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Инфоурок / Иностранные языки / Другие методич. материалы / The realm of authentic values. Сборник текстов и тестовых заданий для аудиторной и самостоятельной работы студентов языковых вузов
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The realm of authentic values. Сборник текстов и тестовых заданий для аудиторной и самостоятельной работы студентов языковых вузов

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Федеральное государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение высшего профессионального образования

«Марийский государственный университет»



Факультет иностранных языков



English



Н.Г. Егошина


THE REALM OF AUTHENTIC VALUES


Учебно-методическое пособие


Для студентов, обучающихся по специальности

050100 «Педагогическое образование» по профилю

«Образование в области иностранного языка»













Йошкар-Ола

2013




УДК 802.0=20

ББК 81.2 Англ-923





Рецензенты:

О.Б. Шестакова, канд. фил. наук, доцент кафедры английской филологии ФГБОУ ВПО «Марийский государственный университет»;

В.Н. Цепелев, канд. пед. наук, зам. директора по УВР «МБОУ Гимназия № 14 г. Йошкар-Олы»



Печатается по решению

редакционно-издательского совета МарГУ




Егошина Н.Г. The realm of authentic values. Сборник текстов и тестовых заданий для аудиторной и самостоятельной работы студентов языковых вузов / Н.Г. Егошина. – Йошкар-Ола: МарГУ, 2013. – 127 с.



Пособие включает семь разделов, в каждом из которых содержатся тексты этнокультурной направленности, задания на понимание прочитанных текстов, а также лексико-грамматические задания и переводные упражнения. Восьмой раздел “Test yourself” содержит перечень вопросов для проверки усвоения фактического материала.

Сборник предназначен для аудиторной и самостоятельной работы студентов языковых вузов, для самостоятельной подготовки выпускников общеобразовательных школ, лицеев, гимназий к итоговой аттестации, а также в помощь преподавателям и методистам, использующим в своей работе тестовый способ контроля знаний.




© Егошина Н.Г., 2013

© Марийский государственный

университет, 2013

Содержание



  1. Предисловие …………………………………………………………………. 4

  2. Раздел 1. Марийская живопись и архитектура ……………………………..5

  3. Раздел 2. Марийская литература ………………………………………… 28

  4. Раздел 3. Марийская музыка и танцы …………………………………… 53

  5. Раздел 4. Марийские народные промыслы ………………………………. 76

  6. Раздел 5. Марийская национальная кухня ……………………………… 103

  7. Раздел 6. Марийские праздники и традиции, мифы и легенды ………. 112

  8. Раздел 7. Проверь себя …………………………………………………….137

  9. Литература ………………………………………………………………….140


Предисловие



Данное пособие адресовано всем, кто интересуется английским языком. Оно может быть полезно студентам языковых вузов для дальнейшего развития навыков чтения и совершенствования лексико-грамматических навыков по теме «Моя малая Родина – Республика Марий Эл». Пособие может быть использовано выпускниками средних общеобразовательных и специализированных школ, лицеев и гимназий для определения уровня владения английским языком и установления степени подготовленности к сдаче Единого государственного экзамена по английскому языку; а также всеми, кто изучает английский язык самостоятельно.

Пособие состоит из семи разделов, каждый из которых включает ряд текстов для чтения с полным пониманием прочитанного и тексты для извлечения основной информации, а также задания для повторения видовременных форм глаголов и задания на словообразование. Раздел 8 содержит вопросы для контроля усвоения фактического материала по темам.

Интересен, на наш взгляд, подбор текстов. Они содержат богатый материал этнокультурного характера: знакомят с особенностями национальной культуры, с марийскими традициями и обычаями, особенностями мировосприятия; а также с жизнью, творчеством, общественной деятельностью известных марийских писателей и поэтов, художников и скульпторов, музыкантов и композиторов.

Надеемся, что тексты и задания окажутся интересными и помогут расширить, упорядочить и закрепить знания по английскому языку.

Unit 1. Mari painting and architecture

Ex. 1. Read the text and fill in the gaps with the necessary word-forms.

The Mari painters

Many Mari painters devoted their masterpieces to the theme of the Great patriotic war.

B. I. Osipov made an important … (1) to the … (2) of the Mari Art during the years of the war. In his painting “The Mari women are giving out their silver decorations to the … (3) Fund” he depicted the … (4) level of patriotism of the ordinary people. In his other canvas “The women-patriots from Sernur” we can see the soldiers marching … (5) the street of Sernur, the … (6) center. In the foreground – the young Mari girls … (7) in military uniform with rifles in their hands. The painter … (8) depicted the atmosphere of the hard war-time which demanded … (9) both from men and … (10).

The topic of war also … (11) in the canvases painted by another Mari artist B. M. Kozmin. In his pictures “Lieutenant Enkin”, “The soldiers’ bathhouse”, “The earth-house”, “The soldiers at rest” we can … (12) feel the author’s desire to convey the … (13) of every day way life.



1. to contribute

2. to develop


3. to defend

4. height

5. long

6. to locate

7. a dress

8. a skill

9. a hero

10. a woman

11.dominant



12. easy

13. to imagine


Ex. 2. Fill in the gaps with the appropriate words.

A. I. Butov was a five-year-old boy … (1) the war began. It went through his childhood leaving terrible reminiscence for… (2). That’s … (3) his first picture “Heavy thoughts” (1962) seems … (4) autobiographical. In the foreground we see a boy and a man sitting … (5) on a bench. The man lost his right leg at war. But it’s clear … (6) his personal drama didn’t break his will to live. In this or … (7) way he resembles Andrey Sokolov, the main character in Sholokhov’s story “The fortune of a man”. The author wants to underline the strength of the hero who has come back to his native land and who feels responsibility ... (8) the future life of this single boy and the ... (9) country. The artist tries to depict the main idea of the canvas not through the direct action … (10) through the inner world of the man. Feeling great sympathy … (11) the characters, creating the definite psychological mood, the painter portrays the sincere image… (12) the Russian soldier.

  • Choose the most appropriate heading for the text:

  1. A favourite canvas

  2. A strong character

  3. The first picture about the war

  4. A.I. Butov – a famous Mari artist


Ex. 3. Open the brackets using the appropriate form of the verb.

Famous Mari artists about the war

Z. F. Lavrentyev (1. to create) a big portrait-gallery of his fellow-countrymen – veterans of the Great patriotic war. The impressive images of women (2. to depict) in the paintings “Twice a widow” (1961), “Gloves for the soldiers” (1975). The most emotional (3. to be) his picture “Here the soldiers died” (1970). One can’t help (4. to cry) looking at the pictures “The sacred land” and “The monument to the war” (1967).

I. V. Efimov (5. to be born) after the war in 1946. Before he (6. to take up) the military theme, he (7. to study) a lot of official documents, articles, private letters. In 1979 he (8. to finish) the picture “Are seeing off to the front”. In the hall where it was exhibited the large canvases (9. to cry) by the voices of the wounded or dying soldiers; the mines and shells (10. to explode) loudly, the bullets (11. to whistle) terribly. But the painting of the young Mari artist (12. to attract) the viewers by the piercing silence. No death, no blood, no moans (13. to depict) there. Near the village fence the relatives are seeing off a young man to the front. On their sorrowful faces we can (14. to see) both pain and hope, grief and belief in the victory. In harmony with their feelings (15. to paint) the dead sky, the stunted grass, the broken country-road. Everything (16. to unite) into one strict solemn melody – the hymn to the future victory.

  • Try to find the reproductions of the pictures mentioned above. Describe one of them in detail.

  • Find some more pictures devoted to the theme of the Great patriotic war. Organize a class art exhibition. Try to be a guide in this gallery.


Ex. 4. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

War monuments and sculptures in the Mari Streets

The farther in the past are the events of the Great patriotic war the more we understand the significance of the heroic deeds of the Soviet people who saved the world from fascism.

The battle fields have become the cornfields again. Time has ploughed the former trenches and ditches but it is impossible to reduce people’s memory about our brave and staunch compatriots. The names of the heroes of that war are immortalized in the monuments, memorial boards, in the names of the streets, villages, cities. In such a way people revere the memory of the Mari fallen heroes.

In Yoshkar-Ola there are streets named after Z. Prokhorov, S. Suvorov, M. Lebedev, N. Ryabinin, A. Yanalov, K. Serov, A. Shumelev, V. Solovyov, Kh. Khasanov, K. Kutrukhin; in the city of Volzhsk – Z. Prokhorov; in Sernur - A. Yanalov; in Yurino – K. Kutrukhin; in Kokshaisk – M. Kologrivov; in Paranga – Kh. Khasanov, A. Gaisin.

The streets are marked with memorial boards. In 1975 a memorial plaque was placed on the building where the Writers’ Council sits. Here you can read the names of 27 writers who lost their lives in the fronts of the Great patriotic war.

On the building of the railway station you can watch the memorial plaque devoted to Kh. Khasanov; on the building of the Mari Teachers’ Training Institute – a memorial board in honour of V. Arkhipov.

There are also a lot of monuments which glorify heroism of the Soviet warriors. On 17 July 1971 a war monument was unveiled in Zvenigovo, near School № 1. It is in honour of teachers and students who participated in the Great patriotic war. On the pedestal you can see a young soldier in a greatcoat and a field cap. In his hands he is holding a gun and a half-read book. He is staring at the Volga-River. He looks as if he has just stood up from behind the school desk; has taken the gun and is going to defend his Motherland.

In Medvedevo there is a monument “Mother’s departure with her son” (the author – V. Kozmin). In the 4-metre figures of Mother and her son the architect expressed not only the sadness of the moment, but also the firm belief in our victory over fascism.

In 1973 in Orshanka was opened a monument called “The monument to Mother in grief”. The architect V.M. Kozmin created the image of Mother who is crying over the dead sons. The sculpture “Widows” (architect G. Medvedeva) was erected in Kilemary in 1977. It is devoted to all women who lost their husbands during the war. In 1970 in Yoshkar-Ola was put the monument – bust to a courageous nurse Olga Tikhomirova. In Kozmodemyansk at the bottom of Pugachev’s Hill, high above the Volga is raised a 22-metre tall obelisk built in honour of those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of victory (1975, the author V. Ivanov). In Volzhsk in the central park you can see a 13-metre tall stele (1971, V. Druzhinin). The monument embodies the sorrow about the fallen heroes – fellow-countrymen.

In 1980 in Morky the list of the fallen fellow village men and the letter to the descendents were placed into the pedestal of the monument. The capsule will be opened in 2045. On 5 November 1973 a Monument of Military Valour (author A. Shirnin) was unveiled in Yoshkar-Ola. The monument is carried out in granite, concrete and forged copper. The 20-metre-high pylon is crowned with the figure of a soldier. His highly-raised hand with a sub-machine gun in it, the fluttering water-proof cape-tent behind his back give the image the more heroic character. In this monument the author embodied the idea of heroism of the Soviet people, the high feeling of civic courage and pride for our Motherland.

The monument “Eternal Fire” and the Alley of Heroes are attached to the Memorial Complex (author – N. Vedernikov). At all-Russia exhibition of war monuments in 1975, the Memorial Complex in Yoshkar-Ola was recognized among the best. The architects were awarded with gold and silver medals.

The memory of the fallen soldiers is sacred. “It is necessary not for the dead, it is important for those who are alive”, wrote a famous poet R. Rozhdestvensky. And it is really so. Our duty is to pass the truth about that war to the succeeding generations.

  • Fill in the table

    The name of the monument

    The author

    The description of the monument

  • Retell the text in your own words.


Ex.5. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Zosim Lavrentyev – a prominent Mari artist

To look at Z. Lavrentyev’s canvases is very pleasant but to learn his creativity is a complicated matter as the world on his paintings is many-sided and volumetric. The painter depicts the people of the Mari village, the war veterans, the scenes of the Mari nature. All his canvases are united by one, vividly expressed motif – love for his native land. This feeling dates back to his childhood, when as a boy he used to live in the country, admired the modest rural landscape, the green spring grass, the apple and cherry trees in blossom, the clean springs at the bottom of the ravines by which his native village is surrounded. He always liked the coolness of the transparent streams, the shadow of branchy willows bending above the water, the aroma of meadow herbs and flowers, the free vast space of the Mountain Mari Land.

Zosim Fyodorovich was born on 6 April 1933 in a small Mari village Esyanovo on the right bank of the Volga. His Dad was often out, he built roads, served in the army, participated in the war. It was his Mum who taught children to work – to work hard and honestly.

In summer evenings, when the day noise got quitter, Zosim together with his brother Mephody liked to watch the sky. They believed it was very unusual. Hardly had a cloud appeared, it transformed into an animal or a magic creature. Sometimes the boys acted short performances: their imaginary heroes became alive and started to move. The boys believed into a magic ward and while running along the road or the meadow, they tried each and every twig: would it realize their deepest wishes and desires?

So, brothers’ life was closely interlaced with a fairy-tale and probably since that time Zosim’s unlimited imagination woke up his interest to the world of colours and images and let him see something that can’t be seen by every man. Later it was expressed in his paintings. For all his life Zosim remembered the calm nights under the full Moon, the birds’ songs, the croak of the goggle-eyed frogs, the tender sighs of a summer breeze and the long sirens of the steamboats going along the Volga River. And the smell of a smoke which was coming from the Mari summer kitchen “kudo” where his favourite milk soup with vegetables was cooking.

In 1965 Z. Lavrentyev painted his first canvas as a professional artist. It was entitled “Holiday in the Mari village”. It attracted the attention of the spectators and critics at once. The picture has a very fair and cheerful palette and due to it makes an impression of moral purity. It is very emotional and we can compare it to a beautiful poem. Looking at the canvas you feel the strong desire of the author to characterize each person brightly, realistically; to create an unforgettable image.

The vortex of pink, yellow, blue, white national dresses and multicoloured aprons catch the spectator’s eye immediately. The girls are whirling in a dance. In front of us there are special people: after hard work in the field or on the farm they are full of bright kind feelings. You can notice various faces: sun burnt, weather-beaten, naughty jolly eyes and broad smiles. But especially expressive is a delicate face of a young girl with psaltery in her hands in the left part of the canvas. The artist has created an amazingly exact image: a pretty oval face, the sparkling black eyes and snowy white cambric kerchief. She looks as if the author himself is impressed by her beauty, charm and purity. Her romantic image gives the holiday some extra exultant force.

Zosim Lavrentyev managed to find such a complex and rich combination of colours in his painting. The golden hue of cozy and quiet dry autumn covers the dancers with its last warmth, the white trunks of the birch trees are in full harmony with white and blue colours of the clothes. Tender pastel colours intensify the atmosphere of a holiday. So the painting is very emotive but at the same time it conveys the inner world of the people, such qualities of national mentality as the spirit of freedom and ethnic self-consciousness.

  • Answer the questions:

  1. Where and when was Zosim Lavrentyev born?

  2. Who in the family was responsible for his upbringing?

  3. Was Zosim a dreamy person in his childhood?

  4. He developed his artistic imagination since his childhood, didn’t he?

5. When did Z. Lavrentyev paint his first canvas as a professional artist?

6. Can we compare the canvas “Holiday in the Mari village” to a beautiful poem?

7. Whom did the painter depict in the picture?

8. What gives the holiday in the painting some extra exultant force?

9. What intensifies the atmosphere of a holiday?

10. Does the picture convey the inner world of the people?

11. All his canvases are united by one, vividly expressed motif, aren’t they?

  • Read the text again and try to describe the picture “Holiday in the Mari village” in detail. If possible, try to find its reproduction, then add some details not mentioned in the text.

  • Find some more canvasses by Z. Lavrentyev and describe the one you like most.


Ex.6. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Zosim Lavrentyev: Portrait of Mother

Z. Lavrentyev, a prominent Mari painter, works a lot in the genre of portrait. The heroes of his canvases are people of labour. They attract us by their beauty and nobleness, moral purity and their unlimited ability to work. Z. Lavrentyev was one of the first artists who presented his native village with a collection of his paintings. They made the foundation of the local Museum of Military and Labour Glory. Among his paintings is the portrait of his mother (1970), whose light and lyrical image is especially dear for the author.

In the portrait one can feel home warmth and particularly cozy atmosphere, which immediately influences the viewer. In the foreground we can see Christina Matveevna who’s got a bit tired and is sitting on the edge of the bed, having a short rest from the household worries. The woman is wearing a light dress with the flowery pattern; her head is covered with a white kerchief.

There is something supernatural, heavenly in the image of the old woman; her kind round wrinkled face seems to be lighted up by her son’s brush. But in front of us is sitting not an angel, but the real woman who has lived a complicated life. Merry lights are burning in her eyes; the inner beauty of the woman is reflecting in the simple expression of her face. Her hands are resting on her knees; toil-hardened from hard continuous work; they are with large, like old roots, knots which testify to the fact that the woman has had a difficult fate, typical for many women of that generation. The author makes the viewers worship these firm strong industrious hands. They convey the main philosophy of our life; they are the symbol, the main criterion in evaluating people and their achievements.

The white dress with blue flowers, the light green pillows, the hand made patchwork blanket, wallpaper of golden hue on the walls of the room create the major and cheerful sounding.

The portrait is placed in the very centre of the artist’s workshop and is framed with fifty silvery metal bells which were given to the painter by his friends on his 50-th birthday.

  • Complete the table with the proper adjectives and nouns.

Adjective

Noun

pure

purity

able



location


glory

natural


beautiful


wise



difficulty

typical



expression


Ex.7. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Ivan Yamberdov – a bright representative of the Mari Art

One of the brightest representatives of the national painting is Ivan Yamberdov, a member of the Union of Painters of Russia, the Honoured Worker of Arts, Mari State Prize Winner.

I. Yamberdov is a monumental artist not only according to his education but according to his mentality as well. The very soul of the ancient Mari culture is talking to us today with the help of Yamberdov’s canvases!

First of all, we are impressed by the choice of colours in his paintings. He is a great colourist and it is specific coloring that carries powerful emotional influence to the viewers. Yamberdov becomes the means of learning and expressing the ethnic feelings and emotions: troubled, gloomy, anxious with dazzling flashes of hope and light as the signs of the coming truth, self-identity, self-possession and self-realization.

In his pictures “Lilac in blossom”, “Near the old oak-tree”, “The red mountain ash” we often meet the characteristic Mari archetypes: a horse, an owl, a sacred tree, cosmic luminaries. The sacred tree acquires the oecumenical sense. The artist places it into the center of his composition, motivating it by the fact that it represents the axis of the world, its position in the center provides us with balance and stability of the Universe. This image is the key image in the Mari culture, connected with the forest, found its harmony exactly in the conditions of a forest zone. The Mari language itself sounds like the rustle of the foliage.

In the canvas “The oak-trees” the artist depicted a real grove, which came from the reminiscences of his childhood. But in this concrete case it has deep universal meaning. Along the skyline, past the grove the horses are tearing at a mad pace as well as the time itself is rushing in spite of everything.

The idea of the inexorable cruelty of the time is proved by the position of the trees in the picture – at first we see the trees – young, slender, reaching the clouds in the sky; then – mature trees: firm, strong, but not very high; and at last, near the edge – an old, crooked, almost branchless, dying tree. The unhappy thought of transience of a human life comes into mind. But at the same time w have hope for revival. The old oak-trees in the pictures “The Land of Forefathers” (1990), “The Distance of Memory” (1986) are not so lonely. Next to them we can see young full of energy trees, stretching to the sunlight.

In a number of paintings we can observe the appearance of a sacred image – a white horse. In the canvas “The White Horse” (1993) the central place is occupied by an old tree with dry branches. In the crown of the tree there is an owl’s nest (an owl – a symbol of wisdom) and in the heart of the tree is shining a star. From inside the tree, towards the spectators is coming out a white horse. This mysterious event is being lit up by the Moon, the keeper of all unconscious.

The image of this beautiful animal so important for the Mari culture was the leading theme of the grandiose personal exhibition of the artist. It was organized under the title “The Horse Herd” in July 2002. It is necessary to mention the colours of the horses in Yamberdov’s paintings. If in early works of the realistic period everything is quite obvious and clear, then since the 1980-s the colours have got symbolic content. They are red and white, the colours that bring nearer the artist to the traditional Mari colour gamut.

  • Write down the plurals: a representative, a soul, a viewer, a horse, a symbol, a star, a tree, an owl, a branch, a heart, an image, an edge, a key.

  • Write down the degrees of comparison: bright, great, anxious, powerful, strong, slender, high, mysterious, beautiful, traditional, important.

  • Write out the words which describe the colours, the sacred Mari images, the meaning of these images.

  • Make up 15 questions to the text.

  • Work in pairs. Answer each other’s questions. Consult the text if necessary.

  • Retell the story as close to the text as you can.

Ex.8. Write to your English pen- friend about a famous Mari painter with whom you got acquainted last year. Render the interview he gave to you in English.

Интервью с марийским художником Б.И. Тарелкиным

Расскажите немного о себе. Есть ли у Вас художественное образование? Давно ли Вы пишете картины?

- Я родом из Краснодарского края, после учебы в Художественной школе в 1971 году приехал в Марий Эл по направлению. Начал писать картины с конца 70-х годов.

Помните ли Вы свою первую картину?

- Да, конечно. Первой серьезной картиной стала работа, которую я назвал «Предзимье». Это был пейзаж.

Какие звания Вы имеете?

- Я получил звание Заслуженного художника Марийской Республики.

Как началось творчество на военную тематику?

-Я начал рисовать портреты ветеранов с натуры. Для этого, я созванивался с ними, договаривался о встрече, при встрече слушал их рассказы, чтобы «вложить душу» в картину, и только затем я писал их.

Когда Вы начали выставлять свои работы?

- С конца 70-х годов, я ездил по домам творчества России. Так я побывал в доме творчества Горячий Ключ, где и были выставлены несколько моих работ. Так же раньше существовала выставка под названием «Военный поток: Дом творчества Академическая Дача». Там я писал картины на военную тематику.

Как Вы работали над своими картинами?

- Работало нас несколько художников. В основном мы писали картины зимой, по 2 месяца. Руководили нами заслуженные художники с Военной студии им. Грекова. В основном эти работы проходили на Всесоюзные выставки, проводимые в городах Москва, Волгоград и др.

Есть ли у Вас любимые художники, работы которых вдохновляли Вас или просто заставляли восхищаться?

- Думаю, что большое влияние на мое творчество оказали работы московских художников Н.И. Соломина, В. Дмитриевского, Е. Корнилова.

Что вдохновляет Вас и влияет на Ваши работы?

- С детства я жил в тех местах, где прошла война, поэтому, я вспоминал свои детские годы и писал картины.

Считаете ли Вы, что тема войны со временем забудется? Каким Вы видите будущее для художников пишущих на тему войны?

- Война – кровавый след в истории нашей страны и он никогда не будет забыт. Но понимание уже притупилось. Молодежь видит войну другими глазами. Конечно, есть хорошие картины – автор сопереживал, когда писал ее. Но встречаются и такие, что сразу видно - написано без души. К таким картинам я отношусь отрицательно.

Когда была написана последняя картина на военную тему?

- Последней картиной, я считаю полотно под названием «Народный маршал», написанное в 1995 году. После нее, выставки стали малочисленными, вследствие чего, я постепенно переключился на другие темы.


Ex.9. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Boris Sergeevich Pushkov – a distinguished Mari painter

Boris Sergeevich Pushkov (born in 1931) is the Honoured Art Worker, State Prize Winner (1976). He was one of the founders of the Mari regional department of the Painters’ Union of Russia. Hs canvases entered the “gold fund” of the Mari painting. His canvas “Privolzhie” (“Near the Volga River”) (1959) was the result of long-term creative search and the first Mari landscape, which was presented at the prestigious exhibition of the country – “Soviet Russia” (1960).

The author tried not only to depict the condition of the nature, but to express the mood of the soul, to create the integral artistic image. When you look at the painting, you see the magnificent panorama of the Mari land. The landscape is represented from the top, from a bird’s-eye view. The composition of the picture consists of the classical triangle. In its apex – a train, pulling the platforms with wood. From the top to the edges of the picture go the rays: on the left – a highway with a great amount of cars, on the right – a thick stripe of forest.

Yellow-greenish canopy of the young birch-trees, the blue sky with transparent white clouds, the emerald verdure of the winter crops – all this gives birth to the feeling of freedom, symbolizes the triumph of life. The light puff of smoke of the steam locomotive is floating over the train and, merging with the clouds, organically enters the canvas’s space. The painting embodies the intensive rhythm of the country life in the late 1950-s. At the exhibition “Soviet Russia” the painting “Privolzhie” was in the center of attention.

The Volga-River often drew the artist’s attention, and he created such pictures as “Near the Big Volga” (1961), “Above the Volga” (1961), “Mother Volga” (1967). In these masterpieces you can easily hear the anthem to the mighty river and see its power. The logic of the composition is clear, intensive cold violet-blue gamut makes the sublime image. Nature is depicted like something grandiose, powerful in its essence, unconquered by the will of a man.

The landscapes painted by Pushkov are characterized by particular emotionality, touching trustworthiness. Among them “Autumn Forest” (1969), “Autumn” (1966), “Spring at the Ilet River” (1970), “April Azure” (1971), “Morning” (1966), “Evening” (1969), “Gloomy Day” (1971). The painter skillfully re-creates the state of each day and each season. Despite the variety of motifs, they all have something in common: the features of majestic solemnity. The author uses the high point of view, which allows to show boundless vast open spaces of the country. The main role is played by the sky. It is a musical key, which gives to each canvas its own character and expresses the definite state of nature.

Very expressive is the painting “Elnet” (1967). The calm facial expression of the heroine, her tender smile, attentive and careful look testify to the kind character of the girl. Her image personifies the Mari ideal of the female beauty.

The picture “The Harvest Festival” (1969, new variant – 1972) shows the life of the Mari people in much wider aspect. In the middle – a grey-haired noble old man, next to him – energetic, carried away by music, middle-aged man with black hair and a beard. Near them – a young boy who is ready to dance to the tune, performed by the Mari bagpipers. The canvas gives an idea of the Mari folk art with its national embroidery and home-made clothes; it also conveys the peaceful mood of the farmers during the traditional holiday of the harvest.

Later the panoramic Pushkov’s landscapes were replaced by the pictures with more chamber character. Such works as “White May” (1978), “Winter Morning”, “March Evening” (1979), “Silence” (1980), “Motherland” (1981), “Morning Dew” (1982) absorbed in themselves new qualities – lyricism, inner trepidation, elegiac mood. Looking at them you feel the flowers’ aroma, the herbs’ scents; you are imbued with deep love for nature.

Sonorous painting, richness of colours, emotional pungency put B.S. Pushkov’s canvases among the most remarkable works of art. Ambitious and energetic, Pushkov once fell in love with art, beauty of the Mari Land, and he tries to make us, the viewers, feel and think the same.

  • Translate the text into Russian using the dictionary.


Ex.10. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

P. Shaberdin – a famous Mari sculptor

Shaberdin Philip Pavlovich (1914-1979) was born in the village of Mushka (Sernursky Region). In 1939 he graduated from the Teachers’ Training College in Sernur. He participated in the Great patriotic war. He entered the art world as a folk craftsman, a woodcutter. He didn’t copy the plots of the fairy-tales, but created his own interpretations. In 1964 he became the member of the Union of Painters of the USSR.

Let us have a look at his composition “Mushrooms” carved from wood. At first sight it causes only a kind smile. But if you study it more attentively, you will see a picture from our current life.

Orange-cap boletus looks smart. He is a real show-off. He is a dedicated follower of fashion. But behind this mask you can feel selfishness and narrow-mindedness.

Brown-cap boletus is looking at him and is shaking his head. He feels sorry for people who have lost simple politeness and elementary decency. Brown-cap boletus is a symbol of man’s conscience.

The most important character is Edible boletus. He is staying apart from the rest of the group. He is round, with a double chin, little swollen eyes and thick lips. He is pompous as he occupies a high social position.

A female character is embodied in the image of a toadstool. Though she is snobbish and very proud of herself, in her empty eyes a spectator can easily read unlimited boredom and loneliness.

A morel finishes the composition. He is indifferent and the expression of his face asks: “What can I do?”

So the author criticizes the situation in society, he demonstrates both great artistic abilities and high moral qualities, and civil courage.

During the last years of his life the artist was working at the sculpture called “Forest fairy-tale” (1976). It is displayed in the Museum of the Applied Arts in Yoshkar-Ola”. This little in size composition is full of various characters. You can watch it for a long time, can “read” like a fascinating book. On the high trunk of the tree you can find the figures of birds and animals – an owl, a bear, an elk with large branchy horns. Among the real forest inhabitants you can meet fabulous images of Swamp Hostess, various forest spirits.

While looking at these figures it seems to you that they become alive and start moving. The author brilliantly conveyed the birds’ feathers, the fluffy fur of animals, the uneven roughness of the tree bark. The central place in the composition is occupied by an old man – a musician. He is playing the reed-pipe. Thanks to the painter’s will, he’s turned into a forest wonder: his eyebrows are grey and thick, his eyes look wise and kind. Even the long beard doesn’t frighten you. The reed-pipe is playing and the gloomy forest is being transformed: birds, animals, spirits are becoming kinder, more human and beautiful.

  • Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the given word.

1. Shaberdin Philip Pavlovich (1914-1979) was born in the village of Mushka (Sernursky Region). birthplace

His ________________ the village of Mushka (Sernursky Region).

2. He participated in the Great patriotic war. to take part

He ______________ in the Great patriotic war.

3. He is a dedicated follower of fashion.

He ____________ the latest fashion. to follow

4. He is a real show-off.

He is fond ___________. to show off

5. Brown-cap boletus is a symbol of man’s conscience.

Brown-cap boletus __________ the man’s conscience. to symbolize

6. Among the real forest inhabitants you can meet fabulous images of Swamp Hostess, various forest spirits.

Among the real forest inhabitants can________________ fabulous images of Swamp Hostess, various forest spirits. to meet

7. It seems to you that they become alive and start moving.

They ____________ to become alive and start moving. to seem

8. The author brilliantly conveyed the birds’ feathers, the fluffy fur of animals, the uneven roughness of the tree bark.

The birds’ feathers, the fluffy fur of animals, the uneven roughness of the tree bark ­­­­­­­­­­­­________________ brilliantly by the author. to convey

9. A musician is playing the reed-pipe.

The reed-pipe _________ by the musician. to play

10. The gloomy forest is being transformed.

The musician’s music helps the forest _______________. to transform

  • Describe the composition “Mushrooms” using the key words: smart, selfishness, feels sorry for, a symbol of, pompous, is embodied in, is proud of, the expression of his face, criticizes, high moral qualities.


Ex.11. Read the instructions and do the tasks.

1. Be a designer! Create a model. Read the text about the Mari painter and sculptor Ph. Shaberdin. Pay special attention to the description of his composition “Mushrooms”. Try to create your own model “Mushrooms”.

The procedure:

  1. Prepare a sheet of cardboard and some plasticine.

  2. Cut a base from a piece of the cardboard. Cover it with green plasticine.

  3. Take a piece of yellow plasticine. Make a mushroom’s “leg”: first make a ball, then give it a “pear-like” shape.

  4. Take a piece of brown plasticine. Make a ball. With the help of a thread divide it into two parts. Each part will be the mushroom’s “head”.

  5. In the centre of each “head” make a hollow and fix a “leg” here.

  6. Place all the mushrooms on the base.

  7. Use dry herbs, moss, twigs, seeds to decorate the whole model, to make it look more realistic.

  8. Design the appearance, the expression of the “face”, the posture of each mushroom according to the text.

2. Be a reporter! You’ve just visited an art exhibition. Write an article to the local newspaper about your impressions.


Ex.12. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Picture Gallery in Kozmodemyansk

The Museum of Regional Studies in Kozmodemyansk was founded in 1919 and is named after A.V. Grigoryev, a Mari artist and the founder of the Museum and the picture gallery.

It happened so that the artists of Kazan organized a mobile art exhibition in 1918. The exhibits were put on board the steamer and were intended to be taken to different towns and cities situated on the banks of the Volga and the Kama. But the Civil War broke out and the mobile art exhibition remained in Kozmodemyansk. Later it gave rise to the foundation of the Museum of Regional Studies. A. Grigoryev paid attention to the canvases of the Russian painters of the XIX century which were kept in the department of people’s education of the town. Soon all the 40 canvases became the property of the town.

Now the Art Gallery contains pictures by many distinguished Russian masters, among whom one can’t but mention Brullov, Aivazovsky, Levitan, Korovin, etc. Besides canvases belonging to the brush of the Mari painters – Grigoryev, Lavrentyev, Efimov are displayed in the Art Gallery too.

A considerable part of the works of the Art Gallery is represented by canvases painted by Nikolay Ivanovich Feshin. Two sketches for the picture “Cheremiss Wedding” are worth mentioning. The sketches were painted near Morky in 1966-1967. The firs sketch depicts a wedding in a green lawn. In the foreground of the sketch there are three musicians playing national instruments. Dancing men and women dressed in national costumes are depicted so well that you can easily imagine a scene of a Mari wedding at the beginning of the XX century.

In the second sketch our attention is attracted by two musicians and a dancing woman who is at the head of a wedding procession. The painter showed national costumes and traditional Mari elements of the way of life and the wedding ritual truthfully. The artist continued the realistic trend of the Russian democratic art. The picture “Cheremiss Wedding” was awarded a gold medal at the International Exhibition in Munich. This picture can be regarded the prologue to the history of Mari art as it was the first of professional pictorial art reflecting the life of the Mari people.


  • Imagine that you are in the Art Gallery in Kozmodemyansk. You are standing in front of the picture “Cheremiss Wedding” by Nikolay Ivanovich Feshin. Work with a working sheet, please.

Cheremiss Wedding” by Nikolay Ivanovich Feshin

(the Art Gallery in Kozmodemyansk)

1. a) What time of the day does the picture show?

b) What season is it?

c) What ritual is depicted here?

2. a) What are the musicians doing?

b) Do you know the names of the national instruments they are holding?

c) Can you remember the names of the Mari professional musicians?

3. a) What is the dancing woman wearing?

b) What colours, embellishments can you see in her dress?

c) Describe the male and female national holiday costumes of the Mari people.

4. The picture gives a certain kind of mood or atmosphere. What words would you choose from the following to describe this mood? Tick the words of your choice:

------- lively tranquil romantic

-------- peaceful miserable happy

Add two describing words of your own in the spaces provided above.


  • Speak on the following topic. Use the suggested words and word combinations.

Going to a Museum (Picture Gallery)

To get, to turn, to the right (left), to get on (off), to get in, to take a taxi (bus), it takes … to find oneself, to find out, to learn, to enter, an entrance fee, an entrance lounge, a favourite painter, to be popular with, characteristic of, a background, to manage to do smth., to make up one’s mind, to change one’s mind, I wonder, no wonder that…, especially, to enjoy, nothing special.

  • Group activity. You are to organize an exhibition called “Favourite masterpieces”. Let’s discuss:

canvases by what painters are worth exhibiting;

what illustrations you can bring to the class;

who will be the guide and why;

what is the best way to decorate the hall;

how to make an advertisement.


Ex. 13. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

The National Picture Gallery

The National Picture Gallery is a structural subdivision of the Republican Museum of the Fine Arts. The exposition is located on the two floors of the building and is represented in the form of a winding spiral. The thematic sections of the exposition show the spectators the cultural heritage of the Mari Republic. The Picture Gallery includes seven thematic expositions:

1. “Mythological time” – we can observe the articles of Arts which came to us from ancient time.

2. “Ecological time” – the exposition tells the visitors about the history of creation and development of the national Mari costume. In the section called “Ethnic Fashion” are represented the stylish models of the Mari designers. With the help of new materials, modern forms and authors’ original findings, the spectators can comprehend the Mari national clothes in a new way.

3. “The Orthodox time” gives the viewers the main ideas of the development of Christianity on the Mari Land; acquaints them with architecture and orthodox art.

4. “The Family time” – the exposition narrates about the family of Sheremetyev (estate architecture – the palace ensemble).

5. “The History time” – the exposition introduces the historical complex of the city of Kozmodemyansk. It is interesting due to the canvases of the well-known Russian (I.K. Ivazovsky, K.E. Makovsky) and Mari painters, which are exhibited here.

6. “Artist – image- time” – this section includes the art masterpieces from the collections of three museums: Cultural-Historic Museum Complex in Kozmodemyansk, Republican Museum of the Fine Arts, National Museum of Mari El named after T. Evseev.

7. “Ethno futurism” – the exposition acquaints the visitors with the new direction in Art which is based on the comprehension of the mythological time.

The Gallery is young: it has just celebrated its second birthday. It was opened on 4 November 2008 and this event was timed to the Day of our Republic.

Recently the Gallery has housed the exhibition of the most famous artists of our time Ilya Glazunov.

The director of the Gallery is Elena Eduardovna Burnasheva. It is located in 114, Palantai Street. Its e-mail is M1528@mail.museum.ru.

  • Say whether it’s true, false or not stated:

  1. The Picture Gallery is situated in a new building in the centre of the city.

2. Its director is Ilya Glazunov.

3. The Gallery was opened on 4 November 2009.

4. The Gallery isn’t old.

5. The National Picture Gallery is a part of Cultural-Historic Museum Complex in Kozmodemyansk.

6. The thematic sections of the exposition show the spectators the cultural heritage of nine countries of the world.

7. The Picture Gallery includes seven thematic expositions.

8. The exposition “The History time” tells the visitors about the history of the national Mari costume.

9. “Ethno futurism” – the exposition acquaints the visitors with the new Mari artists.

10. You can contact the Museum by post, e-mail or by phone.

  • Visit the National Picture Gallery and its thematic expositions. Describe the one you liked more in detail.


Ex. 14. Fill in the verbs in the necessary form.

The Art Gallery in the country house

The daughter of the amateur painter, the veteran of the Great patriotic war Nikolay Fyodorovich Zykov … (1.to open) the museum of her father’s paintings in his house in the village of Yulendur, Kuzhener region. There are so many pictures that they … (2. to display) everywhere: in the rooms, in the kitchen, in the verandah: all in all 54 canvases.

Nikolay was a very talented craftsman. All the furniture in his house was hand-made and … (3. to decorate) with illustrations to the Russian folk fairy-tales and ballads. There used … (4. to be) a chest of drawers the front of which was painted with the scenes from the tale about Ivan Tsarevich; the back part – the copy of the painting “The morning of the Strelets’ Execution”.

When he was at war he sent home together with the letters incredibly bright and merry pictures and sketches: the hare playing the drum, the birds of paradise, animals, children, nature.

Nikolay was lucky: wounded but alive he came back home. Till the end of his life he didn’t give up… (5. to paint). Practically each family in Yulendur … (6. to have) canvases created by N. Zykov.

Once his daughter visited Leningrad and … (7. to bring) home a suitcase full of the reproductions of the world-famous canvases.

Still today for almost 50 years from the walls of Nikolay’s house … (8. to look) Maria-Magdalina and Sixtinskaya Madonna, Zaporozhskie Kasaks and Boyarynya Morozova.

It was his daughter Margaret who organized the museum of her father’s paintings. It … (9. not/have) the official status but a lot of visitors come here. A few boys who are good at painting come here every day to work. The aura here is so unusual that the house … (10. to turn) into the working shop.

Margaret herself works as a guide now; she … (11. to tell) the guests about her father, the history of the paintings, about people and events depicted there. It’s rather interesting especially for village children who never … (12. to be) to a real museum. That’s why they are so grateful to Margaret and her efforts to preserve a little part of our common history.


Ex. 15. Read and discuss.

1. Comment on the following:

A painter is like a poet” (A.K. Savrasov).

A picture is a window to the inner world of the artist” (K. Allikmets).

Art is a dialogue in which the partner keeps silence” (G. Landaw).

A picture is an enigma that the artist creates for himself” (S. Ezhi Lets).


2. Do you agree with the following?

Your girl friend considers that a visit to a Picture Gallery is a waste of time. It’s better to walk along the city or go shopping. What’s your opinion?

Science makes you calm, but the aim of art is to prevent you from getting calm” (J. Brak).

Unit 2. Mari national literature

Ex. 1. Read the text and do the tasks after it

The History of the Mari Literature

The desire of the Mari people to create their own national literature in the Mari language appeared simultaneously with the appearance of the native Mari writing. The early written monuments turned out to be the first literary works. The peculiarities of these written works predetermined moral, aesthetic direction of the pre-Revolutionary Mari literature. In 17 century Russian scientists put down separate Mari words, small conversational texts. The Mari words were fixed in many dictionaries, compiled by outstanding Russian scholars, e.g. V. Tatitsev, D. Rudnev). In 1775 the first Mari Grammar Book was published in St. Petersburg (the author – Veniamin Kazansky).

The first information about spiritual inheritance of the Mari people was mentioned in research works of Russian academic expeditions – in the books written by G. Miller, P. Pallas, N. Rychkov, I. Fisher, I. Gmelin, etc. The Russian researchers imprinted the details of the economic life, spiritual culture of the Maris. They prepared basis for the development of the Mari ethnographic essays. These scientific papers contain valuable notes about the character and specific features of the Mari folk works. Russian literary experts wrote with admiration about the poetic advantages of the Mari songs and ballads.

The first literary monuments in the Mari language were the texts, speeches written by the students of Theological Seminary in Kazan. They had the literary form of a solemn ode and were created in connection with some official events.

Literary monuments of the second half of the 18-th century – verses and odes – were not the real examples of literature. They were surely far from perfection. In 1840 the first Mari ABC-book (by Trofim Udyurminsky) was worked out. It contained some texts for reading. They were written on the folklore base, some of them were translated from Russian. In 1907 the first Mari Calendar (an annual edition) was published in Kazan. Among the authors who participated in the preparation literary materials for this edition was S. Chavain (1888-1937). His first poem “Grove” was devoted to the events of the Russian Revolution of 1905. Chavain saw the main aim of his literary work in public education. His works were full of alarm for the fate of the common Mari people, were an exited meditation about their past, present and future. In 1908 he published his book – a collection of historic essays and ballads under the title “From the past of the Mari nation”. In one of the stories (“Yolanda”) he depicted the events of unification of the Russian and Mari peoples.

Folk legends and fairy tales underlay a number of Chavain’s works, e.g. his story “In the forest”, poem “A witch”, verses “My ancestors”, “A powerful oak-tree”, etc. The address to the rich folk poetry, usage of its traditions made the literary inheritance of Chavain expressive and emotional. It was the reason for its wide popularity. Some of the poems became folk songs.

An outstanding phenomenon in the culture and literature of the Mari people was the creative work of Valerian Michailovich Vasiliev (1883-1961). He dedicated a lot of time and effort to the edition of the first Mari calendars and school textbooks. The majority of his poems are the moral fables, exposing these or those vices and defects, criticizing illiteracy and ignorance. Vasiliev’s interest in folk creative work was so big that in his collection of novels “The Mari stories” (1909) prevailed folk tales and fairy tales. He borrowed some stories from the Russian literature, which in his translation, sounded in the merely Mari spirit. V.M. Vasiliev compiled and published ABC-books, dictionaries, reading books for national schools.

The life of V.M. Vasiliev had much in common with the life of one more Mari teacher, scientist, linguist, journalist, writer and poet – Karamzin Gury Gavrilovich (1882-1938), whose literary pen name was G. Evain. In 1908-1912 Evain was working hard at compiling readers for national schools. Most of the texts were borrowed from the textbooks written by K. Ushinsky, L. Tolstoy, V. Vodovozov. His reader, published in 1914, as well as “The first book” by P. Glezdenev, “The second book” by V. Vasiliev and “The third book” by S. Chavain made a great contribution not only to the Mari pedagogics, but also to the Mari literature.

The first step in the development of the Mari poetry is connected with the name of Gerasimov Michail Stepanovich (1885-1944) or G. Mikai. In 1924 he was awarded the title of the Hero of Labour for his tireless work in the field of public education. The social significance of Mikai’s poetry was in the fact that he was the exponent of the advanced ideas of that time, he glorified fight and labour, praised love for Motherland, called for active struggle against racial oppression.

One of the prominent Mari poets was Nikolai Semenovich Mukhin (1890-1937). The image of a hard-working man goes through all creative work of N. Mukhin. After 1917 he published a number of books, poems, plays, stories, where the author depicted the awakening of the native people to a new constructive life.

  • Complete the sentences:

  1. The early written monuments turned…

  2. The peculiarities of these written works…

  3. In 17 century Russian scientists put down…

  4. Russian literary experts wrote with…

  5. In 1907 the first Mari Calendar…

  6. Among the authors who participated in the preparation literary materials…

  7. Vasiliev’s interest in folk creative work was so big that…

  8. In 1908-1912 Evain was…

  9. The first step in the development of the Mari poetry…

  10. The image of a hard-working man goes through…

  • Make a report on the development of the national Mari literature.

  • Characterize the creative work of your favourite Mari writer/poet in detail giving some additional information.

  • Make comparative analyses of the development of the Russian and Mari Literature. Try to find something in common and some differences in these processes.


Ex.2. Read the text and do the tasks after it

Modern Mari Literature

Due to the peculiarity of the historical way of the Mari people, because of the economic and ethnic traditions in modern national prose, the problem of relationships between man and land has occupied the central place. Almost all current novels and stories are based on the conflict connected with rural life. The authors write about the necessity to preserve and strengthen the feeling of respect towards our land, towards the farmer’s labour; they try to prove that protection of environment as the most valuable thing is a must nowadays.

Active interference into life, the desire to reflect everything new that has appeared in modern epoch is felt in the novel “Late Dawn” (1983) by V. Yuksern. The main character in the book is a journalist Dmitry Lashmanov. His private life is dramatic, his wish to be faithful to social goals and ideals give him extra strength in coping with different obstacles.

The confluence of heterogeneous art elements – fabulous, folk, realistic – characterizes the creative works of V. Ivanov who made significant contribution to the native literature. His novel “Girl-friends” (1960) can be called a story about a young dairymaid Tanya Chendemerova by name: all the plot collisions are connected with her actions and tricks. The conflict of the novel lies in her inner sufferings, in her ideas about life and the collisions of these ideas with real life.

In stories and short stories written by V. Kosorotov (1930-1974) the burning problems of modern social life found their reflection. The collection of his stories under the title “Nadezhda” (“Hope”) (1980) testifies to this fact. In this book we can clearly see the definite author’s conception of a personality. V. Kosorootv tries to learn the development of the social psychology of farmers, village dwellers by applying to the past, by depicting the life scenes of post-war village. His attention is focused on the inner world of the common people. He concentrates his attention on the ethic ideals which help people to overcome hardships. It is especially obvious in the story “Steep Mountain Passes” (1970) which, according to the author’s plan, had to become the first part of a large novel about a modern village.

All the works by Yury Artamonov (born in 1938) are distinguished by psychological exposure of a human nature, by vivid language and bright national colouring. Among his works we can mention “The Soviet Soldier” (1962), “The Star Lake” (1972), “When the Skylarks Sing” (1980) and others. The author discusses with the reader a wide range of problems. In his novels Yury Artamonov depicts the image of his “small Motherland” in a poetic and colourful way. The Mari writer is looking for the sources of the life philosophy of his characters in national traditions, in folk moral laws. His heroes revere their family house which symbolizes the succession of many generations, unbreakable kind memory of people.

The new type of epic understanding of the spiritual development of the Mari people is clearly seen in the novels of A. Yuzykain. A. Yuzykain (born in 1929) began his literary career with the interpretation of the Mari legends and ballads (“Yambatyr”, 1955; “At the Road crossing”, 1956). He found his calling in epic prose. He became the author of well-known novels “The Bear’s Den” (1971), “The Fire” (1978). In the novel “The Bear’s Den” as the plot base is the process of the development of industry in the Mari land. The main character of the novel “Fire” – Ivan Vashtarov – took part in the First World War, Civil War and became the convinced fighter for socialist ideals.

In 1974 Yuksern wrote a documentary story “The Waters flow, the Banks remain still”. This biographical work is devoted to the first Mari Academician V.P. Mosolov; the story also deals with the historic events which took place in the Mari land in 1905-1907.

The heroic pages of the Great patriotic war will never disappear from our memory. It is still the inexhaustible source of the writers’ thoughts. Such stories and novels as “The Storm” (1965) by V. Ivanov, “Through fire and water” (1976) by A. Bik, “The black night owl” (1979) by A. Timofeev, “Honey Meadow” (1974) by P. Kornilov bring back the tragic events of the war, tell the Mari readers about those severe times.

In modern Mari prose weighty phenomenon is autobiographical prose – diaries, memoirs, thoughts of writers, public figures, workers of culture about current problems of social development, preservation of cultural traditions and customs.

Essays by M. Sergeev, K. Sanukov, M. Isimetov contain rich material about the historical past of the Mari people, outstanding people of the Mari land. In the best samples of the Mari literature we can observe the desire to restore the image of the “hero of our time”, to reflect truthfully the main tendencies of the progressive movement of the epoch.

  • Here are the answers. What were the questions?

  1. The problem of relationships between man and land has.

  2. Almost all current novels and stories are based on the conflict connected with rural life.

  3. About the necessity to preserve and strengthen the feeling of respect towards our land.

  4. V. Ivanov did.

  5. Yes, it is. His attention is focused on the inner world of the common people.

  6. They are distinguished by psychological exposure of a human nature, by vivid language and bright national colouring.

  7. He found his calling in epic prose.

  8. This biographical work is devoted to the first Mari Academician V.P. Mosolov.

  9. They bring back the tragic events of the war.

  10. Rich material about the historical past of the Mari people, outstanding people of the Mari land.

  • Give a short account on the process of the development of modern Mari literature.

  • Discuss the text in the form of a dialogue.

  • Debate the question: “Modern literature has stopped in its development as people don’t read books any more”.


Ex. 3. Read the text. Use the words given at the end of each line to form a word that fits the space.

Kim Vasin is a famous Mari (1) ---, a scientist and literary critic. His life is (2) --- connected with the development of the Mari literature and (3) --- culture.

Kim Kirillovich Vasin (4) --- on 14 March, 1924 in the village of Shorkener, Sernursky Region of the Mari republic. His mother came from a poor peasant family. Due to her (5) ---work she managed to become a teacher and devoted all her life to this noble profession. She did her (6) --- to bring up the new generation of people in the spirit of optimism, (7) ---, love for national culture.

His father suffered a lot too. He became an orphan in his early (8) ---. After the Great October Socialist Revolution (1917) he participated in the organization of the (9) --- collective farms. Kirill Nikitich knew a lot of Mari legends and traditions; in the 1920-s he became an active newspaper (10) ---. His articles and essays were published in the republican newspapers and magazines.

Being (11) --- in love with literature, he tried to pass it to his children. His son Kim read the works by Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol in a primary school. The romantic and (12) --- characters of these writers reminded him of the Mari warriors from national ballads.

In 1942 Kim Vasin started his work in the newspaper “Mari Kommuna”. In 1952 he graduated from the Mari Pedagogical Institute and was left there to teach National Literature.

Kim Vasin tried (13) --- as a writer. His favourite genre was historic novel. His novel “Akpai” was devoted to the theme of Pugachev’s revolt. In 1945 he wrote a story “The (14) --- Vetluga”, based on the Mari folklore. The main character – a beautiful Mari girl, Vetluga by name, was fighting alone against the crowds of enemies. The nature scenes help to open the girl’s inner world, her (15) --- and (16) --- . In the next works “Chombulat the Powerful”, “The sward of the ataman”, “The (17) --- man”, the writer developed the idea of the national character.

In 1972 Kim Vasin (18) --- the novel “The green grove”. It was the biography of the (19) --- Mari writer S. Chavain. In 1967 the book “The land of Onar” by K. Vasin was published in Moscow. It was a story about the Mari republic.

(20) --- the numerous works of Kim Vasin represent a (21) --- page in the history of the Mari literature. His best stories were translated into (22) --- languages: Russian, Chuvash, Udmurt, Mordvinic, Tajik, Hungarian and others. They promote the (23) --- of national cultures and cause the active interest to the Mari people and their artistic (24) ---

1.to write

2. close


3. nation

4. birth

5. to persist


6. good


7. a patriot

8. a child

9. one


10. to correspond

11. passion


12. hero





13. he


14. to conquer



15. to feel

16. to think

17. a wing


18. a creator

19. to stand out



20. doubt

21. to remark

22. to differ

23. rich

24. to achieve


Ex. 4. Read the text and do the tasks after it

Together with you, the Russian People

(after Kim Vasin)

The sky is clear: no cloud is seen. The afternoon sun is pouring on the Earth. No breathing of a cool wind even from the ravine nearby. Only under the shelter of the trees in the wood which is standing like a dark wall in the distance you can have a rest from the heat.

Above the ravine near the edge of the forest is moving a lonely figure. It is a young boy who is ploughing in the field. His face is red and tired, his flax shirt is wet through from sweat. The boy is working hard. Here used to be a forest and still the soil is full of the remained roots. The field belongs to a well-to-do Mari landowner Yantemir by name. The boy (his name is Erpatyr) works here in order to make up for his debts. Erpatyr is an orphan. His father was sold into slavery by the Khan’s warriors. Two years later his grandpa was killed. Then his mum died from an awful disease, as well as his younger brothers and sisters. So from the large family only he survived. Those sad events changed the course of his life. It was his 15-th birthday.

Almost for two years he has been working out his father’s debt. From an awkward teenager he has turned into a slender handsome fellow. In spite of all difficulties he has grown up and has become strong. He has brown hair and eyes, and his olive skin darkened to a deep tan by August.

Erpatyr stops wiping the drops of sweat from his forehead. Though it’s already autumn, the sun is scorching. It looks as if summer is trying to win back a couple of sunny days. Erpatyr looks around. On the one hand – a thick forest. The leaves of the trees are just beginning their slow turn toward the colour of fire; the air is perfumed with the scent of earth and pine. On the other hand – young birch- trees are standing merrily like the naughty girls. And at the bottom of the ravine is purling a stream.

Well, it’s so nice to have a swim”, thinks the boy. But he can’t leave his work even for a minute. If he doesn’t plough the field before the sunset, he will be punished by the master. He won’t be able to avoid his whip. The boy gives a deep sigh and goes on working. He tries not to think about the crystal clean water but it is beyond his power. The decision is more spontaneous than planned. He can’t resist the temptation any more and is rushing towards the stream. He is running down the steep hill. Here is the desired relief! He is kneeling on the wet cold sand and with his dry lips he starts gulping down the icy cold transparent water.

  • Give the literary translation of the extract into the Russian language.

  • Write down the adjectives which make the descriptions in the text more expressive. Learn these words and use them in the sentences of your own.

  • Try to describe the hard life of a poor Mari boy in pre-Revolutionary Russia.

  • Try to enlarge the description of a fine autumn day and nature around.


Ex. 5. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Vasily Yuksern: life and creativity

Vasily Yuksern (Stolyarov Vasily Stepanovich) was born on 13 January 1918 in the family of a poor peasant in the village of Chigashevo in Medvedevsky region of the Mari Republic. After finishing the primary school in his village he studied at school in Yoshkar-Ola. In 1936 he entered the Mari Pedagogical Institute. He took part in the Great patriotic war and was awarded with the medal “For Military Valour”.

His literary work he began before the war in the late 1930-s. At first he tried himself as a translator. He translated the novel “Born by the storm” by N. Ostrovsky into the Mari language. Later he became a literary critic. In 1949 he published his adventure book for children “Atamanych”. It was translated not only into Russian but also into the Ukrainian and the Uzbek languages. His next books “Before the dawn”, “Once lived 2 friends”, “They will remain alive forever” are also about the events of the Great patriotic war.

Using the Mari legends and tales he created the stories “Onar”, “Chotkar”, “Pakalde”. They were translated into different languages of our country and into the Hungarian language.

  • Match the questions and the answers:

1. Was Vasily Stolyarov born in Yoshkar-Ola?

a. He participated in the Great patriotic war.

2. When did he enter the Mari Pedagogical Institute?

B. Into the Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek languages.

3. Why was he awarded with the medal “For Military Valour”?

C. With great pleasure.

4. When did he publish an adventure book for children?

D. In his books he wrote about the events of the Great patriotic war.

5. What languages was “Atamanych” translated into?

E. No, his birthplace was in the village of Chigashevo.

6. What were his books mainly about?

F. Yes, he used the Mari legends in his works.

7. Did he write any poems?

G. It happened in 1949.

8. Were his stories based on the Mari folk legends?

H. No, he didn’t.

9. What story was translated into the Hungarian language?

I. “Onar”, “Chotkar”, “Pakalde” were.

10. Would you like to read the stories written by V. Stolyarov (Yuksern)?

J. At the age of 18.


Ex. 6. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Hunter Saigelde

(after V. Yuksern)

Once there lived a bear. He liked honey very much and he often had a sweet dinner near the bees’ house. But then everything changed. He couldn’t find any honey – somebody had eaten it before him.

The bear was angry and decided to catch the thief. He hid himself behind the trees and began to wait. Soon he saw a man. It was a hunter, Saigelde by name. He was going to take all the honey again. But the bear grabbed him and tied to the tree.

The bear ate all the honey and ran away. He forgot about the hunter. At first the man was happy that he was alive but then he got depressed. He couldn’t move. It was very hot. 2 days passed. But the hunter was still tied up to the tree.

Suddenly he saw a squirrel. The man asked her to help him and to tell his daughter about the disaster. The squirrel agreed but mother-squirrel didn’t let her do it. “He is a hunter. It may be he who killed your father. Don’t help him”, - said mother-squirrel.

Two more days passed. Saigelde was hungry and thirsty. He was going to die. But suddenly he saw a little hare. The man asked the hare for help and the hare agreed. The hare ran to the village but saw a dog, got afraid and ran away.

The new day came. But poor Saigelde was more dead than alive. The black raven was flying above him waiting for the prey. But here came an otter. The hunter asked her to help him. She agreed but asked the man to promise not to kill the animals in the forest anymore. The hunter did it and the otter bit the rope with her sharp teeth.

Since that time the otter has been a sacred animal and the Mari people keep her safe, make special holidays for her giving the otter fresh bread and honey.

I remembered this legend when I came to the village of Komino not far from Yoshkar-Ola. The name of the village means “otter” in the Mari language. Perhaps the village was called so in memory of the hunter Saigelde and his rescuer – the otter.

  • What do these words mean? Choose the correct option:

  1. grabbed him

a. ограбил b. схватил c. толкнул

2. got depressed

  1. проголодался b. рассердился c. впал в уныние

3. prey

a. еда b. обед c. добыча

4. sharp

a.острые b. крепкие c. белые

5. rescuer

a.помощник b. спаситель c.друг

  • Match the two parts to make the sentences complete:

  1. the bear

  2. the squirrel

  3. the hunter

  4. Mother-squirrel

  5. the hare

  6. a raven

  7. the otter

  8. the people

  1. didn't let her daughter help

  2. saw a dog and ran away

  3. was flying above the tree

  4. tied the man to the tree

  5. was more dead than alive

  6. bit the rope with her teeth

  7. agreed to help the hunter

  8. keep the otter safe as the symbol of their happiness


  • Summarize the story using the words: first, second, then, after that, finally.

  • Close the book and tell this story in the name of Saigelde/ the bear/ the otter/ the author.

  • Can you remember any other Mari legends? Organize the contest for the most interesting story.


Ex. 7. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Chotkar – the Mari warrior

(after V. Yuksern)

Once there lived in a small Mari village a poor hunter Shumat by name. He had a son Chotkar. He was an unusual child. He grew very quickly. He was very strong. Nobody could win him. So people called him Chotkar-the warrior (Chotkar-Patyr). He liked his people and did a lot for it. When Chotkar grew old and ill he asked to bury him on the high bank of the Volga-river. But he said in his last speech: “My dear friends! If you are in a trouble come to me and shout: “Chotkar, help us! And I will wake up and help you. But remember: I can do it only once!”

The years passed. The enemies of the Mari people wanted to conquer them but they were afraid of Chotkar. Then they bribed one silly man and he asked Chotkar for help. The warrior rose but saw nobody.

  • What do you think happened next?

  • Write down your own ending of the legend.

  • Read the original version and compare it to your variant. Which one do you think is more interesting?

  • Try to illustrate the legend with your own pictures.

  • Draw a portrait of the heroic warrior.

  • Read the ending of the legend:

Then the real trouble came. But no more could Chotkar do for his people. He advised them to go up the Volga-River and to ask the Russian people for help. The Russian people helped them against the enemies and since that time the two peoples have been living together in constant friendship.

  • How do you understand the proverb “A friend in need is a friend in deed?”

  • Does the legend prove this proverb?

  • Do the two great nations: the Russian people and the Mari people live in peace and friendship in our Republic? Illustrate it with your own examples.


Ex. 8. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

V. Elmar – a poet-hero

During the years of the Great patriotic war the Mari literature kept on developing. This process was especially fruitful in the genre of poetry. In his verses the Mari poets reflected the thoughts and feelings of the people, their endless love for Motherland and their desire to do everything possible and impossible for the victory over fascist Germany.

In the image of the soldier-hero they accumulated the typical features of the soviet people: bravery, humanism, love for Motherland. They devoted their verses to our country, its heroic past; to the soldiers-defenders, who performed miracles of courage at the front and displayed labour heroism in the home front.

One of the Mari poets who was working during the Great patriotic war was Vasily Elmar (the real name Kozyrev Vasily Sergeevich). He was born on 22 January 1910 in a small village of Kozhmasola (Zvenigovsky region) in the family of a peasant. After graduating from the Aircraft Institute in Kazan in 1932 he was the member of the editorial board of the republican newspaper “Mari Kommuna”.

Since 1942 he took part in the Great patriotic war and was seriously wounded several times. In 1943 he died heroically in one of the battles.

He began creating his verses in 1933 and published them in the magazine “U Viy”. In his poems he wrote about deep love to the country, glorified civic labour and patriotism of the soviet people; exposed the crimes of fascism. Based on the personal impressions his poems create the bright and emotional images of the common soldiers; they are the hymn to the outstanding heroism and unparalleled feat of the soviet people during the war.

One of his best poems is “My Motherland” (“Rodina-Ava”) written in October 1941. Here the poet describes the achievements of the country during the years of the Soviet power and he solemnly swears to stop the fascists who were going to ruin everything so dear to the heart of the soviet people.

The image of his Motherland the poet also depicted in the poems “Moscow” (1942), “To my son” (1942), “Leningrad” (1943), “Captain Gastello” (1942), “Heroes” (1942), “We will never forget you” (1943). They all sound rather optimistic because the poet believes in the strength of the soviet people and their unbending will. His poetry was a kind of ideological weapon in the fight against the fascist soldiers.

V. Elmar was one of the favourite Mari poets and his whole life was an example of utter devotion and selfless service to his Motherland. In his poem “The oath of a warrior” (1942) he wrote:

Ты слушай мой голос, родной мой народ

С сердечной радостью тебе я клянусь:

За Родину не пожалею свою жизнь

До последней капли крови ее отдаю.

(word for word translation from the Mari language).

My dear people, listen to my voice.

I swear joyfully to you:

I will give away my life without any hesitation

Till the last drop of my life

For my Motherland.

(word for word translation into the English language).

In these lines he expressed his ideal and he was faithful to his oath up to the last minute of his life.

  • Say if these sentences are true, false or not stated:

  1. Vasily Elmar is the poet's pen-name.

  2. Vasily was born in the family of a farmer.

  3. His mother worked in the editorial board of a newspaper.

  4. Vasily didn’t manage to get a higher education.

  5. The poet got married very early and had two children.

  6. He participated in the war from the very beginning.

  7. He began creating poems before the war but he didn’t publish them.

  8. All his verses are ideologically-oriented.

  9. He devoted his poems to the history of his country and the beauty of the local landscape.

  10. The poet proved his patriotism now only with his works but with his heroic feat.

  11. The collection of the poet’s poems was published after the war and became a best-seller at once.

  • Have you ever read the poems by this poet before? Try to predict what his poems are about. Match the titles and the main ideas:

1. “Moscow”

A.Gives instructions to his child concerning his future life;

2. “Leningrad”

B. Describes the heroic flights of this brave man;

3. “My Motherland”

C. Speaks about the heroic past of the country;

4. “To my son”

D. Remembers those who died during the war;

5. “We will never forget you”

E. Depicts the terrible blockade which lasted for almost a year;

6. “Captain Gastello”

F. Describes the wide avenues, high buildings and magnificent monuments.

  • Go to the local library, take a collection of poems by V. Elmar and check up your predictions.

  • Read the poem ''The long-expected day” and try to translate it word for word.

И готов я, как прежде,

За грядущую радость,

Свою голову в битве сложить!

Чести выше не знаю,

Нет мне большей награды,

Чем Отчизне любимой служить!

Glossary:

to give away one’s life – отдавать свою жизнь

without any hesitation – без колебаний

the highest honour – высшая честь

the biggest award – самая большая награда

to serve selflessly – беззаветно служить

  • What feelings did the author try to express in his poem?

  • Can we feel that he is very proud of his country?

  • Do you think the poem encourage the author’s compatriots for heroic deeds?

  • Was the poet an active patriot? Did he prove his devotion to Motherland by his heroic life?

  • Did your great-grandparents take part in the Great patriotic war?

  • Did they tell you anything about the war?

  • Do you think the previous generations were more devoted to the country? Why/ why not?

  • The modern teenagers are often called “the lost generation”, “the generations of the lost or forgotten ideals”. Do you agree with this point of view? Why/why not? Try to illustrate your words with examples.


Ex. 9. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Ivan Kyrlya – a famous Mari actor and poet

A Start in Life” was the first sound feature film in our country. The plot was based on a true-to-life experiment which was organized due to V. Lenin’s advice and was carried out on the initiative of F. Dzerzhinsky. The main idea of the project was to collect homeless children and to re-educate them in the process of collective labour. The director of the film was N. Ekk who had just graduated from the State College of Cinematography.

The film was released on 18 May 1931. It had immense success. It was the first film in which the quality of the sound corresponded to the high acoustic requirements.

The audience was also impressed by the realistic representation of life. It caught the audience’s attention with high humanism and bright typical characters. Its warm and sincere atmosphere conquered the spectators’ hearts.

The part of the leader of the group of the homeless children called Mustafa Fert was played by Ivan Kyrlya (Kirill Ivanovich Ivanov).

In autumn 1926 a poorly-dressed young man with a wide face and expressive eyes came to enter the University of Kazan. He came here from the village of Kupsola (Sernursky Region of the Mari Republic). He was born on 17 March 1909 in a poor peasant family. His father was brutally killed for his active work while organizing collective farms. In spite of al life difficulties Kirill had a great desire to study.

Kirill was distinguished by a lively character, witty mind and delicate sense of humor. He displayed great interest towards poetry, music, theatre, cinema. In 1929 he entered the Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. The members of the selection committee highly evaluated his artistic skills.

A 20-year-old student brilliantly performed the part of Mustafa. This image is dramatic. His fate is unique as well as unique is his face with narrow eyes in which we can see either hate to people or kindness and love. He always changes, sometimes remembering his past. He is hardworking while constructing the railroad, dreamy recollecting his native land, when a famous Mari song about the beautiful Mari land brings him back to his dearly loved places.

Ivan Kyrlya worked in the film studio “Vostokfilm”, took part in other films. In 1934-36 he participated in the movie “Buddha’s deputy” and played the part of Lama. The actor’s biography became the basis for the new feature film about the life of the Mari young people “The Song of Happiness”. At first it was called “Kavyrlya’s Mysteries”.

Ivan Kyrlya was known not only as an actor but also as a poet. His verses were published in the newspaper “Mari Village”. Three books – collections of his poems were released in the 1930-s. His poems are simple but very touching. They have much in common with folk Mari songs. Many of them were translated into Russian.

The life of Ivan Kyrlya was short but bright like the life of a shooting star. His life and work is one of the most marvelous pages of the Soviet multinational culture. His name became the pride not only of the Mari people but of the whole Soviet country.

  • Describe Ivan Kyrlya as an actor.

  • Speak on the poetry of Ivan Kyrlya. If possible, try to find his poems and translate them into English.



Ex. 10. Read the text and fill in the gaps with the proper variant.

I. Odar – Mari writer and public figure

Ivan Odar (Romanov Ivan Efimovich) was born (1.---) 14 October 1887 in the village of Aganur (Kuzhenersky Region, Mari El) in the family of peasants. In 1909 he graduated (2.---) the Teachers’ Training Seminary. Till 1915 he worked (3. ---) a teacher of primary national school in Urzhumsky Region.

He (4.---) an ensign of the Grenadier regiment in St. Petersburg (1917). In 1918-1921 he worked as a teacher at the pedagogical courses in Sernur (Mari EL). In 1928-1929 ha was the head teacher of an agricultural college, in 1930-1931 – an assistant professor in Kazan State University. He was (5.---) first rector of the Mari Pedagogical Institute (1931-1933); the Head of the Mari Book Publishing House (1933-1934). His first articles and essays (6.---) in the newspaper “Uzhara” and magazines “U Ilysh” and “Kulashe”. In the 1920-s he compiled the first readers for the national schools. The (7.---) known literary work by I. Odar is a story (8.---) “Wood-goblin” (1929). Later it was re-published several times in the Mari and Russian languages.

In April 1937 Odar was arrested and sentenced to (9.---) imprisonment. He was killed in prison (Yaroslavsky Region) (10.---) obscure conditions. In 1958 he was fully exonerated.

  • Choose the right variant:

1. on at of over

2. after from in below

3. as like how in

4. were had was has

5. a ---- an the

6. appeared appear appearing did appear

7. more most much more most

8. calling called was called calls

9. ten-years ten-year tens-year tens-years

10. in on under within

Ex. 11. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Near the river (after I. Odar)

The day is coming to an end. It is getting colder. It’s easy to walk when you are not hot. You can enjoy the pleasant smell of the flowers from the meadow. The air is transparent. The boys are merry. They are laughing, crying, playing tag and hide and seek in the thick grass.

The path turns to the forest and they are now among the magnificent spruces and pine-trees. The birds’ twitter is filling in the wood.

Five minutes later the boys come out from the wood to the bank o the river. Both the right and the left banks are covered with grass – green and soft like tender velvet. The butterflies are flitting above the flowers.

The boys are not tired. They take the fishing-rods and go fishing. They wait and wait but – no result. Perhaps the fish is already sleeping somewhere on the river-bed.

A bit upset the boys make a fire and prepare tea. They drink one cup after another and can’t stop. Very tasty is the tea cooked on the fire.

  • Answer the questions:

Is I. Odar a famous Mari writer?

Who is the story about?

Where are the boys going?

What are they going to do?

Does the author describe nature with great love?

Can you easily imagine this beautiful evening?

Have you read any other stories by I. Odar?

What other Mari writers do you know?

  • Think and write the story up to the end.

  • Take the original story in the library and compare the two variants. Whose version in the class is the most interesting?



Ex. 12. Read the sentences below. Some of the lines are correct, some have the word which shouldn’t be there. If a line is correct, put a tick √ next to it. If a line has a word which shouldn’t be there, write the word at the end of the line.

M. Shketan (1898-1937)

Mayorov Yakov Pavlovich (M. Shketan) has was been born in a small remote Mari village of the Kretsteno (Orshansky Region) in a peasant family. His school education was limited to two years: he studied at the school in the period of some 1910-1912. He had to do a lot of house work and to help his father. But all his free time he devoted to a reading. He was especially fond of Russian classical literature.

After the Civil War (1921) he was started his literary career in the newspaper called like “Mari Keche”. He also spent much time and effort on the development of the theatrical art. He took a part in the work of the Mari Drama Theatre both as a playwright and an actor. In 1924 the first book of the beginning writer had was published in Moscow. It was a story called “God’s sin” based on real the events. The writer created more than that 13 plays. Many of them which were included in the repertoire of the Mari theatre but the most lucky fate had the play “Eh, parents…”. Being written in 1923, it is still has been staged. M. Shketan was busy with translation work as well as. In 1931 he translated a famous novel “The Iron Torrent” by A. Seraphimovich.

M. Shketan is the real pride and glory out of the Mari literature, one of its founders. Since 1948 the Mari State Drama Theatre has been bearing his own name.

1____________

2____________

3____________

4____________

5____________

6____________

7____________

8____________

9____________

10___________

11___________

12___________

13___________

14___________

15___________

16___________

17___________

18___________

19___________


20___________

21___________

22___________


Ex. 13. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Mari Folk Fairy Tales

A fairy tale in the Mari oral poetic heritage is one of the mostly widely spread genres. The process of collecting and analyzing the fairy tales started later in comparison with other kinds of folklore. The Mari folklore was compiled by Russian and foreign researchers in XIX century. The Russian Geographical Society made a great contribution to this work. Also the Finno-Ugric Society contributed a lot to the procedure of searching and publishing the Mari tales as it organized scientific expeditions to Kazansky, Vyatsky Regions.

The first scientist who collected the folk material of the Meadow Mari people was the member of this society Volmari Porkka. In 1895 he published his collection of stories, among them there were ten fairy tales.

In 1931 one more scientist Yu. Vikhman published his book “The folk art and traditions of the Cheremiss” where he included 8 fairy tales about animals.

During the First World War a Hungarian scientist E. Beke managed to write down 281 fairy tales. This valuable material was published in Helsinki, Budapest and other European cities. A German scientist Ernst Levi also published a book of the Mari fairy tales. The book mainly consists of fairy tales of satirical character.

The more systematic collection of Mari fairy tales started in the 1930-s. In 1931 V.M. Vasiljev published a book on the Mari folklore. It contained the most ancient texts of the Mari fairy tales. In 1941 a famous researcher K.A. Chetkarev released the first volume of the Mari fairy tales of Ronginsky Region.

In 1955 the second volume was published. Here you can read 24 texts which the author collected in Morkinsky Region. In the 1940-1980-s the books of the Mari fairy tales for school children were published. Among the authors were S.A. Egorov, O.G. Suricova, M. Maine, V.A. Aktsorin, A.E. Kitikov. In 1984 a collection of the Mari folk tales was translated into Russian. This book was immensely popular among the Russian readers. It had 68 fairy tales of all kinds.

The Mari folk tales are published abroad. For example, in 1983, in Finland Professor Alkho Alkhoniemi published them in the German language. The Mari folk tale repertoire is represented by all known kinds: stories about animals, magical, mythological, fairy tales of every day life.

Tales about animals are the most ancient ones. They were born as a respond to the people’s desire to investigate the wildlife and had practical significance because without this knowledge the very existence of a human being was impossible. Among the leading characters of the fairy tales dominate the wild animals: a fox, a wolf, a bear, a hare; and among the birds: a crow, an owl, a magpie. In the majority of fairy tales the animals represent the allegoric images of people. The composition and style of the Mari tale is not characterized by rich wide descriptions of behaviour or scenery. The fairy tale is composed with the repetition of one and the same episode.

The ancient Mari fairy tales are distinguished by the dialogical and song-like or poem-like form of presentation. You can hardly find a plot without songs. The magical fairy tales are characterized by specific hunter’s or farmer’s colouring. Even the tsars in these stories live and speak like simple peasants. The plot of a magical fairy tale is based on the main character’s adventures. He sets off for a journey in search of a better fate; he overcomes a lot of obstacles, fights against snakes, against wizard’s spell, against numerous enemies.

Fairy tales of every day life appeared as counterbalance to myths where a man depended on mysterious forces of nature.

It’s needless to point out that folklore, fairy tales in particular, was the main source of the Mari literature. A lot of writers were brought up under the favourable influence of the oral folk works. Many of them started the literary career with collection and interpretation of folk stories. Stories, novels, poems by K. Vasin, V. Yuksern, A. Asaev, G. Matyukovsky, V. Boyarinov, M. Bolshakov, I. Osmin, etc., based on the plots of the folk fairy tales, got wide popularity among the readers.

  • Look through the text and fill in the chart:

A scientist who collected the fairy tales

The time period

The number of the fairy tales

The type of the fairy tales


  • Speak about the role of the folk tales in the development of the professional Mari literature.

  • Read some Mari fairy tales in the Russian language. Translate one of them into the English language in written form. Represent your work to the group mates. Choose the most interesting variant.

  • Act out a scene from the most interesting tale.


Ex. 14. Read the Mari folk fairy-tale and do the tasks after the text.

Kozhla Yumava

Once a Mari man Ipai by name was grazing his cattle in the wood among the young birch-trees. At midday being hot, he lay down in the shadow of a tree and fell asleep. When he woke up, it turned out that his bull had disappeared. The man had been looking for it till evening but in vain.

The next day he was in the wood again. He ate some tasty berries, drank cold water from the spring and fell asleep. When he opened his eyes, he didn’t see his horse. On the third day the whole herd disappeared.

The next morning came the man to the wood again to look for his cattle. Suddenly it got dark, a terrible roar was heard and a strange ugly creature appeared in front of the man. It was sitting on the bank of an elk.

Who are you?”, said the man. “I’m Kozhla Yumava – the hostess of the forest. It’s me who has stolen your herd. I’m angry with you. You have broken the laws of the forest. Your cattle have ruined the young trees. Go away!” When the man came back home, he told his wife about this meeting. His wife didn’t reply anything but the next morning she took some oat, butter, honey and brought the man to the forest. They both worked hard planting the new trees till the very evening. When the work was over, the woman cooked some porridge and invited the Goddess of the forest.

Kozhla Yumovala appeared in a white dress with a crown on her head. The face was very kind. She said “Thank you” for the new forest and for the tasty dinner. She wished great happiness to the woman and her husband and vanished in the thin air.

When Ipai and his wife came back home, the herd was already there. A year later the woman gave birth to a beautiful baby. They all lived long and happily.

  • Try to imagine that summer day in the forest. Can you describe it in detail?

  • How can you describe Ipai’s wife?

  • What can you say about the goddess of the forest?

  • Why do you think the 1st part of the story sounds like a spooky story, but the second one sounds rather optimistic?

  • How does the tale interpret the idea of happiness? Do you agree with it? Why/why not?


Ex. 15. Read the beginning of a Mari folk tale “An Owl and a Fox”.

Once Mother Owl gave birth to five little owls and arranged a nest for them high in the tree. A fox was running by one day. “Hey, Owl, give me one baby bird or I’ll climb the tree and eat all your children!” The Owl got frightened, burst into tears bitterly and did as the Fox ordered. The fox grabbed the little owl and rushed to the distant lake. The owl is sitting in the tree and crying. A magpie is flying past the tree…

Create your own ending of the fairy tale. Compare different versions. Which one is more interesting? Unusual? Funny?

Illustrate your fairy tales with pictures.

Write down the script to the most interesting fairy tale. Act it out.


Ex. 16. Create a dialogue with your favourite literary character. Act it out.

Unit 3. Mari national music and dances


Ex. 1. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Mari professional music

In ancient times music composed a part of religion and belonged to the various rites of numerous celebrations in honour of powerful gods. Music accompanied all the important events in the life of families, tribes, communities. The sounds of a bagpipe, trumpet, drum had greater power than a human voice: they influenced the people, the animals either positively or negatively. In the first case a person got health, strength, joy. In the second case the melody could “enchant”, “charm”, “bewitch” both people and nature. That’s why music has always been the object of special respect and attention of a man. Music accompanied all the pagan prayings and rituals. Usually the cult magic acts were done to the tunes of psaltery, drum, pipe.

Since 1917 the Mari nation started intensive work aimed at strengthening, cultivating national culture. In 1920 the Education Department in Krasnokokshaisk opened a musical studio, bought musical instruments and organized the first string orchestra. In 1919 the first collection of Mari songs, compiled by V.M. Vasiliev, was published. It was an important fact because the book consisted of 311 songs, both the lyrics and the melodies were included into this edition.

Since 1919 the Mari music is closely connected with the founder of the Mari professional music I.S. Palantai. In 1931 the Theatrical-Musical College was opened. It was a significant step on the road of the development of the Mari music. In 1940 the Union of the Mari composers was founded. An important event in after-war period was the opening of the Musical College in 1945. In 1946 the House of Folk Creativity was founded. In 1959 in Yoshkar-Ola was opened a musical art boarding school which prepared professional artists for musical art of the republic.

  • Translate the words into English: в древние времена; часть религии; многочисленные обряды; могущественные боги; сопровождала; волынка; труба; барабан; зачаровывать; гусли; давала силу; языческие моления; направленная на развитие национальной культуры; струнный оркестр; основоположник; театрально-музыкальное училище; важный шаг; Союз композиторов; Дом народного творчества; тесно связано; сборник марийских песен.

  • Make up sentences using these words. If necessary, consult the text.


Ex.2. Read the following text and look carefully at each line. Some of the lines are correct, and some have a word which should not be there. If the line is correct, put a tick (√) after it. If a line has a word which should not be there, write down this word. There are two examples at the beginning.

The poetic peculiarities of the Mari folk songs

The Mari folk songs stand out due to their distinct poetic peculiarities; they represent a high artistic value. They are the evidence of spiritual talent and refined esthetic taste of the unknown authors.

The Mari land is the land of rivers, lakes, forests. That’s why poetic images of nature be occupy the central place in the very creative work of the Mari people.

However, nature is very subordinated to the world of men’s emotions and comes from out in tight connection with scenes of every day the life of people.

Images of nature, are reflected in the songs, are aimed first of all at strengthening the main idea – the idea of a person and the people’s relationships.

They were created images not only depict nature scenes and natural phenomena, they have almost always carry the meaningful context which addressed to a man.

____√______

_____a_____

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________

___________


Ex. 3. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Our treasure

The drum is one of the most favourite musical Mari instruments. It has been used since ancient times: at holiday parties, at meetings. Some customs were accompanied by playing the drum. For instance, the Eastern Maris had a kind of a public punishment: the guilty person with some old unnecessary things (e.g. worn-out shoes) was taken along the streets under the beat of the drum. In the past the drum was made from an aspen or lime block, from which the core was taken out. Then the surface was polished, the walls of the future drum were about 14 mm. With the help of wooden hoops the dog’s skin was fixed on both at the top and at the bottom of the drum.

To play the drum you need two sticks 200 mm long each. The drummer either hangs it on the shoulder or puts it on the left lap. Nowadays the drum is used as a rhythm instrument, usually together with a bagpipe. The drum must be hand-made that’s why there is a lack of craftsmen who are able to produce this instrument.

A horn is the most ancient wind musical instrument. It was made in such a way: an expert took a horn of an ox (about 250 mm in length). It was placed into the pan with hot water to boil. Then it was cleaned out from the inside. The pointed apex was sawn off. This end of the horn was taken by the lips. A person blew through this aperture to produce a sound. The piercing sound of a horn was heard at long distances. That’s why it was used to give signals at war-time; the hunters used to lure the elks. The shepherds used the horn too. In spite of simple structure, music lovers managed to play folk tunes with the help of this instrument.

One much older instrument was a trumpet. It was called a signal trumpet. It was about 1.5 m in length. It was made from the trunk of a young lime-tree. At first the trunk was split into two parts. On the inner side a special groove was hollowed out. Then the two parts were put together again and the trumpet was wrapped into the birch-tree bark.

The Mari people believed that this instrument had a magic power, that’s why it was used in the rite of banishing of the evil spirits. Nowadays it is used to produce ceremonial sounds, e.g. at the procedure of opening the folk holiday or a big folk concert to add some national colouring.

Clay whistle is one of the smallest wind instruments. It is used to be a toy for kids, which was bought at the market. Later extra holes were drilled and they transformed it into a musical instrument. The least number of holes is four. In its range there are six sounds of different height, it permits to perform many folk melodies. The scientific name of this instrument is ocarina. This word, translated from the Italian language, means “a little goose” (a gosling).

One more instrument was a straw pipe. It was made from ripe rye or from reed. Probably such a pipe was the ancestor of the Mari bagpipe. It consisted of two pipes which were attached to a bladder of the domestic animals.

Today you can see it only at the concerts. It has become the symbol of folk culture, expressing the Mari national spirit.

  • Paraphrase the following:

1. The drum has been used since ancient times. – The Mari people … a long time.

2. The sticks of the drum are 200 mm long each. – The drum sticks are 20 mm in … each.

3. The Mari people believed that this instrument had a magic power. – The instrument was … a magic power.

4. Nowadays a trumpet is used to produce ceremonial sounds. – Ceremonial sounds … with the help of a trumpet.

5. The least number of holes in the clay whistle is four. – There aren’t … holes in the clay whistle.

6. The piercing sound of a horn was heard at long distances. – The piercing sound of a horn could … at long distances.

7. The Mari bagpipe has become the symbol of folk culture. – The Mari bagpipe … folk culture.

8. Probably such a pipe was the ancestor of the Mari bagpipe. – Such a pipe could … the ancestor of the Mari bagpipe.

9. The hunters used to lure the elks with the help of a horn. – The hunters were in the habit … with the help of a horn.

10. In spite of simple structure, music lovers managed to play folk tunes on this instrument. – Despite … music lovers managed to play folk tunes on this instrument.

  • Interview your partner. Find out:

1. What he/ she knows about the origin of the Mari musical instruments;

2. What he/ she knows about the process of producing the Mari musical instruments;

3. What he/ she knows about the rites (rituals) connected with the Mari musical instruments;

4. What other Mari musical instruments he/ she knows;

5. If he/she has heard the Mari musical instruments;

6. If he/she can play any Mari musical instruments.


Ex. 4. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Mari psaltery: past and present

(The evolution of the instrument)

A. The first information about this musical instrument dates back to the 6-th century. It was mentioned in legends, fairy tales and songs. Since X century it appeared in Slavonic literature. Psaltery can be designed in the form of a helmet, in the form of a wing or in the form of a rectangle. While performing, the instrument is placed on the laps, and the player is running his fingers over the strings. The melody sounds tender and mild.

B. Mari psaltery appeared about 5-6 thousand years ago. They are made of thin boards. To get a good instrument a craftsman needs birch, maple or nut-tree planks. Traditionally the instruments were hand-made, that’s why they all were of different size.

C. In XIX century there used to be psaltery for children. They had five strings. There also were psalteries with 17 strings for beginners and 35-string psaltery for real masters. Well-to-do people had psaltery-table (the instrument was arranged under the table-cover).

D. The instrument was considered to be a sacred one. The psaltery played an important role during the religious rituals. There is even a legend about the divine origin of the psaltery. “Once the Lord argued with the Devil. They wanted to know whom the Mari people liked more. They had been quarrelling for a long time but couldn’t come to an agreement. Finally they made up their minds to create musical instruments and to see whose idea the Mari people would appreciate more. The Devil constructed the bagpipe, the God designed the psaltery. The Mari people liked the psaltery more, and the Devil got offended. To get his revenge and to spoil the psaltery, he perforated a hole in the upper desk. But due to it, the instrument started sounding even sweeter and clearer”.

E. “While listening to the psaltery – the national instrument, you can feel the soul of the Mari people”, - said a famous Soviet composer Aram Khachaturyan. – “They sound like the voice of our forefathers”, - the Mari players confess.

F. Let’s hope that being world famous, the Mari psaltery will remain the integral part of our cultural life. The melodies of its strings will accompany the birth of new children; the wedding ceremonies, symbolizing happiness of grooms and brides; the harmony between people and nature.

  • Choose the right heading (1-7) for each paragraph (A – F). One heading is extra.

1. The eternal tunes.

2. Believe it or not.

3. The reminder of the past.

4. The result of thorough work.

5. How to become a good player.

6. Various types of the instrument.

7. How it all began.

  • Retell the text briefly.


Ex. 5. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Mari composers and music experts

Gerasimov Oleg Michilovich – a music expert, the Honoured Art Worker of Mari El, the Laureate of the Republican Prize named after Olyk Ipai, He was born in the village of Elnet of Tatar Republic on 16 February 1937. He is the author of many research works on the Mari musical folklore. He wrote a lot of books. Among them: “The folk song in the works of the Mari composers”, “Folk groups: the principals of work and their problems”, “Christmas Mari songs”, “The structural peculiarities of the folk songs”, etc. He is the author of the programmes on the Mari radio and TV. O.M. Gerasimov is the head of the folk ensemble of the Mari University “Ria-Ria”

Evdokimov Yury Savvateevich – a composer, the Honoured Art Worker of Mari El (1992). He was born in the village of Ivankovo (Permsky Region) on 12 January 1950. He is the author of a big number of symphonic and chamber works (2 symphonies, a symphonic poem “At the Eternal Fire”, quartets, plays for piano, violin, violoncello the opera “Stephan Mikale”, songs and romances (“Yoshkar-Ola”, “The Native Land”, etc). He is the author of the State Anthem of Mari El.

Zakharov Veniamin Alexsandrovich – a composer, the Laureate of the Republican Prize named after Olyk Ipai (1991). He was born in Morkinsky Region on 12 December 1954. He composed a number of songs about our Motherland. He was awarded the State Prize of Mari El for the children’s cantata “A wreath to S. Chavain”.

Luppov Anatoly Borisovich – a composer, the Honoured Art Worker of Mari El, a professor. He was born in Kirov Region on 2 July, 1929. He is the author of the first Mari ballet “Forest Legend”. A lot of symphonic and chamber works (4 symphonies, symphonic suites, overtures, concertos for the piano, flute, clarinet, bassoon, oboe, French horn; quartets, quintets, sonatas, plays, music to the performances “The March of Akpars”, “The Native Land”, etc.

Sidushkin Nifont Afanasjevich (1898-1975) - the Honoured Art Worker of Mari El. He was born in Mountain Mari Region. In Yoshkar-Ola he was the head teacher of the Musical College, the conductor of the symphony orchestra. In 1942 he organized a choir on the Mari radio. He composed music to such performances as “On the bank of the Ilet River”, “In the forest”, “You should save your happiness”, a great number of songs, e.g. “Summer Day”, “The Sunrise”, “The Morning Star”, “The tender wind”, “In the Morkinsky Region”, “The Song about Yoshkar-Ola”, “Near the Volga River”, “The Native Land”, etc.

Smirnov Kuzma Alekseevich (1917-1963) – the Honoured Art Worker of Mari El. He was born in Medvedevsky Region. He worked in the Mari Scientific-Research Institute of Language, Literature and History and in the Mari State Drama Theatre named after M. Shketan. He is one of the founders of the Mari symphony music (“Evening in Morky”, “Sernur suite”, etc.). He processed more than 700 folk songs and published three collections of songs of different regions (“The Songs of the Meadow Maris”, “The songs of the Eastern Maris”, “The songs of the Mountain Maris”).

Yashmolkin Alexsei Kirillovich – a composer, the Honoured Art Worker of Mari El and Russia (1991), O. Ipai Prize Winner (1982) and Mari State Prize Winner (1986). He was born in Medvedevsky Region on 17 February 1946. He composed music to the performances “Ovda”, “Aivika”, “Wolf in boots”; songs “Oh, my Motherland!”, “Rainbow”, “Our lives have united”, etc.

Neznakin Anatoly Vasilievich – the Honoured Art Worker of Mari El (1992). He was born in Novy Toryal on 1 May 1952. He composed three symphonies, cantatas, plays, 1-act ballet “Masks”, mono opera “Waltz to the cuckoo song”, etc. He is the head of the folk band “Karagod” in the Mari State University.

  • Fill in the table:

    Name of the musician

    The place of birth

    The date of birth

    Musical works

    Rewards

  • Tell the group mates about your favourite Mari composer.


Ex. 6. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Modern Mari musicians

Alevtina Krylova is a professional musician. She was born on 20 June, 1960 in Morkinsky Region in Mari El. From 1978 to 1982 she studied at the vocal department in the Musical College named after I. S. Palantay in Yoshkar-Ola. Now she works in the Mari Philharmonic and often goes on tours around Russia. She was warmly welcomed in Saratov, Izhevsk, Volgograd, Astrakhan. Her favourite Mari songs are composed by K. Smirnov, A. Yashmolkin, M. Stepanov, Yury Evdokimov.

Alexander Rechkin was born on 8 August, 1980 in Novyi Toryal in Mari El in the family of the musicians. His father played the accordion. Alexander was a member of the folk ensemble “Pampalche” – the laureate of the folk festivals. It was also the laureate of the TV contest “Crystal shoe”. In 1998 he joined the pop group “The polar star” which gave concerts in Moscow and recorded 3 albums. Recently he has released a disk with some new songs. Among them are the hits “Rosa – Rosmary”, “Snege Peledysh”, etc.

Alexsei Izimbaev-bir was born on 26 October, 1952. After the service in the Army, he joined the pop group, later – become a soloist. He went on numerous tours in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Kazahstan, Sverdlovsk and Tyumen regions. He was Olyk Ipai prize-winner. He is the Honored artist of the Mari republic.

  • Read the texts again. Choose the best titles for them (more than one title is possible). Explain your choice:

  1. The Mari nightingale.

  2. The winner of many festivals.

  3. The born singer.

  4. The crystal voice.

  5. The popular artist.

  6. The brilliant performer.

  • What other Mari musicians do you know? Tell the class about one of them.


Ex. 7 Read the text and fill in the gap with the appropriate form of the word.

Andrey Eshpay – a famous Mari composer

Andrei Eshpay has been the member of the Union of composers of Russia since 1952. He is the People’s artist of the USSR (1981), of the Russian Federation (1975) and of the Mari Republic (1983).

He was … (1) on 15 May 1925 in the city of Kozmodemyansk in Mari El. His father Yakov Eshpay was one of the … (2) of the Mari professional music. In 1928 the family moved to Moscow where he became a … (3) of Gnessinsky School.

In 1994, after graduating from the Military Institute of the Foreign Languages, he went to the front. He finished the war in Berlin and was … (4) the Order of the Red Star, the Order of the Great … (5) War and a few medals.

In 19946 he … (6) Moscow State Conservatory. His teachers were the … (7) musicians N. Rakov, A. Khachaturyan. Later he worked in the Union of Composers of Russia.

A. Eshpay is the author of 9 symphonies, 18 concertos for … (8) musical instruments, 2 ballets, numerous songs, music for 60 films.

He says that the Mari folk music is the source of his … (9). He accumulated the … (10) of the lyrical melodies of the Soviet times, the rhythms of Stravinsky, the … (11) traditions of jazz. The original … (12) of these trends makes the composer’s individual and … (13) style.





1. birth

2. to found


3. to study




4. award

5. patriot

6. entrance

7. to stand



8. to differ


9. to create

10. peculiar

11. good

12. to combine

13. to forget


Ex. 8. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Sergey Makov – a composer with a civil position

In 1984 Sergey Makov became O. Ipai Prize winner. He became the Laureate of the Mari Komsomol Prize due to the number of songs about young people, our Motherland. His first song about Yoshkar-Ola he composed being a student of the musical college.

Sergey Nikolaevich was born on 8 January 1954 in Kuzhenersky Region. He was seven when his parents brought him to Yoshkar-Ola, to the President Boarding School for gifted children. He was an expert in Mari folk music. He used to pick up children to organize a competition and to find out who knew more folk songs than others.

His first song Sergey composed at the age of 14 and it was very successful. It still lives in the repertoire of many singers and is often on air. His most outstanding songs about the native land are: “Near the family house”, “Native Land”, “What is it – Mari El?” and “Window to the World”. In spite of the similar names, the composer found for each of them its own harmonious and melodious solution, allotting them with inimitable image.

The second group of songs is devoted to the theme of a country life. They are the songs about milk women, about country landscape, about environmental problems. Some songs are about love to a woman – everlasting topic of all times and peoples. The composer is also faithful to the civil theme, creating songs about severe weekdays of our warriors, e.g. in Afghanistan. The composer rose to the new step of his talent in the collection of works under the title “Damn that war!” These songs – the hard reminiscence about the last war, pain from irreplaceable loses, dream of all mothers about the happy childhood for their kids; praise of the spring holiday – Victory Day. The author proclaims triumph of humanism, love, friendship, people’s unification.

The civil character of the composer was vividly displayed in the new cycle of works “Nobody is forgotten”. S. Makov’s eight new songs about native land and the anthems of four regions were included into this cycle. The composer was awarded the State Prize named after I.S. Palantai, the Prize of the Composers’ Union of Russia named after D. Shostakovich and it goes without saying, all these rewards were given according to his deserts, due to his tireless work, his kind soul and the aspiration for the musical education of his people.

  • Choose the best answer:

1. Why did the composer become the Laureate of the Mari Komsomol Prize?

a. It was his 50-th anniversary.

b. Due to the fact that he was an expert in Mari folk music.

c. Due to the fact that he composed a lot of songs about youth and their heroic deeds.

2. Why did his parents bring him to Yoshkar-Ola at the age of seven?

a. To organize a competition.

b. To develop his musical abilities.

c. To find out who knew more folk songs.

3. When did he compose his first song?

a. Being a student of the President Boarding School for gifted children.

b. Being a teacher of the President Boarding School for gifted children.

c. After graduating the President Boarding School for gifted children.

4. Was the first musical experience a success?

a. Yes, it was; but soon it was forgotten.

b. Yes, it was; it is still included into the repertoire of many singers.

c. No, it was not.

5. What are his most outstanding songs about?

a. About his parents and teachers.

b. About his native village.

c. About the native land and the country life.

6. Why can we say that the composer is faithful to the civil theme?

a. Because he is a deputy of the City Council.

b. Because he took part in the war in Afghanistan.

c. Because he is faithful to the ideas of patriotism and humanism in his works.

7. What musical works were included into the new cycle “Nobody is forgotten”?

a. Eighteen new songs about his native land and the anthems of four regions.

b. Eight new songs about Mari El and the anthems of five regions.

c. Eight new songs about native land and the anthems of four regions.

8. What prizes was the composer awarded for his work?

a. He is Olyk Ipai Prize winner.

b. He is I.S. Palantai Prize winner.

c. He is I.S. Palantai and D. Shostakovich Prizes winner.

  • Speak about S. Makov’s musical works.


Ex. 9. Read the text and fill in the gaps with the necessary words.

An outstanding musician

The name of Peter Nikiphorovich Nikiphorov occupies (1 …) of the most honourable places among the creators of the Mari professional musical culture. He was (2…) first teacher of the Department of folk instruments, the founder of the class of balalaika and domra, the first conductor and art director of the orchestra of folk instruments in the Musical College named (3…) I.S. Palantai, lecturer-enlightener, the author of the book “Mari folk musical instruments”, the script writer and the host of the TV programmes (4…) Mari music, the Honoured Art Worker of the Mari Republic.

Peter Nikiphorovich Nikiphorov was born on 28 November, 1912 in the village of Fadeikino (Morkinsky Region). He originated (5…) the peasant family. The start of his life was full (6…) misfortunes and hardships. At the age (7…) two he lost his Mum and he was (8…) up by his stepmother. During terrible famine (1922-1925) he (9…) living in the orphan house. In the early childhood Peter was good (10…) singing. In 1929 he (11…) accepted by the Musical College in Nizhny Novgorod. In 1937 he started his career (12…) a musician in Yoshkar-Ola. In November 1937 he organized the first orchestra in the college. It consisted (13)… five students. Little (14…) little the number of participants grew (15…) 18. In 1938 the first Musical School (16…) children was opened in Yoshkar-Ola. Peter Nikiphorovich (17…) appointed (18…) head teacher. He was (19…) the director of the Mari Philarmonic.

The war interrupted his professional plans (20…) long six years. He joined the Army and went to the front. (21…) demobilization, in 1946 he came (22…) to the Musical College in Yoshkar-Ola and hic musical career (23…) on.


Ex. 10. Render the text about the Mari musician in English.

Анатолий Тихомиров

Анатолий Александрович Тихомиров родился 4 августа 1943 года в городе Козьмодемьянске. Его родители не были музыкантами, но оба очень любили музыку. После окончания школы Анатолий поступает в музыкальное училище имени И.С. Палантая в класс баяна. На выпускном экзамене он дирижировал собственным сочинением, это «Музыкальные картинки» для оркестра русских народных инструментов. В 1968 году А. Тихомиров стал студентом Нижегородской консерватории им. М.И Глинки. Здесь он много сочиняет: это прелюдии, струнный квартет, хоры, баллада, вокальные циклы, симфонические картины, поэмы, пьесы для баяна и аккордеона. С 1973 года композитор живет и трудится в Москве, но до сих пор благодарит своих педагогов, родителей, свою малую родину. Свою любовь он высказывает в произведениях для различных инструментов. Во многих из них слышны марийские интонации и даже использованы народные мелодии.


Ex. 11. Read the text. Make up the right form of the word and fill it in.

The Museum of I. S. Kluchnikov-Palantai

The house of Kluchnikov-Palantai, the… (1) of the professional Mari music is …(2) in Leo Tolstoy Street.

(3) for architecture of Krasnokokshaisk period this …(4) house is “five-walled”, i.e. with the …(5) supporting wall, …(6) through the middle of the building

(7) preserved in the museum are the musical instruments, sketches and …(8) things which belonged to the …(9).

(10), everybody knows this talented master and … (11) of him.

1. to found

2. local

3. type

4. wood

5. five

6. to run

7. to care

8. person

9. to compose

10. doubt

11. pride


Ex. 12. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

The first Mari opera

The first Mari opera “Akpatyr” was composed by Eric Sapaev. The plot is based on the scenes of the peasants’ revolt with E. Pugachyov at the head against the land owners. In the center of events is Akpatyr – the leading character; the Mari warrior. Peasants from the Mari village on the bank of the Ilet River were suffering from the oppression of a well-to-do landlord Savi by name. The reason for the open uprising was the order of the Russian Tsar to take away the lands along the Ilet River. The struggle was headed by Akpatyr whose courage was known among the people. Having changed his clothes and appearance, Akpatyr decided to come to the village to see the peasants’ mood with his own eyes. The people were very angry with the unfair decree. Then Akpatyr revealed his true image and the peasants chose him to be their leader.

Among the peasants he saw a young girl Evika by name and her close friend Evai. Having a talk with Evai, Akpatyr learnt about Evika’s father and to his great surprise he understood that she was his own daughter whom he had lost many years ago. The camp of the rebels was situated in the forest. Akpatyr and his peasants took an oath to be faithful to native people and native land. But the forces were unequal. In the battle with the tsar’s soldiers the rebels were defeated. People parted with a mortally-wounded Akpatyr with a folk song called “The Song of the Recruits”. Recruits were the young boys who were going to the Army to serve the Tsar for many years. They tried to compose new songs in memory of themselves. They chose the lyrics to the folk tunes and new songs appeared. The recruits tried to express their sad thoughts, longing for home, their nearest and dearest whom they left, may be for ever. The composer changed the character of this song. In the folk song we can hear complaint, humbleness but in the opera the same song of the choir sounds firm, even tough. It is the great epic culmination which expresses the strength and power of the cheered up common people.

  • Join the beginnings and the endings together to make sensible sentences.

    1. Having changed his clothes and appearance,

    A. the Mari warrior.

    2. The camp of the rebels was

    B. soldiers the rebels were defeated.

    3. The first Mari opera “Akpatyr”

    C. expresses the strength and power of the cheered up common people.

    4. People parted with a mortally-wounded Akpatyr with

    D. Akpatyr decided to come to the village to see the peasants’ mood with his own eyes.

    5. In the battle with the tsar’s

    E. situated in the forest.

    6. The recruits tried to express their sad thoughts,

    F. a folk song called “The Song of the Recruits”.

    7. It is the great epic culmination which

    G. longing for home, their nearest and dearest whom they left, may be for ever.

    8. The composer changed

    H. with E. Pugachyov at the head against the land owners.

    9. In the center of events is Akpatyr

    I. the character of this song.

    10. The plot is based on the scenes of the peasants’ revolt

    G. was composed by Eric Sapaev.

  • Make up 10 questions to the text.

  • Retell the text about the first Mari opera.


Ex. 13. Read and discuss. Comment on the following:

The folk song is the most precious sample of the people’s art” (P.I. Chaikovsky).

Music should correspond to our inner task” (V. Levi).

I’d always been fond of music. If I didn’t listen to it for long, I missed it” (I. Repin).

Music is the only art, which penetrates in the man’s heart so deeply, that it can depict the movements of his soul” (Stendal).

Music is dear for us because it is the deepest expression of our soul, the harmonic reflection of its joys and sorrows (R. Rollan).


Do you agree with the following?

Among the pleasures of life only love is stronger than music” (A.S. Pushkin).

The real character of a person is found out by his amusements” (Reynolds).

Life seems to be a mistake without music” (F. Nitsshe).

Music makes our habits more noble” (Aristotel).


Ex. 14. Try your hand at translation.

Спасибо, музыка

Спасибо, музыка, за светлые леса…

Они звучат под осень, как оркестры,

Мы все еще не верим в чудеса,

А ты творишь их запросто и честно.

Как дети, что любуются водой,

Стекающей по камушкам со склона,

Ослепшие, стоим мы над тобой,

А ты над нами, выше на два тона. (А. Козловский).


Ex. 15. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

The first Mari ballet

The First Mari ballet is named “Forest Legend” (composer A. Luppov).

Mari El is the land of forests and the poetic images of nature are the constituent part of the poetic works of the Mari people. The plot of the ballet is based on the ancient legends.

A brave and strong hunter Aksai made up his mind to reveal the mystery of the forest land, to learn why its beautiful nature had magic power. He left his native village, his beloved girl Erica and started for the deep forest. An evil spirit of the forest Keremet by name found out about it and decided to punish the young man for his impudence. He acquired the image of a handsome groom and visited Erica to propose to her and to take her to the forest.

Erica saw a beautiful but unkind man with cold steel glitter in his eyes and a tough grin. The girl got so frightened that she gave a loud cry. The neighbours heard it, ran to her place and made the werewolf leave the village. Having failed in the village, Keremet rushed after the young hunter to prevent him from realizing his plan. When meeting the boy, the forest devil didn’t start the battle but resorted to cunning, making use of his devil spell.

Aksai under the evil spell fell asleep on a forest glade. In his dream he saw that the birch trees become the girls and approach him. In one of them he recognized Shaivi, a beautiful girl from a neghbouring village. They said she was a lover of Keremet and was a witch. Closer and closer were coming the girls and the young man began to forget about the purpose of his trip to the forest. All of a sudden he heard a tender voice of Eivika and woke up. He returned home. There everything was ready for the wedding ceremony. A happy groom lifted the veil from the bride’s face and got stupefied: instead of Eivika he saw an enchantress Sheivi with a green birch twig in her hand.

Aksai decided to delay his marriage till he discovered the mystery of the forest which wouldn’t let him have a minute’s peace. He again set out for the distant thicket. He was wandering for a long time, at last he found himself on the familiar glade. Sheivi appeared again in front of him. She was conquered by his courage and the girl decided to reveal the forest mystery to him. She waved the birch twig and suddenly all the trees, bushes, stumps around them became alive. They used to be people who once fought against Keremet. Only Keremet’s death could save them. Aksai decided to find the evil host of the forest, to defeat him and to rescue forest people.

It’s gloomy and quiet in Keremet’s Kingdom. Even the birds don’t sing here being afraid to disturb the forest lord. Aksai was on the point of entering the kingdom when all the evil forces of the forest attacked him. He struggled bravely but the forces were unequal. Aksai felt his defeat and heard Keremet laughing above his head. But at this moment Sheivi gave him a helping hand. Keremet chose a moment to kill Aksai but it was Sheivi who took the mortal blow. The girl’s death shook Aksai. He grabbed Keremet and threw him into the swamp. The boggy gulf swallowed the forest devil at once. Forest people returned home rejoicing. They arranged a celebration in honour of the hunter and his bride.

Besides the turns of the plot we should mention the peculiarities of music in different parts of the ballet. Listening to the part called “Erica’s sorrow” we hear the feeling of the lonely girl – tender, mild, dreamy. Both grief and hope are united in this tune. So we see how music can reveal the inner world of a person, the depth of his emotions. Listening to the fragment “Forest Girls” we can feel the unusual fantastic character of the girls’ dance – march, the light whirling tread of the girls.

The dance extract “Keremet with his suite consists of mockery pointed intonations, expressed by the sliding sounds of the brass and wind instruments. This jerky melody helps to understand the falsity and hypocrisy of the matchmaking scene, opening the true face of the wicked Keremet.

So, music develops people’s musical and moral consciousness, has direct influence on the formation of tastes, values, preferences in the sphere of music, art in particular and life on the whole.

  • Ask disjunctive questions to the sentences:

1. Mari El is the land of forests.

2. A brave and strong hunter Aksai made up his mind to reveal the mystery of the forest land.

3. He was wandering for a long time.

4. Sheive was conquered by his courage.

5. He grabbed Keremet and threw him into the swamp.

6. This jerky melody helps to understand the falsity and hypocrisy of the matchmaking scene.

7. Listening to the fragment “Forest Girls” we can feel the unusual fantastic character of the girls’ dance.

8. The dance extract “Keremet consists of mockery pointed intonations.

9. Music develops people’s musical and moral consciousness.

10. Music has direct influence on the formation of tastes and values.

  • Render the contents of the ballet in your own words.

  • Are you fond of listening to operas /watching ballets? What is your favourite opera? Who composed it? What events is the plot devoted to? What can you say about the peculiarities of music in this opera?


Ex. 16. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Mari folk dances

Dances of the Mari people are very interesting and unique. A dance as a kind of art has always been connected with its other kinds. It was one of the components of numerous rites, festivals which were organized during the whole year.

In spring when the sun started shining brightly and nature awoke, the Mari girls brought out the pieces of cloth that they had woven in winter and spread them out on the snow to make them cleaner and whiter. When snow melt and the first green grass appeared, the bleached cloths were beaten on a specially made log. The girls not only were beating the pieces of cloth, but also were competing in their ability to reproduce complex rhythms. Having heard the familiar tunes, the boys joined the girls. So games and dances began.

One of the most interesting spring festivals was “Agavairem” (The Holiday of a wooden plough). It was marked at the end of April. It was devoted to the sowing work. On the eve of the holiday women used to colour eggs, baked pancakes, cooked cottage cheese dumplings, honey and beer. Then, in the appointed place, in the field the fires were made. People burned candles and began playing. After these rituals, a holiday dinner started. It was followed by games and dances.

One more spring festival was called “Sortavairem” (The Day of the candle). It was arranged in honour of the dead. On the first day different religious rituals were held. On the second day people visited their neighbours and relatives. After the holiday dinner the bagpipers started playing. All the guests were sitting in a circle. The hostess took a bowl full of beer and started dancing. She approached each guest, gave him the bowl with beer. Then the host took the bowl and also treated the guests. Then the dance began.

A man approached a woman, stretching his hands forward as if he wanted to give her a hug. They left each other and then met again. They danced in such a way for a few minutes, then they were given a bowl with beer. They thanked the host and the hostess, drank a bit and went to their places.

All the Mari dances can be divided into the following groups:

1. Ritual dances: dances-marches, performed while sacrificing; wedding dances (the dance of a matchmaker, the dance with a whip, etc), dances at funeral feast.

2. Routine dances: e.g. “Five couples”, “A stream”, “Looking for a couple”, etc.).

Having common national basis, the Mari dances in different regions have their peculiarities.

Meadow Mari Dances

The majority of dances are of mass character. They are usually accompanied by playing the accordion and by singing chastushki (short, often humorous or satirical rhymes). One of the most spread dances is the circle dance. Boys and girls stand in a circle. First they move to the right singing a song, and then turned to the left. The second spread dance is when performers make two lines, one opposite the other. They start the dance, approaching each other. A boy and a girl form a couple, whirl to one side, then to the other. Then dances the second couple, then the third, etc. At the end they bow to each other and to the musicians.

The women’s movements of the arms are mild and smooth; the men’s movements are quick and energetic. Tap-dances are commonly used dancing techniques. We may say that in Sernur-Toryal subgroup the dances are preserved in their ancient type. The dances here are reserved and slow. The couple dances of lyrical character are of great interest. They resemble the breeding dances of birds. All the feelings are expressed by soft movements of arms and hands, by swinging the body, and hardly heard tap of the heels. As a rule, they are performed to the bagpipe melodies.

Mountain Mari Dances

The most popular is a circle dance. The performers stand in a circle, take each other’s hands and “run” to the right. Then they stop and perform tap dance. During the tap dance they don’t break the hands; their bodies turn from side to side. Then the dance begins from the very beginning.

The Mari dances are various, but don’t contain complicated structure. They reflect the people’s life and hard labour. In spring dances the Mari people expressed their hope for the rich harvest, in autumn dances honoured the difficult work of a farmer. The most widely spread movements were walking to music, tap dances, clicking by fingers. This character of dances can be explained by many reasons:

1. The female clothes were not adapted to quick movements. The clothes were multi-tiered, tied with belts. The women wore a lot of decorations. Their weight could reach up to 8 kg.

2. The musical opportunities of the Mari instruments were limited. The accompaniment was slow and monotonous.

3. The life of the Mari people was hard. It didn’t provide the development of the national literature, music, culture.

  • Answer the questions on the text:

  1. Folk dances are usually connected with numerous rites, don’t they?

  2. What spring ritual dances can you describe?

  3. Into what groups can all the Mari dances be divided?

4. What are the peculiar features of the Meadow Mari dances?

5. What do they resemble?

6. What melodies are they accompanied by?

7. What is characteristic of the Mountain Mari dances?

8. The Mari dances don’t contain complicated structure, do they?

9. How can the character of the Mari dances be explained?

10. Can you dance any Mari dances? Where did you learn to do it?

  • Describe in a few words any Mari dance you like most.

Ex. 17. Read the instructions and try to perform an ancient Mari dance.

Bagpipe”

(an ancient dance of the Mari people in Toryalsky Region)

The brief content of the dance:

A drummer enters the stage and begins to drum, inviting boys and girls for a dance. The drummer is joined by the boys who are coming from the left and right. They imitate playing bagpipes and turn to different sides as if looking for the girls. The girls appear and the dance begins – not very fast, full of dignity and mutual respect.

The description of the movements:

  1. Toryalsky tap – dance. It is performed by girls.

The starting point – position number six for feet. The arms are placed in front of the chest, bending in elbows.

  1. Raise the right leg. Stamp the right foot and at once stamp the left foot.

  2. Raise the left foot. Stamp the left foot and at once stamp the right foot.

  3. The movements are repeated. The girls’ arms are soft, floating from right to left.

2. Bows with a bagpipe. It is performed by boys.

The initial position – bend the right knee holding a bagpipe in the hands.

  1. Bend the body down.

  2. Raise the body. Lift the head up and right. The bagpipe is lifted too.

  3. Bend the body to the right.

  4. Bend the body to the left. Lift the head up and left.

  5. The movements are repeated.

3. Lateral march crosswise. It is performed by girls.

The starting point – position number six for feet. The arms are lifted in front of the chest.

  1. Make a step by the right foot to the left, crosswise the left foot, slightly bending it.

  2. The left foot is raised to the tiptoe.

  3. The right arm is drawn to the right.

  4. The left arm is in front of the chest.

  5. The hand is bent to the right shoulder.

  6. Make a step by the left foot to the right.

  7. The right foot is raised to the tiptoe.

  8. The toes of both feet are taken inside.

  9. The movements are repeated.

Backward march. It is performed by boys.

  1. Bend the knees, perform half squatting.

  2. Make a step by the left foot back.

  3. Stretch sharply the right leg forward.

  4. Turn the knees of the both legs apart.

  5. Make a step by the right foot

  6. The movements are repeated.

  7. Make four steps, turn around oneself.

Unit 4. Mari national crafts

Ex. 1. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

The Mari folk arts

Part 1

The Mari folk art has its roots in olden times when the ancient Mari nationality was coming into being.

Embroidering has been the most popular folk art and is notable for the variety of forms as well as for the creative imagination of the Mari women. The earliest embroideries appeared at the end of the 18th century.

In the past every woman could embroider and her abilities and diligence were judged by her embroideries. Embroidery required great skill. Patterns had to be arranged on the definite surface in such a way that symmetry order shouldn’t be broken.

The Meadow Mari dress was covered with the so-called carpet embroidery, i. e. linen was completely covered with patterns and no free space was left.

The Mountain Mari embroidery differed from that of the Meadow Mari and had much in common with the embroidery of the neighboring Chuvash region.

Folk traditions are used in the work of the stitched and embroidered article-producing factory called “Truzhenitsa” (Woman worker) in the town of Yoshkar-Ola. Table-cloths, table-napkins decorated with the national embroidery easily harmonize with any modern interior. The best articles manufactured by the “Truzhenitsa” factory are very popular with the people. They are demonstrated at numerous national and international exhibitions and often win prizes and medals.


  • Find the words in the text that mean: появились, известно, вышивать, вышивка, требовать, мастерство, ковровая вышивка, свободное пространство, скатерти, салфетки, гармонируют, современный интерьер, многочисленные призы.

  • Make up sentences using the words mentioned above.



Part 2

Wood has been the most favourite material for the folk arts. Wood is used to build houses, to make tools, furniture, boats, carts, toys.

The Mari people use birch bark and lime-tree bast to make different in size and form boxes and baskets, bags, salt-cellars, snuff-boxes, etc.

Oak is used to make rings for baking bread, beehives, cradles for babies.

Basket work from withe (ивовый прут), twigs of mountain-ash (рябина), bird-cherry tree, roots of fir-tree is still very popular with the Mari people. They wattle (плести) chairs, arm-chairs, sofas, tables, etc. Using a great variety of methods craftsmen make not only necessary house-hold articles, but genuine works of applied art.

Nowadays the development of the folk arts is paid much attention to. The Mari people try to keep the traditions of their fore-fathers because as D. S. Likhachev wrote: “Care for the folk art is a happy duty of each citizen of our big multi-national Motherland”.

  • Find the mistakes and correct them:

  1. Wood have been used to build houses.

  2. The Mari people use birch bark to make different box.

  3. Oak is used to make rings for bakeing bread.

  4. The Mari people are wattle chairs using twigs of mountain ash.

  5. Basket work is popular at the Mari men.

  6. Today the development of the folk arts are paid much attention to.

  • Imagine your American pen-pal is coming to visit you. You have prepared some presents for him/ her: a table-cloth decorated with embroidery and a small basket. Try to tell him about these souvenirs and be ready to answer his/ her questions.

  • Try to organize a class exhibition “My granny’s chest” and get ready to tell the visitors about the exhibits.


Ex. 2. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Mari wood-carving

Wood-carving is one of the most wide spread types of amateur folk arts of the Mari people. This art was closely connected with every day life, with the desire to decorate the house, the household articles; with the life of the Mari nation itself and with the traditional mentality, and world outlook.

The favourable conditions of the land (the large amount of forests) provided the wide usage of wood for construction of houses and creation of utility articles.

Wood possesses rich natural properties. It is available, mild and easy in processing. In free from farming work period the ancient Maris cut, gouged, turned all sorts of household items. Wooden things with the images of animals and birds were considered to be symbols – guarders or mascots. The most favourite was the image of a horse. It was due to its specific role in the life of a farmer. The image of a horse in the Mari mentality used to symbolize the family, house, fertility. The house head, being put on the roof of the house, “guarded” it from all troubles and misfortunes.

The architectural carving among the Mari craftsmen doesn’t have old traditions. It appeared on mass scale as a means of house decoration only in the late 1900-s. The carved decorations were typical for each house of that time. The main attention was paid to the design of pediment, façade and window jambs. The Mari people also liked to decorate the columns of the gates, which are not preserved now.

All kinds of carving are represented by the geometrical ornament. It consists of straight lines, triangles, circles, rhombs and their combinations. The wood-carving as the house decoration has remained in northern and north-eastern regions of the Republic (in Novotoryalsky, Mari-Tureksky, Sovetsky, Sernursky Regions).

A lot of motifs in the wood-carving date back to the ancient traditions. The most popular one was a multi-petal flower or a rosette, which symbolized the sun. This “sunny” rosette composed the principal part of the decoration. Also popular were the ornaments consisted of wavy stalks and luxuriant leaves.

Tracery carving appeared much later. It was done in the technique of cutting, when the motif was observed against the transparent background. This kind of carving was dominant in Kozmodemyansk Region. The eaves, window jambs, pilasters were richly decorated with the help of these “wooden lace”. The craftsmen widely used the elements of the Mari national ornament in their work. In areas close to Tatar Republic, the pieces of the Tatar ornaments appeared.

Carving was also used for decorating hand-made tableware: bowls, cups, spoons, ladles. Preserving their utility functions, they also became the unique works of art.

The carvers were exclusively men. They preferred to work with mild sorts of trees: a lime tree, an apple-tree, an aspen, an alder-tree. The main tools for wood processing were an axe, a knife, a fretsaw, a chisel and a gouge.

The most favourite female activity was painting chestnuts. Let’s have a close look at one of such trunks. All the walls and its cover are painted in blue colour. The front wall and the cover are decorated with vegetable motifs. In the middle of each composition – a branch from an apple-tree in blossom. It is repeated in all the four corners of the cover. The whole painting is framed by two straight white lines.

In conclusion, it should be said, that wood carving is closely connected with ethnic, moral sense of the Mari nation and acquires particular meaning at present.

  • Say whether it is true of false:

1. Wood-carving is one of the amateur folk arts of the Mari people which was closely connected with the traditional mentality and world outlook.

2. The great amount of forests promoted the development of wood-carving.

3. Wooden things were considered to be the mascots and showed the material position of the house’s host.

4. The house head, being put on the roof of the house, proved that the family had a house.

5. The architectural carving among the Mari craftsmen has old traditions.

6. All kinds of carving are represented by the geometrical ornament.

7. The wood-carving as the house decoration has remained all over the Republic.

8. Tracery carving appeared in the 19-th century.

9. Tracery carving prevailed in Kozmodemyansk Region.

10. Carving was used only for decorating houses.

11. The carvers were both men and women.

12. The carvers preferred to work with a lime tree, an apple-tree, an aspen, a birch.

  • Write an article to the English newspaper in order to tell the readers about the Mari amateur folk arts.


Ex. 3. Render the text in English.

Обработка дерева

Традиционным для горных марийцев являлся промысел (craft) по изготовлению деревянных тростей (walking stick). Распространение он получил в конце 1890-х годов. Основоположником этого промысла был Тимофей Барышкин, который служил в армии в Дагестане и освоил (to learn) там изготовление раскрашенных (painted) и лакированных (lacquered) тростей. Первым мастером-кустарем (handscraftsman) был житель Козьмодемьянска Федор Дмитриевич Калашников, который делал трости из карельской (Karelian) березы, яблони, клена (maple).

В начале XX века трости изготавливали жители 17 населенных пунктов (settlements) Горномарийского района. Трости ценились как оригинальный волжский сувенир и как модная и удобная для прогулки вещь.

В настоящее время изготовлением деревянных тростей, расчесок и украшений занимается мастер из города Козьмодемьянска А.П. Лашутов. Его работы часто отправляются в художественные салоны (art workshops) г. Москвы.


Ex. 4. Read the text and complete with a/an or the if necessary.

Beauty is somewhere near

(after G. Levenshtein)

As for the utility objects, I was attracted by (1…) bowls or ladles with long handles which were usually decorated with various ornaments and their tops – with zoomorphic (2…) figures. I found out that such (3…) bowls are kept in (4…) museum named after A. Grigoryev in Kozmodemyansk. I made up my mind to apply to its (5…) director N.V. Prosvirin.

We descended into the cellar where the shelves were full of different utensils. The ancient Mari people ate (6…) liquid hot food from big deep bowls and scooped it with wooden spoons. They also used bowls and dishes of different size, sometimes very large (67 cm in diameter). For drinking there were small cups – ladles.

I saw them on (7…) one of the shelves. They were (8…) very delicate and graceful. Their handles were crowned with the figures of a horse or a bird. I looked at them with (9…) admiration. It goes without saying, when you drink from such (10…) ladle, you both quench your thirst and get aesthetic pleasure and delight. Today, when you hold a spoon, made from stainless steel or faience, you can’t experience such feelings.

At the top of the ladle there is (11…) figure o f a horse or a duck. However, if a duck had been known as the Mother of the world in Finno-Ugric world since ancient times, the figure of a horse appeared much later.

Here in (12…) museum I also saw a big ladle, called skobkar – a big vessel in the form of a swimming bird, which was aimed at containing home-made beer and honey. Its title originated from the way it was produced. To get such a ladle a craftsman had to scrape a tree. It was (13…) most picturesque item among the table ware. At (14…) dinners it was taken around the table and was (15…) its decorative centre.

The motif of a bird was the most favoutite in the folk art. The bowl was carved from the tree root and the craftsman formed the ladle as the bird’s head that was proudly raised.


Ex. 5. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Wooden Mari architecture

The architectural and compositional peculiarities of the wooden architecture of the Mari people were formed in close connection with natural surroundings (a river – a ravine – a sacred grove – a cemetery) and according to the arrangement of the rural farmstead which included a house, a yard, a summer kitchen (“kudo”), a shed, a closet, a barn, a bath-house, a kitchen garden, a threshing floor.

In this natural spatial organization the integral attribute was a boarder-line. More often the function was fulfilled by a ravine with a spring, a river, a ditch, a sacred grove or a gate. The peculiarity of this architectural ensemble was stipulated by historic experience, environment and national psychology and ethnic originality. It was also influenced by the geographical position, the direction of nation’s economy, its history and by many other factors.

The Mari settlements appeared spontaneously, but the common sense and natural intuition helped to make them organic and harmonic. The most wide spread type of the Mari settlements are villages. They have been reported in historic papers since the 17-th century. The Mari farmstead usually consisted of two parts: the front part – a yard with all necessary buildings and the back one, comprising a kitchen garden and a threshing floor. The yard occupied nearly half of the territory of the farmstead; the number of buildings was various. It included a dwelling house, a closet, a barn, a summer kitchen, a mow, a cattle shed.

The farmstead was usually in the form of a rectangle. The place for it was thoroughly chosen. There are a lot of folk signs connected with this process. The site is suitable for a new house if the branches of a nut-tree are easily broken. If they are bent, the place is bad for this purpose. Sometimes a bucket with water was left on the chosen place. If the feathers of birds were found in the water in the morning, the place was believed to be a good one for building a house. The Mari people also came to the place at sunrise and at sunset. If the air in the morning and in the evening was warm there, the place could be chosen for a happy life.

A few words should be said about a specific building – a summer kitchen (in the Mari language it is called “kudo”). Its destination changed in the course of time. Originally it was used as a sacred place. It was a traditional building aimed at carrying out sacred rituals. They say “a house spirit” lived there. Later it transformed into a summer kitchen.

In the formation of an architectural look of the Mari estates the dominant significance has one-story and two-storey barns. The gallery of the second floor is attached with the help of a staircase. Usually behind the garden there is a kitchen garden and a threshing floor.

We can also mention a special device – a light construction for drying sheaves. It was built of thin poles and it rose above the deep pit, at the bottom of which a fire was made. The compositional center of many Mari farmsteads was a tree or a group of trees of cult purpose. They were distinguished by size and beauty. Among the trees (lime-trees, birches, mountain ashes, and bird cherry trees) family praying and sacrifice ceremonies were held.

The whole architectural ensemble was organically added by pagan cemeteries, where the funeral repasts took place in honour of the dead ancestors. Alongside the sacred groves, the springs, natural phenomena were the objects of worship among the Mari people (e.g. the Hill called Chombulat in Sovetsky Region). In the creation of the whole architectural complex an important part was assigned to the gates and barriers. The wellbeing of a host was judged by them.

So, the folk Mari architecture is a historic, ethnographic, architectural and decorative phenomenon. It is explained by ancient traditions and original national peculiarities.

  • Draw a plan of the traditional Mari rural farmstead. Label all the buildings on your map.

  • Speak about the Mari farmstead using your plan.

  • Try to find some similarities / differences with the modern rural house.


Ex. 6. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

The Ethnographic Museum in Kozmodemyansk

The Ethnographic Museum in the open air in Kozmodemyansk was opened in summer 1983. This event was timed to the 400th anniversary of Kozmodemyansk. The total area of the Museum is more than 5 hectares. More than 60 different buildings are on its territory.

Coming into the yard through the gates you see a house. The fore-house is used for living in winter and a store-house for living in summer. Under the house there is a cellar for storing vegetables. If you like risks you can walk down the stairs into the complete darkness. They say the cellar is haunted by a wicked ghost. You’ll get a fair doze of thrill and unforgettable experience.

In front of the house there is a cottage for cooking meals. It’s a kind of a summer kitchen. Further you can see a shed for cattle. A bee garden is very popular with tourists. Drinking tea with honey is part of the fun. The museum is proud of the mill with 4 wings moving due to the wind. There are 3 wells on the territory of the Museum. You are recommended to drink the pure water. A few drops will be enough to understand how tasty it is. There are also 2 bath-houses made of wood.

The oldest building is a two-storey barn. It was used for storing grain, flour, meat. Home-made things: mittens, gloves, socks, embroidered towels, valenki are exhibited here.

The Museum is being expanded with the new exhibits. Young people learn a lot about the past, about the life of their ancestors. The Ethnographic Museum is a must for all visitors arriving at Kozmodemyansk.

  • Why do you think the Museum could be of great interest to the following people:

  1. a teenager who is fond of spooky stories;

  2. a girl who is good at crafts and designs;

  3. a student who is writing a scientific research on the history of our Republic;

  4. a child who has a sweet tooth;

  5. a journalist who is writing an article about the development of tourism in Mari El.

  • Collect your ideas how to make the museum more attractive.

  • If you had a chance what other exhibits would you place here?

  • Make up a project about this museum and offer it to the tourist firms in our town. They will be very grateful to you.


Ex. 7. Make up the right form of the word to suit each gap.

Hands find business themselves

Ivan Vladimirovich Podoplelov lives in the (1. ..) of Kilemary (Mari El). He is considered to be the best (2. …) who is especially good at making furniture.

Ten years ago he fell (3. …) ill and doctors had to amputate the toes on his feet. It helped but only for a few years. Then - one more operation and the (4. …) of both legs.

When a man is healthy and can walk on his own legs, he doesn’t think about this (5. …). But if a (6. …) comes, it makes the man look at his previous life at another angle. Some people, being depressed and (7. …), start drinking alcohol heavily, others leave this world for another – they devote themselves to church. Only strong people can find the only right (8. …) .

Once Ivan called on his friends who were (9. …) in the workshop. They were turning the door (10. …). He didn’t notice how he himself took the instruments into his hands. He began to come here every day, first to help, then he earned enough money to buy his own tools. He adjusted the lathe to (11. …) so that he could work sitting on the chair. By and by his business flourished. He works a bit slowly but the chairs and armchairs made by this master are highly (12. …) by his village fellows for good quality. He approves that the young people also prefer to buy furniture made of wood but not of plastic. He is sure it looks nice, (13. …) and cozy. (14. …), a real craftsman creates his masterpieces not for money only, but for his (15. …). That’s why they live for a long time keeping the (16. …) of the man’s hands and giving it away to other people. Perhaps this is the very (17. …) of the human life?

1. To settle

2. To join


3. Serious


4. To amputate


5. Happy

6. Fortunate

7. Hope



8. To solve

9. Business

10. To handle




11. He


12. Evaluation



13. Charm

14. Doubt

15. Pleasant

16. Warm

17. Essential


Ex. 8. Render the text in English.

Жилище марийцев

Большое место в доме занимает печь (an oven). Она ставится на сруб (a frame-work) из еловых или сосновых бревен (logs). Чтобы хлеб в печи получался вкусным, в основание (foundation) печи клали прутья (twigs) в виде креста. При завершении работы проводили магические обряды (rites): клали ветки рябины (mountain ash), деньги, выносили каравай (a round loaf), ставили бутылку водки. Чтобы новая печь была теплой и служила долго, хозяйка (a hostess) дома пекла блины и первые из них бросала в огонь, остальными угощала (to treat) печника (stove-setter).

Плодом (result) творческих фантазии народных зодчих являлась летняя кухня и амбар. Их архитектура выразительна и проста в конструкциях. Амбары были одно и двухэтажные. Они сооружались до 30-х годов прошлого века. Первый этаж был приспособлен (to be adjusted to) под хлебные закрома (bread granaries), а верхний служил хранилищем (a store-room) одежды и летней спальней.

Баня (a bath house) также занимает важное место в жизни марийцев. Считалось, что в бане обитал дух-покровитель (patron) здоровья членов семьи. Считалось обязательным мыться в бане накануне (on the eve) праздников и молений. Топка бани считалась непременным условием гостеприимства (hospitality). В бане женщины рожали детей (to give birth to children). Бытовые функции (everyday necessities) бани связаны со стиркой белья, сушкой льняных и конопляных снопов.


Ex.9. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Traditional Mari weaving

One of the brightest display of the folk culture in which the traditions of the material and spiritual life of the nation was embodied, is the local crafts, connected with the process of manufacturing of home-made fabric for clothes.

In 19-th century the main raw materials for producing home-made cloth were fibrous plants and sheep’s wool. Since ancient times the Mari people have used flax and hemp. Hemp was the most wide spread fibrous plant among Finno-Ugric peoples. Flax was used less; it was cultivated mainly in northern regions (modern Medvedevsky, Orshansky). The Mari people considered that herm cloth was much stronger than flax cloth. So they preferred to cultivate hemp though the process was rather labour-intensive.

A great number of traditions connected with cultivation of hemp testify to the fact that hemp had great importance in every day life of the Mari people. For instance, during hemp sowing you shouldn’t have your hair cut, otherwise the harvest will be poor. You shouldn’t sow it after midday or it will grow short and weak. In order to have a rich harvest, the Mari people carried out a lot of magic rites, cook ritual dishes from hempseeds.

Folklore also points out the importance of this plant. In numerous proverbs, sayings, riddles, songs people vividly expressed their centuries-old experience concerning cultivation of hemp.

Hemp is a heat-loving plant which needs warmth, moisture and nutritious substances to grow quickly and to give good harvest of seeds and fibre. The Mari people sowed hemp at the end of May or at the beginning of June when the average temperature of air was about 12-18º C. According to the folk signs, the best time for it was the period when frogs started to croak.

In September, when the harvest was gathered and hemp was bound, it was time to ret it. Along the bank of the river each family had its own pit for retting. The process was over in two weeks or so. Then the hemp sheaves were hung to dry and then were taken home. Flax was processed approximately in the same way,

The last operation was to comb out the fibre. As a result, the fibre of three qualities was received. The first sort was used for making sacks, the second – for every day clothes, the third – for holiday shirts and skirts.

Later the Mari women prepared threads from fibre. It was a long process and it was the first stage in cloth production. They say women were weaving since late autumn up to Shrovetide. When the threads were ready, they were put into the oven to bleach. Women used ashes, whey, alkaline solution to make the threads white. The bleached threads were dried in the open air, so that the sun and the frost could make them cleaner. At the end the dried yarn was moistened with yolks or soap to make it softer and not fleecy. So the yarn was prepared for weaving.

The Mari girls were taught to weave since they were 14 years old. If a girl couldn’t weave, she couldn’t get married. Each girl had to prepare 12 shirts for her and in addition to it, a lot of presents for relatives and future husband. During the wedding ceremony the bride presented the guests with home-made cloth. The white canvas was a symbol of peace and the hand-made thread symbolized the life way.

In conclusion, we can say that weaving was not only of great practical use, but due to these crafts the Mari people joined the world of art. This craft developed imagination, the ideas of beauty and harmony.

  • Find in the text sentences with Past Simple Passive, Past Simple Active, Present Simple Active, Present Perfect Active, modal verbs, Participle I, Participle II, gerund, the comparative and superlative degrees of comparison of adjectives, the compound nouns.

  • Make up 15 questions to the text.

  • Retell the text in your own words.


Ex. 10. Render the text in English.

Ткачество

Одним из самобытных (original) ремесел (craft) марийского народа является ткачество (weaving) – изготовление ткани. До конца 19 – начала 20 веков марийцы шили одежду из конопляного (hemp) и льняного (flax) холста (cloth). У восточных марийцев было развито узорное (patterned) и пестрядинное (tapestry) (браное) ткачество. Узор наносился шерстью. Из узорной ткани шили полотенца, занавески, рубахи. Уникальными изделиями можно назвать мужские и женские пояса.

В браном ткачестве узор идет по всей ширине (width) ткани, то по лицевой стороне (face side), то по изнанке (inner side), образуя узор и его негативное изображение. В результате получался орнамент из чередующихся (eventually alternating)фигур.

Изделия из узорного ткачества поражают (to impress) буйством красок (turbulent colours), неожиданностью цветовых сочетаний, разнообразием и более всего – ощущением внутренней (inner) свободы и радостным (joyful) восприятием (perception) жизни их творцов (makers).

Ex.11. Read the text and open the brackets using the correct tense form.

Traditional Mari embroidery

In the process of historic development the Mari people (1.to acquire) the definite character of the embroidered pattern; original methods of fulfillment. The Mari women carefully (2. to keep) all the techniques of the embroidery of their region or settlement. Each village, each family used (3. to have) its own type of embroidery with particular colour combination and patterns.

Different items of folk costume (4. to decorate) with the images of birds, animals, plants, flowers. No motif in such pictures (5. to repeat) twice. Each skilled woman had her own manner, “handwriting”, her own mark in the unique combination of patterns, ribbons, little brushes from multi-coloured threads. That’s why, due to colour gamut, and the pattern of the embroidery you could (6. to identify) the place of producing this or that thing. Unfortunately, the complete information, contained in the patterns can be re-coded neither by scientists nor by old residents. This task (7. to remain) the subject of research for ethnographers nowadays.

Nature occupied an important place in the creative work of the Mari people. It was one of the sources which inspired a person in his art work. From nature people (8. to borrow) ideas for patterns which decorated their clothes and houses.

The Mari people usually worshiped deer, bear, horse, bird. A deer in the Mari ornament was the object of hunting; a horse was connected with farming; a duck and a swan were defined as symbols of kindness, love and beauty.

In the image of a bird the Mari girls (9. to embody) their dream of family happiness. That’s why one of the most widely used symbols in the Mary embroidery is a couple of birds at the towel ends or a branch and a leaf in the corner of a handkerchief. This tradition originated from the ancient legends about the creation of the world. One of them says that among the seas and oceans on a hill there (10. to be) a tree. The birds made a nest there and the life on Earth began. That’s why a tree became the symbol of life and the birds – the signs of family prosperity. Birds are often used in the ornaments of the Mountain Mari embroidery.

A lot of ornaments include geometric patterns. It is considered to be the most ancient one. The meanings of some figures are discovered. They usually were the special signs for a pre-historic man that protected him from the evil forces. For example, wavy or straight lines meant “earth” or “water”, a circle substituted for the Sun.

Embroidery (11. to demand) patience and good skills. The pattern (12. to have) to be placed on the definite surface not to break the lows of symmetry. The square, occupied by the embroidery on the dress, the character of the pattern depended on the woman’s age, social status. The smartest dress was a dress for a bride and a dress for a young girl.

  • Make a plan of the text.

  • Retell the text using your plan.



Ex.12. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Colour variety in Mari embroidery

The traditional Mari embroidery is characterized by a definite colour gamut. It is usually built on the four basic colours: black, red, yellow and green. The main colours are black and green. All the rest add something and make the embroidery more vivid; strengthen the esthetic perception of the complete colour design.

Black and dark blue threads are used for making the outlines of a pattern; the central part is carried out in red colour with little dissemination of green and yellow ones. The red colour symbolizes the colour of fire, the Sun. The black colour was necessary to make the frames of the space. The dark, deep hues dominated in the Mari embroidery.

To dye the threads the Mari women used substances of vegetable origin. Thus, the black colour was made with the help of oak bark. At first the large pieces of bark were put into the water together with rusty iron bars, then the threads were sunk into this strong solution.

The red colour was received from the plant called madder. The root of this herb was dried, ground and mixed with water. Then the threads were boiled in this water for a few hours till the necessary hue was achieved.

At the end of the 19-th century, with appearance of aniline dyes, the embroidery was enriched by new colours: blue, lilac, violet, orange, purple. Pink, blue and turquoise colours are especially liked by the Mari women.

  • Add some information from the text to make the sentences complete.

  1. red, yellow and green.

  2. is carried out in red colour.

  3. the colour of fire, the Sun.

  4. substances of vegetable origin.

  5. with the help of oak bark.

  6. the plant called madder.

  7. are especially liked by the Mari women.

  8. by a definite colour gamut.

  • Retell the text in brief.


Ex.13. Read the poem and do the tasks after it.

Марийский узор

Рассветов и закатов ярких краски

И разноцветье луга, пестрота лесов

Загадочною вышитою сказкой

Легли узорами на чистоту холстов.

А темно-красный в черном обрамлении

Узор марийский радовал века

Сейчас расцвечен он на удивленье –

Как радуга переливаются цвета.

Квадраты, треугольники и ромбы,

Розетты и простые уголки –

Переплетенье их торжественно и строго,

И как они на белом льне легки.

На платьях, фартуках, рубашках

Искусно вышит женскою рукой.

Веревочкой и крестиком и гладью

Ведет узор волшебный разговор.

(Т. Софронова)

  • Glossary:

  1. mysterious – загадочный

  2. a pattern – узор

  3. a cloth – холст

  4. to frame – обрамлять

  5. solemn – торжественный

  6. an apron – фартук

  7. feather stitch – тамбурный шов, «веревочка»

  8. satin stitch – гладь

  • Render the poem in English. If you can, do the literary translation into the English language.

  • Discuss the poem in the form of a dialogue with your partner:

  1. Were all the Mari women good at embroidery?

  2. What patterns did they usually embroider?

  3. Did these patterns have any symbolic meaning?

  4. What colours are traditional for the Mari embroidery?

  5. Are you fond of embroidering? Can you do it well?

  6. Who taught you to embroider?

  7. Do you think clothes with national embroidery look trendy?


Ex.14. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

An embroidered bookmark

Necessary materials: a picture with the ornament design, a piece of cloth (a canvas), coloured threads, needles, scissors, tambour.

Procedure:

  1. Prepare a piece of cloth (925 cm);

  2. Leave 1 cm on each side for making drawn-thread work;

  3. Have a look at the ornament (its width is 64 cm);

  4. With the help of bright threads make the outlines;

  5. The central pattern occupies 210 threads in vertical direction;

  6. Begin the embroidery from the left corner. Make a path (a strip) with red threads.

  7. Take a thread of crimson colour and make the second path, which should be parallel to the first one.

  8. Then fill in the triangles at the end of the path with red or brown threads.

  9. Make the central pattern. Find the central point. Start to embroider the pattern with maroon, red, crimson, brown threads according to the plan.

  10. The ready bookmark iron through the wet cloth.

  • After reading and translating the text, try to follow the instructions in practice in order to produce a sample of the Mari embroidery.

  • Show your ready work to the classmates and explain in English how it was done, what all the elements of the pattern mean, how the bookmark looks like in your opinion.


Ex.15. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Different techniques of embroidery

  • Feather stitch

It’s one of the most widely spread stitches. It is performed from left to right or from the bottom to the top. Fasten a thread, do a stitch backwards, pricking a needle across 3-4 threads and then take out the needle at the place of the first puncture. It’s important to observe the thread is always from the same side of the needle – on the right or on the left. The stitches must be not long, equal, tightly placed to each other. Only under these conditions the stitch is clear, distinct, even and nice to look at.

  • Satin stitch

Embroidery in satin stitch is the complete filling in the plane according to the earlier made pattern. Such embroidery doesn’t depend on the direction of the threads in the cloth. So you can use fabric with smooth surface. There are different types of satin stitch: white satin-stitch, shadow satin stitch, cutting satin stitch, flooring satin stitch. In order to decorate female shawls and kerchiefs, the Mountain Mari women used the white satin stitch. It is done with white silk threads on the thin cloth (cambric, voile or marquisette).

  • Translate the text in written form using a dictionary.

  • If you are good at painting, illustrate the instructions with step by step pictures or schemes so that a foreigner could easily understand how to do the work.


Ex.16. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Some general rules for an embroiderer

If you are going to take up embroidering, don’t forget the rules of your safety.

  1. The tambour should be placed in a convenient way;

  2. The working space should be well-lit. It’s better to have a special lamp over the working space. The best place is near the window.

  3. To reduce the tension of the eyes, you should do special exercises for 2-5 minutes each one/ two hours of work:

  • Move your eyes to the right, then to the right, then to the left. Don’t move the head;

  • Close your eyes tightly;

  • Put your fingers on the eye lids and press them a little.

  • It improves blood circulation and reduces the danger of making your eyesight worse.

  1. During the work only fingers move. That’s why your neck, back, legs get tired very quickly. So in half an hour do exercises for these parts of your body. You’d better do them to your favourite music.

  2. Follow some safety rules:

  • Needles must be kept in one box;

  • A broken needle must be thrown away;

  • Mind the right posture of your body;

  • The light should be on your left;

  • The tambour must be 40 cm away from your eyes.

Following these simple instructions, you will be healthy, cheerful, energetic and be able to enjoy the results of your work!

  • Read the text carefully. Make sure you have understood everything.

  • Learn the rules by heart in order to keep your health while embroidering.


Ex.17. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Mari national clothes

The main function of any clothes is practical, so the Mari costume fully corresponded to the climatic conditions of the region where people used to live. In addition to it the clothes performed a number of other functions. The costume had differences of local character: due to its cut you could easily identify what place the man came from.

Within one set of clothes there were some peculiarities which were determined by its owner's age. According to the number of elements and the amount of decorations and ornaments, the costumes can be divided into a few groups:

1. for children up to 10 years old

2. for teenagers (10-16)

3. for young unmarried girls

4. for women up to 40 years old

5. for those who are older than 40 years old.

The clothes for kids, boys and girls, practically didn’t differ. They usually included a skirt and a pair of trousers. In the past the level of death among children was rather high, especially among babies. In order to protect them from diseases and evil eye the children’s clothes were decorated with amulets. Bright ribbons, coins, shells, squirrels’ tails were used as specific guards. They were usually attached to the caps of kids.

When a girl grew up, her clothes changed. The ornaments on the shirts became more complicated: different decorations, e.g. necklaces made of beads or glass beads, appeared. At the age of 15-16 the girl’s costume was enriched with bracelets, ear-rings, hair decorations, made of coins. On week days a young woman wore not very many decorations. On holidays she put on the complete set of decorations: on her chest, on her waist, on her neck, on her hair, on her arms.

The clothes of a young woman (up to 40) were richly embroidered, especially on the chest. It was done to protect a woman – future mother. After 40 years old a Mari woman started wearing clothes with more simple and modest trimmings.

The costume of a bride had some unique features. For example, Meadow Mari bride had to wear a fox cap. The bride’s costume also included a large embroidered shawl. The bride had been covered with it before she entered the groom’s house. It protected her from evil eye. The cloth was made from nettle fibre. Later they were replaced by large silk kerchiefs with long tassels. The Mountain Mari decorated the wedding kerchief with a copper cross.

The items of folk costumes were usually of white colour. The white colour is an ancient peculiarity of the Mari costume. The Mari people used to call themselves “a silver man” or “a white man”.

The compulsory component of the Mari clothes, female in particular, were various decorations. In 19 century most of them women produced with their own hands. They widely used coins, shells, beads, glass beads, mother-of-pearl and multi-coloured buttons. In addition the Mari women made use of ribbons, braids or tapes, tassels and fringe. More often than other items were used silver coins. To complete the full set of decorations, a Mountain Mari woman needed 100 rubles in silver in the 19-th century.

The decorations were highly valued and were handed down from mother to daughter. Not each woman could have the whole set of decorations. The Meadow Mari women wore decorations on the forehead. It was a narrow stripe of cloth covered with two rows of silver coins. There were special decorations for ears. The first type was made of wire. They were curved in the form of a question mark and were trimmed with beads. The second type was represented by a narrow stripe of leather, which had the form of a loop and was covered with coins. Meadow Mari women, decorated such ear rings with balls, made of hair’s fur. They were usually dyed into pink colour.

On the head there were special decorations for plaits in the form of ribbons, the edges of which were also dotted with beads and coins. The arm decorations included numerous bracelets, rings. They were spread among all Mari women.

  • Give your reasons for agreeing or disagreeing:

1. Clothes fulfill a great number of functions.

2. The main function of any clothes is decorative.

3. The type of the national clothes depended on the climate.

4. People of different age wore different kinds of clothes.

5. The clothes for kids, boys and girls, were quite the same.

6. The children’s clothes were always decorated with amulets.

7. The embroidery was done in order to protect a woman from evil eye.

8. The costume of a bride had some peculiarities.

9. Nettle was considered to have magic power against evil eye.

10. The national Mari clothes were originally of many colours.

11. The full set of female decorations was rather expensive.

12. Meadow Mari women wore decorations on the arms and head.

  • Ask your Mum (Granny, your neighbour, etc.) if they have any item of the national Mari clothes. Look at them carefully. Describe the clothes in English. Try to add some new details, not mentioned in the text.

  • Read the poem about Mari national dress in Russian, then – in English. Try your hand at translating too, using the given poem as an example. Learn the poem your like most by heart. Organize a contest for the best reciting in your group.

Марийское платье

Белы одежды моего народа – свидетельство духовной чистоты.

Жизнь предков шла в гармонии с природой,

благословлявшей труд их и мечты.

Нежнейших листьев робкое волненье,

Стремящихся навстречу свету, ввысь

И солнечных лучей торжественное пенье

В зелено-красной вышивке сплелись.

Костюм марийки – песнь о счастье жизни,

Творенье мудрой мысли и мечты.

В нем связь времен, он – гимн родной Отчизне,

Он символ мира, света, чистоты.


National dress

Like water lilies, delicate and tender

The dresses of the Mari women are.

The hems that crisp and rustle, make the figure slender.

Besides, they demonstrate the beauty of the ancient folk craft.

Embroidery, that covers all the clothes,

Demands a lot of patience, work ant time.

The magic figures, animals and flowers,

Triangles, circles, lines – all look divine.

Embroidery narrates about past and present,

It symbolizes our victory and might.

It the hymn to native land – not vast, but pleasant,

Absorbing in itself the people’s wisdom and delight.


Ex.18. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

All-Russia festival of the folk costume

In 2000, 2001 in the Republic of Mari El took place the Republican competitions called “The festival of the Mari national costume”. In April 2002 Yoshkar-Ola was the center of the first inter-regional festival of the same kind.

On 17-20 April 2003 on the initiative of the Department of Culture of Russia the Mari capital welcomed the first all-Russia festival of national clothes. It was decided that such contests would be held every two years.

Craftswomen of different folk studios and clubs almost from all regions of our Republic participated in the first All-Russia Festival. They presented numerous variants of the national Mari clothes. Among them were:

1. The women’s club “Erviy” (Novootryalsky Region). The author L.A. Baranova created the samples of modern holiday Mari costume.

2. The Palace of Culture (Sernur). The author L.V. Vetkina made the traditional wedding Mari clothes and a set of clothes for children.

3. The club “Unaviy”, the studio of traditional Mari embroidery in the House of Craftsmen in Zvenigivo. The costumes, presented by N.E. Maikova, were awarded with a special prize for keeping the folk traditions.

4. The Palace of children and Youth (Yoshkar-Ola) prepared the stage Mari costumes for children. The author of the project – N.A. Konstantinova.

5. The studio of designing national clothes in the village of Chodrayal (Morkinsky Region) presented the collection of modern Mari holiday dresses and suits.

6. The Leisure Centre in the village of Medvedevo. The author V.S. Polikarpova presented the Mari stage costume.

7. Childrren’s boarding House in Kozmodemyansk presented the collection of the stage Mountain Mari costumes. The author of the project N.K. Kazakova called it “The connection of the times”.

The festival proved that a costume in the national style would always sound actual and without any doubt would be in great demand for ever. They demonstrated that the folk style had won great popularity among the followers of fashion. It turns out, that modern costume designers create unique samples which are based on the folk traditions and motifs. They make their models approach the current every day life and correspond to the spiritual, ethic, esthetic demands of the designers’ contemporaries. The role of the national costume in esthetic upbringing, in increasing the level of self-identity, in developing the sense of respect to the cultural heritage of the people can’t be overestimated.

  • Fill in the table:

    The author of the project

    The type of the clothes

    The prize (if any)

  • Try to design your own variant of the stylish clothes, based on the Mari national traditions. Comment on your sketches in English. Be ready to answer the questions of your fellow-students.


Ex.19. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

Fashion show

Our first exhibit is every day clothes for a man. They consist of baggy trousers and a shirt. They are made of pure flax (лен). Linen clothes are hand-made. The shirt looks like a tunika; the sleeves and the neck are decorated with embroidery. The second model shows us an every day dress for a woman. It is also decorated with embroidery, ribbons and coins. The last model is wearing a wedding dress. It consists of a dress. An apron and a special fur-cap. The clothes are richly decorated with pendants (висюльки) and silver coins. All the decorations are made of beads, glass beads, buttons. Coins symbolize the sun which must drive away the evil spirits.


  • Cross the odd one:

  1. dress, shirt, cap, silk;

  2. bead, coin, glass bead, waist;

  3. to dress, to take off, to wear, to put on;

  4. to wash, to fix, to sell, to iron;

  5. yellow, cotton, silk, flax;

  6. wonderful, beautiful, terrible, glamorous.

  • Group the words into three categories:

Items of clothes

Material

Decorations

Dress, cotton, embroidery, silk, wool, cap, shirt, coins, trousers, apron, hat, beads, nylon, coat, velvet, glass bead, flax, leather, jacket, sweater.

  • Name part of the body this item of clothes is put on

Mitten – hand; trousers - …; cap - …; scarf - …; boots - …; coat - …; belt - … .

  • Solve the problem:

Ann, Kate and Alice were wearing dresses. One was wearing a blue dress, the second – a red one, the third – a green one. What colour dress was everybody wearing if Kate wasn’t wearing a blue and a red dress, Ann wasn’t wearing a blue dress.



Ex. 20. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

The ethnical defile

The Mari clothes designer Iraida Stepanova … (1) her collection of clothes at the first international … (2) festival “Finno-Ugric Art style” in Syktyvkar in November, 2006. The festival summoned a …(3) number of participants – about 50…(4) from the Republic of Mari El, Udmut Republic, Komi-Permyatsky Autonomous Okrug, the Chuvash Republic, the Republic of Mordovia and from some Finno-Ugric …(5). Her… (6) consisted of 9 models of different styles, … (7), but they all had one thing in common: each dress or blouse or …(8) was decorated with the Mari national hand-made embroidery. The things were not cheap, they… (9) 4-5 thousand rubles… (10), but they were worth that… (11). A lot o pieces of… (12) collection “went” to Finland and Hungary.

  • Fill in the gaps with the appropriate words from the box. There are two extra words:

Her, everybody, countries, record, collection, skirt, money, displayed, cost, each, Russian, ethnical, colours, masters.


  • Choоse the best title for the article:

  1. A wonderful collection of clothes.

  2. The expensive exhibits.

  3. The experts in embroidery.

  4. The first ethnical fashion sow.

  • What do you think the writer’s aim is in writing this article:

A. to inform B. to compare C. to illustrate

Ex. 21. Render the text in English. Think of a title for it. Discuss the text in the form of a dialogue with your partner. Dont forget to express your point of view.

За последнее полустолетие в стране произошли большие изменения, которые коснулись и традиционного марийского костюма. Домотканые изделия сменились фабричными тканями, сложная трудоемкая вышивка упростилась, стала более легкой. Платья и передники стали украшаться растительными орнаментами, крупными бутонами; костюмы уже потеряли прежнюю строгую красоту, кажутся даже аляповатыми. Во многих случаях вышивка заменяется полосками ткани, тесьмой, кружевами.

Сейчас мало найдется вышивальщиц, готовых трудиться с утра до вечера целый месяц над одной рубашкой. На одежде деревенских девушек и женщин почти не видно старинной марийской вышивки. Она перекочевала на сцены театров, клубов, украшая костюмы артистов. Особой популярностью пользуется марийская вышивка в странах Запада, где ручная работа высоко ценится. Народ, сумевший создать такое самобытное искусство, не может не обладать врожденной культурой.

Unit 5. Mari national cuisine


Ex.1. Read the text and do the tasks after it.

The peculiarities of the national Mari cuisine

Mari cuisine, like cuisine of any nation, is a constituent part of national culture. The origin of the Mari nation dates back to the 1 century A.D. Under the influence of the historic events the Mari ethnos was divided into three subgroups: Meadow Mari (they live on the left bank of the Volga River), Mountain Mari (they live on the right bank of the Volga River) and Eastern Mari (they live beyond the territory of the Mari Republic). These ethnic groups have distinct differences in language, culture, traditions, as well as in the art of cooking.

Since ancient time the Mari people have been busy with hunting, fishing, bee-keeping. So the original feature of the Mari cuisine is a large number of dishes cooked from the “gifts” of nature: mushrooms, berries, honey, herbs, fish, game. They are specific in taste, and are rich in vitamins and minerals. The Mari women widely use various cereals; they are added to soups and are used as stuffing for numerous pies.

The Mari people used to grow flax and hemp, oil and seed of which were used in cooking. The favourite bread was baked from hemp flour. Apart from wheat and rye flour, oat and barley flour are often used in bakery. The most important product in the Mari cuisine is potato. It is a must in different sorts of soups, salads, pies.

To taste peculiarities of the Mari cuisine we can refer a great deal of dishes with sour or salty taste: sauerkraut, salted mushrooms, pickled cucumbers, beetroot drink (kvas), etc. Herbs and species don’t prevail in the national recipes. Vegetables (onion, carrot, tomato) as a rule are not fried while preparing soups and stuffing for pies.

It should be pointed out that the Mari cuisine has much in common with culinary art of the neighbouring peoples, inhabited Central Region of Russia along the Volga River both from the point of view of products and ways of cooking. But in spite of some similarities of several recipes, they differ in this or that way, that gives them unique Mari colour. Take, for instance, “podkogol” – boiled pies. If you take the manner of cooking, they look like meat dumplings or tarts of a large size. But the stuffing is more numerous like pie stuffing.

If advantages of a Russian hostess are judged by her ability to bake pies and to cook cabbage soup, a Ukrainian hostess – by making beetroot soup, a Mari woman must cook national pancakes.

  • Write down the peculiarities of the Mari cuisine.

  • Explain the peculiarities of the Mari cuisine from the historic, geographical, climatic, etc. point of view.

  • Try to find some similarities / differences of the Mari cuisine with culinary art of other countries in the world.

  • Are there any cafes in your place, whose specialties are the dishes of the national Mari cuisine? Are they popular with the visitors?

  • Can you cook any national dishes? Give the recipe of your favourite one.



Ex. 2. Read the text and do the task after it.

The Mari pancakes

This dish is cooked for many holidays: Easter, Shrovetide, and Christmas. These pancakes are often called three-storey or three-layer pancakes.

The first layer: take 2 glasses of rye/ wheat flour; add 5 eggs, salt to your taste. Prepare tough dough; roll it out into thin pieces. Put each flat cake into a greased frying pan and bake it in the oven for a few minutes.

The second layer: take half a glass of sour cream, pour a glass of milk in to it, add 3-4 table spoons of oat-flakes or oatmeal and mix carefully.

Put the second layer on the 1-st one and bake again till the brown crust.

The third layer: Take a glass of oatmeal; put it into a glass of sour cream for 8-10 hours. Then place it on the second layer and bake again. The three-storeyed pancakes are served hot with butter.

  • Cross the odd one out:

rye, wheat, oats, potatoes;

butter, sour cream, grease, oil;

bake, fry, roast, roll;

sprinkle, whisk, stir, blend;

bread, bun, pancake, ice-cream;

spoon, frying pan, fork, plate.

  • Name the function:

An oven – to bake; a stove - …; a fridge - …; a grater - …; a mincer - …; a mixer - …; a blender - …; a knife - …; a saucepan - …; a frying pan - … .

  • Name the op"; line-height: 150%"> Salty – sweet; tasty - …; underdone - …; fat - …; overweight - …; overeat - …

    • Say what you have forgotten to do:

    Take potatoes, wash them, fry them, eat.

    Have dinner, clear the table, wash up, go for a walk.

    Cut some bread, slice cheese, put together, and cool in the fridge.

    Cut the vegetables, mix them in a bowl, add some dressing, and decorate with parsley.

    Serve the table, place the plates, put the forks, the spoons, the knives, place the glasses, and put a vase with flowers.

    • Find positive and negative results:

    Eat pancakes (+ try the national food; - get fat);

    Eat fast food; drink coffee; cook dinner yourself; buy a dishwasher; use a processor.

    • Count how many diary products they eat.

    I usually eat boiled eggs and a coffee for breakfast. My younger sister has some porridge with butter and sour cream. She also likes yogurt. Mum prefers fruit salad or cottage cheese. Dad likes hamburgers or cheeseburgers. Whose breakfast is healthier?

    Ex. 3. Read the recipes and try your hand at cooking.

    Lake Tair”:

    1. Make some fish broth. Add some gelatin and bring to boil, stir constantly.

    2. Add some salt, pepper, bay leaf and strain.

    3. Peel a boiled carrot and slice it.

    4. Cut some boiled eggs.

    5. Chop some onions.

    6. Take a glass bowl. Pour some broth into it and cool it.

    7. Add some tinned fish, prepared carrot, eggs and onions.

    8. Add some parsley and cool again.

    Meat dumplings” (Podkogoly):

    1. Put some water, an egg, some sugar and salt into a bowl.

    2. Add some flour and prepare stiff dough. Leave it for half an hour. Then roll it out and cut small round pieces.

    3. Prepare the stuffing. Ground pork (beef) mix with salt and pepper. Put some stuffing into the center of each round piece and nip the edges.

    4. Prepared pies boil in salty water. Serve hot with sour cream.

    Soft drink “Forest aroma”:

    1. Pour some water into a sauce-pan. Put some honey and boil for several minutes.

    2. Add some cranberry juice. You may add some forest ash berry and some leaves of mint.

    3. Boil it for 10 minutes and leave for 4-6 hours in a warm place.

    4. Filter it into a jug, cool it and enjoy it!

    Meat balls “Youkso er”

    1. Cut meat (preferably pork) into pieces and mince it.

    2. Add some salt, pepper to the ground meat to your taste.

    3. Whisk an egg with some water. Pour it into the meat.

    4. In a bowl mix a piece of white bread with water or milk and add to the meat stuff.

    5. Form the meat balls and sprinkle them with flour.

    6. Put the frying pan on the stove, heat it, fat the form, place the meat balls into the frying pan.

    7. Roast the meat balls till they are light brown.

    8. Serve with fresh or prickled vegetables and boiled potatoes.


    Ex. 4. Render the text in English. Give the text a title.

    27 апреля в кафе "Золотой Плёс" в рамках Республиканского фестиваля этнокухни "Калыксий - 2010" состоялась презентация марийской национальной кухни, организованная Республиканским центром марийской культуры при содействии Министерства культуры, печати и по делам национальностей Республики Марий Эл.

    Почётными гостями вечера марийской кухни стали заместитель Главы Правительства, министр культуры, печати и по делам национальностей Республики Марий Эл Михаил Васютин, председатель Всемарийского Совета - Мер Канаш, депутат Государственной Думы Российской Федерации Лариса Яковлева, руководители федеральных и региональных органов власти, участвующих во II Межрегиональном форуме "Финно-угорский этнокультурный проект: расширение границ".

    Организаторы мероприятия представили публике праздничные и ежедневные национальные блюда, молочные, ягодные и травяные напитки. Состоялась демонстрация обрядового ритуала "Подготовка теста для проведения праздника". Об особенностях марийской национальной кухни рассказала кандидат медицинских наук, доцент Марийского государственного университета Р. Четкарева.

    Дегустация блюд марийской кухни сопровождалась выступлениями фольклорных коллективов. Артисты исполнили "Ташлама корка ден куштымаш" ("Танец любви"), "Тулар-тулачын куштымашышт" ("Танец сватов"), "Тошто марий куштымаш" ("Старинный танец") и другие обрядовые танцы. Завершением мероприятия стала весёлая этно-дискотека.

    Glossary:

    1. The Republican Festival of ethnic cuisine – Республиканский фестиваль этнокухни

    2. with smb’s assistance – при содействии

    3. The Honoured guests – почётные гости

    4. Deputy Head of the Government – заместитель Главы Правительства

    5. Minister of Culture, Press and National Affairs – министр культуры, печати и по делам национальностей

    6. The Chairman – председатель

    7. Expansion of Boundaries – расширение границ

    8. A ritual – ритуал

    9. Dough – тесто

    10. Candidate of Medical Science – кандидат медицинских наук

    11. Assistant professor – доцент

    12. Tasting – дегустация

    13. A folk group – фольклорный коллектив

    14. Completion / End – завершение


    Ex. 7. Read and discuss.

    1. Express your attitude to the cafes and restaurants of the national cuisine.

    2. Comment on the following: “Tell me what you usually eat, and I’ll tell you how long your life will be”, “We are what we eat”, “We eat to live but not live to eat”, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.

    3. Do you agree with the following?

    Dinner table is the only place where we are never bored from the very first minute.

    Don’t put off till supper what you can eat at dinner time” (A.S. Pushkin).

    An overeater digs out his grave with the help of his own teeth.

    Cooking is a pleasure, unfortunately a daily one.

    4. You have to spend some time on a desert island. You can take your favourite dish with you. What will it be? Explain your choice.


    Ex. 8. Explore the situation. Try to find the way out.

    A difficult dilemma

    Kate Stepanova is the only child in the family. Mum says she is the apple of her eye. Any Kate’s desire is a must for her relatives. Her mum is especially good at coking and she does her best to treat her daughter with something tasty. As a result her “little” 18-year-old daughter is a “bit” overweight – 92 kg.

    No doubt Kate has a resolute character. Not being able to hear funny nicknames from the girls and indifferent looks of the boys, she makes up her mind to keep to a diet. She started her program 3 months ago and made certain progress. She became slimmer but the health problems began. The doctor told her that her ration was too strict all her illnesses were due to the lack of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Besides she needed fresh air badly.

    At the family summit it was decided to send the girl to her Granny to the village for popper and quick treatment. When Granny saw her granddaughter, she burst out crying: “Where is my plump rosy-cheeked lively girl? This pale with dark spots under the eyes languid girl isn’t my Kate”. But Kate’s granny was also a woman of character and she decided to improve the situation at once, “First,” - she said, - “you need proper meals. I’ll treat you with our national Mari dishes. They are nourishing and delicious. For breakfast you’ll have pancakes – koman melna. They are prepared from oatmeal, yeast, egg’s yolk. These products are rich in Vitamin B. To get calcium you’ll eat cottage-cheese balls and drink unskimmed milk and yoghurt.” The Granny looked at the girl, signed and continued: “For dinner I’ll cook a famous Mari soup “Liver puree” with melted butter. They will provide you with Vitamin D. The lack of this vitamin causes depression, bad mood, toothache. For the second course I’ll serve potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions sprinkled with parsley and a piece of pork. This dish is called “The Mari Stew”. These products will supply you with Vitamins A, E, fats and proteins. As for dessert, you’ll have black currant ice-cream. This berry contains vitamin C which will stimulate your appetite.” Granny though a bit and kept on speaking: “For supper I’ll bake your favourite sweet buns to replace your supply of carbohydrates and you’ll drink my famous tea with thyme and chamomile to sleep as much as possible.”

    Kate was shocked. She couldn’t utter a word. Then the gift of speech came back to her and she pleaded: “Stop, Granny, don’t do that! Or my previous effort will be in vain and all my plans will fail I’ll be fatter than I used to be.” But Granny was inflexible. “Tastes differ,” she says. “The beautiful person should be well-fed and healthy.”

    • Is Granny right?

    • What do you think Kate’s choice will be?

    • Do you agree that traditional national cuisine can be not only tasty and nourishing but also healthy? Can you give an example?

    • What should people do to keep fit?

    • Is a well-balanced diet the only condition of being slender?

    • Can you name vitamins, minerals without which a person can’t exist? In what traditional national dishes you can find them? Where else are they contained?


    Ex. 9. Render the text in English

    Толстушка – новая гастрономическая звезда!

    Культ худобы и стройности захватил весь мир. Античные статуи – это, конечно, прекрасно, но зачем же себя мучить? Специально для тех, кто любит себя таким, как есть, в Йошкар-Оле открылся ресторан «Толстушка». «Перестаньте стесняться своих форм!» - к этому призывает вся атмосфера ресторана. Кто сказал, что объемные люди некрасивы, непластичны, неталантливы? Доказательством обратного служат расторопные полные официанты, пышнотелые танцовщицы, солидного сложения метрдотель. Красный и бежевый цвета, множество портьер, картин и канделябров, оригинальная сервировка – аппетит вызывает уже само оформление зала.

    Ресторан радушно встречает своих гостей. «Полный понедельник» бесплатно приглашает людей, чьи фигуры никак не влезают в маленькие размеры одежды. В «Зажигательный Вторник» гурманов радуют выступления артистов. В пятницу и субботу – «Шоу толстушек» - восточные, русские, марийские народные танцы.

    Попробуйте блюда национальной кухни в ресторане! Запеченный гусь, борщ в хлебе, фаршированная щука… и вы не останетесь равнодушными.

    Ресторан находится по адресу: ул. Вознесенская, 76

    Ex. 10. Read the jokes. Retell them to your friends.


    1. Mother: I hope you didn’t take a second piece of cake at yesterday’s party?

    Dick: No, I took two pieces the first time.

    2. Mother: I left two pieces of cake in the cupboard this morning, Johnny, and now there is only one piece there. Can you explain this?

    Johnny: It was so dark, Mamma, I didn’t see the other piece.

    3. “Now, Jack dear, if I do all the cooking for a month, what will I get?”

    You get my life insurance and your freedom.”

    4. “Whisky is your greatest enemy.”

    Are we not told to love our enemies?”

    Yes, but not to swallow them.”

    5. “What is a balanced diet?”

    A piece of cake in each hand.”

    6. “Your husband is too fond of strong coffee,” said the doctor. “You mustn’t let him have it. He gets too excited.”

    But, doctor, you should see how excited he gets when I give him weak coffee.”

    7. Nothing makes the taste of home-made dishes better than the price list in the restaurant.

    8. The worse the chefs cook, the more polite the waiters should be.



    Unit 6. Mari national holidays, customs and traditions, myths and legends


    Ex. 1. Read the text and do the task after it.

    Mari national holidays

    Part I

    Agavairem (the Holiday of a plough or ploughed field) is mainly (1…) in the north-eastern parts of Mari El. This holiday doesn’t have a (2…) date. It is celebrated before the start of fieldwork in spring (3…) in the period between St. Nicolas day and Whit Monday. The Mari (4…) (karts) choose the day of the celebration beforehand. It is desirable to fix the date when it is the new (5…).

    Agavairem is an ancient holiday of farmers. It is devoted (6…) the Gods of Earth, fertility and is of great religious meaning. It (7…) be one of the most significant and respected Mari holidays and was characterized by big solemnity. Being timed to the spring sowing, the holiday (8…) of a number of agrarian rites. These rituals were aimed at providing the well-timed sowing of crops, the guarantee of good growing and ripening and collecting the (9…) harvest in future.

    The content of the holiday includes the numerous agrarian magical ceremonies and collective praying with sacrifice in the form of pancakes, eggs, beer. The praying consists of several stages: within one village, then – a group of villages, later – all village (10…) praying.

    For praying the Maris came to (11…) wood wearing smart clothes. After it the old men walked around the fields accompanied by the melody of a bagpipe. The sounds of this musical instrument were believed to be (12…) – they provided the increase in harvest. On this day different rituals with eggs were held. The young women were presented with eggs in order to have a lot of kids. Some of the eggs were dug in the soil to get grain as large as these eggs. The running race (13…) or horse race winners, which also took place after the ceremony of praying, were awarded with eggs and embroidered (14…).

    On the (15…) of the holiday various ritual dishes were cooked – pancakes, pies with cottage cheese and potato, curds dumplings, beer. On the second day of the holiday people walked from house to house with best wishes, prays and were treated with some ritual dishes by the (16…) and the hostess.

    On holiday days it was forbidden to dye yarn, to wash clothes, to make noise. The young people used to play old folk games “Solyk puen” (“Giving a towel”), “Bud yogen” (“Tiny brook”), etc. The games (17…) the water springs were widely spread.

    • Fill in the words from the box:

    Moon , rich, magical, eve, towels, community, host, observed, priests, fixed, to, sacred, consisted, used to, approximately, beside, winners.


    Part II

    The second Mari holiday is Kugeche (The Great Day). The holiday starts five days before the Christian Easter. It’s one of the most important calendar holidays of the spring cycle. It is connected with the cult of the ancestors and collective praying, with the worship of the awakening nature. Kugeche is included into the number of holidays devoted to the dead. That’s why much attention is paid to the ritual feast.

    Being the adherents of the old pagan beliefs, the Mari people carry out various magical actions, ritual dances, games in order to protect themselves from natural disasters, evil forces and to provide their prosperity in family, household, financial life. The holiday started with Kichke Pairem (Palm Sunday). On the eve of the holiday the rite of banishment of evil spirits was fulfilled. The young chaps with the twigs of mountain ash or pussy-willow in their hands were wandering from yard to yard along the village and were beating the walls of the household buildings. Each day of the week before Kugeche had its own meaning.

    On Tuesday, e.g., people protected themselves from evil spirits, witchcraftsmen, magicians. They bolted the doors and barred the gates. They put the mountain ash branches above the house entrance.

    Wednesday was the day of prohibitions. It was banned to make a fire before dinner time, to visit neighbours. People believed that if they broke those laws, they would be punished by storms, hail, disasters with domestic cattle and poultry.

    On Thursday the families gathered together for a feast to commemorate the dead relatives. The ancestors were treated with ritual dishes, in the evening the dead were seen off.

    On Friday the holiday went on. The youth organized out of door games, swang the swing, purposefully made for the holiday.

    On Sunday people didn’t work, painted eggs, cooked traditional food. The Orthodox Maris attended the church service. On Sunday morning people watched the sun rise, went to the bath house to wash, then they prayed and made bloodless sacrifice.

    On Monday the holiday was finished with the rite of beer (drinking beer from the ritual scoop).

    • Match the questions and the answers.

    1. What is much attention paid to?

    A. With the cult of the ancestors.

    2. Why did the families gather together on Thursday?

    B. To the ritual feast.

    3. When was the rite of banishment of evil spirits fulfilled?

    C. To protect themselves from natural disasters, evil forces.

    4. When does the holiday start?

    D. On the eve of the holiday.

    5. What were the young chaps holding in their hands?

    E. For a feast to commemorate the dead relatives.

    6. How did people protect themselves from evil spirits?

    F. The twigs of mountain ash or pussy-willow.

    7. What is it connected with?

    G. Above the house entrance.

    8. Why do the Mari people carry out various magical actions?

    H. They bolted the doors and barred the gates.

    9. Where did they put the mountain ash branches?

    I. Out of door games.

    10. Who attended the church service?

    J. Five days before the Christian Easter.

    11. What did the young people organize on Friday?

    K. The Orthodox Maris did.


    Part III

    Semyk is the most favourite festival among the Maris. It signifies the coming of summer and opens summer holiday calendar. The holiday is spread among the Meadow Maris. It starts seven weeks after Easter and is over on Whitsun Day (The Day of Holy Trinity). Wednesday and Thursday are the main days of the holiday. On these days the Mari people “met” the dead relatives, burned the nominal candles for each and every relative, offered them ritual food and then said good-buy to them.

    The night before Thursday was the time of the devil. Not to let evil spirits penetrate into the dwelling, the host bolted the door, made a fire in the yard, and made various noises. Young boys and girls used to go from house to house playing different tricks on people: they knocked over the buckets with water, stopped up the chimney on the house or bath-house, etc. Then they all went to the meadow and spent time playing and having fun. Girls picked up flowers.

    Friday (it was called broad Semyk) was the day of the collective outdoor fete (gathering). People were enjoying themselves to the tunes of a psaltery or a bagpipe. It was a traditional day for wedding ceremonies. The Whit Sunday was the ending of the holiday. It was followed by Whit Monday. After these holidays the so called “free summer” came. It was the time when rye was blooming and farmers didn’t work in the fields. This period lasted for two or three weeks.

    • Find the English equivalents in the text: самый любимый праздник, знаменует, распространен среди, День Святой Троицы, именные свечи, ритуальная еда, прощаться, злые силы, проникать в жилище, запирал на засов, разыгрывать шутки, опрокидывали ведра с водой, собирали цветы, общее гулянье, гусли, свадьба, Духов День, рожь.


    Part IV

    At the beginning of July, three weeks after summer solstice (22 June) was held one more holiday – Sürem, one of the most strict religious holidays. In some places it coincided with the Christian holiday – St. Peter’s Day (12 July). It was accompanied by collective praying and making sacrifice. Before praying in a sacred wood, there was a ritual of annihilation of the evil spirits. The young fellows were riding the horses around the sacred grove, fields, along the village and were striking the houses, barns, fences with a whip. Then they were blowing the trumpets. Later they broke the trumpet and threw it away or left in a fixed place in the forest. For hard work they were treated with baked cream. During the holiday the Maris were not allowed to smoke, to drink alcohol or use bad language.

    • Make up questions to the words in italics.


    Part V

    The autumn cycle of the calendar holidays started with the holiday of New Bread (Uginde). It (1…) at the beginning of August, sometimes on the day of Orthodox holiday – the day of St. Ilya (2 August). This holiday starts the number of rituals connected with gathering harvest. The main idea of the holiday – to say “Thank you” to the gods for rich harvest ant to enlist their support for future.

    The festival has a form of a family praying. It used (2…) compulsory in old times. The Maris had a custom to cook beer and to bake bread from the new-made flour. The eldest member of the family (3…) the candle on the edge of the bowl with grain. He addressed the Gods with gratitude for good harvest, and (4…) favourable weather for further work, asked for health for the family members, asked for God’s blessing. The first piece of bread (5…) by a man who was considered to be prosperous. The Mountain Maris went to church on that day to sanctify new bread. Today there is a tradition to hallow newly-grown vegetables.

    The next autumn holiday is called U Puchymysh (the holiday of new porridge). It (6…) in October or November (before the Day of St. Michael on 21 November). The hostess cooks oat-porridge and bakes oat pancakes. All the relatives are invited to dinner. They say the more guests are at the party, the richer the host (7…). After dinner guests dance to the psaltery or bagpipe, the holiday (8…) the ritual of giving holiday porridge to the Mari mythological character called agun oza – the host of the barn.

    • Choose the right form of the verb:

    1. to mark marked was marked marking

    2. had been to be has been was

    3. lit light litted was lit

    4. asking to ask have asked asked

    5. was taken was took was taked had taken

    6. take place taked place takes place was taken place

    7. are will be has will have been

    8. included including were included includes


    • Look through the five parts of the text again and fill in the table:

      Similarities of the holidays

      Differences of the holidays

    • Speak on the holiday you find the most interesting.


    Ex. 3. Read the sentences below. Some of the lines are correct, some have the word which shouldn’t be there. If a line is correct, put a tick √ next to it. If a line has a word which shouldn’t be there, write the word at the end of the line.

    Sürem

    Sürem is the main and the most strict Mari holiday.

    It takes a place at the end of June and is devoted to the supreme God Yuma. It is to accompanied with collective praying. On the day of the praying the Mari people are go to the bath house to wash, put on and clean skirts and go to the sacred grove. A women are not allowed to come there.

    They respect this holiday so very much that during three days of praying nobody smokes a pipe or takes snuff.

    Then they choose an animal it for sacrifice. They pour some a cold water on the back of the cows, and sheep. The animal that rouses itself from the cold water, is only left for the ritual. When meat is has cooked, they have dinner and start praying (standing on the knees). Drinking with wine and beer is prohibited during this period. People pray without but sleeping for three days. Meat that can’t be eaten and is left after the ritual, is to be thrown into a fire; the bones and entrails are also burned too.

    a


    Ex. 4. Render the text in English.

    Праздник сохи

    Непосредственным спутником данного праздника являются качели. Поэтому два молодых человека устраивают в роще между двумя деревьями или в открытом поле на столбах качели.

    Устроившие качели за свою работу, а также за качание всех желающих берут с них по одному крашеному яйцу. Около качелей происходит и игра «Катание яиц». Качание на качелях и игры происходят во все дни праздника, т.е. 3-4 дня.

    Glossary:

    1. immediate - непосредственный

    2. concomitant – спутник

    3. swing – качели

    4. to swing – качать

    5. a pole – столб

    6. rolling of eggs – катание яиц

    7. to take place – происходить



    Ex. 5. Read the text and do the task after it.

    An ancient holiday

    In the past the end of the farming work was followed by a feast. It was the way to say “Thank you” to God for the rich harvest. Like their parents the young people also gathered together to have a good rest, to get new acquaintances. Such a feast took place in the suburbs of Krasnokokshaisk in autumn and in winter on Christmas Eve in Morkinsky region.

    The feast was called “The girls’ feast”. On the day of the holiday all the heads of the families took spades and went to the field to make snow piles. The number of them had to be more numerous than the number of the members in the family. It symbolized the rich harvest in future. The housewives were busy feeding chickens. It was believed the more seeds they ate the more eggs there would be. In the evening each housewife was busy frying pancakes

    Young boys and girls dressed in rags went from house to house. The children boasted in front of them what they could do about the house, what handcrafts they were good at.

    In the evening all the neighbours gathered together for a holiday feast. The preparation for the feast began early in the morning when two or three girls gathered the malt and started cooking beer. The feast usually lasted for two or three days till all the beer came to an end.

    • Choose the best title:

    1. The hard farm work.

    2. The good neighbours.

    3. The merry holiday.

    4. The preparation for the feast.

    5. The ancient tradition.

    • Choose the right option:

    1. The feast meant

    1. the beginning of harvest gathering

    2. the ending of the farm work

    3. the merry pastime at the week-end

    2. The neighbours gathered together

    1. to drink beer and talk

    2. to sing songs and dance

    3. to express gratitude to God for good harvest

    3. In the morning the heads of the families

    1. took spades and worked in the garden

    2. repaired the old spades

    3. took the spades and made huge stacks of snow

    4. The snow stacks symbolized

    1. the amount of the future harvest

    2. the number of the family members

    3. the number of the future children

    5. The women were busy

    1. milking the cows

    2. cleaning the house

    3. feeding the poultry

    1. The preparation for the feast started

    1. the day before

    2. early in the morning

    3. the week before

    1. The feast usually took place

    1. in early spring

    2. in mid-summer

    3. in the fall


    Ex. 6. Put the verbs into the correct tense-form.

    The girls’ feast

    In the past the girls’ feast (to start) on Saturday evening. All the neighbours (to invite) to the party. Special dishes (to cook) in each house for the feast. Fish pies, boiled chickens, cottage cheese (to bring) by the guests. They also (to bake) a small loaf of wheat bread which (to call) “kakurka” in the Mari language.

    At first the guests (to taste) all the dishes. Then the musician (to choose). While he (to play) the bagpipe the girls (to sing) songs. Then the hostess started (to dance). She wanted everybody (to do) the same. Every guest (to allow) (to drink) as much beer as he (can). As a rule the holiday (to last) for 2-3 days till all the beer (to be over).

    When the holiday (to finish) the guests (to kiss) the host and the hostess and (to go) home. Though the holiday (to be) ancient, it still (to celebrate) in some villages.



    Ex. 7. Render the text in English. Give it the title.

    Неотъемлемой частью праздника Шорыкйол являлось шествие ряженых во главе с основными персонажами – стариком Василием со Старухой. Они воспринимались марийцами как предвестники будущего. Старик Василий и Старуха общались с добрыми и злыми богами, поэтому они могли рассказать людям, какой уродится урожай и какова будет жизнь каждого человека.

    Среди ряженых выделялись медведь, лошадь, гусь, журавль, коза. Были и другие персонажи, изображающие солдата с гармошкой, государственных чиновников, попа, дьякона. Количество масок у некоторых марийцев доходило до 90. Каждая маска выполняла определенную магическую функцию.

    Этот праздник отличался веселым нравом. Всю праздничную неделю организовывались игры, рассказывали сказки, загадывали загадки и т.д.



    Ex. 8. Read the text and do the task after it.

    The Day of the Mari Hero

    This holiday is marked on 26 April. This date is fixed in commemoration with the death of the Mari Prince Boltush who lost his life defending the fortress of Malmyzh in the battle with the Tsar troops. For the first time this festival was marked in 1991 on the initiative of the Inter-regional public organization “Mari Ushem”. But the idea of this holiday had appeared much earlier, in 1917 at the First Mari Forum in Birsk (Bashkortostan) thanks to the famous Mari teacher and public figure P.P. Glezdenev.

    No doubt, the Day of the Mari Hero is of great upbringing significance. Revere of the heroes of the past who gave their lives for prosperity and flourishing of the Mari people, strengthens our belief in better future, awakens the sense of proud, patriotism, love for Motherland.

    The ritual of conducting the ceremony hasn’t been established completely yet. Today it includes memorial parties, putting flowers to the monuments, meetings with poets, writers, concerts, thematic book exhibitions, excursions at the museums. In Yoshkar-Ola it used to be a tradition to open the Mari Park where the young Mari people gathered together. Now this place is famous for the new place of interest – the Mari Kremlin.

    • Write an article to the newspaper how this holiday was marked in your school, University, college, etc. last year.



    Ex. 9. Read the text and find ten mistakes in it. Correct the mistakes and copy the text in the right variant.

    The Day of the Mari Writing

    This holiday is observed annually in 10 December. On this day a first Mari Grammar Book appeared in the bookshops of St. Petersburg. The author of this textbook was the Archbishop of Kazan Putsek-Grigorovich. Apart with him, the Mari students of Kazan Seminary took part in it’s compiling.

    The publishing of this book is considered to be the start of the Mari written language. So these holiday is very important for the Mari nation.

    The holiday promote the growing interest in the history of the Mari writing, respectful attitude at the language, its further development.

    Various concerts, meetings with the Mari linguists, scientist and writers are held on this day in schools and Universities. The contests for the best Mari book of the year, the best composition in the Mari language is organize.



    Ex. 10. Render the text in English. Give it the title.

    20 июня в Йошкар-Оле пройдет республиканский праздник "Пеледыш пайрем" ("Праздник цветов"), организованный Министерством культуры, печати и по делам национальностей Республики Марий Эл, администрацией города, Республиканскими центрами национальных культур и Всемарийским Советом – Мер Канаш.

    Согласно программе праздника, в 12.15 начнется театрализованное шествие от Дворца культуры им. Ленина до площади Ленина. В шествии примут участие представители национальных общественных организаций, делегации всех районов республики. Затем перед зданием Марийского государственного театра оперы и балета им. М. Шкетана состоится церемония торжественного открытия праздника "Пеледыш пайрем" и праздничный концерт с участием лучших артистов Марийской государственной филармонии им. Я. Эшпая. В 14.45 праздничная колонна пройдет от площади Ленина до Центрального парка культуры и отдыха, где у скульптуры "Древо жизни" к удивлению горожан и гостей столицы произойдет чудо – "оживление" композиции национального искусства.

    В 15.00 в представлении "Пеледыш" ("Цветок") на костровой поляне примут участие фольклорные коллективы городов и районов республики, а также гости из Татарстана, Удмуртии и Кировской области.

    С 15.00 до 18.00 рядом с костровой поляной пройдут спортивные состязания "Марий патыр" ("Марийский богатырь"), на которых определятся новые богатыри земли Онара. В положении о спортивной программе праздника перечислены следующие конкурсы: борьба на полотенцах, борьба на руках (армспорт), поднятие гири и перетягивание каната.

    В 15.30 на открытой эстрадной площадке за кафе "Аквариум" дети смогут проявить себя в праздничной программе с играми и танцами "Пиалан йоча пагыт" ("Счастливое детство"). На этой же площадке в 17.00 на эстраду выйдут участники вечера "Марий кас", в рамках которого пройдет конкурс "Марий гармонь" ("Марийская гармошка").

    Завершит насыщенный праздничный день большой концерт-дискотека на площади Ленина, организованный редакцией "Марий Эл Радио". Начало концерта в 20.00.

    Ex. 11. Be a designer!

    1. Create a model “A Holiday Gathering”.

    A Holiday Gathering

    The aim: to construct the moving figures of people using nature materials (acorns, twigs, straw).

    The procedure:

    1. Select the proper acorns for heads and bodies of the figures.

    2. Cut the pieces of wire (230-250 mm in length) for arms and legs.

    3. Have a look at the real people while dancing, walking, jumping, etc.

    4. Join the parts of the models putting them into different positions.

    5. Fix each model on a match box with the help of glue.

    6. Create a holiday dress for your model using some coloured paper or cloth.

    7. Collect all the models of your classmates and present them in one general project under the title “A Holiday Gathering”.

    2. Be a designer! Create a holiday card.

    Application made of straw

    The aim: to create a nice card for a holiday.

    The procedure:

    1. Take some stripes of straw and glue them to the sheet of paper leaving no blank space between the stripes. Put it aside to get it dried.

    2. With the help of a pencil draw a pattern of your future card.

    3. Take a pair of scissors and cut out the necessary design.

    4. Put your card under a press.

    3. Organize a class exhibition “Our national holidays”.


    Ex. 12. Put the jumbled paragraphs into the logical order.

    Haymaking time

    In ancient times all the rites were accompanied with the cooking of wheaten porridge. It was cooked only after the first haystack was cocked.

    At first sight it seems that haymaking is only man’s duty, when he does hard physical work in order to provide his domestic cattle with fodder. In fact, this procedure is associated with a great number of customs and rituals. It usually takes place in July and lasts for three weeks.

    It was a contest and public showing of the best singers, dancers, musicians. For many young people it was the time of finding future husbands and wives.

    People prepared for the haymaking period beforehand. The first concern was to mend harness, to repair the carts. The next trouble – to whet the scythes. Then – to prepare a definite supply of products.

    Besides, for well-balanced ration, people had to prepare meat products. Especially for the haymaking time a sheep was slaughtered, all the meat together with herbs and spices was stewed in the oven. The result was home-made ham, called sokta. The menu also included river fish.

    The result of this working period was a certain number of hay stacks, necessary for feeding cows, sheep and horses during the year.

    Any ritual of our ancestors was carried out in clean national clothes. The haymaking was not an exception. Despite the fact that it was time of heavy physical labour, it was a real holiday. It was the time when people could demonstrate their labour skills and creative abilities because during this time people used to work and have a rest. In their free time they made switches of green birch twigs, went fishing; in the evening the mass gatherings of the young people took place.

    In addition, a special refreshing drink was prepared. It was made from sour milk and was called taryk. This sour drink was produced purposely for the hay mowing period as it was an excellent remedy for thirst.

    Ex. 13. Read the text and do the task after it.

    Wild-hive beekeeping

    Since ancient times the Mari people were engaged in bee keeping. Bee wax was used for making candles, honey was valuable food product. Till the second half of XIX century the Mari people collected honey from hollows in the trees, where the swarms of wild bees were living.

    When a man found a tree with bees, he dug his axe, gloves or even a cap near the tree, then declared this tree his own property. Each owner marked “his” tree with special signs. They were carved with the help of an axe; their destruction was considered to be a major crime, which was severely chastised.

    To obtain honey, the owner made the hole in the tree bigger; the special planks, where the bees were to build their honeycomb, were inserted. In autumn the owner went to the forest, attached plates with sharp iron prongs to his hands and feet and climbed the tree. He prayed to the Bee’s God and cut out the honeycomb, putting it into the barrel, which was made from a lime-tree. Not to be bitten by bees, the man had a piece of rotten wood, which gave thick smoke while burning.

    Only at the end of XIX century the hive beekeeping started.

    • Fill in the chart:

      Verb

      Noun

      To engage

      Engagement

      To value


      To declare


      To collect


      To product


      To destruct


      To feed


    • Give the three forms of the verbs: to be, to use, to make, to live, to find, to dig, to mark, to build, to go, to put, to bite, to have, to give.

    • Retell the text in the Past Simple Tense.



    Ex. 14. Read the text and do the task after it.

    The Mari mythology

    The text gives a full analytical review of the characters which are usually included into the number of the main ones in the traditional Mari mythology.

    1. Azyren – the spirit of death. According to the ancient myths, Azyren was appointed by the God of the Sun himself. This spirit can be seen only by the sinful or wicked people. When he was passing by with a black cart, it was clear that somebody in the village was on the point of dying.

    2. Vyver – a kind of a witch, vampire. The myths say that if a wizard or a bad man with evil soul dies, he turns into this creature. Vyver can exist in different looks: a storm, a pig, a barrel, a ball with a long tail. He can have anthropomorphous features: a man with a beard or a flying woman with long hair. Its main aim is to bring diseases and misfortunes to people and animals.

    3. The next mythological character is Vud oza (the patron of water, the host of lakes, springs). He is usually depicted in the image of a man, handsome, smartly dressed. He often looks like an overseas merchant. Sometimes he can take the image of a pike. If a tired traveler is thirsty and tries to drink some water, the host of water can grab him by the beard or nose and demand the ransom.

    One more evil spirit lives in the water. It is called Vudiya (the water devil). According to some sources, it is a late transformation of Vud oza (the host of water). His main function is negative: to get people drowned, not to let people take water.

    4. The female mythological water spirit is called Vud judur (a girl who lives in water, a type of a mermaid). She is usually depicted as a simple girl or a woman: this naked woman with loose hair usually sits on the bank of the river and combs her hair. If she sees a man, se jumps into the water and disappears. She tries to avoid facing people and usually vanishes with loud laughter.

    5. The top evil creature is Keremet (antipode of God the Creator). They used to be twins, but Keremet was precipitated for his pride. Before land was created, Keremet was swimming in the ocean in the form of a drake. Later Keremet moved to the forest to live. You can’t scold or argue here, such actions are treated as insulting of the spirit. That’s why the Mari people worship the woods, keep them clean.

    6. One more mythological character is called Kikimor Kuva (hob goblin in female form). They usually inhabit the house, the yard or the empty buildings. This goblin as a rule is active at night. It can whistle, clatter the dishes and glasses, howls in the chimney; it prevents people from falling asleep. It is in the habit of making a mess in the house, it tangles the yarn, tears the threads, etc.

    7. The next fairy creature lives in the open air. Its name is Pasu Oza. It is the host of fields. It helps people to grow up rich harvest, to gather the crops quickly, etc. Sometimes it acquires the image of a horse.

    8. It is necessary to mention one more magic creature – Port Oza (patron of the house) – the spirits of the household and family hearth. In accordance with wide spread beliefs, a prosperous life depends on the benevolence of the spirits. If the home spirit is pleased with the members of the family, he guards the house, helps to do the housework; but if he gets angry, he does harm, makes people suffer from nightmares, tangles people’s hair and men’s beards.

    9. Chodyra Oza – a host of the forest – protects the wild animals and birds, guards the forest treasures.

    As for the Mari people the forest has always been the source of existence, Chodyra Oza becomes the people’s patron as well. It has the image of an old man dressed in white clothes. In order not to provoke the Forest Host’s anger, people can’t cut down trees, pick up berries and mushrooms without its permission. If a person breaks the code of behaviour in the forest, he is certainly punished.

    • What passage are the following sentences taken from? Where exactly do they go?

    1. The home spirits provide success in household activities as well as good relationships in the family.

    2. There are special trees which house the spirit of Keremet.

    3. It helps to find the right path in the forest not to get lost; it warns of ravines and swamps; rescues from fire.

    4. He appears in the image of a dead person or sometimes a man riding a black horse.

    5. The hair is fair, golden or black.

    6. His servants are the souls of the drowned men.

    7. It is responsible for success or failure in farming work.

    8. The creature has an evil eye.

    9. They remind of themselves with noise, different tricks.

    • Do you know any other mythological creatures? Speak on one of them.



    Ex. 15. Read the text and do the task after it.

    Life in harmony with nature

    The Mari people have always worshiped an oak tree. It is a symbol of strength, courage, health, hope and energy. Its appearance is very expressive: a huge powerful trunk, branch canopy, fretted leaves. The oak tree is a giant. The wood of the oak trees possesses special chemical properties which make it very resistant to rotting. This tree is the first one among others in hardness and firmness.

    The bark of the tree was used for tanning and dyeing hides. Young twigs were good for weaving baskets. The leaves are irreplaceable while salting, souring vegetables, fruit, mushrooms. They provide the stuff with special aroma and prevent from fermentation.

    The Mari land is also rich in pine forests. A pine is a symbol of beauty and specific vitality. A yellow-reddish straight trunk, long fir-needles, which lie like a moss carpet – it all looks like the interior of a high resonant temple with solemn silence, peace and resinous smell. It is very bright, festive in a pine wood in summer. Above your head the branches are murmuring, on the ground the strange shadows and sunbeams are playing. But it is the air that attracts and impresses you most of all. It is amazingly clean, bracing with a bitter taste of resins. Here a person experiences pacification and fullness of life. When you are in such a forest, you always have a desire to sit or to lie under the tree and say: “Everything is perfect. Everything is all right. No problems”. While visiting a pine wood, you are in high spirits, gloomy thoughts never come to mind.

    The Mari people also love a mountain ash. Its berries are included into different vitamin drinks. But more often they were used in magical rites as a means of protection from evil spirits. Branches with berries were hung above the windows, somewhere in the store-room or in a larder or in a garret. When a baby was born, he was taken to the bath house and was washed with mountain ash twigs. Ash berry beads were put on him/ her in order to protect the child from diseases and witchcraft.

    • Answer the questions on the text:

    1. Why do the Mari people worship an oak tree?

    2. Its appearance is very expressive, isn’t it?

    3. What was the bark of the tree used for?

    4. Why are the oak leaves used while salting, souring vegetables, fruit, mushrooms?

    5. What does a pine symbolize?

    6. What do people fell in a pine wood?

    7. Why are mountain ash berries good for people’s health?

    8. How were the mountain ash branches used in the Mari villages?

    • Make a photo or draw a picture of a tree. Speak about its appearance and functions in the people’s life.



    Ex. 16. Read the text and do the task after it.

    Worship of plants and animals

    Nature was the main temple for our ancestors. Separate representatives of the flora and fauna were worshiped in a particular way.

    A birch tree gave people positive bio energy. The yard of each and every host was decorated with this tree. It occupied the central place (near the holiday table) at the wedding ceremony. Switches of green birch twigs were a must in each bath house. The bark of a birch tree was used for making baskets, its wood – for producing various utility things and tableware.

    Some more trees – a pine tree, a lime tree, an oak tree, an elm – were also considered to be sacred. Family and collective praying were held in the shadow of these trees. As a rule, people had a hostile attitude to an aspen tree, as it believed to bear negative energy.

    Among domestic cattle, a sheep was especially honoured as it played an important role in a man’s life: its skin was necessary for making fur coats, wool – for knitting mittens and making boots, meat – for cooking ritual dishes.

    A mouse was a sacred animal as well. According to the folk beliefs, it could supply the owners of a house with cattle and grain. If a mouse appeared in the house, the parents used to say to the children: “Don’t kill the mouse! It will guarantee our prosperity”.

    A special place in the life of our forefathers was occupied by a hen. It warned a man against troubles and misfortune. A hen was buried in the place where a new house was planned to be constructed. A hen wasn’t bought and sold at the market as it was believed to be a bad sign.

    Mountain Maris believed a snake to personify the hostess of a lake. It was given special sacrifice. Till today people mark the Day – 27 September, when snakes fall into hibernation and people can’t disturb them and break their rest.

    Especially respected by our ancestors were the springs with crystal clean water. When people took water from these springs, they left money beside them or threw silver coins straight into the well.

    • Find sentences in the Passive Voice. Transform them into Active. Use any subject you need.

    • Find sentences with Complex Subject. Translate them into Russian.


    Ex. 17. Read the text and do the task after it.

    The phenomenon of shaman

    in the traditional Mari religion

    Shaman as a historical phenomenon in the system of traditional religion was familiar to many nations of the world. The word “shaman” means the “representative of the cult”, one of the main functions of whom was to make sacrifice.

    Archeological excavations prove that shamanism as a number of beliefs was formed in 3-2 centuries B.C. It included into its system the early mythological ideas of people about their environment and elemental forces of nature.

    To differ from common people a shaman doesn’t have his hair cut; he combs it making a parting in the middle; sometimes he wears it loose, sometimes plaits. During the rituals he wears clothes of a special cut, decorated with various trinkets. The classical attribute of a shaman is a tambourine, painted with numerous symbols and images. The common people respect and worship the tambourine more than the shaman himself as they believe that a spirit lives here. After the shaman’s death the tambourine is placed on his grave.

    The Mari shaman is called kart. His clothes consist of a white robe with red embroidery on the chest and a tall cap, made of a birch tree bark. The traditional tambourine is replaced by a bagpipe. You shouldn’t be a musician to understand how the charming sounds of this instrument “invites” the listeners to the peculiar journey across seas and oceans, mountains and plains. It is a kind of a mediator.

    No other instrument could compete with the bagpipe in the variety of melodies, performed. It was always played at wedding ceremonies, at funerals, during religious rites. Its melodies based on rhythm and imitation of birds’ and animals’ sounds are in fact, a try to get in touch with the world of spirits.

    A shaman was considered to be a wizard, fortuneteller, exorcist, magician, clairvoyant. They were highly respected and valued, but were afraid of as well. In order to get the proper information, his own soul could leave the body and get free from the routine chains. It started its way to the other world to have a talk with spirits.

    One of the functions of a shaman was to cure people. If a disease was sent by wind, with smoke, the shaman treated them with original spell or invocation. In Mari folk medicine they were considered the principal method of treating illnesses.

    • Make sure you know the translation of the words: a phenomenon, a representative, to make sacrifice, excavations, environment, a parting, loose, trinkets, the tambourine, to worship, embroidery, a bagpipe, funerals, to get in touch with, a wizard, clairvoyant, to cure, invocation.

    • Retell the text using the words mentioned above.



    Ex. 18. Read the text and do the task after it.

    Mari folk signs

    Each nation, little or large, possesses rich heritage of its ancestors – oral poetic works in the form various genres: fairy tales, songs, legends, proverbs, sayings, riddles, etc. We also refer to them folk signs and omens.

    Originally the life of the Mari people was closely bound up with the usage of natural resources of their native land (hunting, fishing, berry and mushroom gathering), later – with cultivating of land and cattle-breeding. Adjusting himself to the environment, a man constantly enlarged his knowledge about the world around him. A great deal of folk omens is the result of this interaction of people and nature.

    The ancient people – hunters, fishermen, farmers – created and tested by the centuries-old practice an enormous stable complex of omens and signs about weather forecast and terms of planting, gathering, ploughing, sowing of crops, fruit and vegetables. It goes without saying, a man used to be an attentive observer and pathfinder, perfectly knew the properties and qualities of herbs, trees, animals and birds. He trusted the wildlife which felt the coming change in weather. The Sun and the Moon, stars, clouds prompted to define what kind of day would be the next day.

    As many researchers point out, the Maris have always been good experts of natural calendar, skillful practical users of its applications. Their experience is based on good knowledge of meteorological conditions and relief, structural peculiarities and composition of soil. A true-to-life omen always has cause-and-effect structure. Studying the causes and the consequences, we understand the essence of natural phenomena. The lack of cause-effect connection testifies to the fact that this sign was born due to an accident but not by the conformity to natural laws. We refer them to popular beliefs, prejudices, superstitions.

    Folk signs and omens are not the display of ignorance. On the contrary, it is a very important material which is worth learning and testing. Taking into account that folk omens develop keenness of observation and love for Motherland, we should intensify our work in collecting, classifying and investigating them.

    • Translate the text in written form.


    Ex. 19. Read the text and do the task after it.

    Believe or not?

    1. If a thunder is heard in October, winter won’t be snowy.

    2. If a hare is too fat in autumn, winter will be long and frosty.

    3. If swans fly to warm countries early in autumn, the cold weather will come soon.

    4. The bear falls asleep in his den a month before the snow falls.

    5. If a cook cleans his features thoroughly, the weather will become warmer.

    6. If there are many stars in the sky, you should wait for a snowstorm.

    7. If the wind howls strongly, there will be a blizzard.

    8. If stale bread becomes softer, wait for a rain.

    9. If a skylark is singing during the rain, the rain will be over soon.

    10. If the drops of dew in the morning are large, the day will be fine.

    11. If there are a lot of ash berries on the trees, autumn will be rainy.

    12. If February is dry, flax will grow well.

    13. If a poplar drops its down, it is time to start haymaking time.

    14. If there is a lot of snow on the New Year Day, the vegetables will be ripe and juicy.

    15. If a frog starts croaking, it is time to plant cabbage.

    16. If there is a lot of hoar-frost on the trees in winter, the harvest of honey will be rich.

    17. The thick fog above the forest means a lot of mushrooms.

    • What categories can these omens be divided into?

    • Did you get any new information about nature?

    • Do you know any other folk signs?

    • Illustrate any sign with examples from your own life experience.


    Ex. 20. Case Study.

    Explore the situation. Try to find the way out.

    Olga Petrovna Kostromina lives in the suburbs of Yoshkar-Ola in a 3-storey house. Her neighours are friendly and helpful but she especially likes a young married couple who lives next door to her. A young woman, Svetlana by name, is like a daughter for her. She teachers her how to keep a household, how to be rational and reasonable, how to get on well with her husband. Sometimes Olga Petrovna even gives her a telling off if the young woman doesn’t listen to her advice.

    Yesterday Svetlana called on her neighbour and friend, she was in a gloomy mood, anxious and depressed. After a cup of tea, all of a sudden, she burst out crying. It turned out that her family was on the edge of divorce. Her beloved husband found, as he said, a woman who was cleverer, more beautiful than Svetlana. So he was about to live the family. It was so unexpectedly that at first Svetlana was at a liss. She was overwhelmed and bewildered: they even hadn’t had any rows or misunderstanding with her husband. But then she pulled herself together and decided to fight for her family happiness. She suspected that the reason was simple: her husband was enchanted. In the newspaper she came across a very promising advertisement: “Hereditary clairvoyant Lora will bewitch your sweet heart, return your charmed husband to the family, etc.” Without thinking twice she decided to ring this lady up but then her natural caution prevailed and she came to Olga Petrovna to talk things over.

    I believe in extraordinary, extra sensory abilities of people. In my childhood I used to live at my granny’s, in the countryside. Next to us used to live an old woman. Everybody called her Dimitreevna, little, kind, with a constant smile on her lips. People from all over Udmurtia came to her. She treated the sick, told the fortune. She told my 30-year-old aunt her fortune too. The life proved she was absolutely right although it was rather difficult to believe her prophecy att hat time.” Olga Petrovna Stopped talking and the conversation lapsed. She was sitting deep in thoughts as if felling that emotional experience again. Then she continued: “I’ve met people with an evil eye who could spoil everything and everybody. My workmate’s wife used to come to us. “What beautiful flowers you grow, Olga Petrovna,” she said and the flowers faded the next day. “How many jars of jam you’ve prepared,” and the jam turned sour for the first time in my life. “How nice you look,” and in a day I was in hospital, pale and miserable. On coming back home I asked my husband to hammer a nail above the entrance door. He joked at me but fulfilled my request. That very evening the woman came again but spent at least a couple of minutes. Pleading a headache, she went away and never came again.”

    Olga Petrovna poured some tea into her cup and started sipping it as it was rather hot. Then she broke silence again. “You see, there are different people… But, frankly speaking, I don’t believe these ads in the newspapers. I’m afraid their only aim is to rip the clients off. Besides, putting an evil eye on somebody no matter bad or good the person is, guilty or not, has always been considered a dreadful sin…” “But what should I do?” cried Svetlana. “Let’s think. Two heads are better than one…”

    • Do you believe in evil forces, wizards, goblins?

    • Do you think Svetlana should resort to the help of black magic?

    • What advice do you think Olga Petrovna will give to the young woman?

    • If you were in Svetlana’s shoes, what steps would you take?

    Test yourself


    1. When was the Mari autonomous republic founded?

    2. What is the area of the Mari republic?

    3. What is its population?

    4. Who is the head of the republic?

    5. What plain is the republic situated on?

    6. What kind of climate does the republic have?

    7. What is the coldest / hottest month in Mari El?

    8. What science studies the appropriateness of the seasonal development of nature?

    9. Where is the standard picture of the coat-of-arms of the Mari republic kept?

    10. Who is the author of the Republican coat-of-arms?

    11. When was the Mari flag adopted?

    12. What names of the Mari national heroes do you remember?

    13. What Mari national parks and nature reserves do you know?

    14. What animals and birds inhabit the Mari forests?

    15. What Mari lakes do you know?

    16. What were the names of the streets in old Yoshkar-Ola?

    17. Where is the sculpture “The Tree of Life” situated? What does it symbolize?

    18. When was the Ascension Church built in Yoshkar-Ola?

    19. What was the most ancient stone church in Yoshkar-Ola?

    20. Why was the Assumption Cathedral built?

    21. When was the Resurrection cathedral built?

    22. How many exhibits does the Museum of the City History contain?

    23. What Mari painters devoted their works to the Great patriotic war?

    24. Who is the author of the sculpture “Widows”?

    25. What are the most famous paintings by Zosim Lavrentyev?

    26. Whose favourite image in the paintings is the white horse?

    27. Who is the author of the canvas “Privolzhie”?

    28. When and where was the famous Mari sculptor Phillip Shaberdin born?

    29. Where can you see the picture “Cheremiss wedding” by N. Feshin?

    30. When was the National Picture Gallery in Yoshkar-Ola opened?

    31. What were the first literary monuments in the Mari language?

    32. Who was the author of the first Mari ABC-book?

    33. What is the name of the first poem by S. Chavain?

    34. What was the pen-name of the writer G. Karamzin?

    35. What poet was awarded the Title of the Hero of Labour in 1924?

    36. What writer found his calling in epic prose?

    37. What novel by Yuksern was devoted to the life of the first Mari scientist V. Mosolov?

    38. In what newspaper did Kim Vasin start his literary career?

    39. Who is the novel “The Green Grove” by Kim Vasin about?

    40. What film did I. Kyrlya star?

    41. Who from the Mari writers was the first rector of the Mari Pedagogical Institute?

    42. When were the first Mari folk tales published?

    43. Why has music always been the object of special respect?

    44. Who is the founder of the Mari professional music?

    45. What are the peculiarities of the Mari folk songs?

    46. What are the most famous Mari musical instruments?

    47. What is the smallest wind instrument?

    48. When did the Mari psaltery appear?

    49. Who from the modern Mari musicians is the Head of the folk band “Karagod”?

    50. What composer created his first song at the age of 14?

    51. Who composed the first Mari opera?

    52. What is the name of the first Mari ballet?

    53. Who is the main character of the first Mari ballet?

    54. What groups can the Mari national dances be divided into?

    55. What are the main Mari folk arts?

    56. What are the peculiarities of the Mari wooden architecture?

    57. What plants were used as raw material for producing home-made cloth?

    58. What does the image of a bird mean in the Mari embroidery?

    59. Why were many ribbons, shells, coins, beads used in the Mari female costume?

    60. What are the original features of the Mari national cuisine?

    61. What traditional dishes of the Mari national cuisine can you name?

    62. What Mari holidays do you know?

    63. What is the most strict / the funniest Mari holiday?

    64. What holiday is marked on 26 April?

    65. What creatures from the Mari mythology do you remember?

    66. What Mari folk omens or signs do you know?

    67. Do you believe any of the folk omens? Why / why not?






    Литература

    1. Александров, А. Ким Васин (очерк творчества) / А.Александров. – Йошкар-Ола, 1975. – 107 с.

    2. Ариян, М.А. Принципы социально-развивающего обучения иностранным языкам в средней школе / М.А. Ариян // Иностранные языки в школе. – 2010. – № 1. – С. 7-11.

    3. Беседы о композиторах: Очерки / Сост. О.М. Герасимов. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 2006. – 248 с.

    4. Всероссийский фестиваль народного костюма. – Йошкар-Ола, 2005. – 35 с.

    6. Васин, К. С Вами, русичи! : повести и рассказы / Пер. с мар. Вл. Муравьева. – М.: Сов. Россия, 1979. – 304 с.

    7. Герасимов, О.М. Композиторы и музыковеды Республики Марий Эл: Пособие для учителя / О.М. Герасимов. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1994. – 52 с.

    8. Зенкин, А.А., Соловьева, Г.И. Зосим Лаврентьев: Очерк творчества / А.А. Зенкин, Г.И. Соловьева. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1993. – 112 с.

    9. Иван Ямбердов / Сост. А.С. Абдулов / Альбом. – Йошкар-Ола, 2005.

    10. Иванов, А.Г., Сануков, К.Н. История марийского народа: Учебное пособие для учащихся среднего и старшего школьного возраста. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1999. – 160 с.

    11. Иванов, Н.В. География Республики Марий Эл: Учебное пособие для общеобразовательных школ / Н.В. Иванов. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 2004. – 144 с.

    12. История марийской литературы / Отв. редакторы К.К. Васин, А.А. Васинкин. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1989. – 432 с.

    13. Йыван Кырля: Очерк жизни и творчества. Изд. 2-е, дополн. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 2003. – 144 с.

    14. Календарные праздники и обряды марийцев: Этнографическое наследие. Вып. 1.: Сб. материалов. – Йошкар-Ола: МарНИИ, 2003. – 286 с.

    15. Китиков, А.Е. Марийские народные приметы / А.Е. Китиков. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1989. – 287 с.

    16. Кудрявцев, В.Г. Деревянное зодчество марийцев: монография / В.Г. Кудрявцев. – Йошкар-Ола: МарНИИЯЛИ, 2004. – 120 с.

    17. Левинштейн, Г.Р. Красота рядом с нами: краеведческие заметки / Г.Р. Левинштейн. – Йошкар-Ола, 2003. – 231 с.

    18. Марийская кухня / Авт.-сост. Э. Меджитова. – Йошкар-Ола, 1994. – 160 с.

    19. Миролюбов, А.А. Культуроведческая направленность в обучении иностранным языкам / А.А. Миролюбов // Иностранные языки в школе. – 2001. – № 5. – С. 11-15.

    20. Молотова, Т.Л. Традиционное марийское ткачество: монография / Т.Л. Молотова. – Йошкар-Ола: МарНИИЯЛИ, 2004. – 152 с.

    21. Мурашко, М.П. Танцы марийского края / М.П. Мурашко. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1995. – 296 с.

    22. Петриченко, Е.С. Марийская музыка в начальных классах: Методическое пособие для учителей / Е.С. Петриченко. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1992. – 144 с.

    23. Писатели Марий Эл: библиографический справочник / сост. А. Васинкин, В. Абукаев и др. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 2008. – 752 с.

    24. Прокушев, Г.И. Беседы об искусстве / Г.И. Прокушев. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 2008. – 120 с.

    25. Сказки луговых мари: Свод марийского фольклора / Сост. С. Сабитов. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1992. – 368 с.

    26. Соколов, А.А. Марийские танцы / А.А. Соколов. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1964. – 132 с.

    27. Соловьева, Г.И. Марийская народная резьба по дереву / Г.И. Соловьева. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 1989. – 135 с.

    28. Степанова, И.А. Маритўр: встречи с марийской вышивкой /И.А. Степанова. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 2005. – 160 с.

    29. Тойдыбекова, Л.С. Марийская мифология – Этнографический справочник / Л.С. Тойдыбекова. – Йошкар-Ола, 2007. – 312 с.

    30. Федорова, С.Н. Системный подход к этнокультурологической подготовке будущих педагогов: монография / С.Н. Федорова. – Йошкар-Ола: ГОУ ВПО «Марийский государственный университет», 2008. – 435 с.

    31. Четкарева, Р.П. Природа, здоровье и табу народа мари / Р.П. Четкарева. – Йошкар-Ола, 1998. – 87 с.

    32. Шкалина, Г.И. Традиционная культура народа мари / Г.И. Шкалина. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 2003. – 208 с.

    33. Этнография марийского народа: Учебное пособие для старших классов / Сост. Г.А. Сапеев. – Йошкар-Ола: Марийское книжное издательство, 2001. – 184 с.

    34. Эшмякова, Ф. Марийские гусли. Прошлое и настоящее. – Йошкар-Ола, 1993. – 58 с.

    35. Юадаров, К.Г. Горные марийцы: краткая историко-этнографическая характеристика, обычаи и обряды, язычество / К.Г. Юадаров. – Йошкар-Ола, 2003. – 63 с.




    THE REALM OF AUTHENTIC VALUES


    АНГЛИЙСКИЙ ЯЗЫК:

    Сборник текстов и тестовых заданий

    для аудиторной и самостоятельной работы

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    Учебно-методическое пособие



    Составитель

    ЕГОШИНА Надежда Гермогеновна


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