THE WORLD OF THE NIVKHI

Meet the very first Russian scientist to study the Nivkh people

By National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Nivkhs in traditional dress (1930/1950) by Unknown authorNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The funds of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) contain books, manuscripts and photo archives from private collections of famous scientists, writers and teachers, acquired and donated to the library. Today, the library for the first time introduces materials from the collection of Taksami Chuner Mikhailovich.

Chuner Mikhailovich Taksami (1960/1999) by Unknown authorNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Taksami Chuner Mikhailovich (1931-2014) is the first Russian scientist, the first doctor of science from among the indigenous ethnic group of the North in the system of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

A selection of books from the collections of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). (1959) by Taksami Chuner MikhailovichNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Chuner Mikhailovich made a great contribution to the research of the traditional culture of his native people - the Nivkh.

A selection of books from the collections of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). A selection of books from the collections of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

He devoted a series of fundamental research to the study of the Nivkh language (the first Russian-Nivkh, Nivkh-Russian dictionaries with grammatical essays, as well as a series of tutorials, etc.).

Children's drawing (1938) by Unknown authorNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The ethnographic and linguistic researches of Chuner Taksami are based on original materials that he personally collected during many expeditions to the indigenous people of Sakhalin, Kamchatka, Chukotka, Yamal, North Ob, Yakutia, the Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk areas, the Murmansk and Amur regions.

Nivkhs gift to the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography Nivkhs gift to the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, From the collection of: National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)
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Clothing Nivkh Clothing Nivkh, From the collection of: National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)
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Nivkhs (1930/1950) by Unknown authorNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Nivkh

Mysterious carriers of the ancient language living on the edge of Far Eastern Russia, on Sakhalin and the Lower Amur.

Nivkhs (1930/1950) by Unknown authorNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Until the end of 1920, they were called Gilyaks, and older people now call themselves that. They were also called Manguns "Amur" ("Man" means Amur river and every big river, "-goon" suffix).

Nivkhs (1930/1950) by Unknown authorNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

According to the 2002 census, there are 5,162 Nivkhs living in Russia (according to 2010 - 4,652 Nivkhs).

Nivkh - Russian dictionary Nivkh - Russian dictionaryNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The word "Nivkh" is, firstly, the ethnonym of these people, secondly, the expression of the concept of "man", thirdly, in the plural form means "the people", and originally it could mean "I am".

Nivkh fishing (1930/1950) by Taksami Chuner MikhailovichNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The main traditional occupations of the Nivkhs are fishing (keta, pink salmon, etc.) and sea hunt (seal, beluga, etc.). Hunting was of lesser importance (bear, deer, fur-bearing animals, etc.). Subsidiary activity - gathering (berries, roots of saran, wild garlic, nettle; on the seashore - clams, seaweed, shells).

Nivkh fishing (1930/1950) by Taksami Chuner MikhailovichNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Nivkhs made yukola from fish, drained fat from the guts, sewn shoes and clothing from leather.

Household and life Nivkhi Household and life NivkhiNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Household crafts of the Nivkhs are widespread - making skis, boats, sleds, wooden utensils, dishes (troughs, tues), birch bedding; processing of bone and leather; weaving mats and baskets; and forging.

Bear festival (1987) by Unknown authorNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Nivkhs religious beliefs based on animism and trade cult, belief in spirits that live everywhere: in the sky, on earth, in the water, in the forest.

An episode from the film "The Bear and the Shaman" (1950/1999) by Unknown authorNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Nivkhs were officially considered Orthodox, but they retained traditional beliefs (the cult of nature, the bear, shamanism, etc.).

Bear festival in the system of traditional beliefs of the Nivkh Bear festival in the system of traditional beliefs of the NivkhNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Each bear is considered the son of the master of the taiga(spirit), so the hunt for it is accompanied by rites of a trade cult.

Earthy devil (legend) Earthy devil (legend)National Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Chuner Taksami played an important role in the beginning of Nivkh literature.

Two brothers grew up Two brothers grew upNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

He met with native speakers of the Nivkh language and recorded their stories, folk tales.

Tylgund TylgundNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Tylgur (Tylgund) - a genre of the Nivkh epic.

Manuscript (1930/1950) by Taksami Chuner MikhailovichNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Chuner Taksami owns more than 300 publications (monographs, articles, etc.). He edited a series of collective works and collections of articles on the problems of the culture of the people of Siberia, the Far North and the Far East. There are presented the most important issues of general ethnography, traditional culture and historical destinies of the peoples of the Asia-Pacific region in these works.

Letter (1992) by Z. A. KornilovaNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

At the first Congress of the Northern Small Nations, held on March 30 - April 1, 1990 in Moscow, Chuner Mikhailovich, being the Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the preparation of the Congress, made a report "On the political and economic situation of indigenous peoples of the North and the ways of their development". In this report, for the first time, anxiety about the fate of the indigenous peoples of the North was heard on a global scale. It was the voice of not only a scientist, but also a representative of indigenous peoples. Chuner Taksami’s contribution to the solution of important problems of the North is quite significant. On his initiative on the basis of the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia held a scientific-practical conference "The creative potential of the peoples of the North in the XXI century." It presented an actual topic about the role of scientific and creative personnel of the people of the North in solving the most difficult issues of the fate of indigenous peoples in the XXI century.

Letter of C.M. Taksami (1992) by Taksami Chuner MikhailovichNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

In his creative work, Chuner Taksami paid much attention to the problems of the indigenous peoples of the North. On the pages of magazines and newspapers, he raised acute socio-economic and complex historical and cultural issues, speaking in defense of the interests of small peoples of the North.

Nivkh fishing (1930/1950) by Taksami Chuner MikhailovichNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The contribution of Chuner Mikhailovich to the study of the culture of the indigenous ethnos of Russia is truly invaluable. All his activities were aimed at ensuring that indigenous nations were not just objects of attention, but included in the life of the country.

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)

Neustroeva Valentina,
librarian of Science and Research Center of Book Memorials, National library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Exhibition of 2019

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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