Monday, May 5, 2014
This is an extra post i did because i found some information dealing with the Moksha culture about social issues they deal with today. One of their main issues is Alcoholism. Drinking alcohol is used as their main form of recreation in specific rural areas. With low wages and more depression, their has been a rise in the consumption of alcohol in the Mordovia region. Another issue that has risen is called Russification. This term describes force by the government to instill Russian language and culture in differing ethnic groups, including the Moksha. This has caused a rapid decline in population for the Moksha that will continue to decline.
Throughout their history, the Moksha culture have primarily stayed in the central Volga regions and Mordovia regions in Russia. There is a small percentage of the Moksha that has migrated to different regions, including the Samara and Penza oblasts in Russia. Besides these, there have been smaller migrations from Russia to Estonia, Kazakhstan, the United States and Australia. These migrations have been primarily due to the need of more resources, depression and terrible winters causing sickness and disease.
In Russia there are a countless number of different species of birds. Exclusively where the Moksha are living i could not find much information about specific types of birds around that area and how they relate to the Moksha culture. I did find an interesting article that talks about pigeons in Moscow which is not far from Mordovia. Last summer there was an epidemic of Pigeons randomly laying dead in the streets. The article describes that the birds were dying from Newcastle disease and salmonellosis. These diseases were causing pigeons to act like zombies, not reacting to humans whatsoever. The reason that the article found the reason for the random occurrence of dead pigeons; they are dirty and stupid birds. Gennady Onishchenko, Russia's chief health inspector, stated, "In the hands of Pablo Picasso, a pigeon became an embodiment of peace, but, in fact, in a sanitary sense, they're one of the dirtiest, stupidest birds there are."
The Moksha culture believes that the world was created by the supreme god Viarde Skai. Viarde Skai created the first humans who could live for 700-800 years and were giants of people that could stand up to 100 yards tall. While their god created the earth the devil named Idemevs stole some sand that created the earth from Viarde Skai. The sand started to grow in the mouth of Idemevs and he had to spit it out, which created the mountains and hills. The Moksha also believed that their was an underworld that was ruled by Mastoratia. As well as believing in an underworld, the Moksha believed that souls of heroes, clan elders and warriors traveled after death to the emerald green isle of Usiya. There they sat at a table with the great King Tusten. Oddly, most Moksha members are Russian Orthodox Christians, while others believe in Lutheranism and Paganism.
The Moksha group make a living through manual labor and low paying jobs throughout the Russian cities near their villages. They live in small wooden houses in villages with no indoor plumbing and just one bathhouse to clean themselves in. Most of the villages have electric power, but resources are scarce. Water is usually obtained from a communal well or a pump. Living conditions are poor with families earning low wages. The buying of consumer goods is very rare, causing the Moksha to depend on themselves for food. Many Mokshans depend on the use of herbal medicines and other home remedies for sickness, which is common in poor living conditions.
The Moksha are located in western Russia, around the Moksha River. This landscape has large, fertile areas with marsh and steppes, which are plains without trees. This area is good for many natural resources, but only when the weather is good. The weather in this region of Russia is very extreme, leading to very cold winters and pretty hot summers. The Moksha tend to live in villages with other Mokshans, creating their own environment surrounded by cities.