Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

The Koryaks are the main aboriginal population of the Koryak Autonomous District (okrug), a part of Kamchatka Oblast in Russia. The Koryak are divided into two groups distinguished by economic activity: Chavchuvens (nomadic reindeer herders) and Nymylan (settled fishermen and sea hunters).


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Asia --North Asia



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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

There are six documents in the eHRAF Collection of Ethnography Koryak collection. The major work is by Jochelson (1905-1908; document no. 1) on the Reindeer and Maritime Koryak, covering religion, myths, material culture, and social organization. Jochelson discusses the relationships between peoples of the North Pacific and Artic regions. Antropova (1964, no. 17) provides a brief overview of the culture under the Soviets. Barrett-Hamilton (1898, no. 22) and Kennan (1870, no. 11) are travelers' accounts. Krasheninnikov (1764, no. 23) was a botanist, who wrote the earliest account of the Reindeer Koryak. King (1999, no. 32) did his fieldwork in the late 1990s and writes an interesting article on the discourse of bloodsucking in context of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in the collection, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

This culture summary is from the article, "Koryaks and Kerek," by Innokentii C. Vdovin and Alexandr P. Volodin, in Russia and Eurasia/China, Encyclopedia Of World Cultures, Vol. 6. 1994. Paul Friedrich and Norma Diamond, eds. Boston, Mass.: G. K. Hall & Co. Information on the Kereks was deleted by Ian Skoggard in October, 2002. Ian Skoggard wrote the synopsis.

Overview by

Ian Skoggard

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