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Evenki Reindeer Riding Saddle: Certain Principles of Mobility in the Taiga

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.1.116-125

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Abstract

On the basis of museum collections, field records, photographic and video recordings made in the 20th to early 21st centuries, a reindeer riding saddle with flaps, typical of the eastern Evenki, is analyzed. Its construction and types of fastening are described in detail. Manufacturing technologies are discussed in the context of modern theories of material culture as adaptations to changing natural and social environments under a mobile lifestyle. The key principles underlying mobility in the taiga include the use of a wide range of materials and techniques, modularity (assembled construction with mutually complementary and interchangeable parts), a technological cycle adapted to natural rhythms, adherence to traditional knowledge, the use of artificial materials along with products of nature (since the mid-1900s), etc. In the nomadic culture, the esthetics of an artifact are intrinsically related to function, harmony, and social significance. The manufacture of reindeer riding saddles has been affected by changes in the social structure of nomadic groups.

About the Author

A. A. Sirina
Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences; Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Chief Researcher

Leninsky pr. 32A, Moscow, 119334; 
Universitetskaya nab. 3, St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia

 



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For citation:


Sirina A.A. Evenki Reindeer Riding Saddle: Certain Principles of Mobility in the Taiga. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2021;49(1):116-125. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.1.116-125

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)