Accepted Paper:

The changes of the notion of land of Khanty in oil development in north-western Siberia  


Yuka Oishi (Tokyo Metropolitan University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines how the notion of land of Khanty in north-western Siberia has changed through soviet collectivization and oil development, to consider relationships between land and man with long-term perspective.

Paper long abstract:

Oil and gas industry in north-western Siberia has been developing since 1960's and nowadays these extractive industries of this area became one of the important parts of worldwide oil and gas production. On the other hand, indigenous peoples known as Khanty and Forest Nenets live in this oilfield and practice reindeer herding, fishing and hunting. Oil development has negative and positive effects on Khanty's life, as reduction of pastures, changing environments and chance of employment by oil company.

In this paper, author focus on the historical changes of land notion of Khanty people with a long-term perspective in soviet collectivization and oil development. First, she looks at changes of the meaning of the Russian term, 'rodvye ugod'ia (translated to kin land or family territories)' to show the process which the word got to be used in contracts for oil exploring. Second, she examines the policy history of oil development and inhabitant's reactions to it, and compares the notion of land of Khanty and the legal term of land. Finally, she demonstrates that the 'rodvye ugod'ia' had the religious meaning and borders of actual land use, but after the change of the ways of land use in the soviet period, the borders of the notion of land became fixed in its contracts and polices of oil development.

Panel P043
Development and pastoralists (Commission on Nomadic Peoples/NME panel)