ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2017. Vol. 20

Current State of Reindeer Husbandry and Reindeer Herders in the Borogonskii Nasleg of Bulun District, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

A. V. Kaduk
The paper is devoted to the current situation in reindeer husbandry in the Borogonskii nasleg of the Bulun district of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Namy, the administrative center and the only village of the Borogonskii nasleg, is inhabited by Yakuts, yakut-speaking Even and Evenks, and also a few Russians. As the Even, Evenks and Yakuts work as reindeer herders, reindeer herding is not a marker of ethnic identity in the Borogonskii nasleg. The only enterprise in the sphere of reindeer husbandry in the Borogonskii nasleg is the Municipal Unitary Enterprise “Borogonskoe”, which was formed as a result of the reorganization of the state farm (“sovkhoz”). In the Post-Soviet period, reindeer herding became the only agricultural branch of the state farm. Currently, the enterprise "Borogonskoe" receives significant support in the form of subsidies from the state. The number of domestic reindeer in the nasleg declined dramatically in the 1990s, stabilized and began to grow in 2000s, but in recent years there has been a decrease in number. The indicators of reindeer herding are now much lower compared to Soviet times. The technology of reindeer grazing is characterized by pronounced seasonality. The technology of reindeer grazing during the Soviet period was significantly influenced by state policy. At the same time, reindeer herders to some extent adapted their way of life and work activity to changing conditions, as a result of which the result of the state policy was not always what it was intended to be. At present, there is a clear disproportion between the sexes among reindeer husbandry workers, and because of the lack of women, the work that they usually performed is often performed by men. Children of reindeer herders in many cases do not inherit the profession of their parents and choose a different field of activity for themselves. However, despite the fact that the choice of the profession of the reindeer herder has become more dependent on the coincidence of circumstances, family and kinship ties are still important for choosing a profession of reindeer herders. Also kinship and friendly ties ensure the mobility of reindeer breeders within the profession (transition from one labor collective to another). Currently reindeer herders and chum-laborers use reindeers not only as a source of meat, but also as a resource that can be exchanged for money or other resources. Presumably, in the near future reindeer breeding of the Borogonskii nasleg will depend, mainly, on the state (including regional) policy and the adaptation of reindeer herders to changing conditions.
Yakutia, reindeer herding, nomadism, grazing technology, state farm

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