Team V, September 19 - September 30, 2012

Location: Rostov province, Belaya Kalitva region,  Boguraevo stanitsa (village) Cost: $2400 (US dollars) Rendezvous point: Moscow End point: Moscow

   For four centuries the Cossacks served as Russia's military caste a trained elite who protected and expanded the borders of the Russian Empire.  Modern-day Cossacks are passionately proud of this military heritage, and of the fact that their ancestors were never serfs.  To this they add an intense feeling of responsibility responsibility for their land and their traditions; responsibility to  defend Russia, and responsibility to feed their homeland. (The Cossack lands encompass Russia's major grain-growing area).

Under the tsars no Cossack man expected to die in his bed, live to old age, or see his grandchildren.  Perhaps it was this readiness to die for God, Tsar and country that gave Cossack culture its power and passion.  Despite the drastic changes of the twentieth century, the great Cossack songs and fiery Cossack dances have survived.  During our expedition we will record and film these amazing, powerful arts fierce songs of glory and battle, tender songs of love and longing, dance songs crackling with Cossack bravado, and the dances interwoven with the singing.

We will also be in time to see a special event the local horse races, held at Belaya Kalitva  every autumn.  Cossacks have been renowned for centuries for their horsemanship, and these skills are still on display.  We will have a chance to enjoy the colorful show!

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-