Until recently, only a narrow circle of specialists worked with them. Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography preserves seven unique collections on the ethnography of Tungus, Orochon, Daur, Birars, Manegro, Northern Manchus and Chinese, collected by S. M. and E. N. Shirokogorov in the expeditions of 1912 and 1913 in Trans-Baikal and of 1915–1917 in Manchuria. One of the tasks of the Manchurian expedition of 1915-1917 was a comparison of the Trans-Baikal Orochons with other Tungus territorial groups and neighboring peoples.
The Orochon collections were gathered among various Tungus groups and were registered by S. M. Shirokogorov under three different numbers: No. 2646 - Birarian Orochons, No. 2649 - Kumar Orochons; № 2650 - Hingan orochons. Collections inventories compiled by the collector contain the most general information about objects - the place of collection, usage, ethnic name of the thing. The collections themselves on the Orochon culture have long remained undescribed and little studied. It is known that an outstanding Tungus expert G. M. Vasilevich worked with them, she used photographs of individual objects in her articles. The scientific description of the Evenk and Orochon collections of the Shirokogorovs was started by N. V. Yermolova, Senior Researcher, Department of Ethnography of Siberia, MAE, in the 1980s, but it was not completed. Re-registration of these collections was fully carried out by employees of the Siberian Ethnography Department in 2017.
The Shirokogorovs’ collections are the most complete ones, containing items of the Evenks and Orochons of China and Transbaikalia. These collections are unique; they contain one of the oldest items of everyday life of the Evenks and Orochon, collected in China. The collection includes casual clothes, shoes, tools, models of traps for wild animals. They feature a large number of products from birch bark. The collection also includes a large number of needle cases decorated with unique ornaments. The collections contain many unique items related to shamanistic beliefs. The shaman’s costume (samasik) made of rovduga and the tail (irgivlan) worn on it from behind (call. MAE RAS No. 2646-72, 73) is of great value. The subjects collected by S.M. and E.N. Shirokogorov give a fairly complete picture of the culture of the Evenki and the Orochonov of the early 20th century.
The photograph of the Shirokogorov spouses is provided by Elena Vasilievna Robinson, niece of Elizaveta Shirokogorov.Read more