The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia (2020)

The Reindeer People Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia Since the last Ice Age the reindeer s extraordinary adaptation to cold has sustained human life over vast tracts of the earth s surface providing meat fur and transport Images carved into rocks an
  • Title: The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia
  • Author: Piers Vitebsky
  • ISBN: 9780618773572
  • Page: 426
  • Format: Paperback
  • Since the last Ice Age, the reindeer s extraordinary adaptation to cold has sustained human life over vast tracts of the earth s surface, providing meat, fur, and transport Images carved into rocks and tattooed on the skin of mummies hint at ancient ideas about the reindeer s magical ability to carry the human soul on flights to the sun These images pose one of the greatSince the last Ice Age, the reindeer s extraordinary adaptation to cold has sustained human life over vast tracts of the earth s surface, providing meat, fur, and transport Images carved into rocks and tattooed on the skin of mummies hint at ancient ideas about the reindeer s magical ability to carry the human soul on flights to the sun These images pose one of the great mysteries of prehistory the reindeer revolution, in which Siberian native peoples tamed and saddled a species they had previously hunted.Drawing on nearly twenty years of field work among the Eveny in northeast Siberia, Piers Vitebsky shows how Eveny social relations are formed through an intense partnership with these extraordinary animals as they migrate over the swamps, ice sheets, and mountain peaks of what in winter is the coldest inhabited region in the world He reveals how indigenous ways of knowing involve a symbiotic ecology of mood between humans and reindeer, and he opens up an unprecedented understanding of nomadic movement, place, memory, habit, and innovation.The Soviets attempts to settle the nomads in villages undermined their self reliance and mutual support In an account both harrowing and funny, Vitebsky shows the Eveny s ambivalence toward productivity plans and medals and their subversion of political meetings designed to control them The narrative gives a detailed and tender picture of how reindeer can act out or transform a person s destiny and of how prophetic dreaming about reindeer fills a gap left by the failed assurances of the state.Vitebsky explores the Eveny experience of the cruelty of history through the unfolding and intertwining of their personal lives The interplay of domestic life and power politics is both intimate and epic, as the reader follows the diverging fate of three charismatic but very different herding families through dangerous political and economic reforms The book s gallery of unforgettable personalities includes shamans, psychics, wolves, bears, dogs, Communist Party bosses, daredevil aviators, fire and river spirits, and buried ancestors The Reindeer People is a vivid and moving testimony to a Siberian native people s endurance and humor at the ecological limits of human existence.
    Reindeer People Pa Vitebsky, Piers Dec , The book s gallery of unforgettable personalities includes shamans, psychics, wolves, bears, dogs, Communist Party bosses, daredevil aviators, fire and river spirits, and buried ancestors The Reindeer People is a vivid and moving testimony to a Siberian native people s endurance and humor at the ecological limits of human existence. The Reindeer People Reindeer People, by Megan Lindholm The Reindeer People is the first in a series of reissues of Megan Lindholm s Robin Hobb classic backlist titles It is set in the harsh wilderness of a prehistoric North America, and tells the story of a tribe of nomads and hunters as they try to survive, battling against enemy tribes, marauding packs of wolves and the very land itself. The Reindeer People The Chukchi reindeer breeders are peculiar people They are nomads Reindeers are their welfare, the purport of life The mother reindeer is the main divine being it The Reindeer People Paleolithic The Reindeer People These photographs and text are from the excellent book by Ivar Lissner, translated into English by J Maxwell Brownjohn called Man, God and Magic , published in In , at the beginning of the Second World War, he wanted to enter the uncharted area of the Amur Bend, in Manchuria, at that time controlled by the Japanese. The Reindeer People Megan Lindholm Feb , The Reindeer People is the first in a series of reissues of Megan Lindholm s Robin Hobb classic backlist titles It is set in the harsh wilderness of a prehistoric North America, and tells the story of a tribe of nomads and hunters as they try to survive, The Reindeer People Living with Animals and Spirits in Jan , The Reindeer People Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia Since the last Ice Age, the reindeer s extraordinary adaptation to cold has sustained human life over vast tracts of the earth s surface, providing meat, fur, and transport. Life Among The Reindeer People NPR Life Among The Reindeer People In a land where the ground is always frozen, one creature has nourished man both physically and spiritually Anthropologist Piers Vitebsky discusses The Reindeer Myths and facts about Reindeer and the Sami People Mar , Thanks to Santa Claus, Reindeer are now part of the popular culture in all countries of the world and yet, lost between the Marketing of Christmas, there is a special group of people that have been connected with the Reindeer ever since Pre Historic times This is the story of the Sami people, Smi people But can they really fly A few facts on reindeer The
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      426 Piers Vitebsky
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    One Reply to “The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia”

    1. An absolutely fascinating and compelling journey through the Siberian Taiga that got me really invested from the very beginning, this one gets a 10 out of 10.

    2. This is one of the best non technical ethnographies I ve read, and maybe one of the best overall and I ve read quite a few Highly recommended even if you re not interested in anthropology Vitebsky s portraits of native people in Siberia are sympathetic, honest, un romantic, and incredibly powerful.

    3. The Siberian reindeer herders camp is a fairly intimate collection of perhaps a dozen people and a few small tents, surrounded by thousands of square miles of space One might mistakenly describe the space as empty, but in fact it is manifestly full Stands of larch, lichen, grasses, bogs and lakes adorn the mountain ranges and river systems that feed into the Arctic Ocean Bears, wolves, marmots, and other fur bearing mammals, as well as birds, fish and spirits live here Graves are carefully place [...]

    4. This is another classic example of how the work of an anthropologist could contribute to preserving the culture being studied This book is a result of knowledge accumulated throughout years of fieldwork, participating in the life of the people, called the Eveny in Northern Russia, whose life and culture have for generations depended on the domesticated reindeer and hunting animal They were the people of the land on the edge of modern civilization, but their daily life has also been, for better o [...]

    5. This is an excellent book The author spent many years living among the Eveny people and experienced first hand their trials, tribulations, and the politics of post USSR It shows the beauty and complex lives of the Eveny, as well as the tragedy that most indigenous people experience today I truly love this book and will put it on my shelf to re read it again later It is a beautiful book and I encourage everyone to read it.

    6. Moving, sometimes heartbreaking, study of a group of reindeer herders and their community in northern Russia After having the heart of their culture decimated by the Soviet Union, they are now having to find their way in a world where the institutions that replaced so much of their traditional way of life have, post perestroika, now also fallen away Beautifully written, thoughtful and even a little bit hopeful in the end

    7. Wonderful and important piece of writing Wonderful, because of its evocative use of prose and important, because he conjures up a whiff of a way of life, a relationship between humanity and the world we live in that has already largely disappeared There are lots of books that are well written, and I shan t dwell on that beyond observing that I wish I could write as well as Vitebsky does I m amused at the odd review elsewhere in this web site, chastising him for not writing the kind of erudite po [...]

    8. Above all, I cannot get over the weather in the Siberian taiga 20 hours of darkness in winters, warm weather being 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and saliva solidifying before hitting the ground The studied inhabitants of this region, the Eveny people, often sing songs on themes of mondji, or the quality of being self reliant, able to survive in extreme situations, and never giving up It was really inspiring to get insight on a people that have so few possessions and so few societal concerns, but seem t [...]

    9. An anthropologist s personal account of his time living with and studying the indigenous Eveny people of northeastern Siberia whose lives and livelihoods are interdependent with the wild reindeer herds they live among Vitebsky s stays began in the mid to late 1980 s he was the first Westerner to live among them since the 1930 s Because of that, he was in a unique position to see both the effect that Soviet collectivization had on the traditional practices of the nomadic Eveny which broke up the [...]

    10. This book isn t what I expected it to be The English language ethnographic literature on Altaic people remains sparse, so when I saw a 500 page book by an anthropologist, presenting primary data, I was relatively excited The prospect of fresh insights into herding practices and cosmologies to compare to my own research was too good an opportunity to pass up.What the book actually focuses on though, is the author s very personal impressions of life in Siberia throughout, the book is written in th [...]

    11. I like that the author, although an anthrologist, is open about his romantic view of the lives he is watching At the end when his wife and children come with him, it s nice to see her view as a psychologist, and the way his daughter sees animals as pets, not working animals Some cultural clarity.This is a really sad book in a lot of ways because of the heavy USSR oppression these people have to live their lives around I had to skip some of those parts, as it just put a grey shadow across these p [...]

    12. Fantastic book I saw this book by chance and am so glad I was able to read it It contains a thorough discussion of how reindeer are farmed with interesting details on how the ecology of a wide ranging ungulate is integrated into the operations of ranching harvesting managing nearly wild animals while retaining the essential evolutionary traits of a finely adapted species On top of that, you get a fascinating description of an ancient culture with details on how they relate to nature and spirits [...]

    13. Piers Vitebsky writes beautifully His love for a people he describes in this ethnography in no way interferes with the narrative What an amazing people, whose way of life is at the extreme edge of conditions that allow for survival They still a semi nomadic life that goes back millennia, to a time before our species became aliens on this planet The Reindeer People still follow the annual migration with their domestic herds They have also survived a century of Russian Soviet, as the title of one [...]

    14. That rarity An anthropology book that can be recommended to the general public Fascinating and readable account of life among the Eveny reindeer herders of northeast Siberia under and after Soviet control Organized on state farms, Eveny men follow their herds through the coldest regions on earth, providing reindeer meat airlifted to miners and oil and gas workers across the mountains Resettled in villages, the men work the herds on shifts, paid by the state Women remain in villages, children are [...]

    15. This is a FANTASTIC and fascinating work of nonfiction and very informative for the vast majority of those in the West who have never heard of the Evens Eveny , or for that matter any of the other reindeer peoples of Siberia I was fascinated to learn about the relationship between these people and their reindeer perhaps the only domestic animal that is essential to maintaining human life anywhere in the world Reading this book also led me to read and learn about the conquest and even genocide of [...]

    16. I read this book as a sort of escape from my own ethnographic fieldwork It is fantastic, in it s readability Vitebsky holds you as reader, so you can relax into the stories, and the textures of the lives he describes He delivers neither too much ethnographic detail to make the book formidable for a layperson reader, nor too little depth for those of us with anthropological training At the same time, the reader comes to learn about gut wrenching heartache of the community he describes, as well as [...]

    17. I asked for this book for Christmas of 2007, having seen it on or maybe in a store and being curious I m not certain what I expected, but this wasn t exactly it I think I was maybe looking for about cosmology and religion in Arctic societies.What I got was a very personal book about the transition from Soviet industrialization of an indigenous people s way of life, back a certain distance now toward older ways, as seen and understood by an anthropologist Not what I was expecting, no, but a real [...]

    18. I read this book to learn about Shamanism It took the whole book for me to realise what Shamanism was as I, myself, felt I was on a long journey in the Arctic circle with the Reindeer people The whole Reindeer culture and the differences between the towns, cities and nomads was very revealing The stories of the people are sometimes quaint, humorous, and sometimes sad or tragic The author spent a long time living with a family of nomads Even though they were a totally different culture to my own, [...]

    19. The Eveny are a footprint in the snow, when the snow melts they will disappear Tolya, p.432 Wonderful bk for armchair anthropologists We learn, from a most accomplished authority who lived with these indigenous peoples of Siberia, the geopolitical, sociological economic factors that led to the upheaval in their family structure, culture, and religion shamanism as well as to their centuries old practices of reindeer migration herding This is not a quick read, but rather 400 pp that you ll want to [...]

    20. Simply fascinating No idea that this type of culture existed at all, let alone during modern times The author does a fantastic job of combining scholarly material with personal narrative to create a very readable book about the colorful characters of the taiga and their evolution To think that in the 21st century there lives a group of people who are completely reliant on an a single animal for survival is a very romantic idea.cially when this group lives in one of the most remote and unforgivin [...]

    21. I have to admit, I have given up on finishing this book It is a fascinating picture of life in rural Siberia the changes that have taken place over the last two decades It is well and thoroughly written with the exception of a too long introductory chapter covering the geopolitical background of the region I m not sure why I can t seem to latch onto this perhaps the lack of a linking narrative, or character lines through the chapters I may come back to it later, but two months in and only two th [...]

    22. Although serious anthropological work I found this a delight to read and a wonderful look at a native reindeer based culture through 25 years of dynamic change at the end of the Soviet Union and beginning of Post Soviet self sufficiency in a remote area Filled with heart and personal experience, the author even took up the invitation to make a trip bringing along his psychologist wife, 10 yr old daughter and 19 year old son for a summer migration and able to include even knowledge and insight w [...]

    23. This is a very interesting book of one particular indigenous people of the Republic of Sakha in Russia The author an anthropologist spends several years with the Eveny tribe in the Verkhoyansk Mountains He describes the challenges these reindeer herders face in the harsh conditions often separated from their families Shamanism is very prevalent among the tribe and from a western perspective lends itself to superstition which to the author s credit no presumption is made A very good book regardin [...]

    24. Really interesting look at the lives of native reindeer herders in Siberia There is a good history of the fall of the soviet block and how that effected the reindeer herder villages There are a lot of depressing aspects to life in the north such as alcohol abuse, suicides, and early deaths but the author does a great job of following the success stories and preserving at least a bit of the history of these people Definitely worth reading if you are as into reindeer caribou as I am

    25. I found this book to be both heart breaking and uplifting Piers really seemed to want to be a part of the communities he resided in, and his descriptions of the problems facing the Eveny both during and after the Soviet era showcase the best and worst of humanity Some books that study humans treat them as artefacts of the past, but not this one If you are interested in real, living people this is a wonderful read.

    26. This is interesting because I knew nothing of the people of Siberia that follow the reindeer I did not even know that the Soviets had reindeer farms or that reindeer was cultivated for its meat, fur and being a pack animal This book is written in diary form by an anthropologist It jumps around a bit and and it is a lot of detail A lot of detail Not an entertaining read but I am glad that I read it.

    27. This is an anthropologist written tale about the Siberian native people who are still living a sort of constrained version of the traditional lifestyle, nomadic and intertwined with the reindeer This book will be beautifully comforting and wonderful like taking a holiday into a distant way of living And it might also break your heart because, well, the way that the Australians and Americans have treated their native people this is its own story, but still sadly similar to ours.

    28. A remarkable insight into the life and culture of the Eveny, Vitebsky is not only a scholar but also a gifted writer, who is able to vividly bring to life the people, the land and animals he met during various trips to the Russian Far East Not only does he write eminently on the Eveny, he also describes in detail the anthropological history of human interaction with reindeer Overall, a fascinating book which is highly recommended.

    29. A really interesting look at a world I knew nothing about Siberian reindeer herders I learned a lot about Soviet destruction of the traditional culture and quite a bit about reindeer Toward the end I skipped aroundo much detail on the Soviet collective farming system and I already had the gist.

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