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Forest Yukaghirs (Oduls)

Осенний улов. Фото В.И. Иохельсона

The forest Yukaghirs call themselves унуŋ омни the "river people" and preserve the ancient appropriating hunting and fishing way of life that developed many thousands of years ago. Scientists believe that in the ancient period in northeast Asia, fishing did not play a significant role in the economic life of local tribes.

Archaeologist V.A. Kashin, relying on the findings made in the Middle Kolyma, believed that "fishing, especially at the stages of the early and Middle Neolithic era, did not play a significant role in the economy. In the late Neolithic era, fishing (possibly only seasonal) gets some development, but the methods of fishing do not go beyond the use of very primitive devices. [Fishing] has never turned into an independent branch of the economy, limiting itself only to episodic fishing by the most primitive methods – locking devices and traps on shallow watercourses." (read more)

The tundra yukaghirs

Ice fishing

Despite the fact that the Yukaghirs were originally sedentary hunters and fishermen, their fishing, apparently, was not accompanied by sacred piety, expressed in the ceremonial side of fishing and the use of substitute words (Kreinovich, 1972, p.65). At the same time, in the 20th century, if not earlier, it was the fish that saved them from starvation, and compared to hunting it was a more stable industry.

Verkhnekolymsky yukaghirs started fishing in the spring. Fish were caught with fishing rods with a lead sinker and an iron hook. As a bait, the hooks were wrapped with a red thread. A more ancient tool was a bone spoke with sharpened ends. Its length did not exceed 8 cm. (read more)

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