Винокурова Л.И.  

Hunting in rural communities of Yakutia:   sustainability and flexibility of traditions

ABSTRACT: Hunting in Yakutia remains a living culture, extremely interesting in its development. Over the past decades, in Yakutia hunting as a traditional activity is in the midst of complex adaptation to changing economic, legal, cultural and other realities. Undoubtedly, the hunting in the foreseeable past has faced serious challenges due to socio-economic and natural processes, which could not but affect its internal content and external forms. On archival and literary sources, one can compare the preservation' level of the hunting traditions of the indigenous peoples of Yakutia, for example, in the first decades and already in the last third of the twentieth century. Special attention will be paid to the Anabar region with a multi-ethnic population, which was engaged in hunting along with reindeer husbandry. During our fieldworks from the 1990s to 2019 in the rural communities of Yakutia, both relative stability and the adaptive flexibility of hunting traditions were recorded. A visible part of the preservation of the hunting culture is the existence of hunting rites and customs. The collected materials, including interviews with hunters of different generations, reveal interesting snapshots of the hunting traditions in rural communities. As our experience in ethnological expertise in the republic shows, the issues of the approach of rural residents to the hunting grounds and nature against the backdrop of changing socio-economic and legal circumstances, including relations with transport and mining companies, are actualized.

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