Volunteers assignments

   Our project includes the following tasks for non-specialist field assistance:

Interview with two healers. Photo Nicky Prouvost
  1. conducting interviews;

  2. making audio records;

  3. taking photographs;

  4. copying embroideries;

  5. collecting facts on ethnography;

  6. making descriptions of house interiors;

  7. correcting the translations into English of mythological stories


All volunteers will be supplied with special questionnaires (in English). During house visits they will be accompanied by a Russian speaking interpreter. All volunteers should be ready to provide a non-threatening, enthusiastic audience for story tellers.

Here is my copy-book with magic spells. Photo Yelena Minyonok2. MAKING AUDIO RECORDS

a) setting up audio equipment;

b) monitoring the tape recorder during interviewing and folklore performances;


a) peasant houses and household buildings;

Cheese! Photo Angelina Zueva

b) folk performance. While a staff person does the main part of the interviewing (usually in Russian with the parallel translation for volunteers) and audio recording, it is very important to have an assistant making photographs reflecting emotional conditions of singers and narrators (facial expression, gesticulation) during folk songs, fairy-tales, mythological stories performances;

c) portraits of folk performers;

d) handicrafts;

e) local country people in traditional clothes;

f) labor processes such as milking, hay making, harvest making, etc.Great job of counting cross-stitches. Photo Anna Berman


Volunteers will be copying and graphing embroideries of cross-stitch decorations (on ritual scarves, shifts, etc.) with black and red pens (or pencils) on the special graphic paper.


a) making sketches of peasant house interior;

What is the length of your woven ragrug? Photo Lilly Otto

b) answering questionnaires on separate parts of Russian folk costume, scarves, floor-cloths, etc. (in English);

c) taking measurements of different objects of folk material culture.



Volunteers will be asked to work on special descriptions of house interiors while visiting villagers’ houses.


Volunteers who feel comfortable doing so will be our translators of the mythological stories for future publications.

We suggest that every team member assess his/her ability in these tasks. Interests of individual volunteers will be taken into account. All volunteers can do some of these tasks very well. At the end of each day we will talk about the problems encountered so far: what could have been done better? What lessons are to be learned for the following day? At the end of the day we also plan the work on systematization and cataloging of collected facts and materials.

If the volunteers are knowledgeable in ethnography, folklore or visual anthropology, they will be able to participate in the setting up video shooting (finding the site, selecting interesting shots, etc.). They will also be able to play a part in the interpretation of the material and its classification. If the volunteers are knowledgeable in shooting documentaries (directors, cameramen, etc.), they will be able to participate in making video records. Before the expedition we will be very glad to receive letters with any questions from volunteers and specialists, to help us know the range of interests of our future partners – info@russianexpedition.net

We are happy to welcome all those interested, but we have particular need for individuals with skills in photography, drawing, and in the use of audio equipment and appliances. But there is a lot of work in our project for volunteers who may have none of the skills mentioned. We need people who are patient and attentive and who have quick reaction as well those who are sociable, steady, even-minded, resourceful and, of course, who have a sense of humor.