A new old hypothesis of the origin of the Yakuts (on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of A.A. Savvin,

a specialist in folklore, ethnographer, and local historian)

Bravina R.I. (Yakutsk, Russian Federation)


                    page 94105


 A.A. Savvin (18961951) was one of the first Yakut ethnographers and folklore specialists who left huge scientific heritage of which only a small article was published during his lifetime. The Manuscript collection of IHRISN of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science keeps his personal collection consisting of about 100 items with a total amount of more than 500 printed pages. The guiding idea of his works was the question of the origin of the Yakuts. A.A. Savvin didn't have time to arrange his views into a well-knit system during his lifetime, but nevertheless, his notes and reflections based on a wide use of folklore, ethnographic, linguistic, archeological and historical sources have stood the test of time. The aim of this article is to select, order and systematize his random notes and essays and to reconstruct thereby the author's vision of the problem of the origin of the Yakuts. Many ideas stated by A.A. Savvin in his manuscripts find scientific support nowadays, confirming thereby his deep understanding of the scientific problem under consideration, for example, periodization of the ethnogenesis of the Yakuts in three main stages, distinguishing of the layer of Yakut-Hun parallels, personification of ancient and medieval clans which made up the central core of the Sakha people and their culture, early (prior to Russian) occupation of Northeast outlying areas by nomadic herders, etc. Hence, this article considers the modern conceptual ideas of the problem of the ethnogenesis of the Yakuts, basing on cross-disciplinary analysis of the latest paleoethnographic data and archaeological artifacts of the last several years. 


Key words: A.A. Savvin, hypothesis, ethnogenesis, the Yakuts, interaction, nations, culture.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2017-37-2-094-105              




R.I. Bravina

Institute for Humanities Research and Indigenous Studies of the North, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Petrovskogo st., 1, 677027, Yakutsk, Russian Federation