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An institutionalized human-animal relationship and the aftermath: the reproductive process of horse-bands and husbandry in Northern Yakutia, Siberia

By H. Takakura

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Abstract

Horse breeding is well-known to be one of the traditional means of subsistence for the Sakha (Yakut) of Siberia. Existing research, however, lacks clear descriptions of the reproductive process of the horse-bands and the role which herders play in that process. The objective of this paper is to clarify these issues. Currently the peoples of Northern Yakutia are not subsistence pastoralists but rather ranch workers. Rural development policies of the Soviet regime and the contemporary decollectivization process have infiltrated all spheres of indigenous life. I describe the nature of state property, labour organization of the state farms, and relations among the administrative village, herders' camp, and pasture, which were defined by the former socialist government and now are unstabilized, as well as how pastoral techniques and practices of horse husbandry shared among herders have been shaped, mediated, and channelled by state-institutional arrangements. The primary focus is the historical interactions among subsistence herders, indigenous ecological knowledge, and state administration, in light of the interaction between herders and horses in the reproduction process of the herds involved with state institutions.

Date 2002
Publication Title Human Ecology
Volume 30
Issue 1
Pages 1-19
ISBN/ISSN 0300-7839
DOI 10.1023/A:1014518612106
Language English
Author Address Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Tohoku University, Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8576, Japan. tabahiro@cneas.tohoku.ac.jp
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Tags
  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal genetics
  3. Animal husbandry
  4. Asia
  5. Breeding
  6. Developed countries
  7. Europe
  8. Government
  9. Horses
  10. Human ecology
  11. Indigenous populations
  12. Mammals
  13. Pastoralism.
  14. Primates
  15. Russia
  16. Siberia
  17. Social psychology and social anthropology
  18. Societies