Poster №9 – The history of colonizatoin and the development of the land of the island of Kizhi VkontakteFacebook

The formation of the unique natural complex of the Kizhi skerries is deeply interlaced with the history of colonization and development of the land.

The first settlers came to the islands of the Kizhi Archipelago in 7000 B. C. This period is called Mesolithic. At that time the basis of economy was reindeer-hunting, fishing and picking mushrooms, berries and roots. This activity did not much affect the environment.

The next era is called Neolithic (the middle of the 8th millennium B. C.). When the climate became warmer reindeer moss disappeared and reindeer moved to the north. The people who hunted them were to look for other sources of life.

The ethnic composition of this area had been constantly changing under the influence of several waves of migration. Many different tribes of the Lapps, the Vepsians and the Karelians came and went. To the end of 1000 A. C. these tribes were engaged not only in fishing and hunting but also in farming. They practiced slash and burn farming and later arable farming. Slash and burn farming gradually disbalanced the soil layers and resulted in changes of the vegetation cover. As a result, the geological complex was altered by human activity.

In the 13th through 17th centuries was enriched by a three-field system. In the beginning of the 15th century this system started to dominate over slash and burn farming.[текст с сайта музея-заповедника "Кижи":]

Farming was most actively developed here in the first half of the 19th century. By the 1960s the area of the arable land was the largest in the history of Zaonezhie.

At that period practically the whole island was occupied by arable fields and hayfields. Numerous rocks removed from the fields were piled around them making long ridges.

The basic crops at that time were winter rye, oats, barley, peas, flax, common hemp and such thermophilic crops as wheat and buckwheat. The most commonly grown vegetables were onions, carrots, beets, turnips, swedes and potatoes that had been known here since the 19th century.

In 1879 there were 9 villages, 34 farmsteads and 239 inhabitants on the Island of Kizhi.

Nowadays there are two villages on the island. They are the village of Yamka and the village of Vasilievo where about 50 people live the year round. They are mainly museum workers, fire brigade and police officers.[текст с сайта музея-заповедника "Кижи":]

One of the goals of the museum is to preserve and protect the historical landscape providing natural environment for the architectural monuments, first of all the meadows of the island that have been overgrown with scrub-brush and small trees because nobody has cut grass for hay.

For more information about ecological problems of the island and their solutions see Poster № 10.

// Ecological path of the Island of Kizhi
Y.Protasov, R.Martyanov, A.Korosov
Музей-заповедник «Кижи». Петрозаводск. 2008. 24 с.

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Музеи России - Museums in RussiaМузей-заповедник «Кижи» на сайте Культура.рф