Kaspiarovich Halina – a Doctor of History, an associate professor, a leading research fellow at Ethnology Department of the Centre for Belarusian Culture, Language and Literature Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Studying the Belarusian Cattle Breeding in the Mid-XIXth to Early XXIst Centuries
The article analyses the ethnological publications of the mid-XIXth to early XXIst centuries on the traditions of cattle breeding in Belarus. It also describes the stages of the scientific thought development on this issue. The first period covers the mid-XIXth to early XXth centuries and is characterized by accumulating unique factual material on the issue, as well as using, by the then individual researchers, of multiple-factor complex analysis of cattle breeding development that enabled them to describe the features of this branch on regional and local levels, show the culture of animal husbandry, its significant role in the sustainable development of the Belarusians.
The second investigational period (1920s–1980s) is associated with lots of research into material aspects of cattle breeding and far less of attention was paid to inestimable artefacts of social and spiritual culture, which embraced experience, skills, folk knowledge, rites, and behavioral stereotypes of the Belarusians. These artefacts usually got, at the time, a certain ideological colouring and were regarded as remnants of the past.
The third period (1991–2017) was strongly influenced by the radical changes in political and socio-economical situation in the Republic of Belarus. Under the influence of the above-mentioned factors, there came a shift in ethnology towards the complex and system analysis of cattle-breeding traditions, the use of existing published materials and methods of allied sciences – folklore studies, ethno-linguistics, archeology, history, and statistics. The article also shows the modern tendencies in studying cattle breeding. Under the circumstances of intensive globalization and modernization of the Belarusian society, there arises an acute issue of preserving the rich and distinctive cultural heritage of the Belarusians. In this respect, one of the priorities of modern ethnology is analyzing the mechanisms of preservation, adaptation and transformation of culture of cattle breeding in the agricultural sector of the Republic of Belarus.
cattle breeding, agricultural sector, traditions, historiographical analysis.
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