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Komi children

Федотова Юлия Сергеевна
«Из жизни коми детей»

There are a lot of exiting books about teenagers and their problems, and they are indeed interesting for me. So, I’d like to tell you something about komi children many years ago.

When a child was born, his parents were asked: «A hunter or a beerier? » The children of that period differed from the children of nowadays – it was required with the way of life. A boy or a girl knew that their work was necessary for the family. As soon as they began to speak, they became equal members of the family. Boys hunted little birds being only 6 years old.
Most of the children gathered mushrooms and berries and everything was brought to the table. 5-year -old boys learned to ride a horse. When a boy was able to hold a rifle, he was trusted to make a shot.
9-year-old boys became fathers’ helpers in hunting. They learnt to make a snore. Besides they could weave a net. At 10 years a boy was taken to hunt squirrels. In some years a boy would have his own gun.
Is it too early? Maybe, but a lot of teenagers of that time were hunting themselves since 12 years old; they could catch about 6 squirrels and 10 hazel-grouses a day.
Girls became good house workers at 6-7 years old: they cooked, сleaned houses, cared for little brothers and sisters. In couple of years they started caring for domestic animals. Girls often babysat in summer.
In harvest-time children gathered spikelets, took harvest from the fields. In winter children brought woods and water to their homes. Sometimes that work was really hard. For example, an 11-13-year old child could plough, fish with seine and they were paid as much as adults.

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