How words Russian and bear became almost synonyms?
«Are afraid – means, respect». Not so pleasant principle, but very effective – especially in policy. With weak nobody agrees and has no conversation as equals. It was necessary to small Northern Korea to give a hint at existence of own nuclear weapon as the USA right there weakened it sanctions. What to speak about mightier countries. Not a secret that the same United States in the world not especially love, but understand what not to respect the state with the strongest army – more expensive…
P.F.Kaverznev "Ryazhenye". Second half of the XIX century. P.F.Kaverznev, commons.wikimedia.org
Also start up a bear as a symbol of Russia, enemies thought up it, Russians as a result accepted this symbol as native. Though put in it a bit different contents…
Idea of Russia as to "the country of bears» developed not casually. The matter is that by the end of the Middle Ages clumsy from densely populated Western Europe, mainly, beat out. The last individuals rather crushed and took cover in the almost impassable mountain woods.
With N. Samokish’s water color, commons.wikimedia.org
it is unknown, commons.wikimedia.org
Imperial War Museum, commons.wikimedia.org
скан, From Y.Tinbergen’s book «Behavior of animals».
And here on boundless open spaces of Russia the bear felt quite comfortably and as an animal was considered as the habitual. Used it for the most different purposes: when – for amusement, when – for intimidation, and sometimes – and for this purpose and another at once.
So, under the certificate of English diplomat Jerome Gorsey, tsar Ivan the Terrible liked to arrange indicative executions in the spirit of the Roman emperors, using as executioners of live bears. That the show was to more dramatic, rebellious monks handed over «on great favor of the sovereign» long peaks for defense. It helped, however, for a while…
«The bear guessed the monk on his fat clothes, it with rage snatched on it, caught and shattered to it the head, broke off a body, feet and hands as the cat a mouse, tore to pieces his dress in scraps, did not reach yet its meat, blood and bones…».
However, duels with a bear were not only destiny fateful. For many it was start up also dangerous, but sports (or as spoke then, «a valiant entertainment»). For example, at tsar Mikhayl Romanov псарь Kondraty Korchmin who amused more than 10 years public especially caused a stir, battling to bears.
Bear entertainments were popular and at the time of Peter I. So prince F.Yu.Razumovsky liked to drive about across Petersburg embracing bears or in the vehicle harnessed by them. All this disgrace reached such scales that in 1750 of the daughter of Peter I – the empress to Elizabeth – even was necessary to issue the decree, forbidding to hold these animals in Moscow and Petersburg. However the furious predator continued to be used by the cheerful companies for unpretentious and cruel jokes.
L.N.Tolstoy "War and peace":
«Are perfect robbers, especially Dolokhov, – the guest spoke. – He is Marya Ivanovna Dolokhova’s son, such respectable lady, and what? Can present to itself: three of them got somewhere a bear, planted with itself in the carriage and carried to actresses. The police them came running to appease. They caught quarter and adhered it a back with a back to a bear and started up a bear in the Sink; the bear floats, and quarter on it».
A.S. Pushkin "Dubrovsky":
«Outside at Kirill Petrovitch some bear cubs were brought up ordinary and made one of the main entertainments of the Pokrovsk landowner.
… The got hungry bear will lock, happened, in an empty room, having adhered it a rope for the ring which has been screwed in in a wall. Led ordinary the beginner to doors of this room, unintentionally pushed it to a bear, doors were locked, and the unfortunate victim left alone with a shaggy pustynnik. The poor guest, with torn off hollow and till it bleeds scratched, found a safe corner soon, but was forced sometimes the whole three hours to stand having driven into the corner and to see, how the furious animal two steps away from it roared, jumped, became on racks, was torn and endeavored to reach it».
To tame bears in Russia became already for a long time. A time them even used in the ceremonies connected with fertility – for example, drove on fields or forced to cross through the lying woman (if that long could not become pregnant). In Ukraine pregnant women stuck in clumsy with a finger: if that was silent – means, the boy if growled – the girl will be born…
But, certainly, the main duty of a manual bear was to amuse respectable public – often together with a goat (the truth, as a goat the person in a mask always acted). The buffoon drove an animal for a ring in a nose, forced to go on hinder legs, to somersault, dance, and after representation – to raise in a cap money. Trained a bear sometimes in very cruel way. For example, bear cubs placed in a cage with a copper bottom then a bottom slowly heated up while the unfortunate small animal did not rise by hinder legs and did not start to dance from pain. Over time "ryazheny" goats in shape and a bear became constant participants of a Christmas Christmas-tide and Shrovetide celebrations.
It were pleasant to not all Christians "devilish" скоморошьи representations. For example, the well-known protopriest Avvakum beat once and banished not only buffoons, but also them… bears (as you can see, the leader of Old Believers was in an excellent physical form).
«And I, the sinner, after the Christ being jealous, expelled them, both mugs and tambourines broke in the field it is uniform at many, and bears of two great took away: one bruise and паки it revived, and another released in the field».
In the West long time considered that bears in Russia such quantity that they freely wander on streets of the cities. The beginning to these hearings was put «By notes about Moskovia» the Austrian diplomat Gerberstein where it in style of real "horror" described the hunger which has burst in Russia in the winter of 1526.
Gerberstein «Notes about Moskovia» (XVI century):
«Besides, then found dead on roads of many which at those edges drive usually the bears, trained to dance. And bears rushed into houses; at the sight of their peasants crowd ran from their attack and perished out of door from cold the most pity death».
Therefore even circus actors of Western Europe surely insisted that their bears most that on are, "Russian" from «the far northern woods».
The reputation of Russia as an ancestral lands of bears were strengthened once again by the Moscow circus which has shown real miracles дрессуры. In the 1920th years of these predators taught to go for a drive on bicycles (remember Korney Chukovsky – «Bears on a bicycle went…»?), in the 1950th – on motorcycles, and then bears learned to go by horses, to somersault on bars and even to play hockey.
The trained bear who has run away from circus got on motorcycle theft.
It is possible to remember and Voytek’s well-known bear who became peculiar «the son of a regiment» in the Polish army.
Whether soldiers appeared excellent trainers, whether Voytek was by nature capable, but soon he learned very smart tricks. For example, to salute or… to help to bring ammunition. The last at a bear left by itself – once it approached to the car with shells, rose on hinder legs, and soldiers, having seized the moment, put to it in forepaws a box. Soon the bear became the constant loader and strongly helped in 1944 during battle at Monte-Kassino with Italy. As a result, the 22nd company even chose to itself a new emblem on which Voytek bearing a shell was represented. And once the bear even managed to tire out on a palm tree of the Arab spy working for Germans…
To train bears not so easily as can seem. They poorly developed a mimicry therefore it is hard to guess that at a predator in this or that the moment on mind. Bears at "critical" teenage age when they start to brawl are especially dangerous, badly obey and can is unforeseen a misfortune.
Next time we will talk about further evolution of an image of «Russian bear».