In the late 1990s and early 2000s, much of social research on contemporary Russia focused on transformations of gender relations brought about by the closure of many state enterprises. In particular, scholars posited that men were experiencing severe insecurity about their gender identity, which they termed a “post-Soviet masculinity crisis.” However, little research has since been carried out to catch up with these findings. How have men’s experiences of gender insecurity developed? How have they responded? This article addresses these questions drawing on newly active Sakha (Yakut) men’s groups and shows how they are also arising and forming their consciousness in reaction to the immigration of male Muslim workers from Central Asia.
Nicholas Parlato, Gail Fondahl, Viktoriya Filippova, and Antonina Savvinova
identities through legal actions and channels. In a close examination of the creation of two neighboring TTPs within the Sakha Republic (Iakutiia), one of the Russian Federation's 80-plus “federal subjects” (regions), we explore the evolving role TTPs have
In going over submissions to Sibirica at the beginning of 2021, I found several articles related to culture and history in the Sakha Republic. Naturally, I thought it would be illuminating to bring them together to see how they might complement each other. Although this is not a typical special issue with a planned overarching theme, I found that these articles are not only geographically united but subtly reflective of broad underlying concerns—the revitalization and continuity of culture, and the agency of minoritized and indigenous peoples in striving for self-definition and survival. This issue is a way of “checking in” on the state of some of the diverse scholarly work happening in and on Sakha (Yakutia) in recent months and years—from the perspectives of researchers in anthropology, literary studies, history, and art history and criticism.
Educating the First Railroaders in Central Sakha (Yakutiya)
Sigrid Irene Wentzel
connections may be taken for granted in some parts of the world, few places today offer the opportunity to observe the installation of a new railway line. One such case is the Amur-Yakutsk Mainline (AYaM ) in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya) in the Russian
Soviet Archeological “Discoveries” and Indigenous Evenkis
whole up to the present time ( Brandišauskas 2017 ). 1 These sites can be seen as being linked to the ideas of animism as well as human interactions with spirits and animals (see Brandišauskas 2011 ). During my field research in the Republic of Sakha
The Sakha Intellectuals and the Revolutionary Transformations in Late Imperial Russia, 1905–1917
Aleksandr Korobeinikov and Egor Antonov
Focusing on the works and intellectual activity of the Sakha intelligentsia, this article examines the development of postimperial political imagination in the region of Yakutia. The formation of the Sakha intellectuals was a result of the circulation of wider imperial discourses on nationalism, anticolonialism, socialism, and regionalism during the crisis of the Russian Empire. By discussing the Sakhas’ marginal, even colonial, conditions, the Sakha national intellectuals followed self-governing aspirations inherited from political exiles and Siberian regionalists, whose ideas became frequent demands for many Siberian indigenous movements. Despite the Stalinist myth that the Soviet Union (and its social engineers) created autonomy in Yakutia for the first time in Russian history, it was the Sakha intellectuals who developed the autonomist discourse during the first two decades of the twentieth century.
National Identity and Processes of Acculturation
Zinaida I. Ivanova-Unarova and Liubov R. Alekseeva
Within Russia, the major centers of bone carving art are the village of Kholmogory in the Arkhangelsk region, the town of Tobolsk in the Tyumen region (which was considered the center of Siberia in the seventeenth century), Chukotka, and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Geographically, they are connected by their proximity to the northern seas, which explains the main materials used by carvers: walrus tusk and sperm whale tooth. The exception is Sakha (Yakutia), the ancient motherland of mammoths. This article discusses the origin and history of the development of Sakha mammoth tusk carving, the role of ethnocultural contacts at different stages of its development, and the preservation of its authenticity.
The article does not investigate the reason behind the recurring cases of missing children and young adults in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and does not offer an explanation for this phenomenon. Instead, it interprets this occurrence as a symptom of the oppressive histories and realities for indigenous groups residing on the territory of this part of the Russian Federation. Although the reasons for children going missing might seem obvious—the vast uninhabited territory of the region and poor infrastructure—the article argues that these cases of missing children are the result and evidence of neglect on behalf of parents and the state. The contributive value of this article is to voice the current precarious situation in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) under the “brotherhood” of the New Russians’ oligarchy and the way that communal cultural practices of the indigenous peoples of Yakutia resist this form of oppressive practice and the possibility of going missing, or extinct.
Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer
This essay, based on field notes from 1976 to 2013, explores resonances of the GULag and exile system in Siberia, focusing on often ignored indigenous peoples in villages and towns. Interethnic relations, diverse community relationships with prison camps, and dynamics of Russian Orthodox and pre-Christian spirituality are explored. Debates about how to understand, teach, and memorialize the significance of the Stalinist system are analyzed, as are issues of shame, moral debilitation, and cultural revitalization. Featured cases include the Khanty of West Siberia, Sibiriaki of West and East Siberia, plus Éveny, Évenki, Yukagir, and Sakha of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). The author argues that what local people have chosen to emphasize as they reflect on and process the GULag varies greatly with their and their ancestors' specific experiences of the camps and exiles, as well as with their degrees of indigeneity.
Arctic Pastoralist Sakha: Ethnography of Evolution and Microadaptation in Siberia Hiroki Takakura (Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2015), 254 pp. ISBN: 978-1-920901-49-3. Anthropological studies focusing on environment and nature began gaining