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Urbanization of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia and the Far East (20th to Early 21st Centuries)

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.4.127-139

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Abstract

This article integrates studies relating to the history of urban communities of Siberian and Far Eastern indigenous peoples. A multidisciplinary approach to urbanization processes is used; their stages, rates, causes, and principal characteristics are analyzed. The database consists of our own fi eld fi ndings, published results of sociological studies, and those of All-Union and All-Russian population censuses. Three stages of urbanization affecting indigenous Siberians are described, and their factors and mechanisms are evaluated. The process is characterized by intense migration of indigenous peoples to the towns and cities during the recent period, accompanied by large-scale industrial development, and the transition of aboriginal societies from the traditional to the modern lifestyle. The urbanization, however, has not been completed, because of the underdeveloped urban infrastructure and the fact that many indigenous peoples to the cities had retained their rural traditions. The sa lient characteristic of the urbanization of indigenous peoples in the macroregion is that it was asynchronous, and that its sh ort intense phase, whereby the indigenous peoples mostly moved to nearby towns and urbanized villages in the 1960s–1970s, did not extend to all indigenous communities. Urbanization was incomplete in terms of both quality and quantity, and the integration of indigenous peoples into the urban space has engendered serious problems. According to the All-Russian population census of 2010, only fi ve indigenous peoples of Siberia and the Far East had completed the urbanization process: Kereks, Mansi, Nivkhs, Uilta and Shors. Currently, most indigenous peoples are medium-urbanized. The lowest level of urbanization is among the Soyots, Siberian Tatars, Telengits, Tofalars, Tubalars, Chelkans, Chulyms, and Tozhu Tuvans. We conclude that urbanization among the indigenous peoples is a long, diffi cult, and contradictory process, which, in modern Siberia, triggers many ethnocultural and ethno-social transformations of regional multiethnic communities.

About the Authors

V. V. Nikolaev
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



I. V. Oktyabrskaya
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090



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Nikolaev V.V., Oktyabrskaya I.V. Urbanization of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia and the Far East (20th to Early 21st Centuries). Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2021;49(4):127-139. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.4.127-139

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