Reindeer pastoralism in modern Siberia: research and survival during the time of crash

Type de publication  Journal Article
Auteur(s)  Krupnik, I.
Volume  19
Titre de la revue  Polar Research
Année  2000
Fascicule  1
Pages  49-56

In many areas across Siberia, the reindeer herding economy of the native people went into a deep recession during the post-Soviet transition of the 1990s. However, as a larger cross-section of data indicates, the reindeer stock decline is not a universal phenomenon. Nor is the present-day crisis in native Siberian herding economies an unprecedented event, as pastoralists did suffer tremendously in "traditional times", due to the devastating epizootics and other natural disasters, and even more so, during the Soviet-induceed collectivizsation. While such a historical review by no means diminishes the scale of the present-day crisis in native herding economies, it helps to identify both the experience and traditional adaptations once used by the native Siberians during the previous times of hardship. Of those, the most efficient were: maintaining cultural and ecological diversity in local herding systems; the ability to shift quickly between nomadic population as the invaluable source of cultural knowledge, technological expertise, and of domestic reindeer stock for ultimate recovery. The modern situation in Siberia, in fact, favours increased local diversity and helps to produce a steady stream of new "winners" as well as new "losers." This new experience has to be comprehensively documented, to produce both a reliable general overview and a detailed summary of the specific regional and local transitions.