Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Simonova V., Samsonova I. An Overlooked Tradition: Gathering as Occupation and Trade Among the Evenkis of South Yakutia. Etnografia. 2022. 4 (18): 5380. (In Russ.). doi 10.31250 ...



Simonova V., Samsonova I. An Overlooked Tradition: Gathering as Occupation and Trade Among the Evenkis of South Yakutia. Etnografia. 2022. 4 (18): 5380. (In Russ.). doi 10.31250/2618-8600-2022-4 (18)-53-80
ISSN 2618-8600
DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2022-4(18)-56-83

Posted on site: 10.01.23

URL: https://etnografia.kunstkamera.ru/archive/2022_nomer_4_18/simonova_v_v_samsonova_i_v_neuchtennaya_tradiciya_sobiratelstvo_kak_zanyatie_i_promysel_u_evenkov_yuzhnoj_yakutii ( 10.01.2023)


Abstract

Although gathering is widely recognized as a part of indigenous economies in the Arctic, it has not yet been given the attention it deserves in Yakutia, including the frame-work of the local standards for ethnological expertise and assessments of damage to ancestral habitat by mining industries. Most regional experts believe that gathering does not support the traditional way of life as much as hunting and reindeer herding do and should not be con-sidered an equal condition for assessing damage to the ancestral habitat. This article attempts to change the prevailing expert attitude toward wild plant gathering by presenting the practice and tradition of collecting non-timber forest resources as a dynamic ethno-economic institu-tion responsive to the changing external conditions of the global world. The article examines gathering as a large-scale and locally rooted practice evolving in the contexts of digitalization, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other socially significant trends, including the demand for ethno- ecological knowledge and folk medicine. We classify gathering as an occupation [zaniatie] and trade [promysel]. The majority of local experts approach gathering as an occupation, leaving the trade aspect aside, considering gathering a small-scale hobby for a narrow circle of local residents. We demonstrate that gathering is also a trade constituting a full-fledged branch of traditional economic activity. Moreover, it is gathering that helps to preserve and strengthen social ties between taiga, rural and urban spaces. Finally, gathering is a significant institutionin Evenki societies.