The Latta Foundation for Development of Science and Culture was registered in Saint-Petersburg in August 2005.
LATTA is a public establishment with specific purposes and objectives for researching and popularizing the Chechen culture as well as developing and supporting the research of the Chechen history, culture and traditions.
The Foundation core purposes and objectives:
-Conservation of ancient cultural traditions of the Chechen people
The Latta Foundation has organized discussion on the Chechen ancient moral and ethics code, reconstructed by Lecha Ilyasov based upon the folkloric materials, in the Republic’s mass media. The code is composed of various democratic values and may become the framework for the new moral idea of the Chechen society. In 2006, the redaction of the book “The Chechen Ethical Code” in the Russian, English and Chechen languages by the Latta Foundation and its publication were among the most significant events in the Chechen’s cultural life. So far, “The Chechen Ethical Code” is one of the most discussed and cited materials related to the Chechen themes in the World Wide Web. more »
Chechen art has antecedents of many centuries. It ascends to the Early Bronze Age. The bronze, silver and gold articles of the Maikop archaeological culture belong to the most memorable samples of that art, which reached its peak in the Koban archaeological culture. more »
Written Chechen literature emerged out of folklore, on the basis of its numerous and versatile genres, which had perfected its philosophical content, language, imagery and symbols over the millennia. more »
Chechen intellectual and artistic culture, just as other cultures of the world, originally rested on oral tradition. Practically all its genres and types—mythology, verbal art, the theatre, music and dancing—were born in folklore. Chechen folklore appeared in a specific ethnic cultural environment.
In the 3rd millennium B.C., the Caucasus was a crossroads of cultural influences of diverse civilisations as the region was straddling the shortest routes linking ancient land-tilling civilisations and the nomadic East European world. Chechen material culture, mythology, pagan worship and folklore retain features pointing at contacts with the earliest European, West Asian and Mediterranean civilisations.
These contacts are observed even more graphically with in-depth study of mediaeval Chechen mythology and pagan cults, which reveal numerous parallels with pagan deities and mythological heroes of the great ancient civilisations. more »
The Chechen ethical system arranges moral values in three levels, each of them determined by various aspects of the personality.
Adamallah, a system of moral values that includes universal norms the Chechen shares as Everyman, is connected the closest with Chechen religious and ethical convictions. It is inherent in all humans irrespective of ethnicity, religion, race and social status. As Chechens see it, that system is what tells man from animal. They counterpoise Adamallah as humanity to Akharallah, savagery.
Adamallah comprises the basic commandments of the Koran and the Bible, which man is bound to follow if he is not to degenerate into beast.
Nokhchallah is a system of moral values intrinsic to a Chechen due to his ethnicity. It tells him from people of other ethnic communities. more »
Rituality—which is pageantry of a kind—imbued the entire Chechen life. It was manifest in religious festivals, in wartime, at youth parties, and during music and dancing contests. It is no less characteristic of traditional Chechen etiquette. more »
Ancient religious cults, of which we can judge from the funeral implements of archaeological cultures, appeared in the Neolithic Era, when the funeral ritual reflecting Stone Age religious beliefs emerged in the North Caucasus.
Caucasian Eneolithic religious and mythological ideas (of the 4th-3rd millennia B.C.) were rather versatile. They mainly reflected economic activities of local tribes—land-tilling cults, dominated by the worship of the fertility goddess; the solar cult and the related fire cult; and, probably, the hearth cult.
Religions of Early Bronze tribes (the Maikop archaeological culture of the 4th-3rd millennia B.C.) included solar, heaven and animal cults, most probably borrowed from West Asia, alongside the earlier established mountain, river and forest worship. Fragments of clay figurines unearthed in archaeological complexes of the Maikop culture and having analogies in ancient West Asian cultures of the 3rd millennium B.C., to all appearances, relate to ancient land-tilling cults. The rich choice of funeral implements shows belief in the afterlife. more »
The National Museum of the Chechen Republic was established in 1924 as a regional museum of history and religion, with three departments—general and local history, and numismatics. It possessed 150 storage units on the opening day. In 1926, the museum made a major acquisition—a collection of Caucasian pistols, sabres and daggers. Paintings, pottery, china and weapons were donated from the State Museum Fund, and from Moscow and Leningrad collections and depositories. Franz Roubaud’s paintings The Seizure of Gunib and the Capture of Imam Shamil and The Death of General Sleptsov in the Gekha Forest were brought from Tbilisi alongside a collection of portraits of Russian generals who had taken part in the Caucasian War, and a number of engravings and lithographs. The Tretyakov Gallery donated Chechen artist Pyotr Zakharov’s self-portrait—a landmark acquisition from the point of Chechen history and art. more »
Several archaeological cultures existed in the Kuban-Sulak interfluve in the North Caucasus, succeeding to each other for 4,000 years. Their development bore an extent of genetic continuity in everyday life, burial rites, religion and mythology. All that allows postulate ethnogenetic succession of the local population from times immemorial to the Early Middle Ages.
Detailed studies of North Caucasian archaeological cultures from the Early Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age brought Evgeny Krupnov to the conclusion that a Caucasian cultural and linguistic community existed in the Caucasus, Transcaucasia and Asia Minor, sharing features common to the entire area in the 5th-3rd millennia B.C.: a) sedentism and common economic forms (land-tilling, stock breeding and developed pottery); b) small homotypic hill settlements with rotund or rectangular dwellings, movable hearths and the use of clay blocks; c) similar types of pottery with predominantly spiral ornamental patterns. The community had started to disintegrate by the beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C., as confirmed by the appearance of local variants of the Caucasian Eneolithic culture: the Kura-Araxes in Transcaucasia and the Northeast Caucasus, and the Maikop in the Northwest and Central Caucasus. more »
Music is one of the longest-established arts. It has been seen as the language of the human soul, feelings and passions since times immemorial.
Since its inception, music has been a divine gift to man. The magical power of healing is ascribed to it. According to beliefs of the Antiquity, music is present in Nature, in the harmonious accord of its parts. Music not merely pleases the ear with delightful tunes and expresses human feelings—it also transmits the elemental sounds and informs about what has happened. Thus, there is a Chechen tale of a despotic prince who says he will pour melted lead into the mouth that brings him the tidings of his beloved son’s death. A craftsman makes a musical instrument of three strings whose heart-rending tune tells the prince of the tragedy. This folk tale transmits the reverent public attitude to music and musical instruments. more »
Chechen folk crafts emerged several millennia ago. Several genetically interrelated archaeological cultures replaced each other in the area of original Nakh (Ancient Chechen) settlement in the North Caucasus from the 4th millennium B.C. through the Middle Ages.
Those cultures left ample archaeological materials testifying to an unprecedentedly high level of North Caucasian manufacture of arms, labour implements and pottery since the New Stone Age.
Excavations of Neolithic settlements in the various parts of the Caucasus revealed a wealth of Mesolithic flint tools—nuclei, scrubbers, chisels, and blades; geometrical tools—segments, trapezes, inserts with tips cut rectangularly with retouch, and faceted cuneiform axes; chippers processed on either side; and a rough Neolithic arrowhead. more »