book chapter

The Samoyed in their domestic and social life

Ministerstva Gosudarstvennykh ImushchestSanktpeterburg • Published In 1847 • Pages:

By: Islavin, Vladimīr, Wise, Sheldon.

In spite of the fact that this book was written more than a century ago it contains remarkably correct and shrewd observations on an objective level about the social and economic life of the Samoyeds. Islavin was sent to make these observations as an official of the Russian Ministry of State Property. He visited the Samoyeds of the Mezen, Kanin, Timan, and Bolshezemel tundras. In chapter one, following a short introduction, he gives a brief but excellent topographical description of these areas. In chapter two he gives an historical sketch of the settling of the tundras based on data from documents, hitherto unpublished, in the possession of the Ministry. According to these data it can be proved that the Samoyeds were the original settlers of this area. The Zyrians settled around the Pechora River in 1627. This district is known as the Izhma District. The Russians first arrived in 1667 and settled around Pustozersk. Chapter three contains a vivid description of the domestic and economic life, reindeer breeding, hunting and fishing activities and the corresponding working relations existing between three groups; the Samoyeds, Zyrians, and Russians. This is a most interesting and important study in acculturation well based on statistical evidence. Especially important are his data on class formation based on wealth which is, in most cases, the number of reindeer. A study of the methods used by the Zyrians and the Russians in exploiting the Samoyeds is also significant. In his final chapter, he gives a brief but excellent description of the religious life of the Samoyeds including both Christian and 'pagan' groups.
Historical reconstruction
Ownership and control of capital
Acculturation and culture contact
Ethnic stratification
Pastoral activities
Labor relations
Division of labor by gender
Sacred objects and places
Purification and atonement
Gender status
Accumulation of wealth
Heating and lighting equipment
HRAF PubDate
Sub Region
North Asia
Document Type
book chapter
Creator Type
Government Official
Document Rating
5: Excellent Primary Data
Stephen F. Borhegyi; 1953; Teferi A. Adem; 2011
Coverage Date
Coverage Place
Russian North, Russia
Vladimīr Islavin
Translation of: [Samoiedy v domashnem i obschestvennom bytu]
The original Russian text is included in this database but it is not indexed for subjects
Translated in part for the Cross-Cultural Survey, and for HRAF in part by Sheldon Wise ca. 1953
Includes bibliographical references