3 Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

Posted on August 30, 2018 by tim

At that time among these people it was normal for boys to get married at the age of fifteen and girls to get married as young as thirteen. If parents couldn’t get them married at this age, they were sort of worried they are doing something wrong with their lives. In the first photo you can see a soon to be married couple while visiting the parents of the bride.

The important person in the wedding process was a “matchmaker” – usually a woman who was “building a bond for couple” e.g. finding the good matches among local youth and turning them into newly weds, sort of a modern day tinder app.

Most of the photos here are from 1900-1910, and there are some later ones at the bottom of the page.

The wedding “train” waiting for the bride to come out from her house

A wedding carriage

A matchmaker who organized the couple

Bride and a groom

A wedding, the matchmaker talks to the groom’s parents

A bride in a wedding gown

A ritual dance of a matchmaker


“Wedding train”

A bride and a matchmaker in wedding dresses

Members of the “wedding train”

And this photo is from the 1960s – the traditions were still partially alive even 40 years after the Communist revolution

The year 1970 – a ritual of “paying a ransom for the bride” – still wearing national costumes, at least some people are wearing national costumes.

A wedding in the 1970s, people have a feast at the bride’s house

A wedding in the village – people go from house to house after the feast. 1970.

It is not very clear if all of the traditions are still alive to this day, but things like “paying ransom for the bride” are encountered pretty often.

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3 Responses to “Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire”

  1. Douglas says:

    It appears that the Mari people desire to get the sexually mature kids married as soon as possible. This does create a type of stability within the community.

  2. ralali ilali says:

    amazing picture

  3. Asmodeus says:

    Most of our Great Granpas in Europe married very young. Life expectancy was different from today (especially before the use of antibiotics).

    When life is so short, you should live fast.

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