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Ama. The Chuvash women's periapt

The World of an Object


One of the mysterious nations of Russia - the Chuvashs, lives over the mid-Volga area since the ancient times. They are considered to be successors of ancient Turkic, Finno-Ugric and Iranian cultures. The Chuvashs formed the core of the powerful medieval state - Bulgaria of Volga.

Silver and rich embroidery were aimed to protect maidens and women, or rather, their female origin against evil spirits, whammy and spells. Silver coins were sewed on the base in a scales" way. Such scales" ornaments extremely remind of military armour. The word ama refers to the name of the Goddess of fertility.

The Museum bought in 1999 from Parfionow N.P. the hereditary ornament ama. It was renovated; lost coins were changed for new ones. 192 Russian silver coins of 1762-1938 with representations of Peter III, Paul I, Catherine II, Elisabeth I, Nicholas II, and some Spanish and Polish coins were kept.

This element of dress is very important for the festival culture in Alikovskiy, Morgaushskiy, Krasnochetayskiy, Vurnarskiy and Yadrinskiy districts. The ama are put on as before during all family celebrations, weddings and rural festivals.

In the village Sredniye Algashi in Tsilninskiy district, Ulyanovskiy region exists a legend. The Tsar has received a complaint on peasants. They ostensibly did not obey his orders. The Tsar flew into a rage, demanded an explanation. To keep answer the village sent the most beautiful girl, dressed up with bright embroidered dress and ornaments from silver coins. Why don't you obey the Tsar?!" - was the question. Father-Tsar, we are obedient to our Tsar-Patsha, that is why we carry his image on our tender breast", - was the answer. The Tsar went up to the beauty and saw on her breast big silver coins with his representation. The Tsar was very pleased, kissed the girl in her sweet mouth, seated her at the Tsar's table and issued an edict: Leave the Chuvashs in peace!" It is said that the girl's name was Nas's'a and the Tsar's one - Peter I.