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Gallery Anatoly Kudreavtcev  - 300 pictures

The Village of Shanevo

Dense pink fog was slowly filling up the hollow of Dolotzo Lake. First rays of morning sun were touching hills, trees and Russian houses darkened by age. My village of Shanevo was waking up slowly. I could hear the creaky sound of rowlocks, water splashes made by a lonely fisherman's boat in the Lake. The rooster is crowing somewhere far away, in the other village across the Lake. There are no more roosters in Shanevo I had this dream so many times. The same dream over and over again. Sometimes in this dream I'm going back to old times. Strange animals are wondering around. Giant trees are hanging over the lake. Does not look like my village But I know that this is still my Shanevo.


Sometimes locals call their village Shenevo ("Shee-nio-vo), but usually they say Shanevo (Shah-nio-vo). They like "Shah" solid, well grounded sound. I found the meaning of the word Shanevo in the very well respected Dal's Dictionary of Russian language "Lasy, scatter-brained loafer". Strangely enough long time ago very industrious people lived in Shanevo village. It was the only village in Russia during serfdom times (abolished in our country in 1863) where serfs paid ransom and freed themselves!

The Lake Dolotzo is 3 km long. The widest part of the lake is 500 meters. One end of the lake is "sharp". I think this is the reason why the lake got its name. Doloto is a sharp metal instrument, Dolotzo is a small Doloto. The lake as deep as 30 meters in some places. The color of the water is brown-black Put your hand into the water and hold it 10 inches down you won't be able to see it. The water in the lake has healing qualities. All your cuts will be healed if you washed them with this water. Tea made in Samovar is very tasty, especially if you add some local flowers in it. But only those who tried this tea can appreciate it.

40-50 houses could be counted in the village in the past. These days, after numerous fires, war, soviet experiments in agriculture only 14 houses left. Most of them belong to "dachniks" people from Moscow and St'Petersburg who come to Shanevo for summer. At night big bears come to the village. You can easily catch a wild rabbit in your yard. Once locals found a dead lynx in the shack. Wild animal was trying to hide from hunting wolves and died from wounds No need to mention snakes they are everywhere. Watch your steps! Peaceful image of the Dolotzo Lake with my blue boat for fishing. So as you can see Shanevo is a backwoods. You can hardly find such a backwoods in the middle of the Russian plane

The grandmother IrinaThe grandfather - priest

Last spring the oldest local Babushka died in Shanevo. Her name was Pania. She was buried on the village cemetery. But it is not easy to get to the cemetery, as it is not easy to get to Shanevo itself. Streams, marshy valleys, mad hollows on the roads make it really hard for regular transportation to get through especially in Spring. You can get to Shanevo only if you REALLY want to. It was so muddy spring time that it created a problem how to get to the cemetery to bury Babushka Pania. Tractor had no chance to make it. Locals decided to go by boat across the lake. Her little coffin was placed in the Serega's boat. People from Shanevo and their neighbors from nearest villages got into other boats. They were pulling Babushka Pania's boat behind them on the string. This medieval looking procession took the coffin to the cemetery on the other side of the Lake.

I can imagine mythical someone who conveys the souls of the dead to the other side. But in this case it was not Leta River, but Dolotzo Lake, and it was not Kharon rowing the boat but Serega with no teeth. He lost them all during winter fishing.

My old house

© Translation - Natalia Tuchina

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