Grigorev S.A.


The article is written on the basis of comprehensive studies carried out at the place of compact residence of the Evens, one of the Northern aboriginal minorities of Russia. Characteristics of contemporary socio-economic, demographic and ethno-cultural situation of the local indigenous population were examined during field observations in Lamynkhinsky nasleg of Kobiayskiy region of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Statistical social indicators of the settlements in recent years were also studied, a survey and interviews were carried out among the local residents. The geographic factors cause challenges: our collected data indicate the presence of latent unemployment. As a result the migration persists at high level. High percentage of cancer-related mortality is to be underlined among negative social facts. Population of the nasleg needs the material base of social institutions to be improved, at first, and housing construction to be accelerated. Our field study shows that the natural isolation and limited linkages with communities related to other cultures play a positive role in maintaining the Even language and culture. Also, positive demographic trends are observed in Lamynkhinsky nasleg. The birth rate exceeds the death rate, and the youth is prevalent in the age structure. Local traditional economy has a potential for the development. These factors have a positive impact on the modern subsistence of the Evens. It should be noted that these realities of Lamynkhinsky nasleg, according to the author opinion, are typical for the majority of isolated settlements in the Russian North.

Key words: Yakutia, aboriginal peoples of the North, the Evens, ethnic demography, local community, ethnic culture, socio-economic development.


Bakieva G.T.


The article deals with insufficiently studied issues related to education reforms among the Siberian Tatars. Peculiarities of the development of education in Tobolsk District (County) in 1918–1930 are brought to light for the first time. That period was characterized as a transition from a traditional religious school to a secular labor one. In that period, schools for the Tatar population of Tobolsk District were national, which corresponded to the proclaimed principles of the Soviet state. The authorities carried out an active policy towards education reform among the Siberian Tatars of Tobolsk County, taking into account their national characteristics and, to some extent, maintaining continuity of education. The schools which already existed were simply included into the state network, and the teachers of the new schools were those who received the traditional Muslim education. A special feature of the control over the system of education for the Tobolsk District Tatars during the period under consideration was the fact that the organization of educational field was being conducted by the Muslim subdivision, a specially created body affiliated with the District Department of Public Education, and the solution of financial and current matters was transferred to the local authorities. Due to objective reasons, the Soviet state was experien-cing great financial difficulties, and shifted logistical and financial support of the schools to the local population. The authorities failed to fully solve the main problem: to achieve mass literacy as soon as possible by introducing universal, compulsory, and free education. But still there were positive results, which certainly had been achieved thanks to the great efforts and enthusiasm of the local authorities and certain people of the regional education. Almost all maktabs, which were present in Tobolsk County, were incorporated into the network of public schools, turning from religious schools to the 1st degree schools. The number of schools, students and teachers was growing, there was co-education for boys and girls. Such events as congresses, educational courses and conferences contributed not only to improvement of professional level of the teachers, but also served as a tool for propaganda of socialist ideas among the indigenous population.

Key words: education, Siberian Tatars, the Soviet government, labor school, management, teachers' congresses, educational courses, Tobolsk District (County).


Istomin K.V., Liskevich N.A., Sharapov V.E.


In this paper, the authors attempt to reconstruct the history of the Eastern most compact group of the Izhma Komi currently known — the one living in the village of Samburg, Purovski District, Yamal-Nenets Autonomus Okrug, Russia. The authors also describe ethno-cultural processes (changes in material and spiritual culture) which have been going in the group as well as the distinct ways its members maintain, re-create and transform their ethnic identity. The research is based on the ethnographic observations and interviews performed by the authors in 2004, 2009 and 2016 as well as on published and unpublished (archival) documents. The arrival of the Komi population to the lower Pur and the establishment of the village of Samburg were related to the formation of the state reindeer herding enterprise (sovkhoz) «Purovski» in 1937. This sovkhoz was formed on the basis of the earlier «Kutopyuganski» sovkhoz, which was situated in Nadym District of YNAO. The personnel of this earlier sovkhoz, which now became the personnel of «Purovsky» enterprise, consisted of reindeer herding families originated from different villages with large Komi population situated in the former Tobolsk Gubernia. Many of these families were victims of the infamous dekulakization campaign (the campaign of political repressions, including deportations, against the wealthy peasants) of 1929–1931. Mainly due to ecological reasons, the Komi re-settlers in Samburg have not re-created the complex of settled culture and economy, which is traditional for the Izhma Komi, and have almost lost those aspects of spiritual culture that were related to this complex. At the same time, they retained and continue to retain the traditional complex of nomadic reindeer herding culture of the Izhma Komi and some elements of this complex have been borrowed by the local Nenets reindeer herders. Since the late 1930s, the Komi re-settlers maintain close contacts, including numerous inter-ethnic marriages, with the local tundra and forest Nenets. These contacts were made easier due to the Komi-Nenets bilingualism, which became widespread in the region. Currently, the majority of the local Komi live in mixed Komi-Nenets families. In these families, children are usually registered as Nenets in official documents. However, many of these Nenets unofficially identify themselves as Komi and express strong preference for Komi culture and language. Therefore, the process of assimilation of the Samburg Komi by the local Nenets is going on, but it has an interesting peculiarity: the assimilated Komi use and express their Nenets identity in official circumstances but retain their original ethnicity in the unofficial ones.

Key words: the Izhma Komi, reindeer herding, situational ethnicity, ethnic identity, sovkhoz «Purovski», Samburg.


Liskevich N.A., Masharipova A.H.


The features of the holiday “The Village Day” in the settlements, founded by the Komi on the territory of Western Siberia in the 1840s, are identified. The focus is made on the celebrations dedicated to the 170th anniversary of the village Saranpaul’ of Berezovsky District of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug — Yugra (15 September, 2012), and of the village of Ivanovka of Yalutorovsk District of Tyumen Oblast (7 July, 2014). The basic elements of the holiday, its functions in relation to the territory and population are highlighted in the article. «The Village Day» in the Komi settlements is characterized by a series of meaningful symbolic actions. The population reconstructs plots of the historical legends about the first settlers and difficulties of development of the new territory, which is related to the ancestor worship and emphasizes labour rights to the developed territory. They de-monstrate family heirlooms and/or reconstructed genealogies which embody the idea of a clan. They use their mother tongue for congratulations, and elements of traditional clothes or other cultural attributes which have a high semiotic status in this situation and emphasize group identity.

Key words: the Komi, the Zyrians, first settlers, holiday structure, historical memory.


Baiduzh M.I.


The article analyzes mythological beliefs about the parks, which are laid out at old cemeteries or very close to them in the Siberian cities of Tyumen and Tara. The complex of such beliefs is presented in the local narratives and urban practices that are transmitted and actualized among the people, who identify themselves with these cities. This research is based on the interviews with local people and regional historians and on the data of local media. The research points out a number of the most common motifs for constructing the image of «the park on bones» in the actual mythological landscape of the Siberian cities. First of all, there is a folk motif of «it is impossible to build something on the place of a burial». Its popularity is mainly based on the influence of images and plots of popular culture on the urban texts and practices. There are some other typical motifs, such as «this place attracts marginal people», «this place attracts some ghosts», and «the place can punish you for misbehaviour». The last motif is often accompanied by some reflections on the causes of punishment and on what kind of beha-vior is wrong in this special place. For example, Tara people believe that the fate of the city has changed from a positive (a successful merchant town) to a negative (a little depressing town) one, because of impoliteness to the old cemetery. Additionally, the version of «misbehaviour» depends on cultural identity of the person. The phenomenon of creating a park on the site of the old cemeteries requires symbolic understanding by the urban community and inscription of these positive and negative spaces into the urban mythological landscape with the help of the motifs that already potentially appear in the narratives.

Key words: mythological landscape, local narrative, urban text, Tyumen, Tara, cultural identity.