© CNRS - 2006

Scenes of daily life among the Evens of Yakutia

Middle Kolyma Region, 2000





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This film was shot in the autumn of 2000, north of the Arctic Circle, in the Middle Kolyma Region in eastern Yakutia. It is part of the research program on the changes affecting indigenous societies in the Siberian Arctic.

The Evens living in the valley of the Berezovka River make up an ethnic, cultural and economic enclave within Yakut territory. Their life revolves around reindeer herding and hunting, and they speak a language of the Manchu-Tungus family. These Evens of the Middle Kolyma resisted Soviet collectivisation and sedentarisation for longer than other Siberian reindeer herding minorities. Today, with reindeer herding in major crisis, the elders of the community try hard to preserve their identity (language and know-how such as traditional cooking, clothing and culture in general) in the midst of a multi-ethnic society. The sequences were filmed in the indigenous Even village of Berezovka; in the regional centre of Srednekolymsk; in the Yakut village of Nalimsk and in Yakutsk, the capital of the Sakha/Yakutia Republic.

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