How do we take indigenous animism seriously in the sense proposed by Viveiros de Castro? In this article, I pose this challenge to all the major theories of animism, stretching from Tylor and Durkheim, over Lévi-Strauss to Ingold. I then go on to draw a comparison between Žižek's depiction of the cynical milieu of advanced capitalism in which ideology as “false consciousness” has lost force and the Siberian Yukaghirs for whom ridiculing the spirits is integral to their game of hunting. Both know that, in their activity, they are following an illusion, but still they go along with it; both are ironically self-conscious about not taking the ruling ethos at face value. This makes me suggest an alternative: perhaps it is time for anthropology not to take indigenous animism too seriously.
This analysis of the mythical Old Man—a cannibal character in the tales of the Forest Yukaghirs (Odul)—considers the significance of a particular genre of song in Odul folklore. The article highlights discrepancies among the ethical norms that emerge in Odul folklore representing problems faced in everyday life. These tales are interpreted in terms of human/non-human, insider/outsider, attraction/protection, and a number other dichotomies, as well as the form of recitation.
On the Functional Significance of Shamans
This report reviews various legends, stories, and tales, as well as texts of shamanic rituals recorded by various scholars. The report focuses on the significance and role of a shaman in the Odul (Yukaghir) culture, and summarizes the functions a shaman carried out in the society as presented in these recorded texts.
T. Kue Young and Peter Bjerregaard, eds., Health Transitions in Arctic Populations Timothy Heleniak
K. B. Klokov and D. P. Zaiker (J. P. Ziker), eds., Pripoliarnaia perepis’ 1926/27 gg. na Evropeiskom Severe (Arkhangel’skaia Guberniia i Avtonomnaia Oblast’ Komi) Liudmila I. Missonova
Irina Nikolaeva, A Historical Dictionary of Yukaghir Alexander D. King
Between Too Little and Too Much Hunting Success in Siberia
Ludek Broz and Rane Willerslev
Two indigenous Siberian groups-the Yukaghirs and the Telengits-share rather similar ideas about success in hunting as an elusive and highly precarious tension between too little and too much luck. In the catalogue of semiotics, it corresponds to the homonym whereby one sound/spelling is the manifestation of two words with different meanings. The result, as we shall show, is that any lucky hunter always inhabits the alternative possibility of his own failure. In this sense, good luck in hunting might at any point be exposed as bad fortune.
The role of the school among youth in Nelemnoe (Yakutia)
This article discusses the introduction of 'ethnic subjects' to the Yukaghir national school in Nelemnoe in the late 1980s and early 1990s. School activities aim at 'reviving' traditional culture, language, customs, etc. However, even though children have been taught their native language for more than 10 years, none of them is able to use it in everyday life. What is the influence of 'traditional handcraft' or 'regional knowledge' on Nelemnoe youngsters and their identity? Will ethno-pedagogy help them to preserve and develop their culture? How are local teachers adapting traditional culture to what they perceive as young people's needs? By answering these and other questions, the author tries to uncover the role of school in small communities in Siberia. Beyond the family, the social life of teenagers is mainly connected with the school, thus we may assume that the school is one of the most important factors shaping the futures of young people.
Ryan T. Jones, Anna Bara, Galina V Grosheva, Ekaterina Gruzdeva, Peter Schweitzer, Kathryn Demps and Roza Laptander
A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule Jonathan Schlesinger (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017), 288 pp. ISBN: 9780804799966
Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Stalin’s Soviet Union: New Dimensions of Research Andrej Kotljarchuk and Olle Sundström, eds. (Stockholm: Elanders, 2017), 283 pp., paperback $27.00. ISBN: 978-91-7601-777-7.
Kosmologiia i praktika sibirskogo shamanizma Elena V. Nam (Tomsk: Tomskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 2017), 296 pp. ISBN: 978-5-7511-2521-9.
Kul’tura i resursy. Opyt etnologicheskogo obsledovaniia sovremennogo polozheniia narodov Severnogo Sakhalina Dmitrii Funk, ed. (Moscow: “Demos,” 2015), 272 pp. ISBN 978-5-9904710-6-1.
Maritime Hunting Culture of Chukotka: Traditions and Modern Practices Igor Krupnik and Rachel Mason, eds. (Anchorage, AK: National Park Service, Shared Beringian Heritage Program, 2016), 343 pp. ISBN: 9780990725251. Litsom k moriu: Pamiati Liudmily Bogoslovskoi Igor Krupnik, ed. (Moscow: Moskva, 2016), 647 pp. ISBN 9785600013650.
T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks: Cooking with Two Texans in Siberia and the Russian Far East Sharon Hudgins (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2018), 448 pp. ISBN: 9781574417142.
Bij de Joekagieren. Het oudste toendravolk van Noord-Oost Siberië / Life with the Yukaghir: Northeast Siberia’s Oldest Tundra People Cecilia Odé (Lias, Uitgeverij: Verschijningsjass, 2018), 240 pp., €29.95 (paperback). ISBN: 978-90-8803-099-4.
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