Putilov Boris (1919—1997) – ethnographer and folklorist.

In 1936, after finishing school in Grozny, he entered the Leningrad Teachers-Training Institute named after A.I. Herzen; his supervisor was N.P. Andreev. After the graduation of the institute, he was sent to work in the town of Sortavala, then in Tikhvin. In 1942, he returned to Grozny.

His Candidate thesis was ‘The Historical Songs of the Sixteenth – Nineteenth Centuries at Terek’ (1948, Institute of Russian Literature of the Ac. of Sc. of the U.S.S.R. (Pushkinsky Dom), research consultant А.М. Astakhova. His Doctor thesis was ‘Russian Historical Musical Folklore of the Thirteenth – Sixteenth Centuries’ (1960, Leningrad State University).

Since 1954, he was Senior Researcher of the Institute of Russian Literature of the Ac. of Sc. of the U.S.S.R. (Pushkinsky Dom). In 1967, he transferred to the Institute of Ethnography of the Ac. of Sc. of the U.S.S.R. There he was able to broaden the geography of his interests, taking part in the expedition ‘On the Steps of Miklukho-Maklay’, in the course of which he made acquaintance with rites and myths of the peoples of Oceania. In the last years, he considered the theory of epos.

He used the comparative method of research, and he was longing for the complex studying of culture, he argued that myth, ritual, magic actions, music, song, and spells are shaped and exist in the syncretic unity only.