The article presents the results of field research on the traditional heritage of the Don Kalmyks, which is considered in the broad context of historical circumstances and ethno-social processes in the South Russian region. The focus is on the current state of the subethnic culture: the sources of its content, factors, forms and subjects of intergenerational transmission. Summarizing the field observations, the author suggests a structural and functional model of the modern Kalmyk tradition, in which he identifies three levels, according to the leading phenomenological feature: actual, memorial and constructive. The factors that determined the direction of historical dynamics are divided into a number of categories, in accordance with the scale and selectivity of the events in which the Don Kalmyks were consolidated with other communities. This classification is supplemented by the typology of the bearers of tradition, which is based on the age hierarchy, correlated with specific social experience. The main source of the research are the field materials of the ethnolinguistic expedition to the Yashaltinskiy and Gorodovikovskiy districts of the Republic of Kalmykia carried out by the Southern Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2010.
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