Adaev V.N.

Colonisation models of remote taiga areas by Russian fur hunters and fishermen of the Middle and Lower Irtysh River region in the 20th century

The Russian colonists, inhabiting southern and mid-taiga regions of Western Siberia since the 17th c., always relied heavily on hunter-gathering in their subsistence. The reasons for this were the obvious difficulties of northern agriculture and the economic benefits that hunting, fishing and gathering brought, including their significant commercial value. The active development of the commercial harvesting among the Russian Siberians already in the 19th c. was hampered by the inaccessibility of many valuable hunting and fishing areas – first of all, remote taiga territories, which were in patrimonial land tenure of the indigenous inhabitants. The process of settlers' penetration into such territories, which unfolded in the 20th c., still has not been considered in detail in historical and ethnographic literature. The paper discusses the free colonization of the Demyanka River basin (Uvatsky District of the Tyumen region, Russia) by Russians in the first half of the 20th c. based on field and archival data, as well as publications of the 1900-1930s. The main research methods include systematic and comparative historical analyses. It has been concluded that migrants from the Middle and Lower Irtysh regions populated the neighboring deep taiga territory using different routes; they presented two noticeably different models of colonization. The migration took place in several waves, but the most significant happened in the 1930s. The majority of the migrants were Russian Siberian old-timers who had the necessary experience and knowledge of the local conditions. For a substantial number of the Russian Irtysh region settlers peasants, hunters and fishermen the departure to the taiga became an escape from the external social pressure and government control, allowing them to improve their economic well-being. In this regard, surrounded by swamps impassable and vast area of the Demyanka River basin for several decades represented a reliable refuge for fugitives who wanted to be beyond the easy reach of the state.

Key words: Siberian ethnography, Russian Siberian old-timers, taiga hunting-fishing economy, forced migration, routine resistance of peasants.


Sodnompilova M.M., Nanzatov B.Z.

The «bone» version of the anthropomorphic model in the traditional worldview of the Turko-Mongols of Inner Asia: images, meaning, functions

The human body, its structure, appears as a universal model of the structure of the world around us and the society. Through the anatomical code, the Universal chaos is set in order, structures arise, hierarchies are established. The most illustrative example of a structure is the human skeleton. The purpose of this article is to identify the entire known corpus of information about this anthropomorphic model and to reconstruct the meaning and functions of the “bone” system in the worldview and life of the Turko-Mongols of Inner Asia. Historical, ethnographic and folklore materials represented the sources of the research. The methods used were comparative historical analysis which helps to identify common features in understanding and interpretation of natural phenomena and cultural objects in the Turko-Mongolian world, and the method of cultural and historical reconstruction, which allows to determine the logic of the archaic conceptions. In the culture of the Turko–Mongolian populations of Inner Asia, the anthropomorphic model in one of its variants, expressed in the skeleton, is extremely important for organising and regulating the life of society. In the nomadic culture, an extensive complex of ideas has been identified, related to the «bone» version of the anthropomorphic model and representing different ideas. The main ideas consider bones of a person as a life resource of their family (in case of animals their species), closely connected with the generation counting system and the perception of the degree of kinship. These perceptions substantiate the ideas of the necessity to preserve the skeleton after the death of a person (and all living creatures in general, especially revered animals), and funeral traditions, also confirmed by linguistic data. The evolution of beliefs based on vitality contained in the bones was reflected in the religious customs of the hunting and fishing complex, the ritual practices of the daily life of nomads, accompanied by the slaughter of animals. The concept of «bone» and its derivatives in the worldview of the Turko-Mongols is associated with views about the social structure of the community, the state of the entire organism as a whole, the dignity and character of a person.

Key words: Turko-Mongolian peoples, Inner Asia, traditional world view, anthropomorphic model, bone.


Zamyatin D.N.

Post-urbanism and cold: geo-cultural images and representations of cultural landscapes of the Northern and Arctic cities

The purpose of this article is to show the specifics of the formation of cultural landscapes and geo-cultural images of Northern and Arctic cities within the concept of post-urbanism. The ontological and phenomenological category of cold, crucial for understanding of this specificity, has a decisive influence on the formation of both material and expressive (mental) environments and identities of the inhabitants of the Northern cities. Cultural landscapes of cold represent an ambivalent anthropological phenomenon. This phenomenon captures the complex integrity of the unique geo-cultural imagery, spatial representations, and a system of adaptation patterns to low temperatures, and their consequences. The rise and fall of the Northern and Arctic cities, in conjunction with history of development of particular countries and regions, show the fragility of their cultural landscapes, whose representations may reflect the stages of decline, ruining or long-term conservation of residential areas, administrative and industrial buildings, technological and public infrastructure. Geo-cultural images of the Northern and Arctic cities are genetically linked to the increased mobility of their founders and inhabitants. The same Northern city can «produce» many differentiated images of cold, due to its geo-cultural patchiness. The image of cold can be considered as an important component of the symbolic asset of the Northern and Arctic cities, as well as a field of implementation and struggle of various post-colonial practices. Cold as an autonomous ontology and cultural landscape of the Northern city can be a phenomenological basis for the dynamic post-urbanism of the Northern and Arctic territories. The phenomenon of co-spatiality, fundamental for understanding the post-urban trends of social development, acquires a special configuration in the cultural landscapes of the Northern cities, contributing to the enrichment of the semantic space of post-urbanism in general. In the future, geo-cultural and cultural-landscape studies of the Northern and Arctic cities may become some of the most important sources for accelerated development of new ontologies of mobile settlement systems.

Key words: post-urbanism, cold, cultural landscape, geo-cultural image, Northern city, co-spatiality, identity, post-colonial practices.


Cherepanov M.S.

«Khatam-ash» ritual: research experience and perspectives in the local Islamic context of the Tyumen Region

The author uses the results of previous studies and experience of his own field research to problematize the study of the «Khatam-ash» ritual as a part of the local Islamic context in the Tyumen Region. A. Shahab was followed in understanding of the local Islamic context (Con-Text in loco) as a complex of meanings and practices that was formed as a result of previous hermeneutic interactions with the Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad. The «Khatam-ash» ritual is understood as a prescription/script (written or not) that includes sacrifice (depending on the occasion), uttering of Niyyah, recitation of Qur’an, collective supplication, giving of Sadaqah, and a collective meal. Fieldwork materials gathered by the author in towns and rural settlements of the Tyumen Region in the second decade of the 2000s served as the main sources for the article. The author also analyzed publications by historians, ethnographers and social anthropologists, who studied similar phenomena in Russian, Central Asian, and North African regions. We conclude that Khatam-ash is the main ritual that makes up the local Tatarian Islamic context in the Tyumen Region. This prescription underlies most of the home collective prayer meetings to commemorate one's passing away or to wish for the happiness of the living ones. The local people are familiar with this ritual since early childhood, because, through its ceremonies, they get acquainted with and constantly witness manifestations of Islam among their dear and close ones. Khatam-ash is the most affordable and comfortable way to satisfy the existential needs of the people who consider themselves Muslims, but who do not know how to behave in mosques and doubt if they have a right to attend a mosque. Through Khatam-ash, Tatars maintain and establish relations with their relatives. In the long term perspective, the author considers a detailed description and comparison of regional and local features of the performance of the ritual.

Key words: khatam-ash, ritual, Islam, Con-Text in loco, Muslims, Tatars, Tyumen Region, Siberia.


Liskevich N.A., Porshunova L.S.

From the «point of growth» to a remote area: the socio-economic problems of the northern settlements

In this article, we aim to determine the dynamics of the position of a territory in the structure of communication network, the transport system of the region, to assess the degree of accessibility for the settlements located in the borderzone in the basin of the Lyapin and Nadym Rivers (North-Western Siberia), and to identify the problems related to the low accessibility of residence areas. The sources for the research were the authors' fieldwork materials, acquired during the expeditions to the Berezovsky district of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region of Ugra (2012, 2018, 2019) and Nadym district of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region (2017, 2019). It has been revealed that, during the 20th century, there was a gradual change in the status of the settlements they ceased being transit centres on important for Siberia trade routes. Despite the qualitative change in travel technologies from the beginning of the 20th century, residents of remote settlements are limited in their movements, which is associated with the inaccessibility and cost of travel. The reason behind this is the lack of roads, railways, permanent navigable waterways, and distance from transport hubs. The transportation network, linked to industrial settlements and cities, creates conditions for territorial inequality, socio-territorial stratification and socio-economic asymmetry. An important resource for inhabitants of these poorly accessible areas are waterways and frozen soils, which allow building and using of the so-called winter roads that can be operated only in winter conditions.

Key words: Berezov district, Nadym district, Saranpaul, Nyaksimvol, Kutopiyugan, Nyda, Nori, transit centre, transport potential, automobile road for a winter period («zimnik»), social fears.


Ganopolsky M.G.

Anthropology of a city: organization, communication, information

The article is concerned with the anthropology of a city. As an instrument of conceptualization, we used a three-dimensional scheme: organization communication information, which allows giving the urban interpretation for each of the coordinates, and then, using the two-dimensional projections (organization-information, organization-communication, information-communication), to develop a concept of the three-dimensional image of city. It has been proposed to distinguish three types of organizational structures when considering the city as an organization: hierarchical, algorithmic, and relational. The necessity of curbing the growth of the city and solidating it in the context of communication has produced a number of projections. One of them, "A compact city or city of short distances" has been considered. The concept of a compact city is based on the cost-effective public transport system, and it encourages pedestrian traffic and cycling. When considering the city as an organization, the main focus lies on its structure. From a topological point of view, it has been proposed to distinguish between three types of such structures: hierarchical, algorithmic, and relational. A hierarchical structure represents a tree of power hierarchy, but its content is not necessarily associated with consistent delegation of authority power (from top to bottom) or gradual accumulation of information (from the bottom up). Thus, a library catalogue, as well as other classification means, is arranged on the principle of hierarchy. An algorithmic structure is a scheme of production process which consists of a set of sequential operations. Its mathematical model appears as a network diagram. Typical examples of such structures include an algorithm of construction of a building, from foundation to roof, a conveyed assembly of complex technical devices, etc. In relation to a city, this structure can be filled with different content. Thus, carrying out of repair and maintenance in one of the city networks often requires not only formal coordination, but also a network schedule of joint work with other community services (water, electricity grid, heating, communication lines, etc.). A relational structure is a group of objects of arbitrary nature, usually of the same type, singled out from the total quantity of objects on the basis of any common feature. A complex of educational or medical institutions, trade companies, domestic services, etc. could be an example of such group within the organizational structure of a city.

Key words: urbanization, management, typology of organizing structures, networks diagram, housing and utilities infrastructure, urban utopia, compact city, the city as a cocial laboratory.


Kliueva V.P.

Genius loci and/or city-forming enterprise: scientific centre as assemblage point (case study of the city of Apatity)

Based on the theory of resilience, the author analyses the role of science in the life-sustaining practices of northern cities on the example of the Kola Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KSC RAS) in Apatity (Murmansk Region). The resilience of the territory is considered as a successful adaptation to changing conditions manifested in a crisis situation. The stability of the sociocultural resilience subsystem is ensured by the presence of the scientific community in the city. According to the typology of Arctic cities, Apatity is classified as a non-capital intracontinental university centre; the criterion for inclusion in the category is the presence of the KSC RAS in the city. It is the only RAS structure located in the Arctic. In the Kola Peninsula, the scientific institution has existed since 1930; since 1961, the majority of scientific institutions has been located in the Apatity Akademgorodok (Science Campus). Narrative interviews with residents of Apatity and Kirovsk became the source base of the study. The analysis of the interviews was conducted by coding method. The sample included citizens employees of the scientific centre and those not related to it. Thirty interviews have been conducted. As a hypothesis, the thesis was put forward that, at the heart of the local community of Apatity, there have been and still remain scientists and people with an understanding of the activities of the KSC. Subsequently, this part of the population forms behavioural practices and sociocultural values for all residents of the city. The key research question was whether the presence of the KSC RAS was noticeable for different categories of citizens, and above all, for non-scientists. The city’s community considers separately KSC as a scientific organization, and Akademgorodok as a central urban neighbourhood. On the mental map, there is the Akademgorodok, which plays the role of Ge-nius loci. The Kola Scientific Center is perceived as a city-forming enterprise, although it has not been anymore since the early 1990s. The Kola Scientific Center is seen by the Apatity citizens as a place of attraction and a point of assembly of the urban community, without which it can lose the core factor of its sociocultural identity and merge with the neighbouring industrial Kirovsk.

Key words: Kola Scientific Center, Akademgorodok, Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, resi-lience.