S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.04 (1995)
시베리아 소수 유목민의 민족자결운동과 문화부흥
National Self-Determination and Cultural Revival Movements among the Nomadic Small Peoples of Siberia
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 지역종합연구소
- 지역연구, Vol.04 No.1, pp. 217-277
- In the post-perestroica period, the twenty-six nomadic small peoples of Siberia with less than thirty thousand population have waged a series of affirmative movements on national or ethnic self-determination and cultural revival for the sake of recovery of nomadic economy and ethnic sovereignty. Their movements started from critical reflection on the past history of sedentirization and Russianization under the Soviet rule. The role of the native intellectuals as the central ideologues and activists is significant for our understanding of ethnic problems of the Siberian natives. The process of recognition of ethnic affiliation among the native intellectuals, who were once a model of Russianization and modernization of the nomadic society, is identical with that of reconstruction of ethnicity among the nomadic peoples.
The ethnicity or ethnic identity of Siberian nomadic small peoples is here interpreted as the ‘situational ethnicity’. Their ethnic titles were given on behalf of administrative convenience. Their sedentary lives limited in the definite territories were subject to the Russian government"s paternnalistic ‘protection policy.’ Due to the short duration of ethnic formation and fragile econo-political foundations, the concept of ethnicity appears to be a ‘symbolic instrument’ to the nomadic small peoples. Their ethnicity is not grounded on the primordial sense of ethnic loyalty, but newly constructed in the process of self-determination movements. Their ethnicity is thus a modern phenomenon.
Germinating separately in each ethnic group, the nomadic people"s self？determination movements assert aboriginal rights and national territory rights on Siberia. These movements have spread to all nomadic peoples in the Arctic region, who organized pan-aborigines association across the national barrier. Furthermore, their ethnic issues become extended to global issues as Siberia emerges as the prime region for environmental conservation and nature protection in the world public. The reason for such attention lies in the fact that the nomadic peoples" traditional shamanistic understanding of Siberian landscape is grounded contrary to the ideology of economic development, which approaches to the Siberian landscape as the deposit place of unregenerate mineral and energy resources. Shamanism consists of the complex knowledge system about landscape, hunting animals and nomadic economy. Siberian landscape is not only the place for nomadic activities but the dwelling place for both natural and supernatural beings. Thus, the nomadic small peoples are entitled to assert their aboriginal rights as the authentic manager of the Siberian landscape. The recent revival of shamanistic rituals becomes the symbolic catalyst for the self-determination movements and environmental activism among the nomadic peoples.