Spirit of the Future

Movement, Kinetic Distribution, and Personhood among Siberian Eveny

in Social Analysis
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Abstract

This article discusses the concept of djuluchen (a spirit that travels ahead) among Siberian Eveny, which can illuminate the human potential to foreshadow one’s own future. Looking closely at case studies of Eveny adolescents reveals that the act of planning, narrating, or envisioning a future event, heavily charged and empowered by djuluchen, moves the event to its fulfillment. Drawing from the Deleuzian notion of ‘becoming’, the article shows the connection between prediction and fulfillment involved in the Eveny conceptualization of personhood and destiny. The discussion of ‘kinetic distribution’ and illocutionary acts uncovers the principle of detachability and the partibility of personhood in nomadic ontology.

Contributor Notes

Olga Ulturgasheva is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester. She has carried out ethnographic research on childhood and adolescence, narrative and memory, animist and nomadic cosmologies, and reindeer herding and hunting in Siberia and Alaska. Since 2006 she has been engaged in a number of international projects exploring human and non-human personhood, movement patterns, and youth resilience in Siberia, the American Arctic, and Amazonia. She is the author of Narrating the Future in Siberia: Childhood, Adolescence and Autobiography among the Eveny (2012) and a co-editor of Animism in Rainforest and Tundra: Personhood, Animals, Plants and Things in Contemporary Amazonia and Siberia (2012).

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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