Linguistic and ethnographic materials of E. R. Schneider in the archives of St. Petersburg
(53rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC, St. Petersburg 2010)
Eugeny R. Schneider, who was the first to handle comprehensively the Udeghe language (one of the Tungus-Manchu languages), was bom in Krasnoyarsk in 1897. In 1924 he graduated from the archaeological department of the Leningrad University and became a researcher at the Department of Siberia and Far East of the Ethnographical Department of the Russian Museum where he was studying the ethnography of the Tungus-Manchu ethnoses and paleoethnology of the Primorsky region. He went frequently on expeditions to the Minusinsk region where he studied the Turkic ethnography, in 1926 in Kazakhstan he explored the ornamental art. In 1927 he was sent to the Tungus peoples of the Amur region. From 1928 on and to the end of his lifetime he has been studying the ethnography of the Udeghe and in fact has become a pioneer of the true scientific description of the Udeghe language. Ethnographic and archaeological collections brought by Schneider from his expeditions on behalf of the Russian Museum were described by the collector and presented to the scholarly society. But his materials were not published in full. In 1937 he was arrested and executed by shooting on a false charge, and some of his materials disappeared. Fortunately, his book “Materials on the language of the Anjui Udeghe” has come down to us in two copies, its manuscript is preserved in a certain archive in Saint-Petersburg. During the 30s Schneider was working both as a scholar and a teacher at the Institute of the Northern Peoples. From his students he recorded some Udeghe texts and songs (still on phonograph cylinders) which are nowadays kept at the Phonogram Archive (Pushkinsky Dorn), one of the richest in the world that preserves, among other valuable things, the voice of L. N.Tolstoy and the recently found recording of P. I. Chaikovsky’s voice.