Dumbra. The relatively stable spread and preservation of the traditions of playing the chordophone, called dumbra, among the Kryashens has its causes and consequences. The Turkic Domrov-Balalaika traditions, which appeared in Russia in the XVI century, have become a common phenomenon of Russian traditional national culture.
Gradually, the art of Russian domrachey, and later Balalaika, began to influence the dumbra of the peoples of the Volga-Kama region. It was in this aspect that the further development of the Kryashen dumbra took place.
After some time, the dumbra began to be considered by the Kryashen population as a phenomenon that has a commonality with the Russian balalaika, which does not contradict Russian culture. Thus, the dumbra was legalized in the public consciousness of the Kryashen as a recognized all-Russian musical instrument.
The fact that dumbra (in Russian–language sources "balalaika") was used in the everyday life of kryashen is mentioned by the authors of many ethnographic sketches of the late XIX - early XX century. For example, a priest, a member of the OAI at Kazan University, S.M. Matveev, who had a Baptismal Tatar origin, left behind a number of articles about the holidays and ancient customs of the Kryashen Tatars. He writes that musicians were invited to the weddings of the Kryashen Tatars: accordion player – әргәнче, violinist – кубызчы, balalaika player – думбрачы. To the accompaniment of this ensemble, men dance, mostly Russian, squatting with loud stamping of their feet, and women quietly spinning in one place.
An important indicator of the presence of deep traditions of dumbra art in the national culture is its reflection in the folklore heritage. One of the most frequently mentioned musical instruments in Kryashen folklore is the dumbra. In the wedding songs of the Kryashen Tatars, dumbra is often mentioned in a duet with a kubyz - a bow instrument that was leaned on the knee when playing.
Currently, the process of reviving the manufacture and playing of the ancient dumbra in the Kryashen youth folklore ensembles of the Republic of Tatarstan is underway.
G. M. Makarov