Long Night at the Vepsian Museum: The Forest Folk of Northern Russia and the Struggle for Cultural Survival
This book takes readers to the village of Sheltozero in northern Russia. It highlights a tiny community of indigenous people called Veps, known colloquially as "the forest folk" for their intense closeness and affiliation with the forests in their ancestral territories. Davidov uses a tour of the local museum to introduce a cast of human and non-human characters from traditional Vepsian culture, while journeying through various eras under Russian, Finnish, Soviet, and post-Soviet rule. In the process, she explores how contemporary political struggles mesh with traditional beliefs, illustrating how Veps make meaning of their history and unfolding future.
A documentary entitled Museum Night is available for instructors who wish to incorporate it into their teaching.