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Siberian Village

Land and Life in the Sakha Republic

2000
Authors:

Bella Bychkova Jordan and Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov

Siberian Village

A fascinating portrait of the history and landscape of this remote settlement.

The village of Djarkhan is in the heart of Russia’s Sakha Republic, on the Central Yakut Plain. The world around Djarkhan, with its extreme subarctic climate and intractable permafrost, seems an unlikely place to look for a rich, historic, and exotic efflorescence of human life, and yet this is precisely what the authors found. Their book is a remarkable account of how the people of Djarkhan have created their own distinctive place through their unique relationship with a severe and demanding land.

Enjoyably readable yet filled with the serious documentation essential for future scholarship, this book should prove a milestone in gaining for the Sakhalar a long-overdue appreciation by the outside world. Recommended for all Siberia buffs.

Choice

The village of Djarkhan is in the heart of Russia’s Sakha Republic, on the Central Yakut Plain. The world around Djarkhan, with its extreme subarctic climate and intractable permafrost, seems an unlikely place to look for a rich, historic, and exotic efflorescence of human life, and yet this is precisely what the authors found. Their book is a remarkable account of how the people of Djarkhan have created their own distinctive place through their unique relationship with a severe and demanding land.

This book traces the way of life of the village’s Turkic inhabitants, the Yakuts, from their arrival in the 1600s through czarist times and the Soviet era to the present day. As a native of the village, geographer Bella Bychkova Jordan enjoyed unparalleled access to its people and their stories, myths, humor, problems, and folklore. Viewed through the prism of cultural geography, this material forms the basis of a remarkable portrait of a people wresting a living from the land in one of the coldest and most isolated spots on Earth.

Published in collaboration with the Center for American Places.

Awards

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Siberian Village

Bella Bychkova Jordan is a doctoral candidate and Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov is Walter Prescott Webb Professor of History and Ideas, both in the Department of Geography at the University of Texas.

Siberian Village

Enjoyably readable yet filled with the serious documentation essential for future scholarship, this book should prove a milestone in gaining for the Sakhalar a long-overdue appreciation by the outside world. Recommended for all Siberia buffs.

Choice

It provides original, on-site, hands-on research scarcely matched in works on the geography of Russia. Siberian Village is a paean to a valiant people who, mostly unseen and often forgotten, struggle for survival in one of the harshest backwaters of Earth.

Austin American Statesman

Siberian Village

Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

1 • Siberia: Myth and Reality
2 • The Snow-Muffled Village
3 • Before a Village Stood on Oybon’s Shore
4 • Soviet Village
5 • Post-Soviet Djarkhan
6 • Do Not Vanish, My Village

Glossary
Notes
References

Index