BUILDING IDENTITY AND NATIONHOOD THROUGH ETHNOGRAPHY DURING THE INTERWAR PERIOD OF THE SOVIET ERA: THE CASE OF ARMENIA
The text presents the three founders of Armenian ethnography Yervand Alexandrovich Lalayan (1864-1931), Khachik Stepanovich Samuelyan (1873-1940), and Stepan Danilovich Lisitsyan (1865-1947) along with the formation of the field under the conditions of Soviet authority between the two world wars. The period was complex and difficult, the Marxist-Leninist ideology permeated all spheres of life and, in the eyes of rulers ethnography was considered peripheral knowledge. Nevertheless, Lalayan, Samuel, and especially Lisitsyan managed to lay a solid foundation for the further development of ethnography in the generations to follow. In general, their research remains in the spirit of the cultural-historical method from the pre-Soviet period. They actively engaged in collecting, organizing, and teaching and museum work, leaving behind significant scientific works, mostly in Armenian, which are part of the national cultural heritage of Armenia.
Keywords: history of ethnography, Armenian ethnography, national identity