Chukchi Dance


This photograph is from a collection consisting of an album and individual photographs that document the Arctic voyage in 1889 of the clipper ship Razboinik (Pirate) and construction of the settlement of Novo-Mariinskii (present-day Anadyr’) on the Bering Sea in northeastern Russia. One of the images shows P.N. Woolf, who was the commander of the clipper Razboinik on its circumnavigation of the world from 1886 to 1890.The unique binding, date of acquisition, and inventory number of the album suggest that it belonged to the photograph collection of Emperor Nicholas II. In the 1880s, the Russian government became concerned about the activities of American whalers along the Russian coast of the Bering Sea, who were depleting the supply of whales on which the native population depended for subsistence. The Russians banned the entry of the American vessels into Russian territorial waters and, in July 1888, set up the Anadyr’ Regional Administration in the village of Markovo. The following year the regional governor founded the post at Novo-Mariinskii. The album contains photographs of the local Chukchi people and views of the harbor Petropavlovsk, the village of Nikol’skoe on Bering Island, and Novo-Mariinskii, where construction of the first building is shown. The album also contains a photograph of the northwestern slope of Nikol'skoe Hill in Petropavlovsk Bay, where an Anglo-French landing took place on August 24, 1854. This was an obscure incident in the largely overlooked Far Eastern theater of the Crimean War (1854–56). The album is preserved in the Department of Printed Art of the Russian State Library and was digitized for the Meeting of Frontiers project in the early 2000s.

Last updated: December 20, 2017