27 May 2005

Siberia's Native People

I've been reading Anna Reid's The Shaman's Coat: A Native History of Siberia for the last little while. I've read histories written by more engaging writers, but the topic is fascinating. There are bits and pieces about the Ainu, the Buryat, and other indigenous people of Siberia and even though this isn't very detailed since it covers nine very different ethnic groups, it gave me a little direction and filled in a few of the gaps I had about Siberia.

I also searched for more information and found this very interesting site that has information about a large number of ethnic groups in Russia. It isn't very current- only up to the early 1990s, but still has a lot to read. This site is more up-to-date, but without quite as much information (and it's main source appears to be the one I listed just before this one).

This site is about Chukotka in the very northeastern corner of Siberia. This one is about the Koryak on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

As you would expect, there are a lot of issues surrounding all of these people. Their history is in many ways similar to what happened to the native American and Australians. You can read about the languages of Siberia at Ethnologue (which was recently updated), about the problems that melting Arctic ice has caused in Siberia.

We're off for a while. Hopefully a nice jaunt will get me out of the funk I've been in for a while.

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