Team I, July 17-28, 2005

   The team will work on recording and translating of songs performed by the wonderful local choir of folk singers of Ovstug village, Zhukov district, Bryansk province. Six wonderful ladies of noble age are waiting for sharing with us the wonderful masterpieces of music folklore. We will record ritual calendar, wedding and lyric songs. We will be working in Ovstug village, the place where the outstanding Russian poet and talented diplomat Fiodor Ivanovich Tiutchev (1803-1873) was born and raised. Tiutchev is known around the world as a philosophical poet, the author of the famous verses about Russia “Umom Rossiiu ne poniat’”:

Portrait of F.I.Tiutchev. Photo Natasha Whitling

Russia is a thing of which
the intellect cannot conceive.
Hers is no common yardstick.
You measure her uniquely:
in Russia you believe!
(translated by Frank.Jude)

On December 5, 2003 Russia celebrated the 200th birth anniversary of Fedor Tiutchev. Earlier UNESCO paid tribute to his legacy by proclaiming 2003 the year of Tiutchev. In Ovstug village Ovstug museum. Photo Natasha Whitling there is a wonderful museum at the Tiutchev’s restored estate, which we definitely will visit. The Ovstug church is open every Sunday. We will have an opportunity to participate in the service and enjoy great Orthdox music. During our expedition we will be able to visit the very special place of archeological interest. This is the Vschizh village which was settled in the VII-th century A.C. Vschizh village is located in 10 kilometres from Ovstug village.

Rendezvous information

Our staging area is Moscow. Volunteers will rendezvous in Moscow: 

July 17, 2005 at the Electronic Arrivals Information Desk at Sheremetievo-2 Moscow airport at 3 p.m.

Stores are available to volunteers before they go into the field. There is always time for volunteers to exchange money and shop for necessities before we leave for the field. After arriving we will transfer you to a hotel where you will be registered, have dinner and spend your first night. On the next day we will all depart for our study area by train (6 hours). The local taxi will meet us in Bryansk and will drive to Ovstug village. Please expect this travel day to be quite exhausting as there will be a long trip to the village. We do have dinner on the train. Our accommodations are reserved, but sometimes we need time to finalize them. We always allow plenty of time for recuperation the following morning. In case of early arrival, volunteers should contact Yelena and Sergey Minyonok in Moscow at (095) 952-6583. Volunteers who arrive early are responsible for their own food and accommodations.


Volunteers should plan their departures from Sheremetievo-2, Moscow Airport:

July 28, 2005

We will be back in Moscow in the morning of the departure day. Please, if possible, plan your departure after 10:00 a.m., Moscow time. Taxis at night in Moscow are very expensive and the group leaders in that case would be unable to accompany the volunteers because of these transportation problems. The morning of departure, a single car will be arranged to take the team to the airport, in time to catch the earliest flight. We can always help with alternative transport arrangements but these must be at your own expense.


July 17  - arrival in Moscow, hotel, registration, dinnerOvstug bells' ringer. Photo Natasha Whitling

July 18 – departure from Moscow to Bryansk (by train)

July 19-27 - fieldwork in Ovstug village

July 27 – departure from Bryansk

July 28 – arrival to Moscow

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