Accepted Paper:

Human and Reindeer: Co-survival strategies (Tofalars' and Evenks' reindeer herder communities in modern Siberia case-studies)  

Author:

Konstantin Klokov (Saint-Petersburg State University)

Paper short abstract:

Human and reindeer co-existence in Siberian rural communities study has shown differences in reindeer herding. Tofalars ride reindeer while hunting but they can replace them with horses. In contrast Evenks do not so much keep reindeer as reindeer support people giving them opportunity to live decently

Paper long abstract:

Up to the present there are many indigenous communities in Siberian taiga whose life is connected with reindeer herding. However, the role of reindeer in different communities is significantly different. The research carried out in three settlements: Alygzher in Irkutsk area (about 1000 people, 700 of which are Tofalars, keep 400 reindeer); Tiania in Yakutiya (500 people, 410 of which are Evenks, keep 2700 reindeer in 3 herds); Surinda in Evenkiya (470 people, 450 of which are Evenks, keep 3000 reindeer in 8 herds), has shown the difference in reindeer herding. It is not steady in all the three communities; the probability of its loss in the nearest future cannot be excluded.

Tofalars ride reindeer while hunting but they can easily replace them with horses. Tofalars living standards are high and they are almost independent of reindeer as well as their reindeer don't need much human management or care.

In Tiania reindeer herders are poor and constitute a separate social group supported by the local authorities as reindeer herding gives the community an opportunity to receive state subsidiaries.

In Surinda, Evenks live in extreme poverty and are highly alcohol addicted though reindeer herders don't turn to it while staying in taiga. Here people do not so much keep reindeer as reindeer support people giving them opportunity to live decently. The one who loses reindeer turns poverty-struck.

As interviews and observations showed different methods of reindeer herd management and caring are used in the three communities. The reindeer behavior also differs greatly.

Panel P23
Collaboration and partnership in human-animal communities: reconsidering ways of learning and communication