The peoples of the Amur region

Reisen und Forschungen im Amur-Lande in den Jahren 1854-18563 • Published In 1895 • Pages: iv, x, 1-310 , plates I-IX incl. maps, iv, xx, 311-630 , plates X-XLVI, iv, xvi, 631-776 , i, plates XLVII-LXX

By: Shrenk, Leopol'd Ivanovich, Nagler, Alois.

The author presents a thorough ethnographical and historical description of the peoples of the Amur region, Manchuria, and Sakhalin, with the main emphasis upon the Gilyak. For comparative purposes a large amount of data about the peoples of the northern Circum-Pacific area are given. The particular location and social connection with the larger ethnic units are conscientiously marked down for each group under discussion. Schrenck stresses the ecological approach, paying due consideration to the natural and human environment. Time periods are never mixed up, and predictions for the future development of the peoples of the Amur region under the heavy impact of civilization are made on the basis of comparative material. The author is highly critical in his evaluation of data, his own field data as well as those stemming from the various kinds of literature. As a basic asset to proper field work he points out the knowledge of the native language. He himself learned Gilyak and some Tungusic languages for research purposes. In regard to its physical make-up, the document is divided into three major division, the first of which contains introductory information pertinent to the time period of the study and other items of a general background nature, then a more specific portion dealing with geographical and historical data in reference to the Amur River area. This latter portion is divided into three sections, the first of which contains information on the identification and location of the various indigenous peoples of the Amur region; section two contains data on the residential shifts of the population in historical times, along with an examination and interpretation of the tribal names current (at the time of the author's study) in the Amur region; section three deals primarily with the origin and further division of the Amur people according to language and physical nature (skull form and physiognomy). The second major division of the document, which in turn is subdivided into seven sections (sections 4-10), deals chiefly with the material culture of the Amur people, such as house types, storehouses and depositories, population density and effects of war and disease on the population, foods, household utensils, liquors and tobacco, external appearance of the people (clothing, hair styles, etc.), means of transportation, fishing and marine hunting, hunting of land animals, weapons and protective body armor, and trade. The third and final major part of the source (sections 11-13 plus two appendices) deals primarily with social organization and religion, as for example, various aspects of family life, marriage, morality, division of labor in the household, childbirth, child rearing, slaves, inheritance, and blood revenge, social relations (property, wealth, hospitality) magical control of storms, gift giving, time reckoning, and various forms of recreation. A major portion of the remainder of the source deals with the bear festival ceremonies. The two appendices contain data on the religious concepts of the Amur people, and beliefs about life and death and the treatment of the dead.
Cultural identity and pride
Settlement patterns
Inter-community relations
Inter-ethnic relations
Traditional history
Religious beliefs
Kin relationships
External relations
External trade
Cult of the dead
Burial practices and funerals
Verbal arts
Visual arts
Acculturation and culture contact
Sociocultural trends
HRAF PubDate
Sub Region
North Asia
Document Type
Creator Type
Document Rating
5: Excellent Primary Data
Sigrid Khera ; John Beierle ; 1967-1968
Field Date
Coverage Date
Coverage Place
lower Amur River and Sakhalin Island, Russia
Leopold von Schrenck
Three separate Tables of Contents are to be found in this document, one for each major division, the first appearing on p. ii ff., the second on p. 431a ff., and the third on p. 1026c ff. Besides the information on the Gilyak, this document also contains comparative data on the following ethnic groups and areas: RX1 Southeast Siberia, RX3 Goldi (Kile, Negidal, Olcha, Orochi, Orok and Samagir), RU5 Tungus (Birar, Manegir, Solon, and Orochon), AG1 Historical Manchuria, AG4 Manchu, AG5 Dagur, RY2 Chukchee, RY3 Kamchadal, RY4 Koryak, RY5 Yuit, AB2 Feudal Japan, AB6 Ainu, NA6 Aleut, and ND2 Eskimo. Material headed Daur on pp. 105-108, 334-362, 365-373 probably refers to the Dagur AG5 and not to the Tungus Ru5.
Translation of: Die Völker des Amur-Landes]
Includes bibliographical references
Translated for the HRAF files by Alois Nagler