A Household God in a Socialist World


The article discusses the reasons for high appraisal of Lewis Henry Morgan’s ethnological heritage in Russian/Soviet social scholarship. Morgan’s social evolutionism, attached to Marxism by Frederick Engels, sounded attractive for the Soviet scholarship, which pulled Morgan’s ideas out of context of the nineteenth century thought and planted to the social scholarship of the 1930s-1980s.
From the early 1930s anthropological officialdom in the firmer USSR canonized Morgan’s ideas, especially his matriarchy thesis and the prophesy about there turning to the classless society in the new advanced form. Until the early 1980s the Soviet anthropology, reduced to the study of the “primitive communist formation”, developed in the rigid framework of the Morgan-Engels’s concept. The article is based on the original Russian/Soviet sources.

How to Cite

Znamenski, A. A., (1995) “A Household God in a Socialist World”, Ethnologia Europaea 25(2), 177-188. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.844

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


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Andrei A. Znamenski (Samara Pedagogical institute)



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