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Pomors, Pomor’e, and the Russian North

A Symbolic Space in Cultural and Political Context

Yuri P. Shabaev, Igor Zherebtsov, Kim Hye Jin, and Kim Hyun Taek

Pomor’e and the Russian North are geocultural concepts that often refer to a particular historical region of the country. This region did not and does not have clear administrative boundaries. There is no consensus on the geographical boundaries of

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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.

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Kirill Istomin

Existing explanations of the high rates of alcoholism and suicide among the numerically small indigenous peoples of the Russian North, Siberia, and the Russian Far East relate these social diseases to external factors such as state politics, or the economic, demographic, or socio-cultural situation. However, these reasons do not explain how exactly these factors influence the consciousness of indigenous people and determine the behavior patterns leading to alcohol consumption or suicide. This research report empirically tests the hypothesis that the group-specific attribution style that makes these people more pessimistically assess reasons and causes of events happening to and around them can play a role. The results of quantitative research conducted among teenagers representing both indigenous and non-indigenous populations of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region and the Republic of Komi generally confirm this hypothesis.

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Konstantin B. Klokov

In the 1990s, dramatic socio-economic changes caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union greatly impacted reindeer husbandry across Russia. The overall decline of reindeer population at the federal level can be directly linked to economic reforms, which affected all branches of the economy. However, different local herding communities adopted different strategies, which resulted in various and even contradictory trends of reindeer numbers at the regional level. This article analyzes this diversity using statistics from the federal, regional, and local levels, and interviews with herders in different northern regions.

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Naomi Caffee, Paul Dukes, and Aimar Ventsel

. Paul Dukes University of Aberdeen Lifestyle in Siberia and the Russian North Joachim Otto Habeck, ed. (Cambridge, UK: Open Book, 2019), 490 pp. ISBN paperback: 978-1-78374-717-7; ISBN cloth: 978-1-78374-718-4. This is an edited volume

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Population Change in the Periphery

Changing Migration Patterns in the Russian North

Timothy Heleniak

This article examines changes in the migration system in the Russian North over the two decades since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the beginning of economic reforms using unpublished data from the Federal State Statistics Service of Russia. This is done by computing several measures of migration for selected northern regions: 1) measures of migration efficiency to determine the extent to which migration in the northern regions is redistributing the population; 2) migration transition probabilities to measure changes in the origins and destinations of migrants in the Russian North; and 3) the average distance of moves to determine the effects that increased costs of transportation have on migration. The regions examined in this article include Khanty-Mansi and Iamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Magadan Oblast', and Murmansk Oblast'. The findings show that as the market has taken hold, regions of economic growth are becoming primary migration destinations for persons migrating both to and from the North.

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Small-numbered peoples and small business

Steps toward finding common ground

Vladimir S. Dmitriev

This article presents the results of recent research on the development of entrepreneurship among small-numbered peoples of the Russian North, with a particular focus on young entrepreneurs. The paper describes basic types and characteristics of their entrepreneurial activity. It also analyses the influence of economic and non-economic factors on the stability (or instability) of these entrepreneurial structures and on the indigenous communities in which the enterprises are located. The paper is addressed to economists, sociologists and anthropologists.

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Gustavo Lins Ribiero and Arturo Escobar, eds., World Anthropologies: Disciplinary Transformations within Systems of Power David G. Anderson

Juhani Nourluoto, ed., The Slavicization of the Russian North Lenore A. Grenoble

Andrew A. Gentes, Exile, Murder and Madness in Siberia, 1823-61 Anna Bara

Harvard Ayers, Dave Harman, and Landon Pennington, Arctic Gardens: Voices from an Abundant Land Jennifer Fagen

Kuklick, Henrika, ed., A New History of Anthropology David G. Anderson

Laurence C. Smith, The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future Alex Blake

Andrzej Weber and Hugh McKenzie, eds., Prehistoric Foragers of the Cis-Baikal, Siberia. Proceedings of the First Conference of the Baikal Archaeology Project Dennis H. O'Rourke

Books Received for Review

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The Living Land

Ecological Ethics of the Evenks and Evens

Anna Sirina

This article investigates people's relationships to the natural environment, or ecological ethics, in two closely related minority ethnic groups—Evenki and Eveny in Siberia. It is based on the oral histories and the experience of people living "traditionally" on the land, and also those who have settled permanently in villages and towns. The article explains what role nature plays in their lives, the cultural rules of interrelation with it, and their transformations in the contemporary world. Indigenous moral laws have not been able to protect the land and nature from destruction common in wider Russian society. Therefore, appropriate state policy is needed to protect the rights of the minority indigenous peoples of the Russian North for use of natural resources.

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Processes of Remembering and Forgetting

Tundra Nenets' Reminiscences of the 1943 Mandalada Rebellions

Roza Laptander

Each political change in the former USSR and Russian Federation has had different influences on the lives of local populations in different areas. Nenets, like many other indigenous people of the Russian North, were not tied to any political situation. The perception was that they always lived independently in the tundra using their traditional and historical knowledge. In reality, when comparing even the most recent past of the Nenets to the present, many differences and contradictions become apparent in the lives of these northern people. This article discusses the role of censorship in the transformation and performance of historical narratives concerning the development of the relationship between the state and the indigenous tundra people, here Nenets. By distorting historical facts, through exaggeration and mythologizing real-life events, people tried to shield themselves against negative emotions and memories of the past.