This article gives an overview of the primary records of the 1926-1927 Turukhansk Polar Census Expedition. The author argues that rather than being an exercise in statistical surveillance, the expedition can be better characterized as a classical expedition of discovery. The article describes the structure of the expedition and the documents that were collected, places the expedition in a history of the surveillance of aboriginal peoples, and presents a research program for re-analyzing the data in light of the contemporary interests of Siberian indigenous peoples.
Sergey V. Sokolovskiy
This article is a case study of the emergence and construction of politically salient social classifications that underpin such phenomena as ethnicity and nationalism in contemporary Russia. Official recognition of ethnic group in Russia often entails political visibility and special status with an associated set of legal provisions. In addition to 'titular peoples' of the republics, the Russian legal system has several legal categories based on ethnicity, such as indigenous peoples and national minorities, whose members claim and attain special status and associated rights. In order to ensure these rights, the state administration needs reliable information on the numbers of people in such categories.
The article analyzes ethnic and languages categorization in the population census of 2002, describes the related census technology, comments on legal definitions of indigenous peoples in Russia, and within this framework elaborates on the topic of indigeneity construction. It also provides an interpretation of the numerical threshold employed in federal laws on indigenous peoples.
Konstantin B. Klokov and Sergey A. Khrushchev
This article surveys the population dynamics of twenty-six indigenous small-numbered peoples of the Russian North, using the data from eight General Censuses of Russia (1897-2002), and the Polar Census of 1926/27. The article demonstrates that each of these peoples responded to central state policies in diverse ways, and that often different populations of the same group showed differing trends in different regions. During the Soviet period there was strong assimilative pressure on the indigenous small-numbered peoples. The opposite tendency is evident in the post-Soviet period—a process referred to in this article as "ethnic re-identification."Because there was little inter-regional migration of the indigenous peoples, we conclude that the population dynamics of each nationality in each region is the result of the interplay among fertility, mortality, assimilation, and ethnic re-identification.
Conditions of Social Transformation, 1990s–early 2000s
Translator : Jenanne Ferguson
2010 censuses against the backdrop of the Siberian Federal District and Russia as a whole. In terms of population by 2010 the Republic took seventy-seventh place among the Russian regions and eleventh place among the Siberian Federal District. Compared
John McCannon, Jenanne Ferguson, Elaine Mackinnon, and David Z. Scheffel
David G. Anderson, ed., 1926/27 Soviet Polar Census Expeditions John McCannon
László Károly, Deverbal Nominals in Yakut: A Historical Approach Jenanne Ferguson
Matthew P. Romaniello, The Elusive Empire: Kazan and the Creation of Russia, 1552–1672 Elaine Mackinnon
Mikhail V. Chevalkov, Testament of Memory: A Siberian Life David Z. Scheffel
Books Available for Review
John P. Ziker and David G. Anderson
This special issue of Sibirica features a selection of recent research on the demography of Siberians with a special emphasis on what Russian scholars call the etnodemografiia of the “sparse” (malochislennye) peoples of Siberia. Demographic analysis has occupied a privileged place in the study of Siberia serving interests that go well beyond the tallying of souls that one usually associates with this exercise. The very first Imperial-era surveys of Siberia, aside from providing a description of the geography, described the character and qualities of the people encountered (Castrén 1853–1858; Fisher 1774; Georgi 1799; Middendorf 1860–1869). Early scholars of Siberian peoples thought that they needed to understand both the size and social structure of local societies in order to tax them efficiently. Early registers of indigenous peoples in the seventeenth century tended to focus on the numbers of male hunters likely to provision the furs coveted by the Russian state (Bakhrushin 1955). However, by a very early date in the nineteenth century, the Russian state created regular tribute quotas matched to the “level of civilization” of specific nations (Raeff 1956). By contrast, what one today might recognize as a modern type of population survey based on the interviews of individual men and women came relatively late with the 1897 All-Russian Census and arguably was only implemented completely for the first time with the Soviet population census of 1926. The latter census incorporated an especially intensive survey of the “polar” and indigenous (tuzemnoe) population (Anderson 2006). The state curiosity in the populousness and professional structure of all of the discrete peoples in Russia continued as a constant concern throughout the Soviet period, and with a brief post- Soviet hiatus, is continuing in the Russian Federation. How can these three hundred years of surveying be best understood?
A Demographic Portrait at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century
This article describes and contextualizes the current demographic status of Russia's indigenous northern peoples, considering their demographic transition and making comparisons with other indigenous Arctic populations and the entire population of the Russian Federation. Census data, public documents from 1959 to 2004, and birth and death certificates from 1998 to 2004, collected by the author, provide the source data for this demographic portrait. Russia's indigenous northern peoples are in a critical demographic situation. Extremely high and persistent adult mortality rates raise doubt about the "moderately optimistic" estimates made in some recent ethnographic accounts by Russian scholars.
John P. Ziker
This paper discusses flexibility in subsistence and exchange strategies and family and community structures in an indigenous community on the lower Enisei River in north-central Siberia. An analysis of available data on mobility, resource use, and social and economic exchanges contributes to understanding the factors that affect resilience of indigenous domestic groups and communities in the region. The historic flexibility of economic strategies and related social structure is described on the basis of data from the 1926/27 Polar Census. Data from the author's 1997 visit to the area (the Tukhard community) illustrates very similar strategies and variation in deployment of these strategies. New patterns of organization are discussed in relation to the issues of community resilience and indigenous rights.
A 120-Year Story of Language Shift
Maria Pupynina and Yuri Koryakov
The Chukchi-speaking population is distributed within three regions of the Russian Federation—Chukotka, Kamchatka, and Yakutia. Because of the lack of regular transportation between these regions and different attitudes toward the Chukchi from the local authorities, Chukchi-speaking communities in these regions have become isolated from one another and have been developing independently. This article observes the dynamics of language shift in all Chukchi-speaking areas through the analysis of the data of the Russian Censuses (1897–2015), literature sources, and personal observations. The figures in this article illustrate the distribution of Chukchi-speaking communities within their historical and modern homeland, Chukchi vernacular zones, the participation in traditional economic activities, and contacts with other languages.
Susy Monica Lelli
The tables presented in this final part of the present volume offer a
general picture of the demographic, economic, social, and political
situation in the country. This year, given the opportunity of using the
first results of the fourteenth population census (October 2001), some
tables offer a comparison with results from the two previous censuses
(1981 and 1991) with regard to some of the demographic and social
indicators; for other indicators, tables portray their evolution over the
last decade (1991–2001).