Glebova E.V.

Review of the catalog «Ulchi» from the collection of the Khabarovsk Regional Museum n.a. N.I. Grodekov

The article presents the analysis of the catalog «Ulchi» by the Khabarovsk Regional Museum n.a. N.I. Grodekov. The performance of the local museum is considered in the context of all-Russian experience of cataloging of the museum collections, which is of a particular importance for historical science. The author examines the program of scientific cataloging of the museum collections, featuring the traditional culture of almost all indigenous peoples of the Russian Far East. We conclude that the series of ethnographic catalogues of the museum has made a significant contribution to the Far East museum studies and ethnography. The new catalog «Ulchi» presents the largest ethnographic collection of the museum, which characterizes the material and spiritual culture of one of the eight indigenous populations of the Lower Amur River Region — the Ulchi. The catalog includes 808 ethnographic artifacts — household items, clothes, fishing and hunting equipment, items of ritual culture, shamanism and family relations of the Ulchi (19th–21st c.). Specific sections include more than 300 photographs and negatives (19th–20th c.), as well as detailed background information. Some artifacts, such as ritual sculptures, shaman clothing and attributes, utensils for ritual rites, ancient devices for fishing etc., are published for the first time. The catalog was prepared by a large team of authors involving Ulchi craftsmen and linguists. The catalog «Ulchi» introduces new materials into scientific discourse, and it can serve as a source for comparative ethnographic, historical and museum studies analysis. It has been emphasized that the newly published catalog of the Khabarovsk Regional Museum n.a. N.I. Grodekov allows representatives of this people to connect with their own cultural heritage; it contributes to the formation of their historical memory and identity.

Key words: the Lower Amur, Ulchi, traditional culture, scientific cataloging.


Agapov M.G.

Soviet experience of development of the Soviet Arctic in view of modern problems. Review of Zubkov K.I., Karpov V.P. Development of the Russian Arctic: Soviet experience in the context of current national strategy (on the example of the Ural Far North and Western Siberia). Moscow: Political encyclopedia, 2019. 367 p.

Discussed in this review are the results of the research presented in the monograph of specialists in Northern studies K.I. Zubkov and V.P. Karpov «Development of the Russian Arctic: Soviet experience in the context of current national strategy (on the example of the Ural Far North and Western Siberia)». The reviewer notes that, in general, the study follows the pattern of state-centrism, teleologism and geopolitical alarmism typical for modern Russian Arctic historiography. Among the most important theses of the authors of this peer-reviewed monograph, are the following ones: (1) the transport and economic development was the basis of the Russian / Soviet Arctic exploration program; (2) the Soviet strategy of the Far North development dictated mainly the technocratic and commodity character of the territory exploitation; (3) modern Russia inherits the definition of the priorities of the state policy in the Arctic Region from the Soviet Union and relies on the territorial and production complexes created back in the USSR. The reviewer expresses serious doubts about the scientific productivity of the classic geopolitical paradigm used by the authors of the monograph: geared towards large-scale generalizations, it is simply unable to capture the full range of contradictions arising in the process of exploration of the Arctic Region. Hence the authors’ tendency to present the entire process of Arctic Region exploration as predetermined, while in reality the history of the Russian Arctic Region colonization is full of collisions; it is more intermittent than consistent. In particular, draws attention the constant reproduction of the same topoi in the rhetoric of Arctic Region exploration. For example, from age to age, it has been repeated that the Northern Sea Route is just about to become the largest transnational waterway. The reviewer notes the ambiguity of practical recommendations of the authors. Thus, repeatedly expressing the idea of Russia’s interest in the international cooperation in the development of the Arctic, the authors are concerned to the same extent that foreign partners may force Russia out of the region. The review is aimed at opening a debate on approaches to understanding the Soviet experience in the Arctic Region development.

Key words: Arctic Region, Northern Sea Route, Western Siberia, the Urals, geopolitics, development of the North.