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The regional interactive encyclopedic portal «Bashkortostan»
Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan State autonomous institution of science of the Republic of Bashkortostan Bashkir encyclopedia


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“A THIN ROPE”, is a mass ethnic dance of the Eastern Mari people. The dance appeared in times of paganism. It is considered to be a ritual dance. It is common for all Eastern Mari. It is a bright original dance with its own per­ forming style. People used to dance in bast shoes with small bells attached to them. Stomp­ ing and thumping are symbolic of disease ban­ ishment. The dance includes zigzag moves.

Two lines of dancers mimic plaiting a rope around the middle line (“to plate a small rope” meant to be guarded against evil spirits). It con­ sists of two parts: During the first part the danc­ ing pairs walk (the pace may be simple, accent­ ed or sliding) and sing chastushkas, during the second part the male dancers do strong and rhythmic steps waving their hands sharply. Fe­ male dancers move smoothly. Doing frequent steps they snap their fingers and sometimes spin around. The dance is accompanied by playing the bagpipes, drums, pipes and sgueezebox. The international contest­festival of the Eastern Mari ethnic dance called Silver ropetakes place in Kaltasinskiy District twice a year since 2011. “Silver rope” open district dance festival took place in August, 2014 in the Kaltasy vil­ lage of Kaltasinskiy District.

S.I. Apsatarova

Publication date: 07.04.2021
Last updated: 24.08.2021