Tengri, is one of the names for the primary chief deity used by the early Turkic and Mongolic peoples. Worship of Tengri is Tengrism; the core beings in Tengrism are the Earth Mother. It involves shamanism, animism and ancestor worship; the oldest form of the name is recorded in Chinese annals from the 4th century BC, describing the beliefs of the Xiongnu. It takes the form 撑犁/Cheng-li, hypothesized to be a Chinese transcription of Tängri. Alternatively, a reconstructed Altaic etymology from *T`aŋgiri would emphasize the god's divinity rather than his domain over the sky; the Turkic form, Tengri, is attested in the 8th century Orkhon inscriptions as the Old Turkic form Teŋri. In modern Turkish, the derived word "Tanrı" is used as the generic word for "god", or for the Abrahamic God, is used today by Turkish people to refer to any god; the supreme deity of the traditional religion of the Chuvash is Tură. Other reflexes of the name in modern languages include Mongolian: Тэнгэр, Bulgarian: Тангра, Azerbaijani: Tanrı.
The Chinese word for "sky" 天 may be related a loan from a prehistoric Central Asian language. However, this proposal conflicts with recent reconstructions of the Old Chinese pronunciation of the character "天" as "qhl'iin" or similar, with a lateral consonant. Linguist Stefan Georg has proposed that the Turkic word originates as a loanword from Proto-Yeniseian *tɨŋgVr- "high". Tengri was the national god of the Göktürks, described as the "god of the Turks"; the Göktürk khans based their power on a mandate from Tengri. These rulers were accepted as the sons of Tengri who represented him on Earth, they wore titles such as tengrikut, kutluġ or kutalmysh, based on the belief that they attained the kut, the mighty spirit granted to these rulers by Tengri. Tengri was the chief deity worshipped by the ruling class of the Central Asian steppe peoples in 6th to 9th centuries, it lost its importance when the Uighuric kagans proclaimed Manichaeism the state religion in the 8th century. The worship of Tengri was brought into Eastern Europe by early Bulgars.
Tengri is considered to be the chief god. In addition to this celestial god, they had minor divinities that served the purposes of Tengri; as Gök Tanrı, he was the father of the sun and moon and Umay and sometimes Ülgen. Tengri was the main god of the Turkic pantheon, controlling the celestial sphere. Tengri is considered to be strikingly similar to the Indo-European sky god, *Dyeus, the structure of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is closer to that of the early Turks than to the religion of any people of Near Eastern or Mediterranean antiquity; the most important contemporary testimony of Tengri worship is found in the Old Turkic Orkhon inscriptions, dated to the early 8th century. Written in the so-called Orkhon script, these inscriptions record an account of the mythological origins of the Turks; the inscription dedicated to Kul Tigin includes the passages: "When the blue sky above and the brown earth below were created, between them a human being was created. Over the human beings, my ancestors Bumin Kagan and Istemi Kagan ruled.
They ruled people by Turkish laws, they led them and succeeded". Human beings have all been created in order to die". In Turkic mythology, Tengri is a pure, white goose that flies over an endless expanse of water, which represents time. Beneath this water, Ak Ana calls out to him saying "Create". To overcome his loneliness, Tengri creates Er Kishi, not as pure or as white as Tengri and together they set up the world. Er Kishi strives to mislead people and draw them into its darkness. Tengri assumes the name Tengri Ülgen and withdraws into Heaven from which he tries to provide people with guidance through sacred animals that he sends among them; the Ak Tengris occupy the fifth level of Heaven. Shaman priests who want to reach Tengri Ülgen never get further than this level, where they convey their wishes to the divine guides. Returns to earth or to the human level take place in a goose-shaped vessel. According to Mahmud al-Kashgari, Tengri was known to make plants grow and the lightning flash. Turks used the adjective tengri which means "heavenly, divine", to label everything that seemed grandiose, such as a tree or a mountain, they stooped to such entities.
Tengri worship by "infidels" was viewed negatively by Kashgari. The non-Muslim Turks' worship of Tengri was mocked and insulted by al-Kashgari, who wrote a verse referring to them – The Infidels – May God destroy them!al-Kashgari claimed that the Prophet assisted in a miraculous event where 700,000 Yabāqu infidels were defeated by 40,000 Muslims led by Arslān Tegīn claiming that fires shot sparks from gates located on a green mountain towards the Yabāqu. The Yabaqu were a Turkic people. A pyramidal peak of the Tian Shan range between China and Kyrgyzstan, is called "Khan Tengri." The Tian Shan itself is known in Uy
The Chuvash people are a Turkic ethnic group, native to an area stretching from the Volga Region to Siberia. Most of them live in the Republic of Chuvashia and surrounding areas, although Chuvash communities may be found throughout the Russian Federation. There is no universally accepted etymology of the word Chuvash, but there are two main theories that try to explain it: one suggests that the word Chuvash may be derived from Common Turkic jăvaš, as opposed to şarmăs. Another theory is based on the Tabghach, an early medieval Xianbei clan and founders of the Northern Wei dynasty in China; the Old Turkic name Tabghach was used by some Inner Asian peoples to refer to China long after this dynasty. Gerard Clauson has shown that through regular sound changes, the clan name Tabghach may have transformed to the ethnonym Chuvash. Chuvash people are divided into two main groups: Virjal or Turi Anatri, subdivided into: Anat jenci Hirti The Turkic ancestors of the Chuvash people are believed to have come from central Siberia, where they lived in the Irtysh basin from at least the end of the third millennium BC.
In the beginning of the first century AD, the Bulgars started moving west through Zhetysu and the steppes of modern-day Kazakhstan, reaching the North Caucasus in 2nd–3rd centuries AD. There they established several states. Old Bulgaria broke up in the second half of the 7th century, after a series of successful Khazar invasions; some of its population fled north, to the Volga-Kama region, where they established Volga Bulgaria, which became wealthy: its capital being the fourth-largest city in the world. Shortly after that, the Suvar Duchy was forced to become a vassal state of Khazaria. About half a century the Suvars took part in the Arab–Khazar wars of 732–737, they have some pre-Christian traditions. In addition to Chuvash, many people use the Russian language. Today Chuvash people belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, they retain some pre-Christian Tengrism traditions in their cultural activities. They syncretized Orthodox Tengriism. Parallel pray in the shrines called sacrifice geese there.
One of the main shrines is located in the town of Bilyarsk. There are rival schools of thought on the origin of the Chuvash people. One is that they originated from a mixing between the Turkic Sabir tribes of Volga Bulgaria and, according to some researches, local Finno-Ugric tribes. According to another theory, the Chuvash may be descended from the Volga Bulgars, they have been subjected to much infusion and influence, not only from Russian and Turkic peoples, but from neighboring Finnic tribes, with whom they were persistently and mistakenly identified for centuries aided by the fact that the Chuvash language is a divergent form of Turkic, was not recognized as such. Chuvash is classified, alongside the extinct Bulgar language, as the only remaining member of the Oghuric branch of the Turkic language family. Physical anthropologists using the racial frameworks of the early 20th century saw the Chuvash as a mixed Finno-Ugric and Turkic people. Subclades of Y-DNA haplogroups R1 and N are most common among the Chuvash.
According to Rootsi et al. 2004, Tambets et al. 2004, Trofimova 2005 the following distribution of haplogroups is obtained: I1: 7% I2a2: 0–2% I2a1: 0–2% J1: 0–2% J2a: 0–9% J2b: 0–5% Q: 0% R1b: 2–4% R1a: 28–32% N1c1: 18–19% N1c2: 9–10% E-M78: 0–14% C: 0–1%Haplogroups Q and C are rare among Chuvashes. Chuvash carriers of Haplogroup R1a are Balto-Slavic Z282 subclade. A study sampling of unrelated 96 Chuvashes concluded:Earlier genetic research using autosomal DNA markers suggested a Finno-Ugric origin for the Chuvash; this study examines non-recombining DNA markers to better elucidate their origins. The majority of individuals in this sample exhibit the maternal haplogroups H, U, K, all representative of western and northern Europeans, but absent in Altaic or Mongolian populations. Multidimensional scaling was used to examine distances between the Chuvash and 8 reference populations compiled from the literature. Mismatch analysis showed a unimodal distribution. Along with neutrality tests, the mismatch distribution is suggestive of an expanding population.
These tests suggest that the Chuvash are not directly related to the Turkic and Mongolic people along their maternal line but supports the hypothesis that their language was imposed by a conquering group—leaving Chuvash mtDNA of European origin with a small amount of Central Asian gene flow. Their maternal markers appear to most resemble Slavic and Finno-Ugric speakers rather than fellow Turkic speakers; the MtDNA gene pool was found to be 9.1 % Mongoloid and 1.8 % unidentified. According to autosomal analyses, the present-day Chuvash speak a Turkic language but are genetically a mix of East-Asian and European elements, they are closer to Europeans with some genetic input from Siberia. An autosomal analysis detected an indication of Oghur and Bulgar ancestry in modern Chuvash; these Oghur and Bulgar tribes brought the Chuvash language with them. Another study found some Finno-Ugric components in Chuvash people. List of Chuvashes Chuvash Wikipedia ChuvashTet Chuvash National Museum Society for t
Estonians are a Finnic ethnic group native to Estonia who speak the Estonian language. Estonia was first inhabited about 10,000 years ago, just after the Baltic ice lake had retreated from Estonia. While it is not certain what languages were spoken by the first settlers, it is maintained that speakers of early Uralic languages related to modern Estonian had arrived in what is now Estonia by about 5,000 years ago. Living in the same area for more than 5,000 years would put the ancestors of Estonians among the oldest permanent inhabitants in Europe. On the other hand, some recent linguistic estimations suggest that Finno-Ugrian language arrived around the Baltic Sea later during the Early Bronze Age; the oldest known endonym of the Estonians is Maarahvas. Eesti, the modern endonym of Estonia, is thought to be derived from the word Aestii, the name given by the ancient Germanic people to the Baltic people living northeast of the Vistula River; the Roman historian Tacitus in 98 AD was the first to mention the "Aestii" people, early Scandinavians called the land south of the Gulf of Finland "Eistland", the people "eistr".
Proto-Estonians were called Chuds in Old East Slavic chronicles. The Estonian language belongs to the Finnic branch of the Uralic family of languages, as does the Finnish language; the first known book in Estonian was printed in 1525, while the oldest known examples of written Estonian originate in 13th-century chronicles. Although Estonian national consciousness spread in the course of the 19th century during the Estonian national awakening, some degree of ethnic awareness preceded this development. By the 18th century the self-denomination eestlane spread among Estonians along with the older maarahvas. Anton thor Helle's translation of the Bible into Estonian appeared in 1739, the number of books and brochures published in Estonian increased from 18 in the 1750s to 54 in the 1790s. By the end of the century more than a half of adult peasants could read; the first university-educated intellectuals identifying themselves as Estonians, including Friedrich Robert Faehlmann, Kristjan Jaak Peterson and Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, appeared in the 1820s.
The ruling elites had remained predominantly German in language and culture since the conquest of the early 13th century. Garlieb Merkel, a Baltic-German Estophile, became the first author to treat the Estonians as a nationality equal to others. However, in the middle of the century, the Estonians became more ambitious and started leaning toward the Finns as a successful model of national movement and, to some extent, toward the neighbouring Latvian national movement. By the end of 1860 the Estonians became unwilling to reconcile with German cultural and political hegemony. Before the attempts at Russification in the 1880s, their view of Imperial Russia remained positive. Estonians have strong ties to the Nordic countries stemming from important cultural and religious influences gained over centuries during Scandinavian and German rule and settlement. Indeed, Estonians consider themselves Nordic rather than Baltic, in particular because of close ethnic and linguistic affinities with the Finns.
After the Treaty of Tartu recognised Estonia's 1918 independence from Russia, ethnic Estonians residing in Russia gained the option of opting for Estonian citizenship and returning to their fatherland. An estimated 40,000 Estonians lived in Russia in 1920. In sum, 37,578 people moved from Soviet Russia to Estonia. During World War II, when Estonia was invaded by the Soviet Army in 1944, large numbers of Estonians fled their homeland on ships or smaller boats over the Baltic Sea. Many refugees who survived the risky sea voyage to Sweden or Germany moved from there to Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States or Australia; some of these refugees and their descendants returned to Estonia after the nation regained its independence in 1991. Over the years of independence, increasing numbers of Estonians have chosen to work abroad in Finland, but in other European countries, making Estonia the country with the highest emigration rate in Europe; this is at least due to the easy access to oscillating migration to Finland.
Recognising the problems arising from both low birth rate and high emigration, the country has launched various measures to both increase the birth rate and to lure migrant Estonians back to Estonia. Former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves has lent his support to the campaign Talendid koju! which aims to coordinate and promote the return of Estonians who have particular skills needed in Estonia. One of the largest permanent Estonian community outside Estonia is in Canada with about 24,000 people. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, about 17,000 arrived in Canada to Montreal. Toronto is the city with the largest population of Estonians outside of Estonia; the first Estonian World Festival was held in Toronto in 1972. Some notable Estonian Canadians include Endel Tulving, Elmar Tampõld, Alison Pill, Uno Prii and Andreas Vaikla. Demographics of Estonia Estonian national awakening Gauja Estonians List of Estonian Americans List of notable Estonians Petersoo, Pille. "Reconsidering otherness: constructing Estonian identity".
Nations and Nationalism. 13: 117–133. Doi:10.1111/j.1
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process, it is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. Its diameter is about 1.39 million kilometers, or 109 times that of Earth, its mass is about 330,000 times that of Earth. It accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. Three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen; the Sun is a G-type main-sequence star based on its spectral class. As such, it is informally and not accurately referred to as a yellow dwarf, it formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of matter within a region of a large molecular cloud. Most of this matter gathered in the center, whereas the rest flattened into an orbiting disk that became the Solar System; the central mass became so hot and dense that it initiated nuclear fusion in its core. It is thought that all stars form by this process.
The Sun is middle-aged. It fuses about 600 million tons of hydrogen into helium every second, converting 4 million tons of matter into energy every second as a result; this energy, which can take between 10,000 and 170,000 years to escape from its core, is the source of the Sun's light and heat. In about 5 billion years, when hydrogen fusion in its core has diminished to the point at which the Sun is no longer in hydrostatic equilibrium, its core will undergo a marked increase in density and temperature while its outer layers expand to become a red giant, it is calculated that the Sun will become sufficiently large to engulf the current orbits of Mercury and Venus, render Earth uninhabitable. After this, it will shed its outer layers and become a dense type of cooling star known as a white dwarf, no longer produce energy by fusion, but still glow and give off heat from its previous fusion; the enormous effect of the Sun on Earth has been recognized since prehistoric times, the Sun has been regarded by some cultures as a deity.
The synodic rotation of Earth and its orbit around the Sun are the basis of solar calendars, one of, the predominant calendar in use today. The English proper name Sun may be related to south. Cognates to English sun appear in other Germanic languages, including Old Frisian sunne, Old Saxon sunna, Middle Dutch sonne, modern Dutch zon, Old High German sunna, modern German Sonne, Old Norse sunna, Gothic sunnō. All Germanic terms for the Sun stem from Proto-Germanic *sunnōn; the Latin name for the Sun, Sol, is not used in everyday English. Sol is used by planetary astronomers to refer to the duration of a solar day on another planet, such as Mars; the related word solar is the usual adjectival term used for the Sun, in terms such as solar day, solar eclipse, Solar System. A mean Earth solar day is 24 hours, whereas a mean Martian'sol' is 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35.244 seconds. The English weekday name Sunday stems from Old English and is a result of a Germanic interpretation of Latin dies solis, itself a translation of the Greek ἡμέρα ἡλίου.
The Sun is a G-type main-sequence star. The Sun has an absolute magnitude of +4.83, estimated to be brighter than about 85% of the stars in the Milky Way, most of which are red dwarfs. The Sun is heavy-element-rich, star; the formation of the Sun may have been triggered by shockwaves from more nearby supernovae. This is suggested by a high abundance of heavy elements in the Solar System, such as gold and uranium, relative to the abundances of these elements in so-called Population II, heavy-element-poor, stars; the heavy elements could most plausibly have been produced by endothermic nuclear reactions during a supernova, or by transmutation through neutron absorption within a massive second-generation star. The Sun is by far the brightest object in the Earth's sky, with an apparent magnitude of −26.74. This is about 13 billion times brighter than the next brightest star, which has an apparent magnitude of −1.46. The mean distance of the Sun's center to Earth's center is 1 astronomical unit, though the distance varies as Earth moves from perihelion in January to aphelion in July.
At this average distance, light travels from the Sun's horizon to Earth's horizon in about 8 minutes and 19 seconds, while light from the closest points of the Sun and Earth takes about two seconds less. The energy of this sunlight supports all life on Earth by photosynthesis, drives Earth's climate and weather; the Sun does not have a definite boundary, but its density decreases exponentially with increasing height above the photosphere. For the purpose of measurement, the Sun's radius is considered to be the distance from its center to the edge of the photosphere, the apparent visible surface of the Sun. By this measure, the Sun is a near-perfect sphere with an oblateness estimated at about 9 millionths, which means that its polar diameter differs from its equatorial diameter by only 10 kilometres; the tidal effect of the planets is weak and does not affect the shape of the Sun. The Sun rotates faster at its equator than at its poles; this differential rotation is caused by convective motion
The Bulgars were Turkic semi-nomadic warrior tribes that flourished in the Pontic–Caspian steppe and the Volga region during the 7th century. Emerging as nomadic equestrians in the Volga-Ural region, according to some researchers their roots can be traced to Central Asia. During their westward migration across the Eurasian steppe the Bulgars absorbed other ethnic groups and cultural influences, including Hunnic and Indo-European peoples. Modern genetic research on Central Asian Turkic people and ethnic groups related to the Bulgars points to an affiliation with Western Eurasian populations; the Bulgars spoke a Turkic language, i.e. Bulgar language of Oghuric branch, they preserved the military titles and customs of Eurasian steppes, as well as pagan shamanism and belief in the sky deity Tangra. The Bulgars became semi-sedentary during the 7th century in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, establishing the polity of Old Great Bulgaria c. 635, absorbed by the Khazar Empire in 668 AD. In c. 679, Khan Asparukh conquered Scythia Minor, opening access to Moesia, established the First Bulgarian Empire, where the Bulgars became a political and military elite.
They merged subsequently with established Byzantine populations, as well as with settled Slavic tribes, were Slavicized, thus forming the ancestors of modern Bulgarians. The remaining Pontic Bulgars migrated in the 7th century to the Volga River, where they founded the Volga Bulgaria; the Volga Tatars and Chuvash people claim to be originated from the Volga Bulgars. The etymology of the ethnonym Bulgar is not understood and difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD. Since the work of Wilhelm Tomaschek, it is said to be derived from the Common Turkic bulğha, bulga- or bulya, which with the consonant suffix -r implies a noun meaning "mixed". Other scholars have added that bulğha might imply "stir", "disturb", "confuse". and Talat Tekin interpreted bulgar as the verb form "mixing". Both Gyula Németh and Peter Benjamin Golden advocated the "mixed race" theory, but like Paul Pelliot, considered that "to incite", "rebel", or "to produce a state of disorder", i.e. the "disturbers", was a more etymology for migrating nomads.
According to Osman Karatay, if the "mixed" etymology relied on the westward migration of the Oğurs and merging with the Huns, north of the Black Sea, it was a faulty theory, since the Oghurs were documented in Europe as early as 463, while the Bulgars were not mentioned until 482 – an overly short time period for any such ethnogenesis to occur. However, the "mixing" in question may have occurred before the Bulgars migrated from further east, scholars such as Sanping Chen have noted analogous groups in Inner Asia, with phonologically similar names, who were described in similar terms: during the 4th Century, the Buluoji, a component of the "Five Barbarian" groups in Ancient China, were portrayed as both a "mixed race" and "troublemakers". Peter A. Boodberg noted that the Buluoji in the Chinese sources were recorded as remnants of the Xiongnu confederation, had strong Caucasian elements. Another theory linking the Bulgars to a Turkic people of Inner Asia has been put forward by Boris Simeonov, who identified them with the Pugu, a Tiele and/or Toquz Oguz tribe.
The Pugu were mentioned in Chinese sources from 103 BC up to the 8th century AD, were situated among the eastern Tiele tribes, as one of the highest-ranking tribes after the Uyghurs. According to the Chronicle by Michael the Syrian, which comprises several historical events of different age into one story, three mythical Scythian brothers set out on a journey from the mountain Imaon in Asia and reached the river Tanais, the country of the Alans called Barsalia, which would be inhabited by the Bulgars and the Pugurs; the names Onoğur and Bulgar were linked by Byzantine sources for reasons that are unclear. Karatay interpreted gur/gor as "country", noted the Tekin derivation of gur from the Altaic suffix -gir, related to the word yir, meaning "earth, place". Modern scholars consider the terms oğuz or oğur, as generic terms for Turkic tribal confederations, to be derived from Turkic *og/uq, meaning "kinship or being akin to"; the terms were not the same, as oq/ogsiz meant "arrow", while oğul meant "offspring, son", oğuš/uğuš was "tribe, clan", the verb oğša-/oqša meant "to be like, resemble".
There appears to be an etymological association between the Bulgars and the preceding Kutrigur and Utigur – as'Oğur tribes, with the ethnonym Bulgar as a "spreading" adjective. Golden considered the origin of the Kutrigurs and Utigurs to be obscure and their relationship to the Onogurs and Bulgars – who lived in similar areas at the same time – as unclear, he noted, however, an implication that the Kutrigurs and Utigurs were related to the Šarağur, that according to Procopius these were Hunnish tribal unions, of Cimmerian descent. Karatay considered the Kutrigurs and Utigurs to be two related, ancestral people, prominent tribes in the Bulgar union, but different from the Bulgars. Among many other theories regarding the etymology of Bulgar, the following have had limited support. An Eastern Germanic root meaning "combative" (i.e. cognate with the Latin pugn
Mari Native Religion
The Mari Native Religion, or Mari Paganism, is the ethnic religion of the Mari people, a Volga Finnic ethnic group based in the republic of Mari El, in Russia. The religion has undergone changes over time under the influence of neighbouring monotheisms. In the last few decades, while keeping its traditional features in the countryside, an organised Neopagan-kind revival has taken place; the Mari religion is based on the worship of the forces of nature, which man must honour and respect. Before the spread of monotheistic teachings amongst the Mari, they worshipped many gods, while recognising the primacy of a "Great God", Kugu Jumo. In the 19th century, influenced by monotheism, the Pagan beliefs altered and the image of a Osh Kugu Jumo "Great God of Light", was strengthened. Subject to persecution in the Soviet Union, the faith has been granted official status since the 1990s by the government of Mari El, where it is recognized as one of the three traditional faiths along with Orthodox Christianity and Islam.
Some activists claim that the Mari native religion believers are subject to pressure by Russian authorities as part of a wider campaign to Russify Mari culture. Vitaly Tanakov, an adherent of the faith, was charged with inciting religious, national and linguistic hatred after publishing the book The Priest Speaks. Followers of the Mari native religion perform public rituals and mass prayers and conduct charitable and educational activities, they publish and distribute religious literature. There are four regional Mari native religion organizations. Prayer meetings and mass prayers are held in accordance with the traditional calendar. Public prayers are held in the sacred groves. Ceremonies are held by a rank of priests. There is a significant discrepancy between the pantheons of the Lowlands Mari, who worship 140 gods, Highlands Mari, who worship about 70 gods; however most of these deities are different forms of other gods. Nine deities are the most important ones, these are said to be hypostases of the high god Osh Kugu Jumo.
The Mari native religion includes tree animal sacrifices. The religion is one of Europe's indigenous religions of unbroken lineage which have survived Christianisation, although it has co-existed with Russian Orthodoxy for generations. Many Mari today are baptized as Christians yet they attend traditional prayers rather than Church services. A sociological survey conducted in 2004 found that about 15 percent of the population of Mari El consider themselves adherents of the Mari native religion. Since Mari make up just 45 percent of the republic's population of 700,000, this figure means that more than a third claim to follow the old religion; the percentage of pagans among the Mari of Bashkortostan and the eastern part of Tatarstan is higher. Mari fled here from forced Christianization in the 17th to 19th centuries. A similar number was claimed by Victor Schnirelmann, for whom between a quarter and a half of the Mari either worship the Pagan gods or are adherents of Neopagan groups. Mari intellectuals maintain that Mari ethnic believers should be classified in groups with varying degrees of Russian Orthodox influence, including syncretic followers who might go to church at times, followers of the Mari native religion who are baptized, nonbaptized Mari.
Some gods and spirits in the Mari pantheon: Kugu Jumo, the main god seen as a monistic godhead. Called Kugurak, the "Elder", he is associated with a duck. Tul, god of fire, attribute of Kugu Jumo. Surt, spirit of the household, attribute of Kugu Jumo. Saksa, god of fertility, attribute of Kugu Jumo. Küdryrchö Jumo, god of thunder. Tutyra, god of fog, attribute of Kugu Jumo, and other attributes of the godhead. Purysho, the god of fate, the caster and the creator of the future of all men. Azyren, the god of death. Shudyr-Shamych, the god of the stars. Tylmache, worker of the divine will. Tylze, the god of the Moon. Known as Tõlze. Uzhara, the god of the dawn. Mlande, the god of earth. Shochyn-Ava, the goddess of childbirth. Tunya, the god of the universe Keremet, evil spiritMany of these gods, specially those controlling natural phenomena, have female counterparts, with the name ending in ava, like Tul-Ava, goddess of fire, Mlande-Ava, goddess of earth, Kudurcho-Ava, goddess of thunder, etc. ChurchesOshmari-Chimari Kugu SortaUralic religionsEstonian Neopaganism Finnish Neopaganism Mordvin Neopaganism Udmurt VosChuvash religionVattisen YalyCaucasus religionsAbkhaz Neopaganism Circassian Habzism Etseg DinBaltic religionsDievturi Romuva DruwiSlavic religionsRodnovery Glukhova, Natalya.
"Reflections of the Cheremis Religious Beliefs in the Texts of the Pagan Prayers". In Kõiva, Mare. Folk Belief Today. Tartu: EKM Teaduskirjastus. P. 60-66. ISBN 978-9949-446-96-4. Retrieved 2017-03-07. Knorre, Boris. "16 - Neopaganism in the Mari El Republic". In Aitamurto, Kaarina. Modern Pagan and Native Faith Movements in Eastern Europe. Studies in Contemporary and Historical Paganism. Acumen Publishing. P. 249-265. ISBN 9781317544623. Schnirelman, Victor. "Christians! Go home: A Revival of Neo-Paganism between the Baltic Sea and Transcaucasia". Journal of Contemporary Religion. 17: 197–211. Doi:10.1080/13537900220125181. Mari Native Religion - Official Website in Russian Nikolaus von Twickel. Europe's Last Pagans Worship in Mari-El Grove. Saint Petersburg Times, 2009. Mari Paganism: Traditional Religion or Destructive Cult?. Keston News Service, 20
Chinese theology, which comes in different interpretations according to the classic texts and the common religion, Confucian and other philosophical formulations, is fundamentally monistic, to say it sees the world and the gods of its phenomena as an organic whole, or cosmos, which continuously emerges from a simple principle. This is expressed by the concept that "all things have one and the same principle"; this principle is referred to as Tiān 天, a concept translated as "Heaven", referring to the northern culmen and starry vault of the skies and its natural laws which regulate earthly phenomena and generate beings as their progenitors. Ancestors are therefore regarded as the equivalent of Heaven within human society, therefore as the means connecting back to Heaven, the "utmost ancestral father". Chinese theology may be called Tiānxué 天學, a term in use in the 17th and 18th century; the God of Fuxi and Wang Yangming is in our space and time.... To Chinese thought, ancestor is creator; the universal principle that gives origin to the world is conceived as transcendent and immanent to creation, at the same time.
The Chinese idea of the universal God is expressed in different ways. Chinese scholars emphasise that the Chinese tradition contains two facets of the idea of God: one is the personified God of popular devotion, the other one is the impersonal God of philosophical inquiry. Together they express an "integrated definition of the monistic world". Interest in traditional Chinese theology has waxed and waned over the various periods of the history of China. For instance, the Great Leap Forward enacted in the mid-20th century involved the outright destruction of traditional temples in accordance with Maoist ideology. From the 1980s onwards, public revivals have taken place; the Chinese believe that deities or stars, are arranged in a "celestial bureaucracy" which influences earthly activities and is reflected by the hierarchy of the Chinese state itself. These beliefs have similarities with broader Asian shamanism; the alignment of earthly and heavenly forces is upheld through the practice of rites, for instance the jiao festivals in which sacrificial offerings of incense and other products are set up by local temples, participants hoping to renew the perceived alliance between community leaders and the gods.
As explained by the scholar Stephan Feuchtwang, in Chinese cosmology "the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy", organising as the polarity of yin and yang which characterises any thing and life. Creation is therefore a continuous ordering. Yin and yang are the invisible and the visible, the receptive and the active, the unshaped and the shaped; the gods themselves are divided in yin forces of contraction, 鬼 guǐ and yang forces of expansion 神 shén. Together, 鬼神 guishen is another way to define the twofold operation of the God of Heaven, its resulting dynamism being called itself shen, spirit. By the words of the Neo-Confucian thinker Cheng Yi: is called... the gǔi-shén with respect to its operation, the shén with respect to its wonderful functioning. Another Neo-Confucian, Zhu Xi, says: the gǔi is contraction; as long as it is blowing wind, thundering, or flashing, shén, while it stops, gǔi. The dragon, associated to the constellation Draco winding the north ecliptic pole and slithering between the Little and Big Dipper, represents the "protean" primordial power, which embodies both yin and yang in unity, therefore the awesome unlimited power of divinity.
In Han-dynasty traditions, Draco is described as the spear of the supreme God. Heaven continuously begets—according to its own manifest model, the starry vault revolving around the northern culmen —and reabsorbs, the temporal things and worlds; as explained in modern Confucian theology:... the historical Heaven, namely the generated Heaven, one particular form or modification of the eternal Heaven. This eternal Heaven was embodied in pure qì. Rather than "creation", which has a long Western connotation of creation ex nihilo, modern Chinese theologians prefer to speak of "evolution" to describe the begetting of the cosmos; such ordering power, which belongs to deities but to humans, expresses itself in rites. They are the means by which alignment between the forces of the starry sky, of earthly phenomena, the acts of human beings, is established; such harmonisation is referred to as "centring". Rituals may be performed by government officials, family elders, popular ritual masters and Taoists, the latter cultivating local gods to centre the forces of the universe upon a particular locality.
Since humans are capable of centring natural forces, by the means of rites, they are themsel