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ARCTIC RURAL SETTLEMENTS OF YAKUTIA: RECONSTRUCTION OF SOVIET EVERYDAY LIFE

L. Vinokurova
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

The social history of the resource-rich arctic territories of Yakutia has not been studied with much attention; historiography of rural settlements and rural population is especially scarce. It was during the Soviet times that there were cardinal changes in the way of life of arctic rural residents. Therefore, the historical reconstruction of the everyday life of the Socialism era on new documental sources, including the oral history materials, fills a special lacuna in the historiography of the Arctic. Methods of comparative analysis and historical retrospective were used in this study. In this paper the results of the project 17-11-14003 with the support of RFBR were used.
The space of rural arctic daily life has narrowed in second half of XX century. This was primarily due to the transfer of the indigenous population to sedentary. Their everyday life got unified with that of the rest of the population of the state and became "medium-Soviet". In the reconstruction of the history of soviet daily life in Yakutia it was important to study the social state of health of nomads and their evaluation of their own identity. A complex, sometimes even dualistic, picture was highlighted here.
On the one hand, the social support of the rural population has had a positive impact on the level and quality of life of reindeer herders and hunters. Simple workers of sovkhoses felt themselves not only as an object of state patronage, but also as a part of a single social organism. On the other hand, there were obvious ethno-cultural losses, in particular, at the level of daily life there appeared a gap between the generations of the northerners. The transfer of economic and cultural traditions from ancestors and parents to youth was interrupted. The traditional labor of reindeer herders and hunters gradually lost its social prestige.
The everyday practices in the arctic rural settlements of Yakutia were influenced by state policy: the official priority of extracting industry and anti-nomadic position determined who would dominate the grid of social relations.

Keywords: the Arctic, Rural Yakutia, everyday life, indigenous peoples, social anthropology, nomadic way of life


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