Into The Almost Unknown Place...

By National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The exhibition tells about the nomads of the boundless Northern region. The exhibition was created on photographs of Alexander V. Adrianov (1854-1920) from the funds of the National Library of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Types and view Narymsk territoryNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Andriantov A.V. - one of the largest Siberian publicists of the pre-revolutionary period, a traveler, ethnographer, archaeologist, and historian.
At the end of 1887 and in the summer of 1888 Adrianov makes trips to the Narym region on the Vasyugan river. In the XIX century, the population of the region was represented by Selkups (lower reaches of the Vasyugana river), Khanty (middle and upper reaches of the Vasyugana river) and Evenks (nomads throughout the territory of the present Kargasok district).

Types and view Narymsk territoryNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

During the expedition, Andriantov A.V. collected material to resolve the issue of allocating the Narym region to a special administrative district. He conducted a number of studies, collected information about the lifestyle and economic situation of the Selkups, summed up the results of their autumn fishing, and made an audit of stores where grain stocks were stored. He measured and described various types of dwellings and their internal environment. And also carried out a number of other works on the study of the population.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Sacred fir"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)


Indigenous small-numbered Ugric people living in the North of Western Siberia. The old Russian name of the Khanty "ostyaki" was officially used until the 30s of the XX century.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Ostyaki Anfim Aidarov, Mikh. Yurlomkin (in the middle) and his wife"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The ancestors of the Khants penetrated from the South to the lower reaches of the Ob and settled the territories of the modern Khanty-Mansi and southern regions of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous districts.

Types and view Narymsk territoryNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Alexander Dunin-Gorkavich, a researcher of the North of Western Siberia, who visited these regions, describes the Khants as follows: "Ostyaks in the mass are characterized by friendliness, readiness to help everyone and strict honesty. They do not Harbor any hostility to each other".

Types and view Narymsk territoryNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Most of the Khants traditionally led a semi-sedentary lifestyle, moving from permanent winter settlements to seasonal ones located on fishing grounds. Temporary buildings were constructed with a frame made of poles, covered with birch bark, hides, and tarpaulins.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Winter and summer permanent housing"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Permanent dwellings were dugouts or semi-dugouts with support posts and a hipped roof, and log buildings that were heated with a chuval, a kind of fireplace made of clay-covered logs.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Bakery"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

On the street usually put a clay oven for baking bread as well as located various outbuildings.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Nikolai Teykin skiing, in a hunting outfit, with a dog"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The main food is fish and meat.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Ostyak Yakov Igalev with a string instrument, shaman and musician"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The Khanty gave their instruments poetic names. The instrument "nars-yukhi" is translated as a singing or playing tree. In the past, it was used as a ritual tool, for example during the "bear festival".

Types and view Narymsk territory "Sacred cedar"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

In the life of Khanty, cedar has always held a special place. The Khanty believe that the God of the sky created the cedar before other trees. For them, the cedar is a sacred tree, a bridge to another world – the world of spirits and living nature-the mother.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Kul-yung - public idols in the form of fish"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Religion represents the most ancient forms of mythological consciousness and ritual practice. Its own practical experience, stable forms of life, activities and communication, distance from state centers and spontaneous contacts with other peoples gave it specific features.

Types and view Narymsk territoryNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

In Khanty's view, the living is not necessarily the animate. The mixing of spirits with living corporeal beings is a characteristic feature of the religious mythology of Khanty.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Barn with public idols and sacrifices"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

According to Khanty's ideas, the whole world is divided into three parts: the upper, middle and lower worlds. The heavenly world is ruled by the chief God, the underworld by his brother, and the middle world is inhabited by many different gods and spirits — sons and daughters, and other relatives.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Public idols"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Special significance in the religious consciousness was occupied by the patrons of villages, who were dedicated to periodic holidays that lasted up to seven days.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Sacred fir"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)


One of the small indigenous peoples in the North-East of Siberia.  Also known as Tungus and orochen, they are one of the Tungus-Manchu peoples spread across Siberia and the Far East.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Tungus"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The Evenks have been settling the lower reaches of Vasyugan for quite a long time, "at the beginning of the XX century there was the last wave of their arrival. On lake Tukh-Sigat there is a "Tungusov Cape", which bears this name for a long time."

Types and view Narymsk territory "Tungus Iv. Likhachev - a shaman, with a tambourine, in a suit"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

There, in the words of the local Khan, P. I. Sinorbin, since ancient times "ruled the Tungus".
P. I. Sinorbin pointed out that the Khanty learned from the Evenks to build labaz standing on one post. Shamanic tambourines to the Khanty were also, according to him, "brought by the Tungus".

Types and view Narymsk territory "Tungus Likhachev"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Little has changed in the beliefs and customs of the evens. Christianization was superficial and formal.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Tungus plague, deer and a group of Tungus"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The main occupation of the Evenks was reindeer herding.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Sacred fir"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)


Narym Selkups, also known as "taiga people", have since ancient times lived on the territory of Kargasok, Parabel, verkhneketsky and Kolpashevsky districts of the Tomsk region. In the early 17th century, the Selkup (translated from Selkup - "earth " or" taiga " man) sided with Khan Kuchum and were defeated by Russian Cossacks. Some of the Selkups then went North to the Taz river (Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous district), and those who remained in The Narym Ob region began to peacefully coexist with the settlers from the Central part of Russia.Since that time, the Selkups were divided into two territorial groups - the southern (Narym) and Northern (Taz-Turukhan).

Types and view Narymsk territory "A group of foreigners (Samoyeds), on the banks of a stream over tea"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

There is a lot of archaic and mysterious in the Selkup culture, some of its features go far to the South, up to Sumer.

Types and view Narymsk territory "Ostyaks"National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

From Vasyugan Andrianov A.V. brought an ethnographic collection, which later passed to the Minusinsk Museum, and photographic materials.
He shared his impressions of the trips on the pages of the newspaper "Russian Vedomosti": "the Narym region is a Kingdom of forest and water, where the ecological balance is so fragile and unstable, nature is very vulnerable and depends on man."
During the trip, A.V. Andrianov came to the conclusion about the extinction of the indigenous population and made an attempt to uncover the roots of this phenomenon.
Alexander Vasilyevich himself was a principled opponent of all violence. However, it was for his journalistic activities, for his statements in the press against the Bolshevik dictatorship, that he was sentenced to death.
A.V. Adrianov was shot among twenty-six sentenced "active opponents of the Soviet power" on March 7, 1920.
The plans of A.V. Adrianov for many objective reasons were
only a small part has been implemented. He wrote about himself at the end of his life: "I lived up to 60 years, but I did not stop at anything, I did not do anything thoroughly, and I will not leave any trace of myself."
But we can't disagree with these judgments.

Credits: Story

Alexey Ivanov,
author and curator of the project «Culture of Yakutia in the world space» ( inclusion of regional cultural of institutions of Yakutia into the project Google Cultural Institute), initiator of support for the Yakut language and languages of indigenous peoples in machine translators, research fellow of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

List of sources used::
A.V. Adrianov as an ethnographer. URL: (1999)
Evenks of the Lower Irtysh region: a small group on the periphery of the ethnic area. URL: (2017)
Hunts. URL:
Traditional beliefs (Khanty). URL:
The Khanty people. URL:
Musical instruments of the Khanty and Mansi peoples. URL: (10.01.2018)
The Selkups. URL:
Settlements and dwellings. URL:
N. G. Mongolia. A brief essay on the history of the Kargasok district. URL:
Taiga people in the big world. ESSAY. URL: (2012)
V. A. Tugolukov. Tunguses of Central and Western Siberia. URL: (1985)

Exhibition of 2020

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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