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The Turukhansk Polar Census Expedition of 1926-1927 at the Crossroads of Two Scientific Traditions

David G. Anderson

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.

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'Everything is still before you'

The irony of youth discourse in Siberia

David G. Anderson

Russians often use slogans to triangulate themselves between state and society, and slogans about youth are no exception. This article conducts a cultural historical analysis of how the concept of 'youth' has been applied both to young people and to the idea of a nation in Siberia. The author argues that categories of youth in Russia, and in Siberia, are very different from their Euro-American cousins. Citing survey data, and material from historical and contemporary movements for self-determination, he argues that youth discourse is future-oriented, collectivist, and is often used in an ironic register in order to carry moral messages.

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Plants, health and healing: on the interface of ethnobotany and medical anthropology. Vol. 6. Epistemologies of healing by Hsu, Elisabeth and Stephen Harris

DAVID G. ANDERSON

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Winter: the strange and haunting record of one man's experiences in the Far North. by Osgood, Cornelius

DAVID G. ANDERSON

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Who owns the stock? Collective and multiple property rights in animals by Khazanov, M. Anatoly and Günther Schlee

David G. Anderson

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Walking the land, feeding the fire: knowledge and stewardship among the Tlicho Dene by Legat, Allice

David G. Anderson

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The handbook of cont‐emporary animism by Harvey, Graham

David G. Anderson

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The Ethno-Demography of the Talga Peoples in the Vicinity of the Vitim-Olekma Gold Mines during the First Quarter of the Twentieth Century

Elena A. Volzhanina and David G. Anderson

This article presents an ethno-demographic analysis of a regional group of Tunguses and Iakuts residing in a gold-mining area, whose traditional economy underwent profound changes at the beginning of the twentieth century. This article uses original sources to reconstruct the population of these groups, and to determine their major demographic characteristics. The authors posit that the most cogent demographic indicator, and the key factor for the dissolution of the traditional social structure is the gender imbalance, favoring males, which existed in the area as a result of industrial development.

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Siberian Demography

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?

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Book Reviews

Ellen A. Ahlness and David G. Anderson

An Urban Future for Sápmi? Indigenous Urbanization in the Nordic States and Russia. Mikkel Berg-Nordlie, Astri Dankertsen, and Marte Winsvold (eds.) (New York: Berghahn Books, 2022, Studies in the Circumpolar North Series), xvi +281 pp. ISBN: 978-1800-732-643.

Earth, Ice, Bone, Blood: Permafrost and Extinction in the Russian Arctic. Charlotte Wrigley. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2023), 236 pp. ISBN: 978-1517911829.