Historical memory of ethnos, Ethnonyms - Ethnology

Historical memory of the ethnos

An important role in the ethnic consciousness is played by historical memory, a special role in which is played by information about the joint overcoming of the ancestors of critical situations that often arose in the struggle with other peoples. This is one of those premises on which the members of the ethnos are based on their community. Far from always, as constructivists claim, it is fictitious information created by certain circles, often it is, indeed, the realities of the past. For the United States ethnos, the experience of the Mongol-Tatar yoke, the overcoming of the "Time of Troubles", the reflection of the Napoleonic invasion, the feat of the "Varyag" - Not empty words. It's another matter that this historical reality can be deliberately falsified - "tinted" in a color beneficial to the ethnic consciousness, mythologized, and in this form through particular channels of information can be especially actualized, used by certain circles for their own purposes to call "ethnic hysteria." The historical features of interethnic relations can lead to the fact that the ethnos has an opponent, an ethnos-enemy, the attitude to the representatives of which should be unambiguously negative, although in the practice of specific interpersonal relations this installation is not always followed. As a rule, this hostility is caused by "historical grievances", so on the other hand, ie. on the part of the "offended" ethnos, attitude towards the "offended" can be quite "neutral", but often hostility has a reciprocal character. Such are the relations between Armenians, on the one hand, and Turks and Azerbaijanis, on the other, between Jews and Arabs, Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda and Burundi, etc. However, as practice shows, over time this enmity can weaken and disappear, and a change in the opponent's ethic may occur. So the United Statess in the early XIX century. opposing ethnos were French, then the attitude towards them becomes "neutral"; in the periods associated with the First World War and the Great Patriotic War, the Germans are becoming such an ethnos, but by now the relations between these two peoples have entered a normal course.


The ethnonym - the name of the people - is a material manifestation of ethnic self-awareness. Its necessity presupposes the very existence of ethnic formations: Krivichi, Aztec, Mari, Bakongo and many others. The exception is the population of a number of districts of the oecumene, in part and still standing on a low level of development and leading an active hunting-gathering way of life. It consists of territorially scattered small, loosely connected groups - the Eskimos of the Far North, the pygmies of the basin of the river. Congo, Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert and a number of others. They do not have a common identity and self-name, and the ones given here are given to them from the outside, because the external appearance, culture and a number of other signs testify to their unity. However, in this case, in the absence of a common ethnic identity and common name, each group, usually in the literature defined as a tribe, has its own name, which can be described as ethnonymic. For example, in Bushmen groups such as Kung, Auni, Nusan and others stand out, while the common ethnonym is often of external origin.

There are two types of ethnic names: endoethnonym - the self-name of the people and exoethnonym - the name given to it by other peoples. Often they coincide, differing only in vowels, so the ethnonym United States sounds like in English, Rousse - in German, Rousseau - in Italian, etc. But often they are different, and there may be several exoethonyms for one people. For example, the words saxalineinen - in Finnish, swab - in Serbian, Aleman - in French, tedesco - in Italian they represent the name of one ethnic group - German, as the United Statess call it, while the self-name of this people is "Deutsch". It is possible to give other examples of discrepancies between the ethnonyms of the United States language and their endoethnonymic counterparts: the Kalmyks call themselves "Halmg", the Chinese "Han", the Roma "Rum", the Finns - the Suomi, the Hungarians - the Magyar, Yakuts - saha .

The endoethnonym from the language of this people is sometimes translated as "man", "people", "real people" - such are the names of the "Ainu", "Nivkhi", "Eskimos", "Chukchi", "Mansi", " and many others. It is not by chance that the ethnonyms "Mordva", "Mari" and Udmurts - their composition includes the root "Mr.", that in the language of these peoples means "man", "man". This feature of endoethnonyms reflects such a specific feature of ethnic self-awareness, such as ethnocentrism, in particular, the notion of other peoples as "not human" due to the alleged lack of verbality, i.e. speech, because it is usually not clear to the neighbors. Therefore, sometimes other peoples were given a common name reflecting this view, such as the Greek "barbarians" - muttering or United States Germans - mute & quot ;, t.p. not speaking in our language. The specific ethnic linking of this name is a later phenomenon.

There are other factors that determine the formation of ethnonyms, internal and external & quot ;. As already indicated, these may be the names of the "fathers of the people" - Eastern Slavic tribal name "vyatichi and Radimics occurred, according to the Tale of Bygone Years, from the names of the tribal chiefs Vyatko and Radim. Such a factor may be features of ethnic history: the ethnonym Kalmyk goes back to the Turkic kalmak - "breakaway", since this ethnos originated on the basis of part of the Mongolian tribes who moved to the Lower Volga (self-name "halmg", translated as "part", "rest" - of the same origin). They may be the external appearance of the representatives of the ethnos: the name "pygmies" (from other Greek-elbow ") were given by the Europeans because of their small growth. The ethnonym can be traced back to the geographical peculiarities of the people's habitat: glade (field), drevlyane ("tree" - forest), dregovichi ("shrivel" - bog), Bushmen ("bush" - shrub), etc. Ethnonym "Georgians" ; (self-name "kartveli") is formed from the transformed name of the patron saint of Georgia St. George - Gurdjie, Chechens (self-name "nokhchy") - from the name of the settlement Chechen-Aul, gypsies (self-name "rum") - from "acingganos" (Greek), which means fortunetellers & quot ;, magicians & quot ;.

Of course, the origin of the ethnonym is not always known reliably - how many copies have already been broken about the origin of the name "Rus", which gave rise to the names of United Statess/Great United Statess, Little United Statess, ByeloUnited Statess, Rusyns, but the researchers can not come to a single opinion.

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