Symbolism and Ecological Uses of Fire among Orochen-Evenki

in Sibirica
Author:
Donatas Brandisauskas University of Aberdeen

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Based on fieldwork in Zabaikal'e, this report describes Orochen hunters' and reindeer herders' uses and interpretations of fire. Ethnographic evidence presents a wide use of fire and smoke in daily life in the taiga. Fire and smoke play a crucial role in reindeer herding and hunting of ungulates and fur animals. The author argues that fire symbols are an important part of Orochen cosmology and relate to broader themes of hunting magic, mastery, and the perception of animals. Research into the cosmological knowledge of fire uses provides us with a broader scope of interpretation of camping characteristics and land use.

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Sibirica

Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies

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