Adaev V.N.

Colonization of the northern outskirts of the Tarsky district in the pre-Soviet period: historical and ethnocultural aspects

The study deals with the history of the colonization of the northern part of the Tarsky okrug (district) in the late 17th — early 20th centuries (Western Siberia, Russia). This taiga territory, which included the upper reaches of the Demyanka River, featured an abundance of hunting resources, but it was located significantly far from the administrative center of the district and was surrounded by barely-passable swamps. The objectives of the research include determination of the chronological features of the colonization with an emphasis on the ethnic and cultural aspects of the process. The paper is based on diverse sources: cartographic materials, 18th–20th century publications, archival records, and the field historical and ethnographic data. The study is based upon the theoretical framework by A.V. Golovnev concerning the concepts of “colonization” and “anthropology of movement”. It has been ascertained that the administrative borders in the area of the Demyanka River were originally determined along the boundaries of the areas of activity of the ethnic groups assigned to different districts of the Tobolsk gubernia. Three stages were revealed in the history of colonization of the northern part of the Tarsky okrug, within each of which the area was perceived from the administrative center in a special way, and the policy towards it differed significantly. In the 17th–18th centuries, the state control was limited to the collection of the yasak from the Tatar hunters who seasonally visited the Demyanka territory. Later on, up until the 1880s, only unregistered groups of nomadic Khanty and Evenks were staying in the territory, with whom some officials and other district dwellers had maintained unofficial socio-economic contacts. In the 1890s–1910s, after the arrival of a large number of peasant settlers in the okrug, the authorities conducted the first economic and geographical survey of the territory for the prospect of its agricultural exploitation, while the local Russian old-settlers and a small part of the migrants established intensive tradable hunting in the Demyanka territory, developing a network of routes through the swamps.

Keywords: Siberian old settlers, migrants, indigenous people of the North, mainstream and local cultures, history of Western Siberia.


Rud’ A.A.

Communal sacrifice in the ritual space of the Eastern Khanty

The communal sacrifice myr (‘all people’, ‘people gathering’) of the Eastern Khanty living in the basins of the Bolshoy Yugan, Agan, Trom’egan, Pim, Lyamin, and Demyanka Rivers (the territory of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and the north of Tyumen Oblast) is studied. The work is based on the field materials of the author collected in 2002–2017, as well as on other investigations and previously published sources. The aim of the paper is the study of the role of the communal sacrifice in the worldview and ritual space of the Eastern Khanty. The methodological basis of the research stems from the theoretical developments of ritual by V. Turner (1983) and gift-exchange by M. Mauss (2011). The concept of “principal ritual” by A.K. Baiburin (1993) has been used in this work. The communal sacrifice myr is the most attended by the number of participants and longest by time ritual of the Eastern Khanty. Within the myr, the most extensive interaction between the world of humans and the world of deities of the Eastern Khanty happens. The structure of the myr includes sacrificial rituals devoted to the deities of the whole pantheon of the Easten Khanty, as well as shamanistic rituals and traditional fortunetelling. During the myr, decisions are taken with regard to the most important problems of the community life, whose implementation requires not only human effort but also ‘divine support’. In this paper, the modern boundaries and frequency of conducting the communal sacrifice among the Eastern Khanty are identified. The social and sex-age composition of the participants in the ritual are characterized. The origins and reasons of the ritual performance are considered. In its symbolic aspect, the myr performs the functions of reloading the interrelations between the world of humans and the world of deities in the time of a crisis. Such reloading, alongside sacrifices and gifts to the gods, includes invoking the theme of the primordial genesis of the Khanty’s cosmos — a traditional ceremony of setting fire to the ritual pyre by rubbing. In the course of the research, it has been found that the communal sacrifice corresponds with the concept of gift-exchange of M. Mauss, contains the features of reciprocation, and plays the role of a principal ritual of the Eastern Khanty culture.

Keywords: Surgut Ob region, Eastern Khanty, traditional rituals, gift exchange, reciprocity.


Bogordayeva A.A.

“Helmets” of the Ob Ugrians: typology and functions

On the basis of the comparative-typological method, the woolen headdresses-helmets held at the sanctuaries of the Northern Khanty and Mansi have been analyzed. By the shape of the crown and some additional details, four helmet types were identified, which, by the way of analogy, were designated as malakhai (a fur cap), helmet, bashlyk (a hood), and ear-flapped cap. For each type, its specifics and territory of its common use were determined. It has been found that malakhai is characteristic of the Severnaya Sos’va Mansi, while ear-flapped cap — of the Kazym Khanty. The other types and variants are distributed at the borders of their settlement and among other groups. The existence of several types of helmets, their variability and local distribution suggest the loss by some groups of the tradition of cutting, but preserving the tradition of manufacture. As the result, one form of the headdresses was replaced by others, probably related to new social images. It has been ascertained that the identified types of the helmet cutting have no comparable counterparts among the traditional headdresses of Khanty and Mansi. In the meantime, helmet of the malakhai type bears resemblance to the headdresses (malakhais) of the Turkic peoples of Siberia, Central Asia, and the European part of Russia. The headdresses of a similar form were used among the neighboring in the past Bashkirs, as well as the Kazakhs living alongside with the Bashkirs. Among both the Bashkirs and the Kazakhs, malakhais formed a part of the costumes of the warrior and the horseman. A comparative analysis of the cutting and decorations of the Ugric, Bashkir and Kazakh malakhais shows resemblance in a series of features. This points favorably to their common origins and supports the existence of such headdresses among the Ugrs in the past. In the Ugric society, malakhais acquired a new role and became a symbol of the Heavenly Rider.

Keywords: Khant, Mansi, Ob Ugrians, Ural, Western Siberia, sacred objects, headdress, hat, helmet, “malakhai”, the Sky Rider.


Perevalova E.V., Kisser T.S.

Indigenous peoples of Taimyr: “The right to live on their own land”

The main source for the preparation of the article was the field materials collected by the authors in Taimyr in April ― May 2021. The in-depth interviews obtained during the expeditionary research, coupled with a blitz survey, reveal the problems and reasons for the difficult economic and ethno-cultural situation of indigenous peoples in their own interpretation. For a long time, inaccessibility of Taimyr contributed to the preservation of its surface and underground resources, which supported the existence of the traditional economic complexes of five indigenous peoples (Dolgans, Nenets, Nganasans, Evenks, Enets). The beginning of the active development of the Taimyr Arctic by industrial companies in the last decade has become a challenge for the indigenous population: all ethno-preserving industries ― hunting for wild reindeer, fishing, reindeer breeding ― have been threatened. The sharp decline of wild reindeer population in Taimyr is perceived by local residents as a catastrophe. Among the main reasons, along with the deterioration of the environmental situation associated with the accidents at the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Plant and the appearance of new subsoil users in the Taimyr tundras, poaching and shooting of wild reindeer by local residents that significantly exceeds the quotas are listed. The measures taken by the state (quotas for hunting wild deer and fishing, social benefits) do not solve the problems of preserving the traditional nature management and lifestyle, with which the indigenous population of Taimyr is directly connected by the ideas of “the right to work”, “the right to live on one's own land” and “the right to identity”. Despite the insignificance of the preferences, benefits for people leading the traditional way of life are causing discontent in the ethnic communities. The growth of social tension is also due to the chronic problem of unemployment and a deplorable state of many Taimyr villages, the prospect of preserving of which directly depends on the state of the biological resources.

Keywords: indigenous peoples, Taimyr, status, rights, benefits, traditional nature management, traditional way of life, identity.


Mavlyutova G.Sh.

Building the Muslim religious structures in the Tobolsk Province in the late 18th — early 20th century

Analyzed herein is the state politics in the area of building the Muslim religious structures in the Tobolsk Province at the end of the 18th — beginning of the 20th century. The source basis of the work was represented by the statutory and regulatory acts, clerical correspondence retrieved from the state archives, and pictorial materials. In this work, historical-comparative analysis, methods of historicism, induction and deduction were employed. During the period in question, more than a hundred of Muslim religious objects were functioning in the Tobolsk Province. The regulation of their building started in the second third of the 20th century. Three parties were participating in the process of obtaining a permit for the erection of mosques: gubernia (province), okrug (county), and volost (district) administration-police bodies and officials; the high clerical body of the Muslims of the European Russia and Siberia — Orenburg Muslim Spiritual Assembly; and the religious community — ummah. The interaction between them on the matter of building a mosque could take several years. The decision on the erection of Muslim religious objects was taken by the state authorities. Often, in the case of a discrepancy in the number of believers in the ummah (no less than 200 men), the regional authorities permitted erection of mosques. They softened their stance on this matter. In the Tobolsk Province, at the end of the 18th — beginning of the 20th centuró, the mosques were predominantly wooden. There were only few Muslim religious structures in the region built of brick. Mosques in the Province were erected at the expense of members of the ummah and donations of benefactors. We suggest that the makority of the religious structures were built not as ‘template’ projects, but as the projects specially designed and approved by public officials. One of the features of their exterior was position of the minaret on the roof of the mosque. Also noteworthy are the dimensions of the prayer hall. It was relatively small, with two to five windows on each side. That depended on the needs of the ummahs. On average, the service life of the wooden mosques was 50–60 years. Subsequently, due to the lower durability of timber as a building material, the Muslim religious objects required capital repair or erection of a new structure.

Keywords: mosque, Muslims, Muslim community, tatars, Bokharan, Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly.


Glushenko M.A., Fedorov R.Yu., Zharnikov Z.Yu., Myglan V.S.

Architecture of peasant-migrants of the first quarter of the 20th century in the Middle Angara River region according to the complex historical and dendrochronological analyses

The paper presents the results of a complex historical and dendrochronological study of folk architecture of peasant-migrants of the first quarter of the 20th century who lived in the territory of the Middle Angara River region (Bratsk district of Irkutsk Oblast). Based on the dendrochronological studies, visual inspection of buildings and interviews with local residents, initial features and dynamics of adaptation changes in the building culture of the peasant-migrants were reconstructed. It has been established that the migrants tried to preserve as much as possible of the building technologies from their homeland, changing only those elements that impeded the adaptation in the new environmental and climatic conditions. At the same time, a significant proportion of the peasantmigrants tried to reproduce at the new place those examples of folk architecture that in their homeland were characteristic of most prosperous peasants. It has been concluded that in the Bratsk district, the building culture of the migrants underwent a higher degree of transformations than in other areas of the Angara basin region. Those migrants who settled in the vicinity of Russian old-settlers experienced heavy influences from their folk architecture.

Keywords: folk architecture, Middle Angara River region, Bratsk district, dendrochronology, late peasant-migrants, ethnocultural adaptation.


Kozlov A.I., Nikitin I.A.

Farinaceous and starchy foods in the diet of the indigenous people of the highlatitude and Arctic regions of Russia: tradition and modernity

The object of the study is the indigenous population of the North and the Arctic of the Russian Federation. The subject of the study is changes in nutrition during transition from the traditional to modernized lifestyle. The purpose of the study is to consider the risk to the health of the northerners in the quantitative and qualitative changes in the consumption of flour and starch-containing products. The consumption of bread products and starch by the population of the northern regions of the Russian Federation in the 19th – 20th centuries and in the 2010s – 2020s was estimated. Estimates of the frequencies of the amylase genes AMY1, AMY2B, AMY2A in the populations that differ in geographic localization and type of management are systemized. In the 20th century, percapita consumption of bread in Russia decreased from 700 to 260 g/day, among the indeginous northerners — from 300 to 250 g/day. The inclusion of pasta products and potato in the diet of the northerners changed the volume and structure of the consumed carbohydrate foods. The intake of high glycemic load starch increased from 100 to 250 g/day. Replacing the dried crusts with pasta and potato meals eased mastication of food, thus inducing a reflectory rise in serum glucose at ingestion and increasing the risk of developing chronic carbohydrate metabolism disorders. High-latitude populations are distinct in the prevalence of the genotypes that determine low activity of the polysaccharidase enzymes necessary for starch digestion. The ample production of amylase and less prominent blood glucose upswing in response to the consumption of starchy foods are determined by the number of successive copies of the amylase genes on the AMY locus. For the AMY1 gene, a negative correlation was found between the gene copy number and the geographical latitude of the population area (rSp = -0.19), for the AMY2A gene rSp = -0.33 (p < 0.001 in both cases). In addition, in the Arctic groups there is a high frequency of deletions of the AMY2A gene, which also lead to insufficient synthesis of pancreatic amylase. In the European populations, AMY2A deletions occur in 10–11 %; among the Khanty, Mansi, and Selkups — in 28 %; among the indigenous population of Chukotka — in 52 %. Changes in the “Arctic diet” in the 20th century led to a sharp increase in the starch consumption. With the traditional way of life, the northerners did not form adaptations to the nutrient intake of large volumes of starchy foods. In modern conditions, accumulation of nutritional, physiological and genetic factors increases the risk of metabolic disorders related to the consumption of high-starch food.

Keywords: food ecology, food consumption, carbohydrate metabolism disorders, amylase, Nenets, Yakuts.