Personifications of Russia

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Since medieval times personifications of Russia are traditionally feminine, and most commonly are maternal.[1]

A cover of Sentry (ru) magazine, approx. 1932, depicting Russia as a woman in a traditional costume liberated by a warrior in medieval armor, trampling the Bolshevik flag.

Most common terms for national personification of Russia are:

  • Mother Russia (Russian: Матушка Россия, tr. Matushka Rossiya, "Mother Russia"; also, Россия-матушка, tr. Rossiya-matushka, "Russian Mother", Мать-Россия, tr. Mat'-Rossiya, Матушка Русь, tr. Matushka Rus' , "Mother Rus' "),
  • Mother Motherland (Russian: Родина-мать, tr. Rodina-mat' ).

Notice that in Russian language, the concept of motherland is rendered by two terms: "родина" (tr. rodina), literally, "place of birth" and "отчизна" (tr. otchizna), literally "fatherland".

Harald Haarmann and Orlando Figes see the goddess Mokosh a source of the "Mother Russia" concept.[2][3]

Usage[edit]

During The October Revolution and The Civil War, the image was in the propaganda of the supporters of the White movement, interpreting the struggle against the Bolsheviks as a battle with "aliens" as "oppressors of Mother Russia".[citation needed]

Statues[edit]

During the Soviet era, many statues of Mother Motherland were built, most to commemorate the Great Patriotic War. These include: Rodina-mat' zovot

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Ellen Rutten, Unattainable Bride Russia: Gendering Nation, State, and Intelligentsia in Russian Intellectual Culture, 2010, ISBN 0810126567. The book discusses personifications of Russia as a bride in 20th century Russian literature and art.

External links[edit]