Arctic Network for the Support of the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Arctic (ansipra) Сеть Арктических Организаций в Поддержку Коренных Народов Российского Севера




НазваниеArctic Network for the Support of the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Arctic (ansipra) Сеть Арктических Организаций в Поддержку Коренных Народов Российского Севера
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Ulchi

Self-designation(s) (singular, ISO spelling)

olči, nani

Official” name(s) (plural form)

Russ.: ульчи Engl.: Ulchi

Other names (plural form)

Russ.: мангуны Engl.: Manguns

Residence area(s)

Ulchskiy District on the lower Amur River banks

Population

(for USSR/Russia: census 1989 / 01.01.1998 statistics)

Russian Federation: 3,173 2,439

Khabarovskiy Kray: 2,733 2,433

Rural population (% in Russ. Fed.)

72.4%

Ethnic affiliation

Tungus-Manchurian group

National language

Ulchi close to Nanai language, by some regarded as a Nanai dialect

Affiliation of national language

Language family: Altaic Group: Tungus-Manchurian

Status of national language (1989)

Mother tongue: 30.7% Speaking fluently: 35.0%

Cultural centre(s)

Bulava

Aut. okrug(s) or ethnic territor. area(s) : Centre(s) : ethnic % of total district popul.

none

Traditional culture

Fishing and hunting

Fur farming in Soviet era, replacing former fur animal trapping

Ethno-geography:

The Ulchi are related to the ancient population of the Lower Amur. They have a mixed origin of Nanai, Evenk, Manchu, Udege, Orochi, Orok and Nivkh tribes. A number of historical layers have been discerned within the material culture of the Ulchis which are associated with local ancient Palaeo-Asian, as well as with old Manchu and "common Tungus", culture. Russian colonization began first in 1850 but has since diluted Ulchi settlement. Soviet relocations concentrated most Ulchi people in the village of Bulava. While population numbers have constantly been rising until 1989 (last census), the decrease of the number of native language speakers (from 85% in 1959 to 35% in 1989) is alarming.

Lifestyle and subsistence of rural population:

The main occupation of the Ulchis was fishing, for which the River Amur and lakes offered ample source. Year-round fishing necessitated a rather settled lifestyle. Fish was the main food for the people, and it was also fed to the dogs, kept in large numbers for draught work. Hunting for furs was an additional occupation which sometimes yielded a good income - sables especially. For sables, some Ulchi co-operatives went hunting even to the island of Sakhalin, where some of them eventually settled. The Ulchis were also known to hunt marine animals in the Straits of Tatar. To get there, the Ulchis had to undertake a long journey via Lake Kiz and along various small rivers.

Russian large-scale commercial fishing in the Amur River forced later the Ulchi to compete and to develop their subsistence into a commercial branch. Because of the greatly increased scale of fishing, hunting became less important - there were also by this time far fewer fur animals on the Lower Amur. To earn a living, the Ulchis had to gradually learn jobs formerly unknown to them, such as land cultivation, mail transportation and forestry. Horse breeding and haymaking were also introduced.

Commercial overfishing reduced stocks and led to quota regulations severely affecting the indigenous population’s subsistence. Recent environmental damage has almost abolished the fishing trade and deprived peope of their customary diet.

Present environmental threats

Pollution of the Amur River with phenols and heavy metals (Amur Cellulose Factory, Solnechny Mineral Concentration Factory, timber mill on Lake Kiz) kills fish stocks, degrades the quality of the natural environment and causes health problems. Fish stocks have been depleted by the factor of 20 from 1960 to 1990.

Felling of timber in water-protection zones has a detrimental effect on water regulation, affecting both fishing and transportation.






Oroks

Self-designation(s) (singular, ISO spelling)

ul'ta, ul'ča, ol'ča

Official” name(s) (plural form)

Russ.: ороки Engl.: Oroks

Other names (plural form)

Orochen (therefore confused with Orochi in some statistics)

Residence area(s)

Sakhalin, village Val (N) and Poronaysk district (S)

Population

(for USSR/Russia: census 1989 / 01.01.1998 statistics)

Russian Federation: 179 5

Sakhalinskaya Oblast: 129 5

Rural population (% in Russ. Fed.)

15.1%

Ethnic affiliation

Tungus-Manchurian group

National language

Oroki

Affiliation of national language

Language family: Altaic Group: Tungus-Manchurian

Status of national language (1989)

Mother tongue: 44.7% Speaking fluently: 46.9%

Cultural centre(s)

none

Aut. okrug(s) or ethnic territor. area(s) : Centre(s) : ethnic % of total district popul.

none

Traditional culture

Semi-nomadic reindeer husbandry

Fishing and hunting

Ethno-geography:

The Orok oral tradition has references to a continental origin, settlement on the island, and reindeer breeding in the past. Probably the migration took place in the 17th century at the latest, from the area of the River Amgun. In the 1920s the North-Sakhalin Oroks were divided into five groups, each with their more-or-less established migratory zone. A peculiar habit of the Oroks was their regular visits to the continent to attend the Puli fair by the River Amur. By the Amur they used to meet the linguistically related Ulchi who were the only people to call the Oroks ul'cha or ol'cha, that is, by their own name. On Sakhalin the Oroks were in close proximity to the Ainu, the Nivkhs and the Evenks.

The North-Sakhalin Oroks joined the collective farm Val, established in 1932 and specialized in reindeer breeding. The farm also contains Nivkhs, Evenks and Russians. Russian-type log cabins are the main form of dwelling. Only the herdsmen lead a nomadic life.

The South-Sakhalin Oroks live in the villages of Rechnoye (formerly Naiputu) and Ustye near the town of Poronaysk. Formerly, they lived in the taiga but having liquidated their herds for economic reasons, they settled on the coast and took to fishing at the turn of the century. Until 1945 this part of the island belonged to Japan. According to estimates, there were about 160--170 Oroks living there in 1960.

The Oroks inhabit villages of standardised dwellings together with Nanais, Nivkhs and Russians. The main occupation is fishing but there are also people employed in industry. Only a few items, mainly clothing and fishing gear, have been preserved from the old culture. The cultural survival is particularly endangered because of their very low number.
Lifestyle and subsistence of rural population:

The Oroks differ sharply from their closely related neighbours, the Orochi and Ulchi, in regard to their economy based on reindeer breeding. Their attachment to the reindeer has even given occasion to regard them as an Evenki subgroup. Fishing has also shaped the Orok mode of life - to adjust themselves to this occupation they had to modify their nomadic habits to an extent compliant with its more stationary demands. Hunting game and sea mammals was also practised. In spring the reindeer and winter tents were left behind in the taiga and the people settled on the coast or near an estuary. From there they moved upriver in autumn to catch more fish and gather the reindeer.

For the northern Oroks, vegetable farming and cattle breeding are the new occupations gaining ground. Hunting sea animals and fishing are of relatively modest importance. The main occupation of the southern Oroks is fishing but there are also people employed in industry.

Present environmental threats

Decrease of fish stocks due to oil development.






Nanais

Self-designation(s) (singular, ISO spelling)

nani, nanaj

Official” name(s) (plural form)

Russ.: нанайцы Engl.: Nanais

Other names (plural form)

Russ.: гольды Engl.: Golds others: Khodso, Akani (in China)

Residence area(s)

Banks of the Amur River (Khabarovskiy Kray and adjacent area in China).

Population

(for USSR/Russia: census 1989 / 01.01.1998 statistics)

Total number (incl. China): c. 16,000

Russian Federation: 11,883 8,280

Khabarovskiy Kray: 10,582 7,992

Sakhalinskaya Oblast: 173 14

Rural population (% in Russ. Fed.)

60.8%

Ethnic affiliation

Tungus-Manchurian group

National language

Nanai 2 distinct dialects, Upper and Lower Amur

Affiliation of national language

Language family: Altaic Group: Tungus-Manchurian

Status of national language (1989)

Mother tongue: 44.1% Speaking fluently: 49.4%

Cultural centre(s)




Aut. okrug(s) or ethnic territor. area(s) : Centre(s) : ethnic % of total district popul.

none

Traditional culture

Fishing and hunting

Ethno-geography:

The Nanais are supposed to represent the – although Tungus-influenced – neolithic native population of the Lower Amur. At the turn of the 18th to 19th century, Nanai settlements were scattered for more than 600 km along the River Amur and for about 100 km along its tributaries. The groups had no cultural or linguistic unity. They led a fairly isolated life and their contacts with each other were undeveloped. The Nanais on the River Girin were even considered to be a separate people. The Nanais lacked a self-designation as well as a common identity, as was characteristic for most Lower Amur peoples.

The Nanais live on the banks of the Amur River, mainly downstream from the city of Khabarovsk down to the area around Komsomolsk-na-Amure, as well as on the banks of the Ussuri and the Girin rivers (the Samagir subgroup). These are the districts of Nanaysk, Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk. They also inhabit a part of northeast China on the River Sungar. In the Russian Federation, at least ten separate subgroups were known dispersed to the north of the River Amur. In China, similarly, Nanai settlements are scattered widely.

A few Nanai live in the Primorskiy Kray and on Sakhalin.

Lifestyle and subsistence of rural population:

The traditional Nanai economy was based on two main branches: fishing in the Amur River valley, and hunting along its tributaries. The Nanai way of life depended on the movement of different varieties of fish in the river. The same applied to hunting. In winter, animals were hunted for fur, whereas in spring and summer, it was time to hunt for food. Dogs were used for hauling goods though the Nanais of the Akani group bred horses.


The seasonal character of fishing and hunting necessitated the emergence of special winter and summer settlements, with appropriate types of dwelling. The Amur Nanais had a peculiar semi-circular summer house made of birch bark. Various dugouts were used for winter dwellings. The Russians taught the Nanais to build log cabins.
Grain cultivation was early adapted from the Chinese. From the Chinese and the Manchus they also learned the skill of metalworking. Among the other Lower Amur peoples, Nanais are famous for their metal work. Nanai decorative art is well developed, especially ornamentation.

The kolkhozes have been adapted to profitable land cultivation and livestock breeding, as a result of loss of fishing grounds in the severely polluted Amur River.
Present environmental threats

Pollution of the Amur River kills fish stocks and degrades the quality of the natural environment.

Wildlife depletion and resulting hunting and fishing restrictions severely endangers traditional subsistence and diet.
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