A Short Description on the Ways of Life of Samoeds and Lapps, Who Live in Siberia: On their Faith, on Sacrifices, on Oaths, on Teachers of Faith, on Marriage, on Childbirth Customs, on Morals, on Dwellings, on Clothing; on Illnesses and their Treatment, on Burial and Other Matters


This book published in 1788 is a short survey of the cultural practices of the Samoyeds (Nenets) and Lapps (Sami) living in the Arctic parts of European Russia and Siberia. It is divided into two sections: a longer initial segment on the Samoyeds, followed by a parallel but significantly shorter segment on the Lapps. Linguistic ties are strong within each group, and in fact define them, with customs and rituals providing a looser categorization of shared cultural practices. In this regard, native cultures across northern Russia and Siberia share numerous traits of nomadic and animistic lifestyles that encompass peoples much broader than just these two groups. This book concentrates on a variety of customs and practices of the Samoyeds and Lapps, including habitations, clothing, morals, childbirth, faith, sacrificial practices, and medical treatment of illnesses. It provides some regional population statistics by gender, but otherwise is not a quantitative study. Since the book was published in the 18th century, it deals with two cultures that had yet to be significantly influenced by European customs and ways of life. In Arctic Russia and Siberia at this time, these peoples continued to live in a nearly pre-contact fashion with little outside influence. As such, Russian anthropologists and ethnographers long found them to be compelling subjects. The book highlights the traditional nomadic lifestyle of both peoples, noting that much of their material and spiritual culture revolved around the natural habits and migrations of reindeer and other animals that tied them closely to the land and seasonal patterns of life.

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St. Petersburg


Title in Original Language

Краткое описанiе образа жизни самоѣдовъ и лопарей, народовъ, обитающихъ въ Сибири: о ихъ вѣрѣ, о жертвоприношенiи, о присягѣ, об учителяхъ вѣры, о женидьбѣ, о родинах младенцев, о нравах, о жилищах, об одеждѣ; о болезнях и врачевании оных, о погребении и о проч

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Physical Description

31 pages

Last updated: June 9, 2017