As we have seen multiple times throughout the readings, the influence of the Church was able to penetrate nearly every aspect of Russian life. Popular culture was definitely not immune to the domination that the Church had. The strict social hierarchy that included the high social classes and the Church were very prevalent in Russian society, they were essentially in control of what would be passed down generation to generation. Since most of the literate population was somehow involved with the Church, their damnation towards minstrels and their performances led to very little historical record of them, and what remained is never very positive.… Read the rest here
Religion had a very prominent role in pop culture in Post-Kievan Rus’, influencing the social structure, everyday life, and art as well. Churchmen and high officials were easily threatened of the toppling of the social structure throughout Rus’ and were highly cautious of the entertaining minstrels. The Rus’ minstrels were looked down upon by the church because their performances “caricatured the world around them,”1 no doubt making fun of the church at times. But because the church was a part of the elite society, they were able to “[prevent] the minstrels from bequeathing these performances to subsequent generations,”2 thus displaying the church’s power to the people of Rus’.… Read the rest here
One of the more overlooked aspects of culture of post- Kievan Rus’ was the role of the minstrel. The minstrel, or skomorokhi, was a musician, actor, and all-around entertainer that operated in a wide variety of venues. These could range from small villages to large cities such as Novgorod. The minstrel sub population moved Northeast in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries into the region more known as Russia.
It is very surprising to note that Minstrels often played secular music and preformed secular entertainment. … Read the rest here
Due to the destruction caused by the Mongols during their invasion of Rus’, the culture of the time is not as well known as it is in other times. The Mongols obviously had significant impact on the culture of Rus’, but they also left large amounts of destruction in their wake, meaning that culture came second to other activities (namely: survival).
Painting, literature, and other forms of the performing arts were not as prevalent in this time, but we know that one thing that was very prevalent was wandering minstrels.… Read the rest here