Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

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.

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

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

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

A wedding carriage

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

A matchmaker who organized the couple

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

Bride and a groom

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

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

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

A bride in a wedding gown

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

A ritual dance of a matchmaker

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

Wedding

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

“Wedding train”

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

A bride and a matchmaker in wedding dresses

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

Members of the “wedding train”

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

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

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

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

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

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

Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire

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.

3 thoughts on “Wedding Photos of Mari People of Russian Empire”

  1. 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. 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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