University of Alaska PRESS

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Khanty, People of the Taiga

Surviving the Twentieth Century

by Wiget, Andrew

Balalaiva, Olga

327 pages, 100 b&w illustrations & maps, 6 x 9

Format: paper and electronic, click "Buy this Book" for pricing options

Price: $39.95


Drawing on nearly twenty years of fieldwork, as well as ethnohistory, politics, and economics, this volume takes a close look at changes in the lives of the indigenous Siberian Khanty people and draws crucial connections between those changes and the social, cultural, and political transformation that swept Russia during the transition to democracy. Delving deeply into the history of the Khanty—who were almost completely isolated prior to the Russian revolution— the authors show how the customs, traditions, and knowledge of indigenous people interact with and are threatened by events in the larger world.

Meticulously researched, authoritatively written, and enlivened with a magnificence of ethnographic, ecological, and linguistic detail, this unique study offers a portrait of immense scholarly value that could easily serve as a model for similar social analyses of other native peoples of Siberia. . . . Essential.


Well-written, readable, and accessible to a wide audience. The authors balance a broad range of sources in a way that creates a tightly woven, dense, and compelling narrative. . . . [A]n excellent example of how profoundly satisfying deep ethnography can be.


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