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Historically, the culture of the Itelmens, in comparison with the neighboring Paleo-Asian peoples, has a few features. With the general characteristics of the Itelmen economy as a complex commercial one, their belonging to the economic and cultural type of the settled fishermen of Siberia is indisputable.


Fishing is in the first place in terms of economic importance. Salmon fish were hunted in the rivers. From May to the end of September, as the breeds of spawning fish changed, they caught chinook salmon, sockeyed salmon, chum salmon, pink salmon, char, and coho salmon. In the sea, they hunted navaga (on ice), smelt, capelin. Fishing tools are mainly passive - locks, fixed nets, seines, floating nets were used. Due to the large volumes of fish caught, it was usually harvested for future use - dried, fermented, salted. Various seal breeds were the objects of marine hunting. Hunting was practiced in rookeries and in the coastal zone by rounding-up animals with a net. Hunting products were used as food (meat, fat) and as feed for sled dogs. The skins were used to make clothes and household items.

Ground hunting

Ground hunting was of great importance. The Kamchatka brown bear and mountain sheep were hunted among large animals, their meat was used for food. The objects of the fur trade were sable, fox, arctic fox, etc. Before the appearance of Russians in Kamchatka, fur hunting was for natural use - the skins of fur animals were used to make clothes.


In the Itelmen economy, gathering is widely represented, and not only food, but also raw materials. They collected wild garlic, tuberous (lilium, oatmeal), fireweed stems (for making tea), umbelliferous plants, berries for food. Grass was harvested for weaving mats, baskets, ropes and threads. The objects of gathering were coastal marine flora and fauna, bird eggs.

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