Indigenous knowledge and subsistence change in northwestern Yakutia: The shift from herding to hunting among the Siberian Evenki

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines ethnographic findings concerning a group of Siberian Evenki people living in the arctic forest tundra region of northwestern Yakutia. The group is of particular interest because of the changes that took place after the collapse of the Soviet Union, whereby its basic subsistence pattern shifted from reindeer herding to hunting. As the research will demonstrate, indigenous knowledge is crucial for understanding this transition. I argue that the extensive and flexible knowledge of these people regarding subsistence and the natural environment is not tied to any one particular subsistence pattern, whether hunting, gathering, or herding, and they are able to adjust their practices to the changing social and environmental conditions. In place of a limited and stable body of knowledge transmitted from one generation to the next in a particular ethnic group, indigenous knowledge covers a wide range of information and has considerable historical depth that can be tapped into for managing subsistence in different surroundings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-47
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Ethnology
Volume71
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 24

Keywords

  • Evenki
  • Hunter-herder continuum
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Reindeer
  • Siberia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Anthropology
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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