Abramov I.V.


This article examines the phenomenon of nomadic reindeer herding in the Severnaia Sosva river basin. This kind of reindeer herding was borrowed from the tundra nomadic Nenets and widely spread in the taiga zone due to its potential as a new strategy of sustenance. The rapid economic development of the region in the XVIII–XIX centuries intensified the fur industry, which also stimulated the introduction of reindeer sledge as the optimum system of movement in the snow period. Thus, due to reindeer herding the Mansi of the Severnaia Sosva basin received a means of transport. There was a specialization of some households: «mobilization» that has led to some reconfiguration of settlement network and economic migrations. The reindeer mobility contributed to the establishment of close cooperation between the traditional types of land usage and contributed to the cultural and ethnic integration in the Severnaia Sosva basin. The reindeer mobility fully provided social communication in winter, ubiquity and increasing speed of communications facilitated extensive cultural contacts with the neighboring territories. The communication network based on reindeer mobility could act as a safety contour at crisis, which preserved variability of adaptation strategies. The system of reindeer mobility after several stages of reforms in the Soviet period lost its transport function. Skin and meat production of reindeer herding (Komi type) was a major and technically developed area, while social and cultural functions of the reindeer herding for indigenous peoples were ignored. The planned economy demanded only large reindeer herd economy of the Komi and small and disperse reindeer husbandry of the Mansi declined. The last private Mansi reindeer herding farms curtailed nomad practices in 1990-s due to the collapse of the socio-economic system of the district, part of which they were. The way of life of a reindeer herder was non-prestigious and difficult for the youth who grew up in Soviet villages. Social and economic network, based on reindeer mobility, did not receive an adequate replacement in the Soviet period, mechanized personal transport is still not affordable to everybody. It turned out that even a snowmobile can provide previous coverage of the space. Vehicles generally involve completely different ways of interaction between people and space. Paradoxically, the cultural isolation of the indigenous peoples of the Severnaia Sosva (Mansi, Komi, Nenets) to the end of the twentieth century increased, although they began to live in large multiethnic villages provided with telecommunications.

Key words: reindeer herding, mobility, Mansi, Severnaia Sosva, social network, sustenance.


Istomin K.V., Liskevich N.A., Ulyashev O.I.


This article raises a problem of reindeer herding types. On the basis of ethnographic flieldwork data the authors compare technological traits and herding techniques of the «classical» Izhma-Komi reindeer herding of Bolshezemelskaya tundra to those observed in the easternmost and the westernmost local groups of Komi herders. This comparison shows significant differences in reindeer herding technology between the groups. This raises questions about the exact content of the term «Izhma Komi Reindeer herding» and about the spheres of its application. The analysis shows that this term can refer to 1) a technological system of reindeer herding that existed among the Izhma-Komi of Bolshezemelskaya tundra in the second half of the 19th century, but currently does not exist anywhere; 2) a certain set of herding techniques, which is used by some, but not all modern Komi reindeer herders as well as representatives of other ethnic groups nomadizing in the same environmental zone; 3) common traits of material, spiritual and normative culture, which can be observed in most (but again not all) groups of Komi reindeer herders, can be related to reindeer herding, but they do not form a part of reindeer herding economy in the strict sense. The third meaning of the term makes the most sense, but it makes the application of the notion rather limited as far as the studies of traditional economy are concerned. 

Key words: Izhma-Komi, Izhma-Komi reindeer herding, reindeer herding technology, reindeer her-ding typology.


Sataev R.Ì.


The article discusses general theoretical issues related to features of the structure and functioning of traditional life support systems. A life support system is understood as a set of interrelated natural and social factors (through satisfaction of material and non-material needs), which determine the nature of the existence of human communities on a certain territory. The overall structure of the systems includes natural, material, cultural and social units. Degree of dependence of life-support systems on particular environmental conditions is suggested as a criteria for their assessment. Due to the existing natural zonality, these systems can have «zonal» or «azonal» character. «Zonal» systems are actualized in strict dependence on climatic conditions and resources inherent to a definite natural area, and the «azonal» ones are formed independently of them. «Zonal» systems are aimed at achieving the best adaptation to the natural and resource conditions in the area of residence of the society, but are highly specialized and closed for innovation. «Azonal» systems are more open, they include universal elements, which allow them to be actualized in different natural areas, but at the same time they are less adapted to specific natural conditions. Thus, the «zonal» systems evolve towards strengthening the connection-dependence of human groups with the environment, and «azonal» towards autonomy from them. Therefore, it can be said that there are two development strategies of life support systems. It is suggested to distinguish two main phases in the development of the systems: «productive» and «reproductive». The definition of phases is based mainly on the predominance of the process of innovation or stereotyping in the system functioning (at a certain time interval). Throughout the life cycle, the formation of a structure and nature of the functioning of life support systems take place, the optimal ways of meeting needs of the society for resources in certain natural and climatic conditions are mastered and selected. In the reproductive phase, there are, mainly, consolidation and development of forms, methods and manners of the activity inherited from the previous generations. The concepts of «fluctuations», «trend» and «transformation» are used to assess the nature and extent of the current changes taking place in the system.

Key words: life-support system of traditional human societies, zonal and azonal systems, productive and reproductive phases of development.


Bogordayeva A.A.


The article is dedicated to a study of top wears of guardian spirits. It is based on the materials obtained du-ring ethnographic expeditions to the areas of residence of a northern group of the Khanty, and on the items from a museum collection. The aim of the study is to reveal symbols of power and imitations of uniform in the top wear of the guardian spirits. In order to do this, on the basis of a typological analysis, signs which distinguish imitations from traditional clothing were identified, and then initial forms of the uniform were determined. It was revealed that clothing found at the sanctuaries of the Northern Khanty differs in its cut and decorations from the traditional clothes. It is represented by two types. The first type includes clothing of a uniform type, the second one, clothes which imitate the latter. The article presents three imitations, their characteristic features are described, which allow us to correlate them with the uniforms of a certain historical period. The arrangement of clothing buttons in pairs in two (three) rows was considered as the most characteristic feature of the clothes under consideration. Based on these features, a historical analysis of the clothing garment was carried out comparing it with military and civil uniforms of the past. As a result, it was found out that, according to the main features, the top wears of the guardian spirits of the Northern Khanty under consideration are to the most extent similar to the frock coats widely used in the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century as top and underway clothing among various officials and employees. It was also determined that a distinctive feature of such a garment was metal hemispherical buttons sewn in a row on each side. Such buttons often had a professional and a state emblem, a sign. If a sign correlated with the Khanty traditional symbols, such buttons were granted a higher status. If it was possible, they were exchanged, bought and used to decorate the clothing of the guardian spirits.

Key words: clothes, costume, dressing gowns, jacket, frock coats, the Northern Khanty, guardian spirits, uniform, buttons, symbols of power, imitation.


Poplavskiy R.O., Templing V.I., Cherepanov M.S., Shisheliakina A.L.


Modernization paradigm is one of the most authoritative methodological paradigms in the social sciences which explain patterns of human development. Being formed in the second half of the XX century and having undergone a long path of development by now, it focuses on explaining socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-political changes. The main research trends within this paradigm are verification of the former and creation of new theories of modernization on the basis of data analysis covering changes in dozens of countries over a period of several decades, and specification of «big theories» by means of historical, sociological, cultural and other studies at the local level. The purpose of this work is to develop a conceptual framework for the study of modernization within the second trend. Taking into account the preceding researches, we suggest a conceptual framework for studying the mechanisms of socio-cultural changes in Western Siberia during the XVII–XXI centuries. Historiographic analysis of bibliography on the subject of modernization has revealed both a consensus formed up to date considering interpretation of this concept, and a wide variability of approaches to the study of the process itself, conditioned by methodological solutions on the spatial object and the societal complexity of modernization. This, in turn, determines the diversity of periodizations of this process. The authors of the article outline the boundaries of their conceptual framework for the study of socio-cultural changes in Western Siberia during the XVII–XX centuries and define modernization as a process of changes in the basic spheres of social life (socio-economic, socio-cultural, socio-political) which leads to the expansion of human opportunities. In this regard, socio-cultural changes are considered as a part of complex modernization and they are understood as a change in values, norms and practices of communication. Socio-cultural communities acting on the territory of Western Siberia are defined as a social object of modernization. The process of transformations in values, norms and practices of communication at the level of sociocultural communities under the influence of changing conditions which provide human security (socioeconomic changes, wars, ecological disasters) is explained by the authors as cultural adaptation. Transitional periods in West Siberia's modernization from the XVII till the XX centuries are determined in order to chronologically focus the research on cultural adaptation at the level of sociocultural communities.

Key words: modernization, transitional periods of modernization, sociocultural communities, cultural adaptation.


Agapov M.G.


The author focuses on educational boom in the Tyumen North in 19902000s which was manifested in particular with a wide-scale «branching» of the small northern towns when higher school branches were established in almost each of them. À higher school branch is a network structure which incorporates a wide range of actors such as «basic» university management, rotation lecturers, students and parents' community, municipal board, representatives of local industrial enterprises, business community etc. In other words, an affiliated branch was closely connected to almost every aspect of the life in a small northern town. It was built into the mosaic of the town’s everyday life. The functions of a higher school branch were not limited to rendering educational services. During the period under consideration, it was an assembly location of the local community. Among other things, communication paths between à small northern town and remote areas were provided through the activities of an affiliated branch. The activities of the higher school branches in the period of the booming education in the Tyumen North have still not received a comprehensive evaluation. If anyting could be said for sure about the affiliated branches is that they were an important part of a small northern town’s sociocultural landscape.

Key words: small town, the Tyumen North, affiliated branch, migration.