Museum of Nature of Buryatiya

Evgenia Bukharova

vice-director

Museum of Nature of Buryatiya

Ulan-Ude, Lenina-st., 46 Russia

Festival "LakePeople"

Festival "Lake people" offers the cultural action as the instrument of ecological and social problems investigation of "lake people", representing a rich cultural humanitarian heritage of people occupying coast of Baikal. Water is the center of formation of various civilizations. Lake people has developed the original strongly pronounced identity, which is connected with an environment. Their cultural and spiritual traditions reflect variety and complexity of natural environment.
The festival representing ethnography and the modern art promotes will help to revive old traditions and acquire new ones. It expresses a mission of museums as creators of culture and helps to solve problems of harmonization in the system "person - society - nature".

The festival has been initiated by Museum of the Nature of Buryatiya for search for new ideas and contacts to create a new type natural-science museum in 2001. The museum of the Nature of Buryatiya has opened for visitors in 1983. Mission of the museum is documenting a biodiversity of the Baikal region and ecological education. In 2005 museum was the best museum of the year in Buryatia, in 1999 - winner of 3rd Krasnoyarsk biennials. The museum is the initiator and active organizer of many different ecological actions and holidays in republic, e.g. "Day of the Earth", "March of Parks", "Day of Baikal". Now museum stands on the way of creation of a new concept and re-exposition.

First festival "Lake people" (2001) has been organized together with Association "Open museum". Its basic audience was museum professionals who have taken part in a workshop devoted to museum management after the festival. The second festival named "Traditions and fashion of lake people" (2003) has expanded its audience due to competitions of fashion designers, phytodesigners, photographers. The next step was in a direction of involving of museums of Buryatiya in tourist business. The third museum festival (2005) was realized at support of Welfare Fund of V. Potanina. The program included two parts: first - for the public, was based on animation of culture and using of methods of adjacent cultural areas in museum management for development of cultural tourism; second - for the museum professionals, devoted to discussion of problems which is connected with preservation and presentation of a heritage in museums. All museums of Ulan-Ude were the platforms for festival actions.

The festival suggested to consider a portrait of the "lake", "steppe", "wood", "city" man in a landscape environment, to find the features which can harmonize the man with world around. "The lake man" in our understanding is the person living not only at lake, but also in other landscapes in the consent with the nature.

Destiny of each man living on the Baikal ground connects with great lake. Each of us is a feature in a portrait of "lake man", a part of the Man of Earth. Therefore museums of Buryatiya have announced the cultural action - festival "Lake People" which is called to show a portrait of "lake man" - person living in the modern world in harmony with nature, with the past and future.

The program of festival include competition of phytodesign and body-art "Floromania", fashion parade "Ethnofashion and ecological avant-garde", photoexhibition "The Portrait of ls"Lake man'", degustation of Buryat dishes, fair "The national souvenir", ethno-rock show "The Baikal legends". In the first time for a general public during the festival was present the animation program of Hunns fund which included presentation of reconstruction of Hunns suit and the project of an archaeological monument "Hunns site of ancient settlement".

The information-cultural part of the festival included discussion "Problems of heritage: museum aspect", presentation of projects "Museum tourism", and also presentation of rural museums potential to development of cultural tourism.

In the end of festival was performance "Metamorphosis of water" by special visitor from Germany. He created the legend interpreted in context of Buddhism with use of meditative techniques. Importation of the modern artist promotes to developing of region artists, shows an opportunity of use new directions of art for actualization of ecological subjects.

The festival-2005 was a starting point for intermuseum tour "Lake people". Its highlight became creative rest on Baikal which include ethnoecological workshops, the land-art and anthropo-practice. Workshops have given an opportunity of creative potential realization of each participant. The developed tour represent a successful combination of cognitive and ethnoecological tourism with an opportunity of relaxation in harmony with nature. During realization of the project preconditions for the future tours have been created. It has been created close intermuseum cooperation and tour operator focused on cultural tourism. As a result of this tour the material for cultural tourism guidebook "The Greater Siberia. Treasures of Buryatiya" has been collected.

The festival, undoubtedly, has brought the significant contribution to culture of republic of Buryatiya. Owing to festival the community of creative people which have opportunities for professional growth was formed around of museums. Museums of republic have received the big impulse to development of museum business. Workers of museum have got valuable experience of organization big cultural actions, have seen other museums, non-standard innovative projects and have established new partnerships.
The festival became channel of connection between various lakes, the countries, museums, people, helping to self-identification, revealing on the one hand originality, on the other hand, the common features of culture of the lake people, developed under influence of a uniform environment, promoting formation of humanistic planetary outlook.