Team II, June, 16 - June 30, 2012

Location:  Irkutsk province, Kuitun district, Sulket village. Cost: $2600 (US dollars) Rendezvous point:  Moscow End point: Irkutsk, Siberia

    One hundred years ago the Stolypin land reforms encouraged millions of peasants from the western and southern parts of the Russian Empire to move  to Siberia for land and a better life. Through our research program Dynamics of Folklore Traditions, we are documenting and comparing the folklore traditions of two sets of villages:  the "new"  Siberian villages founded  in 1906-1916, and their "mother" villages back in Ukraine and Belarus.

In Sulket village we will interview residents to record their family stories.  What can they tell us about their pioneering grandparents?  Why did those grandparents leave the motherland for distant Siberia?  What sort of houses did they build, what crops did they plant, what were their relations with the indigenous Siberians?

In addition to family stories we will be documenting examples of Belarusian folklore, mythology and heritage which have been preserved to the present day. Sulket is famous for its unique authentic singing group, whose Belarusian repertiore we will record.

The expedition starts in Moscow, where our team will board the storied Trans-Siberian railroad for a 4 day trip to Irkutsk.  On the way we will get to know each other and learn the background and history of Sulket and other Stolypin land reform villages in Siberia.  Our team will tour Irkutsk and see its elaborately decorated traditional wooden houses.  We will also spend 1 night in the most beautiful and pristine place on Earth – Lake Baikal. The “Blue Eye of Siberia’ is the world’s deepest fresh water lake, home to thousands of unique species of plants and animals,  a UNESCO World Heritage site and a center for generous, Siberian-style  hospitality.

Please note:  our expedition ends in Irkutsk, Siberia.  Volunteers are responsible for their own travel arrangements from Irkutsk to their home countries.

This expedition is the part of American Friends of Russian Folklore program. Please, have a look at -

A detailed briefing and itinerary are available if you send a request to:


of Alberta
Dr. Natalie
University of
Wisconsin Dr.
James Bailey
University of
Colorado at
Boulder Dr.
Laura Olson
University of
Dr. Rouhier-