Peasant houses and household buildings are the very important section of culture to which our field studies are devoted. The main goals of this section of our project are the description and video recording of a peasant house's outside appearance and its interior, and studies of the ways in which a peasant assimilated his house (life) space, recording of rites and beliefs related its building.

What household buildings were used by a peasant? How were they placed around the center of his life space, around his house? What place did he choose for a bath-house building? Where and how did he keep grain and firewood? Answers on these and many other questions related to the vital activity of peasant farm will be illustrated with numerous interviews, photographs, sketches, drawings, audio records and video records.

The field studies on this section basically are the same as our methods on "Traditional woman's everyday and festive clothes, ritual scarves and floor-cloths". (For additional information, please, click on Clothes). We also plan to use special questionnaires on the elements of material culture.

There are no hot showers in Russian villages. But many houses have a Russian saunas called a banya where we will wash. The bath-house is a separate wooden house, clean inside. There is a stove and tanks with water. The fire warms the water and stones on the stove. When a person waters the stones, the steam is produced. The Russian bath-houses are very useful for the vascular system, the circulatory system and joints. In Russia bath-houses treat rheumatism, arthritis, colds and many other diseases. Volunteers should use caution when enjoying the banya. According to peasants' creative imagination, in banyas there live dangerous and evil banya-spirits (banniki) who demand respect and gifts. For more information about Russian spirits of nature and the house, please, click on Mythology.



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