Irina Andreevna Fedosova

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fedosova, Irina Andreevna


Born 1831 in the village of Safronovo, Olonets Province, now in the Karelian ASSR; died July 10 (22), 1899, in the village of Lisitsyno, Olonets Province. Russian skazitel’nitsa (singer of historical and epic folk songs).

Fedosova’s improvised laments reflected many aspects of the Russian peasants’ everyday life, attitudes, and social protest. Among them are “A Village Elder” “A Scribe,” and “One Who Was Struck Dead by Lightning.” Her laments, as well as byliny (epic folk songs), lyrical songs, and wedding songs, were transcribed by E. V. Barsov and other Russian folklorists beginning in the 1860’s. Fedosova was mentioned in the writings of M. Gorky and F. I. Chaliapin. N. A. Nekrasov used one of her texts as a basis for the chapter “The Peasant Woman” in his narrative poem Who Can Be Happy In Russia? Her texts were also used by P. I. Mel’nikov-Pecherskii and M. M. Prishvin.


Barsov, E. V. Prichitan’ia Severnogo kraia, parts 1–3. Moscow, 1872–86.
Prichitaniia. Leningrad, 1960.


Chistov, K. V. Narodnaia poetessa I. A. Fedosova: Ocherk zhizni i tvorchestva. Petrozavodsk, 1955.
Bonch-Bruevich, V. D. “V. I. Lenin ob ustnom narodnom tvorchestve.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1954, no. 4.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.