THE FESTIVAL OF THE ETHNOCULTURE «THE COSSACK`S SECURITY DETACHEMENT»
BY ELIZABETH KAYMONOVA | 23 JUNE 2019
For the past six years, the Cossack Ethnoculture Festival “The Cossack`s Security Detachment” has been held in the village of Kazaki of the Yelets District. Initially, it was organized as a choir contest, but after a couple of years the villagers decided to revive their ancestral traditions and reconstruct the Cossack life of the XVIII-XIX centuries.
Since ancient times, the borders of our country have been protected by the original, freedom-loving Cossack people. Cossacks as a military force was formed under Ivan the Terrible. The Don Cossacks were considered the most numerous Cossack group in the Russian Empire. They defended the troubled southern frontiers and, along with the tsarist army, participated in all major military battles With the advent of Soviet power, the power and strength of the Cossacks began to weaken. In our time, you will meet Cossack farms with a traditional way of life nowhere else.
There is a village which is called the Cossacks in the Lipetsk region. At one time the ancestors of the inhabitants of this settlement valiantly guarded the Yelets frontiers from the raids of the Basurmans. They called themselves «the Cherkassk Cossacks of the Bruslanovsky camp of the Don Cossacks». It is interesting to know that initially their settlement was called the «military settlement of Cherkasy Cossacks». After the next raids and burnings in Yelets, they built their fortress and ceased to need defenders. Then it was decided that the military settlement would become a normal, and most importantly, peaceful settlement.
On the clearing near the stream Khomutz, the people recreated the Cossack village with smoking houses, the ataman’s courtyard, the Bathhouse, taverns, the Three Gudgeon fishing yard, the House of Wine-making and the Cossack House-Museum. The festival can be called tactile, here everything can be touched, tried and tried on. All participants of the festival are dressed in traditional outfits, and many of them are hereditary Cossacks who can tell entertaining stories from the life of their own ancestors.
The main pride and love of the Cossack are the horses. Cossacks were put in the saddle at the age of three, when they mastered this skill, they were given a checker. By the age of ten, the boy lived in the saddle and could freely manage the art of the battle weapon. Here and at the holiday, there seems no end to the people who want to try the saddle.