neither radically changed their physical type, their language, nor culture (byt)” (Rudenko 2006 [1955]: 304).

Rudenko’s Bashkirs appeared to be both stable and malleable, culturally unified and diverse, physically specific, yet not racially predetermined — that is, a collective that does not fit too well into Rudenko’s own clear and crisp definitions of etnos. Therefore, Rudenko — a “student of Volkov and the teacher of Gumilёv” (Taran 2003) — was able to build a bridge of continuity between the first generation of etnos theoreticians and their followers in the 1960s, bequeathing to them the dilemmas that have been characteristic to etnos thinking from its beginning.

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Archival References

AMAĖ RAN: Archive of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg

AMAĖ RAN K1-8-1: 1. “I[mperatorskoe] R[usskoi͡e] Geogr[aficheskoi͡e] Obshche[st]vo. Komissii͡a po sostavlenii͡u ėtnograficheskikh kart Rossii. II Otdel — Amurskai͡a sekt͡sii͡a. Oprosnyĭ listok № 1”.

ARĖM: Archive of the Russian Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg

ARĖM 2-1-361. Protokoly i materialy po diskussii o roli S. I. Rudenko v ėtnografii, 22 May 1931–29 Jan. 1932. 67 folios.

ARĖM 1-2-386: 121–22. Makarenko, Alekseĭ A.“Podgotovlennai͡a programma dli͡a sobiranii͡a ėtnograficheskikh predmetov sredi tunguzov po r. Katanga (Sr. Tunguzka)”. Prilozhenie k dokladnoĭ zapiske, 13 Jan. 1907.

NA RGO: Scientific Archive of the Russian Geographical Society, St Petersburg

NA RGO 1(1846)-1-8. “Ob izdanii ėtnograficheskoĭ karty Rossii 1846–1847 goda”. 141 folios.

NA RGO 1(1888)-1-16: 35–46. “Godovoĭ Otchёt Otdelenii͡a Ėtnografii [za 1887 god]”.

NA RGO 1(1911)-1-32: 22v–26v. Malorossiĭskai͡a programma.

NA RGO 1(1911)-1-32: 58–58v; 59–59v. Obrazt͡sy obrashchenii͡a popechiteleĭ uchebnogo okruga.

NA RGO 1(1911)-1-32: 75–75v. T͡sirkuli͡arnoe pis’mo direktoram narodnykh uchilishch Vilenskogo uchebnogo okruga.

NA RGO 1(1911)-1-32: 79–79v. Soprovoditel’noe pis’mo N. D. Artamonova Predsedateli͡u Zemskoĭ upravy, 10 Aug. 1913.

NA RGO 1(1911)-1-32: 90–91. “Spravka” o sostoi͡anii rassylki anket, 27 Sep. 1913.

NA RGO 1(1912)-1-17: 78, 79, 82, 83. “Dei͡atel’nost’ II-go Otdela Komissii [po sostavlenii͡u ėtnograficheskikh kart Rossii za 1913–14”.

NA RGO 1(1913)-1-23: 10–11. Makarenko, Alekseĭ A. “Skhema ėtnograficheskikh priznakov, podlezhashchikh anketnomu vyi͡asnenii͡u i nanesenii͡u na ėtnograficheskie karty Sibiri”. Predlozhena. 4 Dec. 1913.

NA RGO 24-72: 7–8. “Sekt͡sii͡a Irkutsko-Zabaĭkal’skai͡a. Oprosnyĭ listok № 1”.

NA RGO 24-72: 9–11. “Sekt͡sii͡a Irkutsko-Zabaĭkal’skai͡a. Oprosnyĭ listok № 2”.

NA RGO 24-72: 14–46. “Oprosnyĭ listok Sibirskoĭ Podkomissii pri Otdelenii ėtnografii IRGO” (“Dli͡a puteshestvennikov”).

NA RGO 24-78: 3. (first pagination) Postanovlenii͡a otdelov o tipakh kart [18 Apr. 1914].

NA RGO 24-78: 53. (first pagination) “Skhema o tipakh zhilishch i postroek podlezhashchikh nanesenii͡u na karty Sibiri i Sredneĭ Azii. Sostavil S. I. Rudenko” [13 Feb. 1915].

NA RGO 24-78: 52. (second pagination) “Skhema k sostavlenii͡u programm o tipakh zhilishch nadlezhashchikh nanesenii͡u na karty Sibiri i Sredneĭ Azii. Predlozhena S. I. Rudenko” [13 Feb. 1915].

NA RGO 24-78: 56–58v. “Zhurnal zasedanii͡a Vremennoĭ komissii pri Otdelenii Ėtnografii I.R.G.O. po obsuzhdenii͡u predlozheniĭ, vnesennykh v zasedanie otdelenii͡a 30/04/1910”, 10 May 1910.

NA RGO 24-78: 59–62v, 64–66, 68, 70v–71, 82–87, 92–93v, 102–02v, 104–05, 115–18, 124–26: Protokoly zasedanii͡a Komissii po sostavlenii͡u Ėtnograficheskikh kart Rossii, 29 Oct. 1910–16 Mar. 1916.

NA RGO 24-78: 76–76v. Zelenin, Dmitriĭ K. “Proekt instrukt͡sii sostaviteli͡u ’Bibliograficheskogo ukazateli͡a ėtnograficheskoĭ literatury o naselenii Rossiĭskoĭ Imperii’, sostavli͡aemogo dli͡a nanesenii͡aa na karty razlichnykh ėtnograficheskikh kategoriĭ”.

NA RGO 24-78: 98. “Zai͡avlenie D[eĭstvitel’nogo] ch[lena] I.R.G.O. A. A. Makarenko”, 8 Feb. 1913.

NA RGO 24-78: 113–14, 127–29, 132–34 Protokoly zasedanii͡y I-go otdela Komissii po sostavlenii͡u ėtnograficheskikh kart Rossii, 29 Apr. 1915–2 Oct. 1917.

NA RGO 24-79: 2–4. “Zasedanie Otdela po zhilishchu i postroĭkam, 3 May 1911”.

NA RGO 24-81: 6–7. Protokol zasedanii͡a Otdelа “Odezhda i ukrashenii͡a” Komissii po sostavlenii͡u ėtnograficheskoĭ karty Rossiĭskoĭ imperii, 18 Apr. 1911.

NA RGO 24-82: 26–28v. Pis’mo D. N. Ushakova S. F. Ol’denburgu, 16 June 1915.

NA RGO 24-82: 29–30. “Uslovii͡a, na kotorykh Moskovskai͡a Dialektologicheskai͡a komissii͡a predostavli͡aet Imperskomu Russkomu Geograficheskomu Obshchestvu izdat’ i eё dialektologicheskui͡u kartu russkogo i͡azyka”, [30 Mar. 1911] (attachment to the letter from D. N. Ushakov to S. F. Ol’denburg, 16 June 1915).

NA RGO 24-82: 31–32v. Ushakov, Dmitriĭ N. “Spisok ukazaniĭ, ne prini͡atykh vo vnimanie pri izgotovlenii poslednego originala (chernogo kontura) karty”, 12 June 1915.

NA RGO 24-82: 39–39v. [Ushakov, Dmitriĭ N.] “Ob”i͡asnitel’nai͡a zapiska k Dialektologicheskoĭ karte russkogo i͡azyka”, [1911].

NA RGO 24-82: 41–45. [Rudnev, Andreĭ D.] Protokol 1-go zasedanii͡a Otdelа i͡azyka Komissii po sostavlenii͡u Ėtnograficheskoĭ karty Rossii, 26 Mar. 1911.

NA RGO 24-82: 62–63. Pis’mo D. N. Ushakova S. F. Ol’denburgu, 2 May 1911.

NA RGO 24-83: 5–8. Zolotarëv, David A. Protokolу zasedanii͡a Antropologicheskogo Otdela Komissii po sostavlenii͡u ėtnograficheskikh kart Rossii, 21 Nov. 1913–10 Mar. 1914.

NA RGO 24-83: 10–11. Rudenko, Sergeĭ A. “Otchёt po komandirovke v Priural’e dli͡a proizvodstva antropologicheskikh izmereniĭ bashkir”, 12 Sep. 1913.

NA RGO 24-83: 12–14. Otchёt o poezdke D. A. Zolotarëva v Novgorodskui͡u gub. letom 1912.

NA RGO 24-83: 17–18. Volkov, Fëdor K. “O dei͡atel’nosti antropologicheskoĭ komissii po sostavlenii͡u ėtnograficheskikh kart”, [after 17 Oct. 1911].

NA RGO 24-102. Makarenko, Alekseĭ A. “Svedenii͡a o dei͡atel’nosti II-go Otdela (Sibiri i D[al’nego] Vostoka) Komissii po sostavlenii͡u ėtnograficheskoĭ karty Rossii pri Russkom Geograficheskom obshchestve”, [after 1917]. 20 folios.

NA RGO 24-105. “Svodki i razrabotki anket. Zapiski k ėtnograficheskim kartam”. 15 copybooks (unknown number of folios).

NA RGO 119-1-35. Rudenko, Sergeĭ A., Mark K. Azadovskiĭ. Sistematicheskiĭ ėtnograficheskiĭ ukazatel’ k trudam puteshestvennikov po Sibiri”, [1923]. 294 folios.

GARF: State Archive of the Russian Federation, Moscow

GARF P.-5787-1-17: 110. Mogili͡anskіĭ, Nikolaĭ M. “Za polveka”, avtobiograficheskai͡a povest’, 1921, 207 folios.

OR RGB: Department of Manuscripts of the Russian State Library, Moscow

OR RGB 10-13-469: 1–4v. Pis’mo S. I. Rudenko D. N. Anuchinu. Parizh, 26 Dec. 1913.

OR RGB 10-13-470: 5–7v. Pis’mo S. I. Rudenko D. N. Anuchinu. Parizh, 16 Nov. 1913.

OR RGB 10-13-472: 10–11. Pis’mo S. I. Rudenko D. N. Anuchinu, 26 Oct. 1915

OR RGB 10-20-138: 19–20v. Pis’mo F. K. Volkova D. N. Anuchinu, 15 Mar. 1911

OR RGB 10-20-138: 25–26v. Pis’mo F. K. Volkova D. N. Anuchinu, 1 Mar. 1915

SPF ARAN: St Petersburg Branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 7–8v. Protokol obshchego sobranii͡a rabotnikov KIPS, 14 Aug. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 9–9v. Zai͡avlenie Sotrudnikov Sibirskogo Otdela KIPS: K. V. Vi͡atkinoĭ, S. D. Churakovoĭ i S. D. Rudnevoĭ v Komissii͡u po proverke apparata Akademii Nauk, [1929].

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 10–12v. “Protokol № 6 Soveshchanii͡a nauchnykh rabotnikov Akademii Nauk SSSR”, 15 Aug. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 14–14v. “Izlozhenie doklada o KIPS D. A. Zolotarëva”, 16 Aug. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 17. Marr, Nikolaĭ I͡A. Dokladnai͡a zapiska Nepremennomu sekretari͡u AN [S. F. Ol’denburgu], 5 Sep. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 22. Otchёt o rabote Kavkazskogo otdela KIPS [1929].

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 23. Otchёt o rabote Turkestanskogo otdela KIPS [1929].

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 24–25. Otchёt o rabote Sibirskogo otdela KIPS za 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 26. Otchёt o rabote gruppy statistov po sostavlenii͡u [illegible] i ėtnograficheskikh kart SSSR [1929].

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 32–34. “Protokol № 1 Zasedanii͡a Ėkonomsoveshchanii͡a pri KIPS, Arkheologicheskoĭ Komissii, Komissii po sostavlenii͡u spravochnika N.R.”, 1 Oct. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 35–35v. Prilozhenie № 1 [Doklad S. I. Rudenko] k Protokolu № 1 Zasedanii͡a Ėkonomsoveshchanii͡a pri KIPS, Arkheologicheskoĭ Komissii, Komissii po sostavlenii͡u spravochnika N.R., 1 Oct. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 36–36v. Prilozhenie № 2 “Polozhenii͡a, vyskazannye Vi͡atkinoĭ” k Protokolu № 1 Zasedanii͡a Ėkonomsoveshchanii͡a pri KIPS, Arkheologicheskoĭ Komissii, Komissii po sostavlenii͡u spravochnika N.R., 1 Oct. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 39–39v. Tematicheskiĭ plan rabot KIPS na 1929–30, 11 Oct. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 40–41v. Perechen’ shtatnykh sotrudnikov KIPSa s perechisleniem vypolnennykh rabot, no date.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 42. “Kartograficheskiĭ Otdel”, 18 Nov. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 43. Kartograficheskiĭ otdel KIPSa: sostav, predlozhenii͡a po rabote, 18 Nov. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 44–44v. Kartograficheskiĭ Otdel Akademii nauk: sostav, predlozhenii͡a po rabote, 18 Nov. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 46. “Zasedanie Prezidiuma i rukovoditeleĭ otdelov KIPS”, 2 Dec. 1929.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 52–55. “Zamechanii͡a na proekt rezoli͡ut͡sii Lokal’nogo Bi͡uro po KIPSu”, no date.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 56–96. Dokumenty, Otchёty, spiski rabot otdelov KIPS.

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 97–97v. Dokladnai͡a zapiska Uchenogo sekretari͡a S. I. Rudenko Nepremennomu sekretari͡u Akademii Nauk SSSR [S. F. Ol’denburgu] [after 24 Oct. 1929].

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 102–09. “Rezoli͡ut͡sii͡a po voprosu o sovremennom sostoi͡anii i neobkhodimykh meroprii͡atii͡akh po reorganizat͡sii KIPS i MAĖ Akademii Nauk SSSR” [9 Dec. 1929].

SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 148–48v. Pis’mo Akad. V. V. Bartol’da v Prezidium IPIN, 22 Feb. 1930.

SPF ARAN 1004-1-40. Rudenko, Sergeĭ I. “Ėtnos i kul’tura”. Zametka, stat’i͡a i materialy k neĭ [after 1950]. 3 folios.

SPF ARAN 1004-1-118: 8–14. Rudenko, Sergeĭ I. “Ėtnos i ėtnogenez (po povodu diskussii v Otdelenii ėtnografii VGO)”. Stat’i͡a [before 1966].

SPF ARAN 1004-1-199. Rudenko, Sergeĭ I. Avtobiografii, ankety, 1918–1965. 20 l.

1 Zemstvo (pl. zemstva) is an institution of local government set up in the course of the Great Reforms of Alexander II in 1864.

2 In March 1915, Volkov wrote to Anuchin about the distribution of the Velikorussian questionnaires and receipt of answers to the Belorussian ones: “Now [they] are receiving answers to the questionnaire on Belorussia and mailing the questionnaire sheets to Velikorussia” (OR RGB 10-20-138: 26).

3 A landed property, held by the Bashkir nobility.

4 The Bibliographical Index was published in the first issue of the Works of the Commission on Making Ethnographic Maps of Russia, that is, it “marked the beginning of the publishing activity of the commission and was a necessary reference source in its work” (Zolotarëv 1916b: xv).

5 All-Russia Central Executive Committee of the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic — the highest legislative, administrative and revising body of the republic.

6 The “Great Break” was the radical change in Soviet politics towards accelerated collectivization and industrialization in 1929.

7 OGPU (The Joint State Political Directorate) under the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR was the secret police of the Soviet Union from 1923 to 1934.

8 See the minutes of the general meeting of the workers of the KIPS at which the report of the Commission on the Audit of the Academy of Sciences Apparatus was discussed (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 7–8v).

9 See remarks and arguments of Ol’denburg and Zolotarëv at the meeting on 15 August 1929 (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 10–12v), at the meeting of the Economy Council (Ėkonomsoveshchanie) on 1 October 1929 (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 32–34); and in the “Statement on the Report on the KIPS by D. A. Zolotarëv” (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 14–14v).

10 On 1 October 1929, at the meeting of the Economy Council under the KIPS, the Archaeological Commission, and the Commission on Compiling the Reference Book [of the Peoples of Russia], Rudenko gave a speech about further goals and the structure of the KIPS (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 35–35v). See also Rudenko’s note to the Permanent Secretary of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR concerning an article in the newspaper Vecherni͡ai͡a Moskva (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 97–97v).

11 See the “Comments to the Project of the Resolution of the Local Bureau on the KIPS” (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 52–55) and a multiplicity of prepared reports about the activities of various departments of the KIPS and of other documents revealing the commission’s connections with other organizations and its participation in different projects (SPF ARAN 135-1-79: 17, 22–26, 39–44v, 56–96).

12 A member of the party of constitutional democrats (kadety).

13 After the 1917 Revolution the Imperial Russian Geographical Society (IRGO) ceased to be “Imperial”.