The Vös’as’, the Udmurt sacrificial priest: an old task for young men
In the Udmurt diaspora of Northern Bashkortostan, the Udmurt traditional religion is very much alive; it is part of the villagers’ everyday life. Rituals are regularly held both at the village level and at a wider community, composed of several villages, and they involve the whole population. This article focuses on the key character of Udmurt ritual: the sacrificial priest, called vös’as’, and attempts to sketch a pattern of function performing and transmission, taking into account the lightly different practice in two local groups of villages. Further on it reflects on its historical perspective, in a Finno-Ugric context in which often practice of ethnic religions is seen and/or used as a marker for ethnicity.
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