The Mari - The Last Pagans of Europe (ongoing project)
The Mari, a people of roughly half a million, are said to be Europe’s last pagans. They are considered to come in Volga area from Eastern Europe some thousands years ago. The Mari faith traditionally knows no written scriptures and no sacred edifices, “Nature is our temple”. To get the gods help Mari people do their prayers in sacred groves, where some feasts include the ritual slaughter of animals as sacrifice.
There are many disputes in our days about how this kind of life is justified. Why Mari could develop their culture without destroying the environment?
This question becomes very actual in our days.
Whether humanity cannot learn how to live in harmony with the environment as Mari and other peoples like them who are not involved in the race of conquest and transformation of nature do it. The era of industrialization has changed nature of the so that in many cases indigenous people cannot feed themselves, using the traditional methods they used during the ages. However they still focused on cooperation with nature but not on struggle with it. If people begin to take from nature more than necessary, they are sawing the bough on which one sitting, as it has repeatedly been in the history of vanished civilizations. Whether it is the time to remember something and touch the little-known or completely forgotten past life of The Human. Maybe we can find there some standard of the relationship between man and nature?
In Mari-El, the Mari Traditional Religion is recognized as one of three traditional faiths, along with Christianity and Islam. Indeed, unnoticed by much of the outside world, the Mari faith has made a remarkable recovery since the end of Soviet Union.
The Mari El Republic, 2011-2013
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