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Arctic mirrors : Russia and the small peoples of the North

Author: Yuri Slezkine
Publisher: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1994.
Series: ACLS Humanities E-Book.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"And, sovereign, having captured a shaman in battle, we asked him: what kind of man are you and do you have kinsmen? And he said: I am the best man of the Shoromboiskii clan and I have four sons. And so we kept him as hostage." For over five hundred years the Russians have been wondering what kind of people their Arctic and sub-Arctic hostages were. "They have mouths between their shoulders and eyes in their  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Yuri Slezkine
ISBN: 0801429765 9780801429767 0801481783 9780801481789
OCLC Number: 29565335
Awards: Winner of Winner, American Historical Association's Pacific.
Description: xiv, 456 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction: The Small Peoples of the North --
Ch. 1. The Unbaptized. The Sovereign's Profit. The Sovereign's Foreigners --
Ch. 2. The Unenlightened. The State and the Savages. The State and the Tribute Payers --
Ch. 3. The Uncorrupted. High Culture and the Children of Nature. The Empire and the Aliens --
Ch. 4. The Oppressed. Aliens as Neighbors and Tribute Payers as Debtors. The Russian Indians and the Populist Intellectuals --
Ch. 5. The Liberated. The Commissariat of Nationalities and the Tribes of the Northern Borderlands. The Committee of the North: The Committee. The Committee of the North: The North --
Ch. 6. The Conscious Collectivists. Class Struggles in a Classless Society. Hunting and Gathering under Socialism --
Ch. 7. The Cultural Revolutionaries. The War against Backwardness. The War against Ethnography --
Ch. 8. The Uncertain Proletarians. The Native Northerners as Industrial Laborers. The North without the Native Northerners. The Long Journey of the Small Peoples --
Ch. 9. The Socialist Nationalities. Socialist Realism in the Social Sciences. Fiction as History --
Ch. 10. The Endangered Species. Planners' Problems and Scholars' Scruples. The Return of Dersu Uzala. Perestroika and the Numerically Small Peoples of the North.
Series Title: ACLS Humanities E-Book.
Responsibility: Yuri Slezkine.

Abstract:

Arctic Mirrors is a vividly rendered history of circumpolar peoples in the Russian empire and the Russian mind.  Read more...

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"This enlightening book should be read by all interested in the (former) Soviet north, northern people in general, or the relation between nation states and the various 'small peoples' of the Read more...

 
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    schema:description "Introduction: The Small Peoples of the North -- Ch. 1. The Unbaptized. The Sovereign's Profit. The Sovereign's Foreigners -- Ch. 2. The Unenlightened. The State and the Savages. The State and the Tribute Payers -- Ch. 3. The Uncorrupted. High Culture and the Children of Nature. The Empire and the Aliens -- Ch. 4. The Oppressed. Aliens as Neighbors and Tribute Payers as Debtors. The Russian Indians and the Populist Intellectuals -- Ch. 5. The Liberated. The Commissariat of Nationalities and the Tribes of the Northern Borderlands. The Committee of the North: The Committee. The Committee of the North: The North -- Ch. 6. The Conscious Collectivists. Class Struggles in a Classless Society. Hunting and Gathering under Socialism -- Ch. 7. The Cultural Revolutionaries."@en ;
    schema:description ""And, sovereign, having captured a shaman in battle, we asked him: what kind of man are you and do you have kinsmen? And he said: I am the best man of the Shoromboiskii clan and I have four sons. And so we kept him as hostage." For over five hundred years the Russians have been wondering what kind of people their Arctic and sub-Arctic hostages were. "They have mouths between their shoulders and eyes in their chests," reported a fifteenth-century tale. "They rove around, live of their own free will, and beat the Russian people," complained a seventeenth-century Cossack. "Their actions are exceedingly rude. They do not take off their hats and do not bow to each other," huffed an eighteenth-century scholar. They are "children of nature" and "guardians of ecological balance," rhapsodized early nineteenth-century and late twentieth-century romantics. Even the bolsheviks, who categorized the circumpolar foragers as authentic proletarians," were repeatedly puzzled by the "peoples ... from the late Neolithic period who, by virtue of their extreme backwardness, cannot keep up either economically or culturally with the furious speed of the emerging socialist society." Whether described as brutes, aliens, or endangered indigenous populations, the so-called small peoples of the north have consistently remained a point of contrast for speculations on Russian identity and a convenient testing ground for policies and images that grew out of these speculations. In a vividly rendered history of circumpolar peoples in the Russian empire - and in the Russian mind - Yuri Slezkine offers the first in-depth interpretation of this relationship. No other book in any language links the history of a colonized non-Russian people to the full sweep of Russian intellectual and cultural history. Enhancing his account with vintage prints and photographs, Slezkine reenacts the procession of Russian fur traders, missionaries, tsarist bureaucrats, radical intellectuals, professional ethnographers, and commissars who struggled to reform and conceptualize this most "alien" of their subject populations. He reconstructs from a vast range of sources the successive official policies and prevailing attitudes toward the northern peoples, interweaving the resonant narratives of Russian and indigenous contemporaries with the extravagant images of popular Russian fiction. As he examines the many ironies and ambivalences involved in successive Russian attempts to overcome northern - and hence their own - otherness - Slezkine explores the wider issues of ethnic identity, cultural change, nationalist rhetoric, and not-so-European colonialism."@en ;
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