The Elk Man from Perm, Russia

This Postcrossing postcard is also about symbols of a culture (see Folk costumes from Poland), but this time not about a contemporary culture, but an ancient one. It came from Perm, at the geographical centre of Russia, and shows a bronze cast of the Elk Man – a priest or a warrior.Elk Man from Perm

These Perm Animal Style casts were produced by local tribes between the 8th and 10th century and were important in their culture: they were used as totems, as part of costumes or in cult ceremonies. Their symbolic nature is clear: they ‘reflect the ancient peoples’ perception of the universe and man’s place in it’.

On this particular postcard you see the Elk Man who holds a cut human head in the left hand and a long narrow sword in the right hand. As the postcard itself reads: The plots of human sacrifice have been preserved in folklore and rituals of forest peoples of the Urals and Siberia.