Change and Survival at Bering Strait, 1900 - 1960
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 for good.
"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."
—Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research