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Sexual imbalance in frontier communities

Siberia and New France to 1760

David N. Collins

Eminent historians in Canada have contended that pioneer societies often experience marked sexual imbalance in their early stages, having far fewer women than men. Certain Soviet historians tended to deny the existence of such a problem in Siberia. Since the two regions match each other in many ways (they enjoy similar geographical conditions, were settled by European peoples at roughly the same historical period for analogous purposes and were both governed in a centralised military/bureaucratic fashion), an investigation was undertaken into the reasons for Canadian and Soviet disagreements over the issue. Concentrating on the period of earliest exploration and settlement, before large-scale British immigration, the study predominantly compares Russian settlement in Siberia with its French equivalent in New France. Data from both sides make it quite clear that in the early stages there were fewer women than there were men, that the imbalances were overcome during a century or more in regions where agriculture was possible, but persisted in more northerly territories or unstable military zones. The sources from which women came were: interbreeding with indigenous peoples, government attempts to provide women for male settlers and rapid natural increase, with the probability that more female than male offspring survived. Clear parallels exist between the Siberian and Canadian experience, despite the cultural, economic and political differences. Soviet denials of an early imbalance seem to have been dictated by a need to prove that the USSR had never experienced colonialism of the type characteristic of the European empires.

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David N. Collins, Wayne E. Allen, N. G. O. Pereira, Kristina Kuentzel-Witt and Kerrie Ann Shannon

Valerii Skubnevskii and Iurii Goncharov, Goroda zapadnoi Sibiri vo vtoroi polovine XIX – nachale XX v. Chast’ 1: Naselenie, ekonomika

Iurii Goncharov, Gorodskaia sem’ia Sibiri vo vtoroi polovine XIX – nachala XX v.

Piers Vitebsky, The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia Piers Vitebsky

Semion Lyandres and Dietmar Wulff, Eds., A Chronicle of the Civil War in Siberia and Exile in China: The Diaries of Petr Valil’evich Vologodskii, 1918–1925

Geoffrey Elliott, From Siberia with Love: A Story of Exile, Revolution and Cigarettes

Anna Bek, The Life of a Russian Woman Doctor: A Siberian Memoir, 1869–1954

Gudrun Bucher, Von Beschreibung der Sitten und Gebräuche der Völcker: die Instruktionen Gerhard Friedrich Müllers und ihre Bedeutung für die Geschichte der Ethnologie und der Geschichtswissenschaft

Andrei Znamenski, Through Orthodox Eyes: Russian Missionary Narratives of Travels to the Dena’ina and Ahtna, 1850s–1930s

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David. G Anderson, Derrick Pritchatt, Judith Nordby, Diane Nelson and David N. Collins

Petra Rethmann, Tundra Passages: History and Gender in the Russian Far East

Stephen Kotkin and Bruce Elleman, eds, Mongolia in the Twentieth Century: Landlocked Cosmopolitan

Frederick Nixson, Bat Suvd, Puntsagdash Luvsandorj and Bernard Walters, eds, The Mongolian Economy: A Manual of Applied Economics for a Country in Transition

Edward J. Vajda, Yeniseian Peoples and Languages. A History of Yeniseian Studies, with an Annotated Bibliography

Wieland Hintzsche, Thomas Nickol and Ol’ga Vladimirovna Novochatko, eds, Georg Wilhelm Steller: Briefe und Dokumente, 1740

Wieland Hintzsche, ed., Georg Wilhelm Steller, Stepan Krašeninnikov, Johann Eberhard Fischer: Reisetagebücher, 1735 bis 1743

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David G. Anderson, Judith Nordby, David N. Collins, Alexander King, John Sallnow and Andrew Spencer

Peter Jordan, Material Culture and Sacred Landscape: The Anthropology of the Siberian Khanty (Oxford: Altamira Press, 2003) 320pp. photographs, diagrams, maps, index. £22.95 (pb). ISBN 0-7591-0277-5

Claudine Cohen, The Fate of the Mammoth: Fossils, Myths and History (translated by William Rodarmor) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002) 298pp. pictures, maps, index. £21.00 (hb). ISBN 0-226-11292

Dendeviin Badarch, Raymond A. Zilinskas and Peter J. Balint, eds, Mongolia Today: Science, Culture, Environment and Development , with a foreword by Natsagiin Bagabandi, President of Mongolia (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003) 274pp. £65.00. ISBN 0-7007-1598-3

Sharon Hudgins, The Other Side of Russia: A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East (College Station, Tex.: Texas A & M University Press, 2003) 319pp. maps, photographs, bibliographical essay, index. £26.95. ISBN 1- 58544-237-2 (East European Studies, no. 21)

Alice Beck Kehoe, Shamans and Religion: An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking (Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland, 2000) 125pp. £12.95 (pb). ISBN 1-57766-162-1; Ronald Hutton, Shamans: Siberian Spirituality and the Western Imagination (London: Hambledon & London, 2001) 220pp. £16.95 (hb). ISBN 1-85285-324-7

Michael J. Bradshaw and Philip Hanson, eds, The Territories of the Russian Federation (London: Europa Publications Limited, 2002) 309pp. £75.00. ISBN 1-85743-142-1

Elena Maslova, A Grammar of Kolyma Yukaghir (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2002) xviii + 609pp. € 148.00 (hb). ISBN 3-11-017527-4

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Brian Donahoe, Helen S. Hundley, Peter Jordan, David N. Collins, Aimar Ventsel, Sharyl Corrado, John Sallnow and Kristina Kuentzel-Witt

Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov, The Social Life of the State in Subarctic Siberia (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003) 280pp. illustrations, £36.50. ISBN 0-80473- 462-3

Martin J. Bollinger, Stalin’s Slave Ships. Kolyma, the Gulag Fleet, and the Role of the West (Westport, Conn.: Praeger Press, 2003) 217pp. maps, photographs, tables. £28.99; US $49.95. ISBN 0-275-98100-2 (hb)

Hiroki Takakura, ed. Indigenous Ecological Practices and Cultural Traditions in Yakutia: history, ethnography, politics (Northeast Asian Study Series 6. Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Tohoku University, 2003) 150pp. maps, tables, illustrations. ISBN 4-901449-12-5 (pb).

Josh Newell, The Russian Far East. A Reference Guide for Conservation and Development (McKinleyville, CA: Daniel and Daniel Publishers, 2004) xx, 466pp. illustrations (some colour), maps, chart, tables index. $99.95. ISBN 1-880284- 76-6 (hb); $59.95. ISBN 1-880284-75-8 (pb)

Alexia Bloch, Red Ties and Residential Schools. Indigenous Siberians in a Post- Soviet State (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003) 264pp. illustrations. £28.00/$39.95 (hb) ISBN 0-8122-3759-5

A. I. Kostanov, ed. Gubernatory Sakhalina (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Arkhivnyi otdel administratsii Sakhalinskoi oblasti, Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Sakhalinskoi oblasti, 2000). 391pp.

Sue Davis, The Russian Far East: the last frontier? (London: Routledge, 2002) 155pp. £60 (hb) ISBN 0-415-27425-7

Judith Thornton and Charles E. Ziegler, eds, Russia’s Far East: A Region at Risk (Seattle, USA: The National Bureau of Asian Research in association with the University of Washington Press, 2002) 498pp. £25.95 (pb) ISBN 0-295-98235-7

Vadim Petrovich Shakherov, Goroda Vostochnoi Sibiri v XVIII – pervoi polovine XIX vv. Ocherki sotsial ‘no-ekonomicheskoi i kul’turnoi zhizni. (Irkutsk, 2001) 264pp. ISBN 5-93219-034-5