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Ryan Tucker Jones

Abstract

This article examines the contributions the famous Far Eastern writer Vladimir Arsen'ev made to the development of the Russian/Soviet whaling industry in the 1920s. During that time Arsen'ev worked as a “specialist for marine mammal hunting” for Dal'rybokhota. He studied the whales of the Russian Far East and helped craft the Far Eastern Republic's policy toward its subjects who wanted to start whaling. As someone with a deep knowledge of imperial-era environmental destruction and conservation, Arsen'ev helped develop measures designed to protect the region's Indigenous people and fur-bearing animals while strengthening Russian sovereignty. He also advocated the wholesale slaughter of killer whales and ultimately failed to restrain destructive commercial whaling. However, in addition to adding a new chapter to Arsen'ev's biography, his ideas about whales and whaling help us better understand the Far East's environment history and especially the way imperial-era ideas around conservation survived into the Soviet period.

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Amir Khisamutdinov

Abstract

The article is devoted to the famous explorer and writer Vladimir Klavdievich Arsen'ev (1872–1930). He arrived in the Russian Far East in 1900, where he conducted numerous research expeditions and engaged in a comprehensive study of the Far East. Arsen'ev studied the lives of the region's indigenous peoples and published several books, Dersu Uzala being the most famous one. This article is based on Arsen'ev's personal archives, which are stored in Vladivostok. The article chronicles his life in the Soviet period. It also discusses the punishment of his wives and children.

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Azim Malikov

of the secular politics of the Soviet era and the modern period, at present, a large part of the population has an extremely limited understanding of Islam, the history of Sufism and the role of Islam in the history of the region. It should be noted

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Money and the Morality of Commensuration

Currencies of Poverty in Post-Soviet Cuba

Martin Holbraad

thought that money’s dual character engenders come together for people on the ground—in other words, binary license as an indigenous practice. With ethnographic reference to the dual currency system that emerged after the end of the Soviet era in Cuba, my

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Akulina Mestnikova

Translator : Jenanne K. Ferguson

Abstract

The article provides an overview of recent initiatives spearheaded by indigenous peoples in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) that seek to improve the existing language policy put forth by the state government. Although there has been some research conducted on the activities of public organizations and associations of indigenous peoples in the region, more must be done to better understand activities specifically related to language policy. The article presents a history of indigenous and minority organizing in the republic since the end of the Soviet era, with special attention paid to the campaigns regarding the status of native language and its presence within the educational sphere. It then analyzes the results of a 2011 sociological study regarding people’s beliefs about responsibility for native language maintenance and revitalization.

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Judith Inggs

This article explores the development of girl characters in works for children and young adults during Perestroika. First, it examines established heroines from the Soviet era, such as Elli in Volkov's Volshebnik izumrudnogo goroda [The wizard of the emerald city], and then goes on to examine the depiction of female protagonists and characters in works written during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The conclusion is that although there was a clear demand for new heroines and a new role model for girls, writers did not succeed in providing strong, independent female characters with a sense of agency. Instead, the Soviet preference for male protagonists continued, with females often being portrayed stereotypically as weak and ineffectual.

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Aimar Ventsel

This field report summarizes an international interdisciplinary research project in Saidy, Republic of Sakha, in the Russian Far East. The aim of the research was to study ecological adaptations of communities in northern Sakha, combining methods of anthropology, archaeology, and ecology. Most indigenous communities in this region demonstrate a high level of self-organization—for example, forbidding sales of alcohol and transforming drinking to a hidden activity. These communities are actively engaged in the informal economy where officially unemployed people run informal grocery stores, hunting, and transport enterprises. Local practices are a mixture of Evenki and Sakha culture with emphasis on individualism. People in these communities are not nostalgic about Sovietera collective farms—something that is unusual in Siberia—and see current life as better than that in the Soviet era.

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Underground waterlines

Explaining political quiescence of Ukrainian labor unions

Denys Gorbach

Abstract

In order to explore factors conditioning the political quietude of Ukrainian labor, this article analyzes ethnographic data collected at two large enterprises: the Kyiv Metro and the privatized electricity supplier Kyivenergo. Focusing on a recent labor conflict, I unpack various contexts condensed in it. I analyze the hegemonic configuration developed in the early 1990s, at the workplace and at the macro level, and follow its later erosion. This configuration has been based on labor hoarding, distribution of nonwage resources, and patronage networks, featuring the foreman as the nodal figure. On the macro scale, it relied on the mediation by unions, supported by resources accumulated during the Soviet era and the economic boom of the 2000s. The depletion of these resources has spelled the ongoing crisis of this configuration.

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Some Responses to Globalisation in Uzbekistan

State Authoritarianism, Migrant Labour and Neo-traditionalism

Laurent Bazin

Uzbekistan offers a case study of a country that has blocked the liberalisation of its economy and that is being marginalised in the world market as well as in the international community. Even still, two typical expressions of globalisation processes can be identified: first, an attempt to reconstruct the legitimacy of the state through the reinvention of a 'national identity', and, second, the elimination of a specific form of protected salaried work that had arisen during the Soviet era, along with a concurrent proletarianisation of the population, in particular in the rural areas. The research shows that political coercion and the inculcation of a nationalist ideology, on the one hand, and the economic degradation of living standards, on the other, result in the reinforcement of family ties and repression of individuality, in spite of huge labour migrations and a (minimal) introduction of the market.

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Stars without the money

Sakha ethnic music business, upward mobility and friendship

Aimar Ventsel

The Sakha have had their own popular music since the 1970s. During the Soviet era, music culture was controlled by the state. Starting in the 1990s, new pop-music institutions and venues emerged and new entrepreneurs entered the music business as club owners, managers, producers, DJs, etc. In this article, I examine multiple social relations in the music business. Music has become a possibility for village youth to leave their villages and gain fame as artists. The Sakha music world contains various networks where criminal structures, artists, businessmen and media are interlinked. Through this linkage, music is used to gain a community's support for semi-legal business activities. At the same time, both the artists and producers present themselves to the public as the custodians of Sakha 'national' culture. The article discusses ways in which the artists' popularity is connected to their position in the music business, and how ethnic symbols are used to gain success.