Pilgrimage to Barda

By Jesko Schmoller
Humboldt University


Video clip no. 1
(recorded on 9 July 2016, 11:56)

This is the first of three recordings made during the summer of 2016, when undertaking a pilgrimage to the seven holy mountains in the vicinity of Barda, a rural locality in the south of Perm region, west of the Urals. The pilgrimage can be considered an aspect of traditional Uralic Muslim culture. Together with a number of Muslim believers from Barda, we begin our pilgrimage with a visit to the mountain Hasan Shaykh. The drone recordings allow for an impression of the respective sites in their particular geographic environments.

When plans for the pilgrimage were originally made, the Muslim participants approached the researcher with the idea of using a drone in order to document the venture and to film the respective sites from above. He agreed and paid the operator, who came all the way from Perm for the duration of one day. For the pilgrims, making those recordings constituted an opportunity to portray the mountains of Barda as sites of cultural significance and to direct attention to the pilgrimage as an appropriate tradition for Muslims from the area.



Video clip no. 2
(recorded on 9 July 2016, 13:14)

In the early afternoon, we briefly rest in the village of Bakcha Aul. It also goes by the Russian name Chalkovo and is located a few kilometres north of Barda. Together with the other pilgrims, the researcher is seen sitting on a bench next to the entrance gate of the village. A prayer is being said, so the pilgrimage may turn out to be successful.



Video clip no. 3
(recorded on 9 July 2016, 17:47)

Towards the end of the day, we arrive in the village of Tanïp, southeast of Barda. Tanïp used to be an important centre of religious education in the wider region and its madrasa, named after Haerzaman Nurmuhametov, attracted many students. In the beginning of the clip, one can see the mausoleum built for Nurmuhametov, an architectural monument from the 19th century. The woman holding a child in her arms is herself a descendant of the saint and she and her family look after his grave. The mountain in the distance is called Sultan-Ahmet.

For more information on the pilgrimage to the mountains of Barda, see the article ‘A Place of One’s Own: Pilgrimage and the Reinterpretation of Culture in Russia’s Ural Region’, Entangled Religions 13/8 (2022), online.

A collection of Jesko Schmoller’s photos from his trips to Barda is available in this blog’s gallery.

Cite this blog post
Red Gold (2024, January 9). Pilgrimage to Barda. RedGold. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/vkbb

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