Is the Reindeer Run Endless?

Narratives of the Northern Nomad

in Sibirica
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Vanda B. Ignatyeva Leading Researcher, Institute for Humanitarian Studies and Problems of the North Indigenous Peoples, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

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Ekaterina N. Romanova Chief Researcher, Institute of Humanitarian Research and Problems of North Indigenous Peoples, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

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Liudmila S. Zamorshchikova Professor, Institute of Modern Languages and Regional Studies, International Research Laboratory, M. K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk, Russia.

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Abstract

This article presents an anthropological analysis of the relationship between landscape, culture, and identity of Indigenous Peoples of the North of Yakutia. The topic of the study is focused on an important marker and resource of identity that encompasses the landscapes of the North, its physical, geographical, natural, and climatic features, the integrated system of northern occupations and traditional practices—the domestic reindeer. This research also considers various cultural texts and personal and collective narratives of the “imagination” and “experience” of the cold space associated with reindeer in the construction and modern representations of the ethnicity of Indigenous Peoples of the North.

The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is the largest subject of the Russian Federation in terms of territory (more than 3 million square kilometers). It is located in the northeast of Eurasia; the entire continental part is located in the zone of continuous permafrost, and more than 40 per cent of the territory is above the Arctic Circle. This is the coldest region among the inhabited territories of the Earth, with both Verkhoiansk (minus 67.8°C in 1885) and Oimiakon (minus 71.2°C in 1926) claiming the title of the “pole of cold” of the Northern Hemisphere.

The territory of Yakutia is the area of traditional settlement for five Indigenous Peoples of the North: Evenki, Evens, Dolgans, Yukaghirs, and Chukchis. For the first Russian explorers of the seventeenth century, Peoples of the North were universally recognized and delimited as “reindeer people,” in contrast to the “horse” Yakuts (Sakha). After the conquest of the Lena Territory, those “reindeer people,” like other colonized peoples of the world, found their legal status defined by the Russian imperial government. They were designated in the Charter on the Administration of Foreigners (1822) as “wandering foreigners;” in the results of the First General Census of the Russian Empire in 1897, the Tungus (Evenki) and Lamuts (Evens) were counted together as “Tunguz” (11,647 people), while 1,558 “Chukots” (Chukchi) and 948 Yukaghirs were also counted. Within the framework of the Soviet ideology of “development of the North,” they were also defined as “backward northern tribes,” “Indigenous Peoples of the Far North,” and “peoples of the northern outskirts.” Currently, they are included in the “Unified List of Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Federation” (2000) and in the “List of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East of the Russian Federation” (2006). In accordance with the federal law “On Guarantees of the Rights of Indigenous Minorities of the Russian Federation” (1999), indigenous peoples are recognized as peoples who perceive themselves as independent ethnic communities with a common native language and original culture; who are living in the territories of the historical settlement of their ancestors; who preserve the traditional way of life, management and crafts; and who number less than fifty thousand people.

The perception of the North as a remote and cold place, unfavorable for human life and health, dominates in northern studies literature, including that devoted to indigenous peoples. Specialists compare this perception of the North of Russia with the image of Northern Fennoscandia for Europeans, Alaska for Americans, and the Northern Provinces for Canadians (Stammler-Gossman 2013: 34). “Westerners preferred to see in the North a territory beyond the ecumene” (Chartier 2018:15). This asymmetrical perspective leaves little room for alternative views, or depictions of other characteristics and representations of the North. Meanwhile, Northern Eurasia is a historical place of human adaptation to an extreme habitat, and a space of the earliest migrations and archaeological cultures already in the Paleolithic (Mochanov 1992; Mochanov 2010; Mochanov and Fedoseeva 1996); it is a center of diverse economic activities and spiritual life of the indigenous peoples that make up the modern ethnocultural landscape of the North and the Arctic.

In various classifications of the current state of ethnic minorities, their tendency toward cultural assimilation / acculturation because of globalization, industrialization, and urbanization in modern society is most often emphasized; the native languages of the Indigenous Peoples of the North are characterized as seriously endangered (Grenoble 2010) , being “chronically,” “seriously,” “deadly” ill or practically non-existent (Kibrik 1992). One gets the impression of the inevitability of the loss and death of languages, and subsequently the disappearance of their speakers themselves (Freeman 2000; Slezkine 1994; Sokolovskii and Filippova 2019; Novikova and Funk 2012). Judging by the expressive titles of scientific papers devoted to the linguistic problems of the Peoples of the North, the situation is not changing for the better.

In this article, we will discuss the diverse reflections of the Indigenous Peoples of the North on modern sociological reality, demonstrating examples of the stability and vulnerability of their identity, cultural survival, and adaptation. The analysis of all elements of identity seems to be too big a task within the framework of one article, so we will focus on only one object—the domestic reindeer as a resource of individual / group identity and cultural memory, which forms a deep emotional connection between a person and the North as a homeland, native land, and fatherland, and as the home, the residence, of the first ancestors.

The article is written in the context of social and cultural anthropology, with special emphasis on field research materials collected in Yakutia since 2010, including within the framework of the project “Linguistic and cultural diversity and sustainable development of the Arctic and Subarctic of Russian Federation.”

Institutionalization of Ethnicity: Mechanisms and Practices

According to the results of the 2010 All-Russian Population Census of, 1,281 Yukaghirs (80 per cent of all Yukaghirs in the country) live in the Republic of Sakha, along with, 15,071 Evens (69 per cent), 21,008 Evenki (54.7 per cent), 1,906 Dolgans (24.2 per cent), and 670 Chukchi (4.2 per cent). Their total share in the general population of Yakutia is 4.3 per cent. The dominant ethnic groups are the Sakha (466,400 people) and Russians (353,600 people).

The institutions for reproducing the ethnicity of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, as well as peoples throughout the USSR, were created in the 1920s and 1930s. The “Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia” (1917) became the foundation of “Leninist nationality policy,” which set as its goal “a voluntary and honest union of the peoples of Russia,” leading to their “complete mutual trust” (Nikolaev 2021: 136). As a result of the implementation of this policy, national-state formations appeared on the map of the USSR in the form of autonomous republics, regions, and national districts, created for the former foreigners of the Russian Empire. With the formation of the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (YASSR) on 27 April 1922, the principles of national zoning were used in organizing its administrative-territorial structure. So, by the end of 1923, the YASSR included six districts, 26 ulusy (a local type of district) and volosti (parishes), 354 villages, 88 rural communities, and 43 clans of Indigenous Peoples of the North. Ulusy and villages were formed in the places where Yakuts (Sakha) lived; volosti and rural communities were in places where the Russian population predominated; and clans and tribal councils were in places of historical settlement of the Indigenous Peoples of the North.

Important changes in the administrative division of the YASSR took place during the 1930s. In 1930, five national Evenki districts were created according to the decree of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the RSFSR “On the organization of national associations in the regions resettlement of Indigenous Peoples of the North” (10 December 1930): Anabarskii, Bulunskii, Viliuisko-Markhinskii (Sadynskii), Zhiganskii, Tukulanskii (Tommotskii). In 1931, nine national Evenki regions were created by the decree “On the national regions and external borders of the Yakutsk ASSR” (20 May 1931): Allaikhovskii, Momskii, Oimiakonskii, Sakkyryrskii, Timptonskii, Tomponskii, Ust-Maiskii, Ust-Ianskii, Uchurskii, as well as the mixed Yukaghir-Eveno-Chukotskii national Nizhnekolymskii district. Also, by a decree of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the RSFSR of 1 October 1935, the Olenekskii district was formed, and then, by a decree of the Yakut Central Executive Committee of 1 December 1936 the Tokkinskii Evenki national region came into being. The goal of national zoning was to take into account the economic and ethno-cultural characteristics of the YASSR, as well as to accomplish the “simplification, reduction in cost and approximation to the masses of the Soviet apparatus” of management (Nikolaev 2021).

However, with the beginning of Soviet industrialization, carried out under the slogan of “development of the North,” subsequent administrative transformations of the YASSR began to be carried out exclusively in the interests of industry. Despite the fact that the above decrees were not officially repealed, some national regions were “absorbed” by new administrative-territorial formations, some of them were abolished, while others were subordinated to industrial cities and regions. For example, in 1939, when the gold-mining Aldan Okrug was formed in South Yakutia, the Timptonskii, Tommotskii, and Uchurskii national regions were included in its composition; in 1959, the Ust-Ianskii national region was abolished, and its territory was divided between Bulunskii and Verkhoianskii regions; in 1960 the Sadynskii national region was subordinated to the diamond-mining city of Mirny; in 1963, and the territories of the liquidated Sakkyryrskii national region were ceded to the Kobiai and Verkhoiansk regions. As a result of the administrative reform of 1963, all existing administrative-territorial units of Yakutia were divided into two categories—“industrial” and “rural” areas—but in 1965 they were all transformed into “ordinary” administrative areas. The liquidation of national areas subsequently continued in the form of the closure of “unpromising villages” (Russ. besperspektivnyi) of indigenous peoples. The political experiment of bringing the Indigenous Peoples of the North into socialism turned into

... disregard for the human personality of the northerner, non-recognition of the culture of the Peoples of the North (the tribal nomadic community of reindeer herders and hunters was equated with the primitive stage of human development), a barbaric attitude to the environment, ignoring their interests in resolving any issues, including economic ones, which brought the aboriginal Peoples of the North to the brink of an ethnic catastrophe. (Robbek et al. 1994: 10–11)

During the period of perestroika, on the wave of the growing national self-consciousness of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, by the decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the YASSR on 21 April 1989, the Eveno-Bytantai national region was formed, separated from the Verkhoyansk region. Later, the “Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Yakut-Sakha Soviet Socialist Republic” of 27 September 19901 and the Republic's law “On Local Councils of People's Deputies and Local Self-Government” of 5 March 1991 guaranteed to the Indigenous Peoples of the North the preservation of their original habitat, their traditional branches of local economy, and the revival of their national culture through the creation of self-governing territories: national districts and national rural (nomadic) councils.2

In the period 1993–1995, changes in the administrative system restored the traditional names of territorial units: ulus and nasleg were used instead of “village council” and the concept of “national administrative-territorial formation” was introduced for places of residence where Peoples of the North were concentrated.3

The Law “On the Status of the National Administrative-Territorial Formation in the Places of Traditional Residence and Traditional Economic Activities of the Indigenous Minorities of the North of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia),” dated 27 January 2005, authorized the adjustment of the administrative division grid to the historically established ethno-cultural boundaries. In accordance with these laws, the Anabarskii National Dolgan-Evenki Ulus (2004), the Olenekskii Evenki National District (2005), and the Zhiganskii National Evenki District (2008) also received the status of national administrative-territorial entities.

The Law “On the list of Indigenous Peoples of the North and places of their traditional residence and traditional economic activities in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)” dated 10 July 2003 determined 21 out of 35 administrative- territorial units of Yakutia. Thirteen of them are within the Arctic zone of Russia; according to the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation “On the land territories of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation” dated 13 May 2019, these are Abyiskii, Allaikhovskii, Anabarskii, Bulunskii, Verkhnekolymskii, Verkhoianskii, Zhiganskii, Momskii, Nizhnekolymskii, Olenekskii, Srednekolymskii, Ust-Iansky, and Eveno-Bytantaiskii ulusy.

In accordance with the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation “On approval of the list of regions of the Far North and localities equated to regions of the Far North, in order to provide state guarantees and compensations for persons working and living in these regions and localities, recognizing as invalid some acts of the Government of the Russian Federation and declaring certain acts of the Council of Ministers of the USSR not valid on the territory of the Russian Federation” dated 16 November 2021, the entire territory of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is included in the regions of the Far North of Russia. In this way, eight regions gained the status of regions of the Far North: Aldan, Neriungrinskii, Olekminskii (located in South Yakutia); Oimiakonskii, Tomponskii, Ust-Maiskii (located in Eastern Yakutia); Kobiaiskii (in Central Yakutia); and Mirninskii (in Western Yakutia).

According to the 2010 census, 20,326 people (50.9 per cent of all Indigenous Peoples of the North) live in the thirteen Arctic ulusy, while 10,620 people live in the other eight districts. (26.6 per cent). Most of them are rural residents, or about 28,292 people (70.8 per cent); this figure consists of 86.4 per cent of all Dolgans, 73.9 per cent of all Evenki, 60.9 per cent of all Chukchi, 66.3 per cent of all Evens, and 43.6 per cent of all Yukaghirs in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). As a result of migration, which intensified after the dismantling of state socialism, the number of urban Indigenous Peoples of the North increased significantly from 4,655 people in 1989 to 11,644 people in 2010. At the same time, the capital city of the Republic, Yakutsk, became the main recipient of internal migrants, as 5,505 people moved there (47.3 per cent of all indigenous minorities). The number of Peoples of the North also increased in the cities of Neriungri, Mirny, Lensk, Olekminsk, and others.

Currently, the settlement structure of the indigenous peoples comprises 70 rural settlements, including 49 in the Arctic ulusy; all of these are subsumed under the law “On the list of hard-to-reach and remote areas in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia),” dated 27 January 2005.

In the sphere of municipal administration, the Sakha Republic's model of settlement pluralism is unique in Russia: there are 17 rural settlements, 42 national villages (four villages consist of two settlements), two national nomadic villages, one Yukaghir settlement (“Olerinskii Suktul”), and one Evenki Municipality (“Kystatyam”). All these settlements are rural municipalities, the names of which are determined by the decision of local governments and approved by the decision of the State Assembly (Il Tumen) of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Most of them have the status of “national settlements,” which directly indicates that Indigenous Peoples of the North reside in them (this is probably because it was important for the inhabitants of some settlements to indicate their national identity). In all settlements, the native languages of the Indigenous Peoples of the North are recognized as official by the law “On languages in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).” This guarantee takes into account the needs of parents and children in preschool education and school education in their native language, the availability of education in national languages, and the study of native languages in secondary schools. For example, while in 2009 native languages were studied in 31 schools, by 2019 they were studied in 40 schools.

In Soviet times, an important institutional mechanism for identity politics was the mandatory indication of ethnicity on various official documents: civil passport, military ID, birth certificate, outpatient card of a patient in a medical institution, personnel record sheet at a workplace, and other identification documents. The abolition of the mandatory recording of the so-called “line five” in 1997 was accompanied by the issuance of inserts to the Russian passport to persons who expressed a desire to record their nationality on a voluntary basis. Among them were also representatives of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, for whom their ethnic self-identification came to be tied to the system of “special rights” in force in Russia, which has several practical implications. This grants a series of rights to individuals and communities in the places of their traditional residence and economic activity: to freely use lands of various categories, and maintain control over their use; to create a territory of traditional nature management; provision of a fishing area; cost-free timber harvesting for personal needs; obtaining benefits for land use and nature management; exemption from land tax as well as from tax on income received by members of tribal and family communities from the sale of hunting and craft products; exemption from paying fees for hunting and fishing within the limits and quotas of production necessary for personal consumption; participation in the conduct of environmental and ethnological examinations during the industrial development of natural resources in the territory of their original habitat; and compensation for losses caused to them as a result of damage to the environment.

In connection with changes made to the Federal Law “On Guarantees of the Rights of the Indigenous Minorities of the Russian Federation” (2020), a new mechanism for the state institutionalization of ethnicity has been established. This is a single list of persons belonging to the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Federation, formed by the Federal Agency for Nationalities Affairs (FADN). As conceived by the initiators of this law, such accounting will make it possible to observe and more effectively implement the rights guaranteed by it. At the same time, personal communications with representatives of the Indigenous Peoples of the North showed that they did not like the change in the usual definition of their nationality. As it turned out, in order to enter information about themselves in the federal list of Indigenous Peoples of the North, they had to submit a six-page personal application in a prescribed form; a certified copy of a document containing information about their nationality (an insert to their passport, registry office documents), or a certificate with a court decision testifying to the fact that they belong to an indigenous people, or archival evidence of family relations with a person belonging to the indigenous peoples, or other documents indicating their nationality, issued prior to 20 November 1997. If the applicants wished to include their parents, children, grandchildren, grandparents, or other relatives in the list, then it was necessary to separately attach information about their family members, as well as their written consent. However, this did not entail their automatic inclusion in the list if, for example, relatives had documents indicating a different nationality. In this case, the documents must be signed by a notary or an official of the local government, and, finally, sealed with a paper sticker with the certification inscription “stitched, numbered __ sheets, date” and the signature of the applicants. During our interviews with respondents, they commented on the strengthening of the official ethnic classification, and many emphasized the absence of such democratic values as freedom and dignity of the individual in the innovations. Nevertheless, they conscientiously went through the “humiliating” registration procedure in the FADN, guided by pragmatic interests—the “special register” became, as it were, the basis of their very existence.

Domestic Reindeer Breeding: The Actual and Projective Reality

The excavation materials of Sakha archaeologists show that the territory of modern Yakutia, including the Arctic regions, was already inhabited in the Paleolithic by mobile groups of hunters and fishers. By the end of the Stone Age, extremely stable super-cultures or cultural communities had arrived in the region, spreading their dominant influence over vast expanses of taiga, forest-tundra, and tundra. Even such powerful mountain systems as the Stanovoi, Dzhugdzhur, Verkhoiansk, and Cherskii ranges were not an insurmountable obstacle. The diversity of local cultures and traditions—varying combinations of hunting, fishing, and reindeer herding—was formed over thousands of years (Mikhalev and Eliseev 1992; Kirillin 1996). The interaction of humans and animals in the extreme natural and climatic conditions of the Arctic historically produced the material (labor, life, housing, clothing, food) and spiritual (attitudes, values, symbols) world of the Indigenous Peoples of the North.

Currently, traditional nature management is an important factor in sustainable development and, at the same time, in the vulnerability of indigenous peoples. All types of northern occupations, including reindeer herding, fishing, hunting, fur trade, and the collection of wild berries and medicinal plants, are based on the use of the biological resources of nature, small-scale technologies (rather than industrial scale), and a closed circle of exchange. That is why the problems of technogenic, anthropogenic, and climatic impact on the environment is especially sensitive for them. Domestic reindeer husbandry is the only branch of the regional economy of the Republic of Sakha the employs exclusively representatives of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, and reindeer are a symbol of their identity, language, and culture.

Modern Yakutia comprises all natural and climatic zones (tundra, mountain-tundra, taiga, mountain-taiga) suitable for reindeer husbandry, as well as human resources (carriers of local knowledge, who have a rich practice of domestication and caring for domestic reindeer). The basis for the development of domestic reindeer husbandry is natural pastures, where reindeer graze all year round. In the tundra, the northern woodlands, the mountain taiga zone, and along the river valleys, reindeer graze on shrub leaves, herbaceous plants, lichens, moss, and reindeer moss. Reindeer herders lead a nomadic life, moving from one territory to another. The low level of unemployment among the Indigenous Peoples of the North due to their involvement in traditional types of employment (mainly reindeer herding) is a feature that distinguishes Yakutia from other northern regions of Russia.

As can be seen from Table 1, in the process of transition to a market economy, reindeer husbandry became so unviable economically that it motivated the difficult decision to slaughter domestic animals and reduce or liquidate farms. As a result of the collapse and privatization of state farms and the careless grazing of reindeer herds, cases of wild reindeer (from the Leno-Olenek and Taimyr populations) absorbing domestic herds have become more frequent. For example, in the period 1995–1997, losses for this reason amounted to 84 thousand head (Vladimirov and Reshetnikov 1999). In general, in the decade from 1990 to 2000, the irretrievable losses of domestic reindeer amounted to 205,300 head.

Table 1.

Dynamics of the total number of domestic reindeer

Districts 1990 2000 2009 2016
Abyi 6,115 952 424 704
Aldan 14,786 10,574 12,236 8409
Allaikhovskii 20,515 4,916 2,686
Anabar 24,758 16,214 16,284 15,926
Bulunskii 30,021 10,732 17,608 13,203
Verkhnekolymskii 8,528 1,321 1,057 1,546
Verkhoyansk 3,534
Zhiganskii 12,507 5,580 6603 3,510
Kobiaiskii 19,957 15,983 16,188 9,718
Mirninskii 374 8
Momskii 31,911 15,671 17,116 12,707
Neriungri 11,996 5,135 6233 6,167
Nizhnekolymskii 35,138 10,188 16,355 21,775
Oimiakonskii 18,316 9,210 14,593 11,603
Olekminskii 3,714 2,750 3579 5,578
Olenekskii 20,047 5,541 4794 5,087
Srednekolymskii 6,923 2,434 2732 2,351
Tomponskii 23,896 12,760 19,547 9,382
Ust-Maiskii 1,093 314 553
Ust-Ianskii 31,888 7,860 76 24,187
Eveno-Bytantaiskii 26,329 9,650 16,763 16,433
Total in Yakutia 361,556 156,237 201,141 172,773

To restore the number of reindeer, the Republican law “On reindeer breeding” was adopted in 1997.4 This provided state support for reindeer farms in Yakutia in the form of subsidizing the number of reindeer, increasing the wages of reindeer breeders and chum workers,5 reimbursement of expenses for the construction of spring and autumn corrals as well as houses along migration routes, the purchase of mobile dwellings, and the provision of zootechnical and veterinary work in the herds. This brought some improvement.

However, the unstable, variable dynamics of the number of domestic reindeer, identified by the All-Russian Agricultural Census of 2016, indicates the long-term, delayed effects of the post-Soviet crisis in reindeer husbandry. Thus, a decrease in the number of domesticated reindeer was recorded in eleven ulusy and in farms of all categories: agricultural organizations, small enterprises, auxiliary enterprises of non-agricultural organizations, micro-enterprises, peasant (farm) enterprises, as well as individual entrepreneurs, personal subsidiary farms, and other individual farms of the population. In Allaikhovskii and Mirninskii ulusy, domestic reindeer husbandry as a branch of agriculture ceased to exist. Judging by the disappointing statistics of farms with monospecialization in domestic reindeer breeding, in the coming years a similar fate awaits Abyiskii and Ust-Maiskii ulusy, where reindeer breeding is also in an unstable state.

According to the data of the All-Union Agricultural Program of 2016, the geographical distribution of domestic reindeer herds is as follows: 75,091 head (43.5 per cent of the total livestock) in the tundra zone (Anabarskii, Bulunskii, Nizhnekolymskii, Ust’-Ianskii); 36,114 head (20.9 per cent) in the mountain taiga zone (Oimiakonskii, Tomponskii, Ust-Maiskii, Aldanskii, Neriungrinskii); 34,220 head (19.8 per cent) in the mountain-tundra zone (Verkhnekolymskii, Verkhoianskii, Momskii, Eveno-Bytantaiskii); 26,948 head (15.6 per cent) in the taiga zone (Abyiskii, Zhiganskii, Olenekskii, Srednekolymskii, Kobiaiskii, Olekminskii). Another 400 head (0.2 per cent) were kept in the Viliuisk and Gorny ulusy. The largest number (53.3 per cent of the total number) of domestic reindeer was grazed by reindeer herders of agricultural organizations, as well as tribal communities, which in official statistics are taken into account only as part of agricultural organizations. The share of small enterprises and auxiliary enterprises of non-agricultural organizations with a reindeer herding focus is 15.6 per cent and 15.7 per cent, respectively. Domestic reindeer breeding is also carried out in micro-enterprises (9.3 per cent), personal subsidiary and other individual farms of the population (5.8 per cent), peasant (farm) enterprises (0.1 per cent), and individual entrepreneurs in agriculture (0.1 per cent).6

According to the current statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), at the end of 2021, 104 reindeer farms of all forms of ownership kept 175,198 head. That is, five years after the All-Union Agricultural Program of 2016, a meager increase in the number of domestic reindeer was noted—only 2.4 thousand head. Currently, the largest increase in the number of reindeer was achieved by reindeer breeding farms of only two ulusy, Anabarskii (an increase of 6.5 thousand head) and Ust-Ianskii (an increase of 7.8 thousand head). Despite the significant loss of livestock (a loss of 5.1 thousand head), the Nizhnekolymskii ulus also remains among the main reindeer breeding regions of Yakutia. In the coming years, it is these areas that will be the suppliers of domestic reindeer to other reindeer farms of the republic where the breeding situation has been characterized as unfavorable.

The decline in domestic reindeer husbandry is due to many factors. One of the main ones is the absence of a federal law: in 1999 the draft law “On Northern Reindeer Husbandry” was rejected by the State Duma of Russia “for further development,” and in 2002 it was rejected with the instruction to “revise the concept of the bill.” In 2009, the Committee on the Affairs of the North and Indigenous Peoples of the Federation Council concluded that what is needed is not a law on reindeer husbandry in general, but a law “On State Support for Reindeer Husbandry,” which has since been “under development.” Meanwhile, the main means of production in agriculture are land resources, the distribution of which directly affects the preservation and further development of reindeer husbandry. In this regard, we note the absence in the state statistics of a separate accounting of reindeer pastures and pastures for grazing other animals, which, according to changes in the federal land legislation introduced in the mid-2000s, were transferred to the lands of the Forest Fund of Russia. Given the scarcity of land resources, this circumstance deprives reindeer herding farms of the opportunity to officially assign individual territories directly for the needs of domestic reindeer herding, which makes small-herd farms in the taiga zone especially vulnerable. At present, according to the data of the All-Union Agricultural Program of 2016, the lion's share of the used land resources belongs to large agricultural organizations and tribal communities. Unresolved problems are also related to the financial capabilities of reindeer herding farms, which incur huge costs in supplying the material and technical base of reindeer husbandry (purchase of all-terrain vehicles, mobile houses, equipment for slaughterhouses), in technical modernization (purchase of satellite collars for animals, unmanned aerial vehicles and quadrocopters, annual renewal of their batteries), in the delivery and marketing of their products.

Breeding domestic reindeer is an ethnically significant economic activity of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, ensuring the preservation of their traditional way of life (Ivanov 2019; Yuzhakov 2017). Despite this, the number of reindeer herders continues to steadily decrease: in 2014 there were 2060 people, including 516 chum workers (in 2017, the specialty “chum worker” was officially included in the Register of Professions of the Russian Federation, while before they were registered as “reindeer herders of the third category”). By 2019 there were just 1361 people (including 283 chum workers) earning a fixed salary, and in 2020 it fell to only 1295 people (including 244 chum workers). The negative trend is associated with the introduction of a new reindeer husbandry support system, which involves subsidizing according to the number of reindeer, and not according to the number of reindeer herders. In addition, the difficult conditions of nomadism and the low wages repel today's youth from the role of “heir to the profession” that the older generations imposes on them. According to the Report of the Commissioner for the Rights of Indigenous Minorities of the North in the Republic of Sakha, in 2019 there were 236 young people under the age of 35 working in reindeer farms (17.3 per cent of all reindeer herders), of which 164 people lived in the Arctic ulusy of Yakutia. In the course of personal communication between the author Ignatyeva Vanda and representatives of reindeer farms in Yakutia, it was established that such socio-demographic factors as the aging and natural decline of experienced reindeer herders, the unattractiveness of the reindeer herder profession for rural youth (“this profession now needs very few people and has no prospects;” “it is a non-prestigious profession”), and the low labor motivation of those employed in the industry (“I have to work, because there is no other job in the countryside;” “I work only for the sake of a salary”) cause a shortage of professional personnel, which is associated with a pessimistic scenario about the decline (disappearance) of the pastoral culture of the North.

It should be noted that when discussing various aspects of the preservation of domestic reindeer herding, the risks posed by the climatic processes of our time have begun to be emphasized. The list of stressful topics, along with unemployment in the countryside, low wages, and rising prices, also includes issues of regulating the number of predatory animals: in the northern and arctic ulusy there are packs of arctic wolves that primarily prey upon domestic reindeer (see Ignatyeva 2011; Jefanovas 2021), and in South Yakutia the number of brown bears purposefully hunting young reindeer has risen. As one reindeer herding manager reported: “On the territory of the village of Khatystyr, Aldan district, in herd No. 7, only two of 150 reindeer survived by autumn”.7 The troubles associated with changing climate and weather are due to unpredictable changes in air temperature (for example, a sharp warming and thawing of the snow cover, which turns into a hard ice crust with cold weather), increased floods and fires, and the spread of epizootics, which affect the maintenance and grazing of domestic reindeer (Ignatyeva 2018). In recent years, due to climatic shifts in the Arctic, northern domestic reindeer husbandry is increasingly considered a vulnerable cultural heritage of the Peoples of the North (see Lavrillier 2013; Lavrillier and Gabyshev 2021). Doubts about the viability of traditional nomadic reindeer husbandry are triggering pilot projects such as reindeer fencing in the taiga zone. So, since 2020, at the Evenki joint-stock company “Khatystyr,” shade canopies, corrals, route houses, and fifty kilometers of fences are being built. It is assumed that, with the effectiveness of the production indicators of this farm, this project will be implemented in other reindeer farms in the taiga and mountain taiga zone of Yakutia.

The Image of Reindeer in the Worldview of the Nomads of the North

The important place of the reindeer in the traditional worldview of the northerners is reflected in their language and folklore, in mythological representations of the creation of the world, and in religion, rituals, and customs. The first Even poet, Vasilii Lebedev, wrote about reindeer: “You are my home, you are my food, you are my friend, you are my clothes, you are my hope” (Lebedev 1972: 37) .

An integrative approach to the study of the cultural and spiritual heritage of the “reindeer peoples” implies different discourses for the study of identity within the framework of symbolic anthropology (Geertz 2004); the ethnopsychology of childhood, which examines the relationship between culture and the child in traditional societies (Mead 1988); visual anthropology, which considers visuality as a phenomenon of ethnicity; and imaginative geography, which examines the interaction of culture and landscape, identifying codes and symbols that characterize a certain territory (Zamiatin 2020; Zamiatin and Romanova 2017). The work of Golovneva and Golovnev, devoted to the analysis of children's drawings of the 1920s and 1930s (from the archive of E. P. Orlova) and in the present as a rare source of factual and symbolic information on the traditional culture of the ethno-local group of the Evens of Kamchatka, has also been useful for our analysis. Thus, the self-description of the culture of indigenous peoples through the optics of children's drawings shows its direct connection with the image of their own territory of “identity;” their life world is projected in the “eventful” history of the family, captured in the pictures of children, in which the image of reindeer always occupies a special place (Golovneva and Golovnev 2019).

In this article, we also consider the image of northern identity through the reconstruction of the visual narrative of the world of childhood among the Indigenous Peoples of the North in broad historical retrospective (1920s and 2020s); the collective ritual “Ikenipke,” a ritual narrative that was once common among all the Tungusic Peoples of the North (using materials of G. M. Vasilevich, collected in the 1920s and 1930s) (Vasilevich 1946); and an interpretation of the ethno-modern production “Hyyma” (which means “reindeer mirage” in Even) at the State Theater of Indigenous Peoples of the North “Gulun.” The latter production (which premiered in 2019) embodies new, expressive thinking, where each gesture in the performance reveals the deep philosophy of the dance heritage of the Indigenous Peoples of the North.

A collection of children's drawings, gathered by I. P. Soikkonnen during ethnographic fieldwork to Yakutia in 1926, demonstrates the “northern” text of the cold space as native land. As can be seen from Fig. 1, the picture drawn by Maya Filippova describes the everyday world of reindeer herders (life on the road) with almost documentary accuracy, and the image is transmitted as if from above, which allows the viewer to imagine the infinity and boundlessness of the cold space. The mountains illuminated by the evening sun, the snow, the white reindeer, the trees and tents create a sacred cartography of the natural world of the North (Soikkonnen 1926). The reindeer in the foreground is depicted with a red outline, which symbolizes perpetual motion (red as a symbol of life); the sun is also red (the cult of the sun and the cult of the reindeer are the central axis of the universe of the northern Tungus). All these elements: the sun, the taiga, two reindeer harnessed to the sled (detailed sketches of reindeer and sledges in natural form), an unattached reindeer depicted in an exaggerated form (the sacred white reindeer) and, in general, the entire procession moving upward along the road (the mountain as a world, the tree connecting the Earth and the mythological Cosmos) reflect the traditional worldview of a child of reindeer culture (cf. Mead 1988) and create the perspective of multiple roads (mnogodorozh'ie) as a single life path. It is symbolic that in the Tungus languages, the word “life” means “to walk, step,” and the words for road and path mean “life path” and “the fate of a person” (Romanova et al. 2021).

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Maya Filippova's drawing (1926)

Citation: Sibirica 21, 3; 10.3167/sib.2022.210305

Fig. 2 shows a picture by a contemporary child, Maria Efimova, a twelve-year-old girl who participated in a children's drawing competition held in Yakutsk, the capital of Yakutia. It is noteworthy that the peculiarities of the worldview of the “reindeer peoples,” with elements of the natural and life scenarios of the Peoples of the North, are also manifested here. All the features of the “northern” text are preserved: chum, snow, trees, skis, reindeer, and northern lights, which sets the whole image in the perspective of volume and movement. At the same time, the visual narrative about a reindeer in the imagination of a city child is already close to the characters of Disney cartoons, and the drawing itself is made in the format of a “New Year's” fairytale genre. At the same time, both in the past and in the present, it is the reindeer that is the main companion of life, both for the historical nomadic girl Maya and our contemporary city girl Maria. Both drawings reflect the visual-anthropological representation of the children's perception of the North as a special spatiality associated with reindeer. In this sense, the drawings of northern children can be interpreted as one of the significant discourses in the paradigm from “the place of memory” (Nora 1999) to the “text of memory” that determine the geocultural identity of the Indigenous Peoples of the North.

Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Painting from the collection of a children's drawing competition (2021)

Citation: Sibirica 21, 3; 10.3167/sib.2022.210305

Analyzing the first artistic canvases made by northern students of the Institute of the Peoples of the North in the 1920s and 1930s in Leningrad, the researchers note their special perception of space as curved, which can be explained by a mobile lifestyle: “The viewer appears to be close to their space, which embraces him with its ‘curvature’ and creates conditions that allow him to feel almost like a participant in the action” (Petrova 2011: 9). This characteristic is surprisingly consonant with the picturesque works of the “chronicler of the Arctic,” Yuri Spiridonov, who is a national artist of Yakutia (see Fig. 3). He was born on the shores of the Laptev Sea and has been in love with the harsh beauty of the North since childhood. The perception of the “reindeer” theme by the inhabitants of the North themselves is also valuable for understanding the reindeer image in northern cultures, as these people could easily determine the gender, age, temper of the reindeer, and even the nationality of the painter from the drawings (ibid. 7).

Figure 3.
Figure 3.

Painting by Yuri Spiridonov (2017)

Citation: Sibirica 21, 3; 10.3167/sib.2022.210305

For understanding reindeer as “building material” in group geocultural identity, the Ikenipke ritual is important. First recorded in detail among the Evenki of the Yenisei by ethnographer G. M. Vasilevich, Ikenipke is an eight-day movement in a circle with chanting (breaks only for eating and sleeping) during the umudyan (“union”) in the third part of spring known as evilese spring (“the period of games,” late April and early May). The rite itself consisted in the fact that, for eight days, the Evenki people chased an imaginary reindeer with a song, killed it, divided the meat, and each family received a piece, represented by a piece of a wooden reindeer, which the shaman shot from an ordinary bow. The shaman sang, describing everything that he came across on the way, and the participants in the circle dance repeated after him in chorus.

This collective ritual reflected the mythological ideas of the Tungus peoples about the birth of nature and humanity: on the first day before the beginning of the Ikenipke, a new year's ritual holiday, the metal parts of the shaman's costume were renewed, and sometimes even the tambourine; sometimes there was an initiation of sevek—a “taboo” reindeer chosen as a sacred white reindeer who cannot be killed—in which the shaman introduces mushun, part of the power of the upper deity. The rite was accompanied by divination during the “stops”: the shaman guessed the lifespan of the participants by shooting them with a bow while inside a chum, or tent. Sometimes the shaman goes into a trance in pursuit of this reindeer in the spirit world; the shaman, his helper spirits, and all those present first descended along the shaman river to the main shaman river, then, having passed down it, they climbed to the sources in the south, turned east and reached the upper world, where they killed the reindeer. This movement took place, according to the Evenki, “for a whole year.”

According to G. M. Vasilevich, the holiday was widespread among all the Tungus peoples and apparently meant the creation of a natural and sacred space, a common “place of memory,” as well as the birth of a “collective body” through an “imaginary” sacrifice (separating parts of a reindeer and collecting them again). The renewal of the shaman's tambourine as a model of the world in mythological terms played out the annual repetition of cosmogony, and circular dances with singing as an image of reindeer circling set the pace of “eternal” time. Thus, the Ikenipke holiday restored the cosmo-temporal community of ancestors, deities, and people, where the course of life events of the northern nomads depended on the reindeer (Vasilevich 1946). Returning to the memory of ancestors through the image of an imaginary reindeer underlies the performance “Hyyma” at the State Theater of Indigenous Peoples of the North “Gulun,” staged by the Sakha director Sergei Potapov. The central idea of the performance is the “forgetting of the past” by a modern man who has lost touch with his nomadic heritage. The mirage of a herd of reindeer (hyyma) becomes a metaphor for the outgoing culture, and the circular dance of the seedye, embodying the charisma and spirit of the people, acts as a living thread connecting the past (dancing shadows) and the present. The Even old man, as a collective image of a “remembering” culture, asks the main character who committed a crime not to go where only hyyma will meet him, but to stay in the camp and build a new world with a girl who cannot speak and is expecting a child from him (image of the future). The performance ends with a ritual circular dance, the seedye, where the breath and movements of the dancers symbolize the running of a reindeer—the rhythm of life of the nomads of the North, the connection of the “broken” thread of generations and traditions.

Conclusion

Currently, domestic reindeer and reindeer herding are adapting to ongoing social changes but are directly dependent on the role and function assigned to them in society. At the same time, the enduring utilitarian purpose of the reindeer is complemented by numerous texts of modern culture, filled with new narratives of the imagination and experience of the North. Various narratives that appeal to the image of a heavenly white reindeer are complemented by the archaeological artifacts that have been found, such as rock paintings depicting reindeer (see Fig. 4). The interaction with the rock art demonstrates how these sites have served as a source of ritual and cosmological inspiration (see Brandišauskas 2020). Nowadays, the veneration of the Paleolithic and the sacralization of symbolic places of memory through visiting, documentation, and leaving offerings / sacrifices of modern hunters to the sacred mountain on the “altar” near the rock painting allows individuals not only to touch the “past,” but also to maintain group identity, which is both ethnic and territorial. Graphic images of reindeer are also presented in the official coats of arms and flags of reindeer-breeding ulusy of Yakutia, which indicates the preservation and new refraction of the geocultural image of the reindeer as an identifier of the native homeland of the Indigenous Peoples of the North.

Figure 4.
Figure 4.

Rock painting at the Elanka site (photo by Olga Melnichuk 2006)

Citation: Sibirica 21, 3; 10.3167/sib.2022.210305

In the modern cultural landscape of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), examples of the design of architectural and religious buildings, folk crafts, national crafts, and ethnic fashion associated with reindeer herding culture are widely represented. The symbolic capital of the nomads of the North is produced in fiction, professional art, the education system, mass media, and in social and cultural practices. Particular emphasis should be placed on the role of training young people for the professions of reindeer herder, chum worker, and teacher in a nomadic school.

The multiplicity of the image of the reindeer in the cultures of the Peoples of the North allows us to consider the reindeer as “building material” that underlies the construction of the identity and life strategy of the “reindeer people.” Hope and faith in the infinity of reindeer running is portrayed as the highest truth in the poem of the Even poet Mikhail Kolesov “People of the North” (Kolesov 2014):

... Our reindeer know
That we didn't leave.
There will be different fates—
We'll stay true
There will be evil trials—
We will remain firm.
We are the People of the North
Living here...

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the grant No. 075-15-2021-616 from the Government of the Russian Federation for the project “Preservation of Linguistic and Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development of the Arctic and Subarctic of the Russian Federation.” The authors also express their gratitude to the shared core facilities of the Federal Research Center “Yakutsk Science Center” of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science for the opportunity to conduct research on the center's scientific equipment purchased under grant No. 13.CKP.21.0016, and the equipment of the Central Collective Use Center of the Federal Research Center of the “Yakutsk Scientific Center” purchased with funds from grant No. 13.TsKP.21.0016.

Notes

1

Sbornik zakonov Respubliki Sakha (Yakutia) [Collection of laws of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)], Vol. 2, 1990–1993, pp. 7–10. https://e.nlrs.ru/open/13632.

2

Ibid., pp. 58–98.

3

(Sbornik zakonov Respubliki Sakha (Yakutia) [Collection of Laws of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)] Vol. 3, 1994–1995, pp. 433–438. https://e.nlrs.ru/open/13623.

4

Sbornik zakonov Respubliki Sakha (Iakutiia) 2001 [Collection of laws of the Republic Sakha (Yakutia)] Vol. 4, 1996–1998. https://e.nlrs.ru/open/13624.

5

A chum is a traditional, mobile dwelling of nomads. The functional duties of a chum worker include housekeeping: arranging the tent, preparing firewood, kindling the stove, maintaining order, cooking, repairing clothes, and so forth.

6

As calculated by V. B. Ignatyeva using the following source: Itogi Vserossiiskoi sel'skokhoziaistvennoi perepisi 2016 goda po Respublike Sakha (Yakutia) v 8 tomakh. Ofitsial'noe izdanie. Tom 5: Pogolov'e sel'skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh. Kniga 1: Pogolov'e sel'skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh: Struktura pogolov'ya sel'skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh 2018 [Results of the All-Russian Agricultural Census of 2016 for the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 8 volumes. Official publication. Vol. 5: Headcount of farm animals. Book 1: Headcount of farm animals: The structure of headcount of farm animals 2018], Yakutsk: Sakha (Yakutia) stat.

7

From the speech of I. Ilistiarov, head of JSC “Khatystyr,” at the round table “Reindeer herding is the basis for preserving the traditional way of life of indigenous peoples,” held at the State Assembly (Il Tumen) of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) on 11 November 2021.

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  • Soikkonnen, Ivan P. 1926. Materialy KIaR (Komissii po izucheniiu Iakutskoi Respubliki) [Materials of the Commission for the Study of the Yakut Republic], Peterburg Fond of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, fond 47, opis’ 222, delo 520.

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  • Sokolovskii, Sergei V., Filippova Elena I. (otv. ed.) 2019. Smert' iazyka—smert' naroda? Iazykovye situatsii i iazykovye prava v Rossii i sopredel'nykh gosudarstvakh [Is the death of the language the death of the people? Language situations and language rights in Russia and neighboring states] Moscow: IEA Press. https://doi.org/10.33876/978-5-9912-0836-9-2019-1-259.

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  • Stammler-Gossman, Anna A. 2013. “Chto takoe Sever? Kontseptsiia rossiiskogo prostranstva” [What is the North? The concept of Russian space] In Arctic. XXI Century. Humanitarian sciences, 2013 (1): 3052. https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/chto-takoe-sever-kontseptsiya-rossiyskogo-prostranstva.

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  • Vasilevich, Glafira M. 1946. K voprosu ob istokakh skaza, pesni i kamlan'ia: Materialy ob evenkakh [On the question of the origins of the tale, song and ritual: Materials about the Evenki], Archive of the YSC SB RAS fond 5, opis’ 14, delo 16, on 6 sheets.

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  • Vladimirov, L. N., and I. S. Reshetnikov. 1999. Sovremennoe sostoianie olenevodstva i puti uvelicheniia tovarnoi produktsii na osnove ispol'zovaniia vtorichnogo syr'ia. [The current state of reindeer breeding and ways to increase marketable products based on the use of secondary raw materials] Yakutsk: Kuduk. https://e.nlrs.ru/open/2307.

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  • Yuzhakov, Aleksandr A. 2017. “Severnoe olenevodstvo v XXI veke: Geneticheskii resurs, kul'turnoe nasledie i biznes.” [Northern reindeer breeding in the XXI century: Genetic resource, cultural heritage and business] In Arctic: ecology and economy 2 (26): 131137. https://doi.org/10.25283/2223-4594-2017-2-131-137.

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  • Zamiatin, Dmitrii N. 2020. “L'ontologie du froid, les images culturelles et les représentations de paysages culturels des villes du Nord et de l'Arctique.” In Méthodologies russes sur l'Arctique, ed. Daniel Chartier, 3768. Presses de l'Université du Québec.

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  • Zamiatin, Dmitrii N., and Ekaterina N. Romanova. 2017. “Kholodnyi mir: Dva polusa izmereniia.” [Cold World: Two Poles of Measurement] In Geokul'tury Arktiki: metodologiia analiza I prikladnye issledovaniia [Geocultures of the Arctic: methodology of analysis and applied research], ed. Dmitrii N. Zamiatin and Ekaterina N. Romanova, 612. Moscow: Kanon+.

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Contributor Notes

Vanda Borisovna Ignatyeva (ORCID: 0000-0001-8312-1040) is a Leading Researcher at the Institute for Humanitarian Studies and Problems of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the International Research Laboratory “Linguistic Ecology of the Arctic” at the M. K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Russia. Her interests include problems of adaptation, sustainable development, ecology and culture, and anthropology of cold. E-mail: V_Ignat@mail.ru.

Ekaterina Nazarovna Romanova (ORCID: 0000-0001-6973-0608) is a Chief Researcher of the Institute for Humanitarian Research and Problems of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and of the International Research Laboratory “Linguistic Ecology of the Arctic” at the M. K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Russia. She is interested in ethnography of the Peoples of the North and the anthropology of cold, as well as the ethnology of the Yakuts, myths and rituals of the Arctic steppe, cultural geography, and landscape semiotics. She is the author of about two hundred scientific publications, including four monographs. She is the founder of the scientific school of symbolic analysis of social history and sociocultural phenomena, and since 2014 she has directed the Arctic Geocultural Studies Laboratory. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Circumpolar Observatory of Arctic and Antarctic Studies (Argentina). E-mail: e_romanova@mail.ru

Liudmila Sofronovna Zamorshchikova (ORCID: 0000-0001-6973-0608) is a Candidate of Philology, Professor of the Institute of Modern Languages and Regional Studies and the International Research Laboratory “Linguistic Ecology of the Arctic” at the M. K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Russia. Her interests lie within linguistics and intercultural communication, sociolinguistics, linguistic identity, and bilingualism. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Circumpolar Observatory of Arctic and Antarctic Studies (Argentina). E-mail: lszam@mail.ru

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Sibirica

Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies

  • Brandišauskas, Donatas. 2020. “Sensory Perception of Rock Art in East Siberia and the Far East-Soviet Archeological ‘Discoveries’ and Indigenous Evenkis.” Sibirica 19 (2): 5076. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2020.190204

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  • Chartier, Daniel. 2018. What Is the Imagined North? Ethical Principles. Presses de l'Université du Québec. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01858102/document.

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  • Freeman, Milton M. R. 2000. Endangered Peoples of the Arctic: Struggles to Survive and Thrive. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

  • Geertz, Clifford. J. 2004. Interpretatsia kul'tur / per. s angl. [The Interpretation of Cultures / translation from English]. Moscow: “Russian Political Encyclopedia (ROSSPEN). https://www.gumer.info/bibliotek_Buks/Culture/girc/index.php (accessed 31 August 2022).

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  • Golovneva, Elena V., and Ivan A. Golovnev. 2019. “‘Risuia Kamchatku…’: Arkhivnye i sovremennye reprezentatsii v detskikh risunkakh bystrinskikh evenov.” [Drawing Kamchatka…: Archival and Contemporary Representations in Children's Drawings of the Bystrinsky Evens] Sibirskie istoricheskie issledovaniia. 2019 (1): 2847. https://doi.org/10.17223/2312461X/23/3.

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  • Grenoble, Lenore A. 2010. “Language vitality and revitalization in the Arctic.” In New Perspectives on Endangered Languages: Bridging gaps between sociolinguistics, documentation and language revitalization, ed. José Antonio Flores Farfán and Fernando F. Ramallo, 6592. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub. Co.

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  • Ignatyeva, Vanda B. 2011. “O sokhranenii traditsionnykh vidov khoziaistva v sviazi s izmeneniiami mirovogo klimata.” [On the Preservation of Traditional Types of Economy in Connection with Global Climate Change] In Etnopoliticheskaia situatsiia v Rossii i sopredel'nykh gosudarstvakh v 2011 godu: Ezhegodnyi doklad Seti etnologicheskogo monitoringa i rannego preduprezhdeniia konfliktov [The Ethnopolitical Situation in Russia and Neighboring States in 2011: Annual Report of the Network for Ethnological Monitoring and Early Warning of Conflicts], ed. V. A. Tishkov and V. V. Stepanov, 547–554. Moscow: IEA RAN. http://www.demoscope.ru/weekly/2013/0563/biblio01.php.

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  • Ignatyeva, Vanda B. 2018. “Sakha Republic (Yakutia): Local Projections of Climate Changes and Adaptation Problems of Indigenous Peoples.” In Global Warming and the Human-Nature Dimension in Northern Eurasia, ed. Tetsuya Hiyama and Hiroki Takakura, 1128. Singapore: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-4648-3_2.

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  • Ivanov, Valentin A. 2019. “Formirovanie strategii razvitiia olenevodstva v Arkticheskom subregione evropeiskogo severo-vostoka Rossii.” [Strategy formation for reindeer farming development in the Arctic sub-region of the Russian European North-East] Arktika: ecologiia i ekonomika [Arctic: Ecology and Economy] 3 (35): 135145. https://doi.org/10.25283/2223-4594-2019-3-135-145.

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  • Jefanovas, Aivaras. 2021. Kohabitacija Arkties Jakutijos kraštovaizdžiuose: elnių augintojų ir medžiotojų socialiniai santykiai su vilkais. [Cohabitation in Shared Landscapes in Arctic Yakutia: Social Relations Between Reindeer Herders/Hunters and Wolves]. PhD dissertation. Vilnius University. https://epublications.vu.lt/object/elaba:114939655/index.html.

  • Kibrik, Andrei E. 1992. Ocherki po obshchim i prikladnym voprosam iazykoznaniia (universal'noe, tipovoe i spetsifichnoe v iazyke). [Essays on general and applied questions of linguistics (universal, typical and specific in language)] Moscow: Moscow State University Press. http://otipl.philol.msu.ru/~kibrik/media/Kibrik-1992.pdf.

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  • Kirillin, Aleksandr S. 1996. “Mnogosloinaia stoianka Ulakhan Segelenniakh na reke Tokko” [Multi-layered site Ulakhan Segelenniakh on the river Tokko] In Arkheologiia Severnoi Pasifiki [Archeology of the North Pacific], 246251. Vladivostok: Dalnauka.

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  • Kolesov, Mikhail. 2014. Liudi Severa [People of the North] (poem). https://stihi.ru/2014/05/09/4718 (accessed 20 October 2022).

  • Lavrillier, Alexandra. 2013. “Climate Change among Nomadic and Settled Tungus of Siberia: Continuity and Changes in Economic and Ritual Relationships with the Natural Environment.” Polar Record 49 (3): 26071. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247413000284

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  • Lavrillier, Alexandra and Semen Gabyshev. 2021. “An Indigenous Science of the Climate Change Impacts on Landscape Topography in Siberia.” Ambio 50: 19101925. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-020-01467-w.

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  • Lebedev, Vasilii D. 1972. Belyi olen’. Stikhi. [White reindeer. Poems.]. Lenizdat. https://e.nlrs.ru/online2/125.

  • Mead, Margaret. 1988. Kul'tura i mir detstva: Izbrannye proizvedeniia [Culture and the World of Childhood: Selected works] / Per. s angl. i komment. Moscow: Nauka. https://www.rulit.me/books/kultura-i-mir-detstva-read-286593-1.html.

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  • Mikhalev, Vladimir M., and Evgenii I. Eliseev, 1992. “Arkheologicheskie issledovaniia v basseine Verkhnei Iany.” [Archaeological research in the basin of the Upper Yana] In Apхeологичeскиe исслeдовaния в Якутии: тpуды Пpилeнской apхeологичeской экспeдиции [Archaeological research in Yakutia: works of the Prilenskaya archaeological expedition], ed. Iurii A. Mochanov, 4764. Novosibirsk: Nauka. https://school.e.nlrs.ru/open/41389

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  • Mochanov, Iurii A. 1992. Drevneyshii paleolit Diringa i problem vnetropicheskoi prarodiny chelovechestva [The oldest Paleolithic of reindeering and the problems of the extratropical ancestral home of humankind]. Novosibirsk: Nauka. https://e.nlrs.ru/open/36186.

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  • Mochanov, Iurii A. 2010. 50 let v kamennom veke Sibiri (arkheologicheskie issledovaniia v aziatskoi chasti Rossii [50 years in the Stone Age of Siberia (archaeological research in the Asian part of Russia)], Vol. 1. Yakutsk: Media holding “Yakutia.” https://e.nlrs.ru/open/76443 (accessed 20 October 2022).

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  • Mochanov, Iurii A., and Svetlana A. Fedoseeva. 1996. “Western Beringia: Aldan River Valley, Priokhotye, Kolyma River Basin.” In American Beginnings: The Prehistory and Palaeoecology of Beringia, ed. Frederick H. West, 157227. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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  • Nikolaev, A. S. (otv. red.) 2021. Istoriia Iakutii. [History of Yakutia] Novosibirsk: Nauka.

  • Nora, Paul. 1999. Problematika mest pamiati: Frantsiia-pamiat’ [Problematics of places of memory: France-memory]. Trans. D. Khapaeva, 1750. Saint Petersburg: Publishing House of Saint Petersburg University.

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  • Novikova, N. I. and D. A. Funk (otv. red.) 2012. Sever i severiane: Sovremennoe polozhenie korennykh malochislennykh narodov Severa, Sibiri i Dal'nego Vostoka. [North and northerners: The current situation of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East of Russia] Moscow: IEA Press. http://static.iea.ras.ru/books/Sever_i_severyane.pdf.

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  • Petrova, E. (otv. red.) 2011. Sled Meteora: Iskusstvo narodov Severa v 1920–1930 godakh. [Meteor track: Art of the Peoples of the North 1920–1930]. St. Petersburg: Palace Editions. https://rusmuseum.ru/editions/catalogues-albums/2011/sled-meteora-iskusstvo-narodov-severa-1920-1930/#rmPhoto/0/.

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  • Robbek, Vasilii A., D. I. Syrovatskii, Uliana A. Vinokurova, et al. 1994. Narody Severa Rossii kak chast' tsirkumpoliarnoi tsivilizatsii. [Peoples of the North of Russia as part of the circumpolar civilization] Yakutsk: Ilkan.

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  • Romanova, Ekaterina N., Vanda B. Ignatyeva, and Evdokiia K. Alekseeva. 2021. “Modus mnogodorozhia v zhiznennoi strategii korennykh malochislennykh narodov Severa Iakutii” [Multi-road mode in the life strategy of the Indigenous Peoples of the North of Yakutia]. Ural'skii istoricheskii vestnik [Ural Historical Journal] 2 (71): 118126. 10.30759/1728-9718-2021-2(71)-118-126.

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  • Slezkine, Yury. 1994. Arctic Mirrors: Russia and the Indigenous Peoples of the North. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

  • Soikkonnen, Ivan P. 1926. Materialy KIaR (Komissii po izucheniiu Iakutskoi Respubliki) [Materials of the Commission for the Study of the Yakut Republic], Peterburg Fond of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, fond 47, opis’ 222, delo 520.

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  • Sokolovskii, Sergei V., Filippova Elena I. (otv. ed.) 2019. Smert' iazyka—smert' naroda? Iazykovye situatsii i iazykovye prava v Rossii i sopredel'nykh gosudarstvakh [Is the death of the language the death of the people? Language situations and language rights in Russia and neighboring states] Moscow: IEA Press. https://doi.org/10.33876/978-5-9912-0836-9-2019-1-259.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stammler-Gossman, Anna A. 2013. “Chto takoe Sever? Kontseptsiia rossiiskogo prostranstva” [What is the North? The concept of Russian space] In Arctic. XXI Century. Humanitarian sciences, 2013 (1): 3052. https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/chto-takoe-sever-kontseptsiya-rossiyskogo-prostranstva.

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  • Vasilevich, Glafira M. 1946. K voprosu ob istokakh skaza, pesni i kamlan'ia: Materialy ob evenkakh [On the question of the origins of the tale, song and ritual: Materials about the Evenki], Archive of the YSC SB RAS fond 5, opis’ 14, delo 16, on 6 sheets.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vladimirov, L. N., and I. S. Reshetnikov. 1999. Sovremennoe sostoianie olenevodstva i puti uvelicheniia tovarnoi produktsii na osnove ispol'zovaniia vtorichnogo syr'ia. [The current state of reindeer breeding and ways to increase marketable products based on the use of secondary raw materials] Yakutsk: Kuduk. https://e.nlrs.ru/open/2307.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yuzhakov, Aleksandr A. 2017. “Severnoe olenevodstvo v XXI veke: Geneticheskii resurs, kul'turnoe nasledie i biznes.” [Northern reindeer breeding in the XXI century: Genetic resource, cultural heritage and business] In Arctic: ecology and economy 2 (26): 131137. https://doi.org/10.25283/2223-4594-2017-2-131-137.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zamiatin, Dmitrii N. 2020. “L'ontologie du froid, les images culturelles et les représentations de paysages culturels des villes du Nord et de l'Arctique.” In Méthodologies russes sur l'Arctique, ed. Daniel Chartier, 3768. Presses de l'Université du Québec.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zamiatin, Dmitrii N., and Ekaterina N. Romanova. 2017. “Kholodnyi mir: Dva polusa izmereniia.” [Cold World: Two Poles of Measurement] In Geokul'tury Arktiki: metodologiia analiza I prikladnye issledovaniia [Geocultures of the Arctic: methodology of analysis and applied research], ed. Dmitrii N. Zamiatin and Ekaterina N. Romanova, 612. Moscow: Kanon+.

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