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Arctic Pastoralist Sakha
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The Sakha - traditional cattle and horse pastoralists and one of the largest ethnic minorities in Siberia - hold a unique position in human adaptation. This book focuses on the cultural history, productivity, and flexibility of the human-nature relationships long cultivated by the Sakha, and studies the lives of the Sakha in post-socialist Russia. Hiroki Takakura analyses how a culture was formed and experienced changes, and how it is maintained today, and combines multiple anthropological perspectives to illustrate how the Sakha have adapted as their society has become increasingly interconnected with global forces since the fall of the Soviet Union. As an ethnography of Sakha society - and of regional evolution and human adaptability in an Arctic environment - this book studies the formation of cultural diversity and uncovers unknown cultural histories in Asia across the Arctic.
This is a pioneering overview of a little known pastoral system in eastern Siberia. In the Sakha Republic's unique system of permafrost lakes and meadows, human practices are directly linked to the way that the landscape offers itself as a host. This fundamental work should command wide attention by regional specialists and all those interested in local forms of pastoralism. -- David G. Anderson, U. of Aberdeen
The key importance of this book lies in its main message, emphasizing the necessity of the study of the Sakha people's adaptation to one of the coldest regions on our planet. Professor Takakura's work constitutes a scrupulous analysis of available literature and a visualization of examples from everyday rural life beyond what is often seen in research fieldwork. -- Vanda Ignatyeva, Inst. of Humanities and Indigenous Studies of the North, Yakutsk
"The book presents a fascinating analysis of the horse and cattle breeding culture of the Sakha. It is a scrupulous discussion of the complex interaction between the Soviet-style economic organization, post-Soviet market economy and animism. The rationality behind the traditional collectivism that works under a market economy is well documented and elucidated." -- Victor Shnirelman, Inst. of Ethnology and Anthropology, Moscow
TAKAKURA Hiroki is Professor at the Center for Northeast Asian Studies (CNEAS), Tohoku University. He was born in Tokyo in 1968 and raised in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, and Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. After graduating from the Faculty of Humanities, Sophia University, he obtained his PhD in Social Anthropology from the Graduate School of Social Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University in 1999. Before his current position at CNEAS he was Assistant Professor at the Tokyo Metropolitan University. During that time, he was Visiting Associate Professor at the National Museum of Ethnology and Visiting Researcher at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. He specializes in social anthropology and Siberian ethnography.
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