Mapping Imagined Geographies of Revolutionary Russia

PBC0149: reverence for nature

PBC 149 expresses the nearly sacral reverence for the life-giving forces of Russia’s waters. In one example, the Volga is imagined as a “saint-river” that runs through the heart of the country (W300). Other rivers, where an “old man fills his kovsh,” a traditional table pitcher, from major Russian rivers and lakes—the Don, the Kama, and Lake Onega,—purvey history and tradition while representing the national dynamic energy (W301). Elsewhere, Russia’s rivers, springs, and headwaters are “the source, the mother of the great water way from the Varangians to the Greeks,” are the sources of all life for the country and the only things keeping the country from “turning into a desert” of sand and lost history (W403).


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