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5.5.3. INDIRECT COSTS
The ANSIPRA Secretariat received a request from the editor of the newspaper "Aborigen Kamchatki" to reprint a letter from Nadezhda Marinenko which was published there on 27 June 1999. We have received the article with interest and would like to bring it to the attention of our readers, especially as many of the conditions and problems of the indigenous inhabitants of Kamchatka are representative of other regions of the Russian North. -- The Editor
We must realize ourselves for our future
Nadezhda I. Marinenko, oncologist
I came to Karaga on the 23rd of April. It had been a harsh winter with much snow and problems with fuel. Food is expensive. Members of the collective "Udarnik" do not receive cash. They receive goods at the company kiosk for the value of their salary, while the workers at MOPKKhA have not received their salaries for four years. I saw them receive 100 rubles. What can one buy for this money, when bread costs around 12 rubles and 1 bottle of seed oil costs 60 rubles?
The people are in a tense mood. In the past, the kolkhoz "Udarnik" was wealthy; now only about 20 cows are left. The only joy is the hope that soon the bay ice will melt and the children and adults will go fishing with their fishing rods. The old men spread out their fishing nets, but the inspectors came and started forbidding fishing. So M.H. Sidorenko, specialist for indigenous peoples, had to call the fishing department.
Unfortunately, not everyone can join fishing. In the past, the kolhoz gave work to everyone, but now the collective "Udarnik" only takes along its own members. And the private companies, even if they take you, do not register you officially. For example, the businessman Dodzhev, who resides in Elizovo and received a permit to fish in the Karaginsk Bay, hires seasonal workers without registration. The same can be said of the businessman Kiselev.
Vodka and its "benefactors"
I am discouraged by the fact that many people started drinking, especially the indigenous population, including women. Late in the evening I met a young mother with a small child. She carried a bag of flour to exchange it for vodka. Another case is the humanitarian help brought by V. Kogelov: sugar. It was distributed in families with children and elderly people. Some mothers exchanged it for vodka. In Karaga there are Russian women (four, I am told), who buy vodka deliberately to exchange it later advantageously for food and other things from the indigenous peoples. Who is better in this case: the alcoholic or he who supports drunkenness and gives alcohol to the indigenous population?
I saw, in Ossor, young workers arrive and put up their tents near the cemetery. Then they gave candy to the children, for them to bring some firewood. The children brought wooden crosses and fences ... this is vandalism. They are hungry, it is cold - still, such a thing is inexcusable. Well, later they had to move further away from the cemetery.
Another misery are the illnesses. Approximately 400 people live in Karaga. Of these, 225 are on the list in the tuberculosis department. In 1998 two actively ill persons were registered and on the first of January this year (1999 --The Editor) the number increased to 21. This year another four people had positive results after a fluorographic examination. Our rayon of Karaga is supposedly one of the luckier areas, with respect to tuberculosis. Here I must note that the main doctor of the Rayon tuberculosis department, Zinaida Vasilevna Chetveryakova - a representative of one of the indigenous peoples - does a good job and is driven by her enthusiasm alone, for there is no money to be had.
A sick person is supposed to receive food worth 100 rubles per day, but receives merely 30. The hospital lacks four doctors and ten nurses. Where are they to come from? Our native girls used to get their medical training in Petropavlovsk. Their stipend is 150 rubles, while having to pay 162 rubles for accommodation. Parents cannot help; the Okrug pays irregularly. The girls quit their studies and the native population suffers from a lack of specialists.
What is to be done?
How to protect the indigenous population? What is to be done in order to safeguard the welfare of our peoples? Maybe we must unite and build our own communities, in order to survive together. During Soviet rule we got used to other people thinking for us and did not have to think of the future. Now other times have come. Now we must control the situation ourselves, make the right decisions, follow the laws of our ancestors.
In the past, the river on the banks of which people lived belonged to one clan. Our ancestors lived in Old Karaga and went upstream in the summer, following the fishes almost to the source of the river Karaga. They fished, depending on the season. In the spring they fished in the sea, in Kostroma, in autumn - following the fishes - upstream. They never hindered the migration of fishes. In 1937, the communal centre was moved to Ossora and the lands automatically went over to the new centre. Not everyone owns fishing gear. The indigenous people are restricted in fishing for salmon, though the workers at the department of fishery themselves often break fishing rules.
Insulted bear of the sky
Another problem is the conservation of the bear. Eyewitnesses saw dead bears near Drankin springs with cut bellies. The poachers take the gall and leave the bears to rot ... The Koryaks had a ritual - the Bear of the Sky dance. The Creator gave the bear a duty - to look after the proper timing of the changes in the seasons of the year. This year spring came very late. When I left for town, the bay was not completely free of ice, the snow had not melted and it was very cold, not only in Karaganda Rayon - in the town also. When we destroy the ecological balance and neglect ethical norms, we punish ourselves. For example, in the past, when people used to return in boats to their homes downstream, they talked in the evening quietly, did not shout, did not swear.They respected nature and life, including themselves. They never killed anything they did not need, and they asked for forgiveness of the bear they killed for want of food. Unfortunately, many old rituals are forgotten. This happened because people started to forget their own language. The elderly know the Koryak tongue, but there is hardly anyone younger than 40 years who masters his own language. Knowledge of one’s own language is the key to history, the key to understanding ongoing processes. There are Nymylan (a Koryak group --The Editor) people in Karaga, but in school the Nymylan children learn Chavchuven, which is a different dialect. At home, no one speaks Chavchuven.
From a doctor's point of view
By violating the laws of nature, we doom our own lives and the lives of forthcoming generations. One example. Experts from a French clinic are debating with those nutrition specialists who recommend avoiding food rich in oil.
Besides that, according to new biochemical analyses, brain cells need unsaturated fatty acids to function normally. A lack of these causes problems with chemical exchange processes in the neurons. The brain sort of falls asleep without this "oil lubrication". This has been proven by experiments on rats and monkeys, which received only proteins and lost some capabilities as a result. Our Russian scientists proved that semisaturated fatty acids are necessary for the formation of human connective tissue, which means that they are needed for a normal state of the skin, a good functioning of the cardiac muscle, the kidneys, etc. These semisaturated fats are found in significant amounts in our salmons and other fishes.
This is why it is recommended for all people - thinkers, inventors, readers and simply ponderers, to eat fish, fish oil, seal oil, as much as they like. This is why we need to take good care of nature, to conserve our richness in fishes.
Unfortunately, some of my own people, living in Karaga and Ossora, catch fish in spawning grounds. Today, rich for a moment, they can buy an expensive fur coat or a second-hand car - but what of tomorrow?
Tomorrow only illnesses will remain - heart attacks, kidney cysts, limping, blindness. And the fish will not last for our heirs.
About the future of the planet
In this context I would like to say something about the prospects of the building of petroleum rigs on Kamchatka. In November 1998, during the conference on ecological problems of Kamchatka, it was reported that the amount of petroleum in the Sea of Okhotsk, in the Olzutorsk-Penzhinsk Basin, is being calculated. In December 1998 in the Bay of Mexico, the largest petroleum accident of the 20th century occurred - the pipeline burst at the sea floor and a 40 km long patch of petroleum appeared on the sea surface and started to spread towards the Mississippi Delta. It posed a catastrophic danger to fishes, mollusks, birds and other life, including humans. And what about the sad story in Sakhalin?
While our ancestors were heirs to a sense for ecological morality, our contemporaries must learn it.
Salvation in creativeness
I liked the industrial arts exhibit, which was shown in Karaga on the first of May. Famous artists took part in it: Natalya Ivanova Evgur, Mariya Alekseevna Chechulina, Ulyana Gutorova. The works of Aleksandra Vasilevna Popova were exhibited. The works of the kindergarten teachers Valentina Nasyankova and Tatyana Brilyakova are interesting. I am glad to see that events showing the culture of the indigenous peoples are organised and that in the Karaga Rayon ethnic groups are at work. This means that the spirit of our peoples is alive.
Before condemning Shamanism
The following also disturbs me. Some time in the past, there was a small chapel in Old Karaga. With the arrival of the Russians, many indigenous peoples were baptized and became Christian. And now there are faithful people, but the youth, together with some old women have joined the faith of Jehovah's Witnesses. This, of course, concerns private matters. But lately I heard Sergey Tavynin on the radio. He was saying that faith helps to live. People quit drinking. And faith in a living Jesus is better than Shamanism. He said that Shamanism is a primitive trait.
I think that before condemning something from the past, one needs to study the spiritual life of one's people, including Shamanism. I, for example, do not think that the shamans were only negative. Many think that the indigenous northern peoples are primitive. Not at all! These are such wise people. Scientists from many countries abroad are currently studying our ancestors and contemporary indigenous peoples. Special attention is given to cult rituals and Shamanism. I think that we should continue the conversation about the spiritual life of the indigenous northerners in the following editions of the newspaper. The third millennium is approaching and we must understand what the indigenous people of Kamchatka represent now and what awaits them in the future.
To the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation
Chairman of the Parliament of the Russian Federation
Governor of the Kamchatka Oblast
Head public prosecutor of the Russian Federation
Chairman of the Oblast-Counsil of national representatives of the Kamchatka Oblast
Leaders of international ecological and law-protecting organisations
Declaration of the public organisations of the Kamchatka Oblast
We, the participants of consultative hearings of the society of the Kamchatka Oblast concerning the question of the construction of the gas pipeline Sobolev-Petropavlov-Kamchatka, representing the following public organisations:
Elizov Rayon Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North
Union of Public Organisations of Communities of Indigenous Peoples of the North of the Kamchatka Oblast "Yayar"
Public Organisation of Indigenous Peoples of the North, "Aleskam"
Public Organisation of Indigenous Peoples of the North, "Koyana"
Public Organisation of Indigenous Peoples of the North, "Pimchakh"
Scientific Center for the Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North, "Bionik"
Community of Indigenous Peoples of the North, "Pronya"
Community of Indigenous Peoples of the North, "Kam-yak"
Community of Indigenous Peoples of the North, "Itel"
Petrov Academy of Science and Arts
National Industry OOO "Kalagir"
Society of Disabled People of the Elizovo Rayon
Society of Veterans of War and Work of the Elizovo Rayon
Association of Mothers with Large Families of the Elizovo Rayon
Public Council of the Kamchatka Oblast
The Rerikh Society of the Elizovo Oblast
Independent Union of Teachers of Kamchatka
Kamchatka Organisation VOPD "Union of Russian Taxpayers"
Kamchatka Department of VOOP "All-Russian Society for the Conservation of Nature"
Kamchatka Organisation of the Russian Union of People Serving in the Military
Kamchatka Regional Organisation "Union of Law-Protectors"
Public Ecological Foundation "Harmony of Action"
Public Organisation "Harmony" of the village Termalniy
Public Environmental Organisation "Sotka"
Elizovo Organisation of KPRF
make the following declaration:
Having heard and discussed the information presented by scientists and ecologists and the opinions of experts about the ecological hazards of the construction of the gas pipeline for the nature of Kamchatka, the society of Kamchatka, represented by the above-mentioned organisations, hereby declares its negative attitude towards the commencement of construction of the gas pipeline.
Based on the presented facts, the indigenous people of Kamchatka and the great majority of social organisations in the Kamchatka Oblast view the construction of the gas pipeline as an offense against all inhabitants of Kamchatka and the unique nature in the Kamchatka Oblast.
We are convinced that the construction of the gas pipeline - a project without economic grounds, without consideration of alternative projects of energy for the Kamchatka Oblast, without consideration of the effect this will have on the environment and lacking any ethno-ecological considerations- is ecological terrorism.
We are sure that the results of the gas-supply project for the Kamchatka Oblast will result in a complete destruction of forests, fish populations and unique ecosystems in the swamps of the western Kamchatka coast. The construction of the gas pipeline will cause catastrophic changes in the Kamchatka landscape and a loss of bioproduction for the whole region.
Such changes in the life-circumstances of the indigenous people of Kamchatka will lead to the extinction of Northern minorities, which is in fact genocide, an offense perpetrated by the administration of the Kamchatka Oblast against the indigenous people of Kamchatka.
We turn towards the organs of government of Russia with a demand to stop the financing and construction of the gas pipeline Sobolev-Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka.
We turn towards international ecological and law-protecting organisations with the request to support in any possible way our fight for preventing the construction of the gas pipeline.
The loss of the unique Kamchatka environment, which was given world heritage status by UNESCO, will be a loss for all the inhabitants of the planet.
Signed by the representatives of the 25 organisations mentioned above.
Ignatenko, L.G.: 684020 Kamchatskaya Oblast, Elizovo Rayon, village Razdolniy, 60 let Oktyabrya street #1, app. 17, phone (+7) 41531-97140
Petrov, A.V.: 683003 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Vilyuyskaya street #20, app. 4, phone (+7) 41522-28168, fax 95549, E-mail email@example.com
Doctors of the World: soon a decade of humanitarian action in Chukotka
Yvon Csonka, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland
Doctors of the World’s (DOW) first contacts with Chukotka were established in 1991, during the “World’s [social] scientists contribution to the Russian Far North” expedition (Chichlo, ed., 1993). But the first humanitarian project was started in relation with a tragic event. In May 1993, the international expedition “ Transsibering ” ended with the crash of a helicopter on the north coast of Chukotka. Seven were killed, others wounded. To honour the memory of one of the victims, a circle of his compatriots from Switzerland offered DOW the means to start a program dedicated to the improvement of the health condition of the Native population of Chukotka. In 1994-1996, DOW supported, in cooperation with the region, the creation in Anadyr, capital city of the region, of a medical school where Native health agents could be trained at the levels of nurse, technician dentist or feldsher (field doctor); the French coordinators were Patrick David and Virginie Vaté. It has sent expatriate teachers, teaching aids and other materials, and has provided sponsoring and advice. The school is now up and running successfully, providing crucially needed health agents to replace the Russian immigrants who have left the region.
Since 1995, the French and the Swiss sections of Doctors of the World have cooperated in supporting a grassroot Native association active in the fight against alcoholism and dependence on tobacco. Alcoholism has wrought havoc among Native communities in the Russian North, and it has worsened in recent years. It causes acute social, psychological and physical ills, and it is responsible, directly or indirectly, for a disproportionate number of early deaths. The association Doverie (“Trust”), based in Anadyr, has met with considerable success applying the well proven method developed in Russia by Mr. Shichko. Recognizing an initiative worth encouragement, Doctors of the World has stepped in as sponsor and partner. Thanks to this support, Doverie now has its own premises, a three-room apartment equipped with communication and teaching materials, and does not have to depend on the – very limited, and at times nonexistent – good will of the regional authorities. Doctors of the World respondents for the project, Virginie Vaté in France and Olga Letykai Csonka and Yvon Csonka in Switzerland, visit Anadyr regularly and keep in touch with the association year-round. Doverie members were invited to participate in a session of United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations dedicated to health issues, and to make contacts at the World Health Organisation’s headquarters in Geneva.
According to plan, Doverie is now extending its action into the rural villages where most of the Native population lives. It also aims at establishing contacts with associations having similar purposes in other parts of the Russian North. To be able to rely almost entirely on local initiative, personnel, and experience, represents an ideal case for an NGO such as Doctors of the World, as it leads naturally to the next step: this will be for Doverie to gain its autonomy by seeking other sponsors, including local sponsors. In the meantime, it remains an important aim to find ways to transfer the experience gained by Doverie and by DOW to other areas of the Russian North.
Ivan Vukvukai, President, Association Doverye, Anadyr, Chukotka Autonomous Region, firstname.lastname@example.org
Olga Letykai Csonka and Yvon Csonka, co-responsible for the DOW project at DOW-Switzerland, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, email@example.com
Virginie Vaté, co-responsible of the DOW project at DOW-France, Paris, France, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reference cited: Boris Chichlo, ed., 1993: Sibérie III: Les peuples du Kamchatka et de la Tchoukotka [Reports of the 1991 expédition]. Paris: Institut d’études slaves.
The Anadyr Society for Sobriety, ”Doverie” (“Trust”)
Ivan Vukvukai, President of the Anadyr Society for Sobriety, "Doverie", of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Our organisation - the Anadyr Society for Sobriety, “Doverie” - was registered by the department of law of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug on the 19th of January 1995. The movement for the sobriety of the indigenous peoples of Chukotka, however, has existed for over five years. During this time concerned individuals have organised and carried out courses for 47 groups. Such groups were formed in the town of Anadyr, in the villages of Tavaivaam, Lorino, Neshkan, Uelen, Lavrentiya, Novoe Chaplino, Amguema, Vankarem, Konergino, and Rypkaipii, and in the small settlements of Mys Shmidta and Provedeniya. The overall count of individuals involved is approximately 260 people.
The "Doverie" Society has the following action plan:
1. Founding a center for information and education about the dangers of alcohol abuse in the Okrug.
2. Training qualified personnel for conducting preventive courses and lectures in places densely populated by indigenous peoples.
3. Demarcating sobriety-zones in indigenous villages in Chukotka.
4. Organising societies for sobriety in villages.
5. Acquiring special literature, visual aids, films and videos showing scientific information about the problem of alcoholism.
6. Conducting polls in Chukotka to assess the impact of alcohol on families.
7. Propagation of a healthy way of life on the radio, TV and in the press.
Methods and stages of the project: A method to induce sobriety by the St. Petersburg scientist Gennadiy Andreevich Shichko is applied.
First stage: 10 day courses, during which the participants receive detailed information about alcohol and tobacco, write diaries with an analysis of their past, in which they abused alcohol, compare the past with the present, non-alcoholic state, and write a plan for a future without alcohol and tobacco.
Second stage: independent consolidation of the attitude which has been produced in the first stage.
Third stage: establishment of a sobriety-zone within the family, with friends and other indigenous people.
The number of members of "Doverie" is growing continuously. The society had acute problems with getting accommodation with a telephone and copy machine. We needed a place to give courses and consult people, as well as to keep our literature, visual aids and statistical information about our activities. The regional administration helped us solve these and other problems by giving us the means to buy literature and cover the costs of the special education for four active members at the "Academy of Social Techniques G.A. Shichko" in St. Petersburg. Currently the acquired accommodation is being renovated and we are buying furniture and accessories (organisational technology).
The number of people who have finished our courses and are on a sober path in life is increasing. Many of them are excellent specialists in their fields of activity, good workers who have lost their jobs due to alcoholism. The situation on the Chukotka job market is harsh; many of our co-activists have problems finding the means for living for their families with children and elderly parents. We therefore react with much interest to job offers made by foreign companies.
Besides these problems, the work of our society is hindered by other factors. All work done is based purely on the free time and enthusiasm of active members. However, to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the society, members should be competent in leadership skills, accounting and, of course, have economic livelihoods.
The peoples living in Chukotka are interested in sober-minded people, in a healthy gene pool. This is why we ask for the help of anyone who can help us to turn their attention towards the first buds of a sobriety movement on Chukotka and support our activity in any possible way.
Money can be transferred to 686710 Chukotskiy AO, Anadyr, Otke street 32, appt. 2, tel. (427) 22 2 45 14, or account nr. 40703810750230100010 in the Chukotka OSB of the Primorsk bank SB, corresponding account nr. 30101810800000000604, INN 8709006977, BIK 04771960388*.
*It is not recommended to transfer money to Russian bank accounts because of the unusually high taxes subtracted from the transferred amount. The ANSIPRA Secretariat will assist potential sponsors in finding other ways of transferring money to the society.
Urgent Appeal for Assistance - Chukotka
APRIL 16, 2000: The situation facing the indigenous Yupik and Chukchi peoples of Russia's far northeastern tip is dire. With the break-up of the Soviet Union came the collapse of the state-sponsored economic systems and infrastructure upon which the native peoples of Chukotka endured a forced dependence.
Reviving traditional subsistence activities, Yupik and Chukchi peoples are taking to the sea in traditional skin boats in pursuit of gray and bowhead whales, walrus, and seal.* Traditional foods are being made available to villages residents and those who through decades of forced relocation, reside in decaying urban centers. Traditional village sites, abandoned after relocation, are once again coming to life. Ancient and essential socio-economic ties are reemerging with the inland peoples.
However, the sea mammal hunting equipment is outdated and in a poor state of repair. Equipping the hunting crews of Chukotka with basic equipment is essential to the safe, successful, and humane harvest of whales, walrus and seals. Such items include: binoculars for spotting whales; pneumatic floats to ensure that whales are not lost; lines for towing the gray and bowhead whales to shore; and wet weather gear so that butchering may be done in the water, minimizing the risk of contaminating the meat.
The WCW has been working with organisations in Alaska and the Chukotkan region to establish reliable lines of supply, to ensure that any and all assistance will reach those communities in need, intact. For more information, contact the WCW Secretariat.
Summary of article by Tom Mexsis Happynook, Chairman, World Council of Whalers, internet web site
* The International Whaling Commission permits subsistence whaling by some aboriginal groups. These are limited by quotas for each species. In 1998, 122 gray whales were taken by Chukotkan natives, out of a IWC quota of 132. One bowhead out of a quota of 5 was taken that year. The IWC does not concern itself with sea mammals other than cetaceans. --The Editor
"Ilkėn" - Newspaper of the New Century
The first light of November 1999 saw the newspaper "Ilkėn" of the indigenous peoples of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya). The newspaper was brought to life by the Ministry of Nationalities of the Republic of Sakha and federal associations, the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Yakutiya, and the Division of Press of the government of the Republic of Sakha.
"Ilkėn" is the first printed media to cover issues concerning the indigenous peoples living on the territory of the region. The newspaper is writing in seven languages: Russian, Yakut, Evenk, Even, Yukagir, Chukchi and Dolgan. Additionally, the section "Indigenous Peoples of the World" includes contributions in English.
The newspaper contains various sections, in which topics connected with the life of these peoples, both historical and contemporary, are featured. On the pages of the newspaper can be found information about local, domestic, regional and international events. In the column "Book World of Russia", the newspaper introduces the readers to new publications and diverse literary items of interest. Popular pages, written in the Evenk, Even and Yukagir languages, are also included. The children's column "Ilkėnchik" introduces to pre-school and school children the culture and tradition of the inhabitants of the North, their languages and history. Social and political questions are reflected in the sections "Insight", "Language politics" and "Legislation". The environmental situation is covered under the headings "Around the Light" and "Northern Ecology".
The newspaper has a young staff of editors of multi-ethnic composition. The main editor is Varvara Danilova: Evenk, member of Russian Union of Authors and International Union of Authors, literary critic. The assistant editor is Olga Ulturgasheva [Keymeti]: Even, English teacher at Yakutian State University, interpreter. The Editorial Board is comprised of Nikolay Kirgitaun (Chukchi), Aleksandr Lenkov (Russian), Irina Kurilova (Yukagir), Lyudmila Alekseeva [Gevan] (Evenk), and Anna Danilova (Evenk).
The newspaper "Ilkėn" promotes a healthful way of life and the cultural and intellectual interests of the indigenous peoples of the world. For the young readership we have established the section "Break into Open Doors" where contributions about the life of young people in the Arctic will be published.
"Ilkėn" would be pleased to enter into creative cooperation with all interested individuals and organisations. Send your written material to the following address:
677007 Россия Varvara Danilova
Республика Саха (Якутия) Kulakovskogo 4/1, room 43
Якутск Кулаковского 4/1 кв.43 RUS - 677007 Yakutsk
тел. 007 4112 445216 Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya)
Варваре Даниловой Russia
e-mail: email@example.com phone: +007 4112 445216
We accept contributions in Russian, English, Yakut, Evenk, Even, Yukagir, Chukchi and Dolgan languages.
What does the word "Ilkėn" mean?
A.N. Myreeva, Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Head of Division of Evenk philology at IPMNS SO, Russian Academy of Sciences.
The Evenks, not having had any writing until the 1930s, used a system of symbols and drawings for communication. I. Georgi wrote about this ability: "Whenever they want to meet again in a different place, they have the ability to describe that place so exactly with fingers in the snow or in the earth that there is no doubt left of where to go and find it." Information about travel, catch of animals, reindeer casualties, etc., was communicated by using special route symbols and drawings on pieces of wood or rock surfaces. These symbols were made with improvised items like willow twigs, sticks, moss or stones. The most prevalent route symbols were called "ilkėn" - carvings in wood. They were made in places of permanent residence, along rivers and on mountain passes. With similar carvings they indicated paths to "dėvun" - places of dead or left-behind animals in the taiga. This were symbols used by messangers who, sent ahead on reindeer, brought the catch to the camp. Carvings placed on prominent trees were used to inform their fellow-tribesmen. With coal or "dėvė" - red or black mineral stone - moose or wild reindeer were drawn , which meant "nearby is moose or wild reindeer, you may hunt them". Drawn upside-down they meant "killed moose or wild reindeer, please take it". Arrows carved beside the symbols indicated the direction to the place where the "dėvun" was to be found.
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