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Tableware and Houseware of the Cis­Azov Greeks

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The authors of the publication:
Ponomariova Iryna
Bibliographic description:
Ponomariova, I. (2017) Tableware and Houseware of the Cis-Azov Greek. Folk Art and Ethnology, 5 (369), 6–11.


Ponomariova Iryna – a Doctor of History, a professor at the International Relations and Foreign Policy Subdepartment of the Mariupol State University


Tableware and Houseware of the Cis­Azov Greeks



Greeks of Mariupol living in the Ukrainian cis­Azov area took their name from the town founded by them. In 1778, most of Christian Greeks moved from the Crimean Khanate to the territory of Mariupol District of Yekaterynoslav Governorate. Metropolitan Ignatius, the initiator of the migration, headed them. Having abandoned their prosperous Crimea, 18 000 Greeks obtained administrative and political autonomy in the cis­Azov area. Nowadays, the number of Greeks residing in Donetsk Region run third in its ethnic structure (1.6 %). According to the 1979 population census, the number of Greeks totaled at 90,585 inhabitants, the 1989 census – 83691 people, while the 2001 census gives the figure of 77,516 persons. Relative to all­Ukrainian range, Greeks equaled 98 000 people after the 1989 census, while in 2001, their number decreased to 92.600 residents due to migrations to Greece.

The investigation of ethnic processes taking place among the cis­Azov Greeks make it possible to arrange into typology the most complicated phenomena in their international interactions and in the intensity of national and cultural identities. Several stages of ethnic history of Mariupol Greeks have been described in various reviews and research works, yet there are many aspects to be studied with an integrated approach. The interest in researching the ethno­cultural history of cis­Azov Greeks has a constant nature from the very settling of this nation’s representatives up to modern time. The long scientific interest in the cis­Azov Greek life relates to their deep ethno­historical roots. The uniqueness of Greeks lies in the fact that over a long period, they have preserved their culture, traditions and language while being a constituent of various ethnic­social organisms, such as the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, Crimean Khanate, Russian Empire, USSR and current Ukraine. Therewith, foreign ethnic environment has not badly affected the transformation of Greek self­consciousness.

So far, there is no comprehensive view of Greek ethnic history on Ukrainian cis­Azov lands. Most research works aim at investigating ethnic and historical phenomena in their Crimean and cis­Azov periods. In fact, the pre­Crimean history of Mariupol Greeks and the current situation of Greek Diaspora in the cis­Azov area remain under study. It should be remembered that the term MariupolGreeks unites two ethnic communities: Rumaiic Greeks­Hellenophones whose language comprises five dialects referred to the Greek group of the Indo­European language family, and Urums­Turkophones, who speak four dialects of the Turkic group of the Altaic language family. Representatives of both groups call themselves Greeks; meanwhile each group had separated itself from the other and had not communicated with the other up to the early 20th century. Yet, they both shared a common, Tatar, language for communication. Rumaiic Greeks settled apart from Urums in the Crimea and cis­Azov areas. They also did not contract interethnic marriages and had distinct ethnonyms. Common confessional adherence of Urums and Rumaiic Greeks to Orthodoxy is one of the main criteria of their attribution to Greeks.



Greeks­Turkophones, Greeks­Hellenophones, tableware, houseware.



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