The Siberian Yupik people have endured centuries
of change and repression, starting with the Russian
Cossacks in 1648 and extending into recent years.
The twentieth century brought especially formidable
challenges, including the forced relocation by Russian
authorities and a Cold War “ice curtain” that cut off
the Yupik people on the mainland region of Chukotka
from those on St. Lawrence Island. Yet throughout
this all, the Yupik have managed to maintain their
culture and identity. Igor Krupnik and Michael
Chlenov spent more than thirty years studying
this resilience through original fieldwork. In Yupik
Transitions they present a compelling portrait of a
tenacious people and place in transition—a portrait
all the more needed as the fast pace of the newest
century finally threatens to erase their way of life
Everyone will find their own special interest in this comprehensive history. . . . The interweaving of personal stories, memories, and impingement of events from the ‘outside’ world makes this Yupik history a thrilling read as well as a rich scholarly contribution to Anthropology and northern Studies.
—Arctic Studies Center Newsletter
A momentous treatise, Yupik Transitions offers a moving (emotionally and through time) depiction of a one-off social system.
This is a beautifully produced, extremely scholarly, yet highly readable work, written by two co-authors who have an intimate knowledge of their topic. . . . For present-day Yupik peoples it must represent a treasure trove of information on their history and culture. Although Yupik Transitions is exemplary in the scholarship it displays, it is also beautifully written and eminently readable, and would be a most welcome addition to the bookshelf of anyone who has an interest in Arctic history and social organization in general, and the Chukotka Yupik in particular.