Set designers: Erdeni Zhaltsanov, Yevgeny Bolsoboev
The Evenki or Tungus is a nomadic people migrating from northern China to the north. Traditionally they were engaged in reindeer breeding and fishing. Evenki settlements are found today throughout the migration routes of the people. In Russia, where the number of the Evenki people reach 35 thousand, most of them live in the north, in Yakutia. Many settlements are found beyond the Baikal lake in the republic of Buryatia. There, in its capital Ulan-Ude, “Ulger” Puppet Theatre has put on a performance about the people, living by a northern sea in harmony with itself and the nature. Three actors create their world on stage inhabiting it with people - small dolls. Having put on skins, the actors turn themselves into animals - a reindeer or a bear that are friendly to people and protect them from evil ghosts. The original, beautiful, musical performance is full of symbols and signs which won’t always be clear to the audience, but the simple story it is based on and the poetry of ancient pagan culture do not require any translation. Kumalan in the name of the performance is a rug made of two deer skins, decorated by ornaments and fur pieces and used both in the household (for example, covering a conical tent, a traditional Evenki dwelling), and in shamanic rituals. In the performance kumalan serves as a metaphor of a sacred cover protecting the small people from forgetting its roots and history.
This colourful production tells us about the traditions of the Evenki people, about the connection and the balance between the world of animals, of nature and the world of people. A special place in the fairy-tale is given to the contemplation of nature, Evenkis’ beliefs, symbolism. The name of the production reflects the national peculiarities of a Northern people – on the one hand, “kumalan” for the Evenkis is a commonplace everyday object – it can be used as a rug in a tent or placed on deerback, and on the other hand it is an element of shaman rituals. The adventure story will let both children and their parents immerse into the world of fairy-tales.
Erdeni Zhaltsanov, Director
6,5 m x 8 m
FOR AUDIENCE OF
SET UP TIME
1 hour, 10 min.