The article compares the funerary ceremonies of the Chuvash people and their Finno- Ugric neighbors in the Middle Volga area and the Urals (Mari, Mordovians, Udmurts) in 15th – 19th centuries. The discussion is relevant because the ethnic genesis of the Chuvash is still debated. Highlighted are common and distinctive features of topography of the burial grounds, design of burial pits and tomb structures, orientation of inhumations, position of bodies. Along with the archaeological sources, the author invokes ethnographic data on each of the studied peoples. He attempts to identify the origins and reasons for certain funerary traditions spread among these peoples. The results show a remarkable Finno-Ugric infl uence on the funerary ceremony of the Chuvash as well as diffusion of cultures.
Volkov Alexander V. Chuvash National Museum. Red Square, 5/2, Cheboksary, 428032, the Chuvash Republic, Russian Federation; email@example.com