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    Relations of the Sexes 733
Position of Girls prior to Marriage 734
Prohibitions applying to Marriages between Relatives 736
Courting and serving for a Bride 739
Marriage 741
Position of Women in the Family 744
Form of Property 746
Levirate 748
Polygyny 752
Polyandry 755
Treatment of Children 757
Treatment of Old People 758
The Killing of Old People 759
Terms of Relationship 759


         Relations of the Sexes. — The relations of the sexes among the Koryak present   a   striking contrast to those prevailing among the surrounding tribes. Among   the    Kamchadal,   Chukchee,   Yukaghir,   and   Tungus,   unchastity   has been   more   or   less   common   as  well  in  the case of girls before marriage as of  women   after   marriage,   the   lack   of  wifely   fidelity being based (at least, among the  Chukchee) on  a  certain  form  of polyandry  intermixed with polyg- amy.    Among   the   Koryak,   on   the   other   hand,   we see a striking example of  moral   purity   (in   the   sense  in  which  modern  civilized  nations understand  it)   in   regard   to   sexual relations,  if for the moment we leave out of consid-eration   the   Koryak   custom   of polygamy.     I  speak of sexual purity because the   Koryak   adhere   to   standards   wich  among civilized  nations are too often violated.     Of  particular   interest   also,   in   the   question of sexual relations, is the total absence of the  Russian  influence upon the  Koryak.     I speak of the Koryak   who  have been  not at all  or but little Russianized.     In general, the Russian   conquerors   have   exercised   a   disintegrating   influence   on the family life   of  the   Arctic   Siberian   tribes.     The   first   Cossacks   and  Russian traders had no Russian women, or few only, in their expeditions.     The native women given   by   the   conquered   tribes   of  their   own   free will,  or oftener taken by force,   were   passed   from hand to hand as slaves or hostages.  These circum- stances   did   not   help to  develop  family virtues in the  mixed bloods born of these casual unions, from  which  has  mainly sprung the present population of the   Russian   hamlets   in   northeastern  Siberia.     The  Russian  conquerors have of  course   treated   the  primitive  norms of sexual and  marital  relations of the northeastern   tribes   of   Siberia   not  as  definite institutions,  involving domestic obligations   and   rights,   but   as   convenient   light morals.     Thus the Russians made extensive use of the Yukaghir custom  of allotting to guests a place on the   bed   of unmarried  women,  and  of the Chukchee right of certain men to the    wives    of   others.1  Add    to    this   the  violence   which   was   resorted   to in  many cases,  and the process can  easily be imagined whereby the primitive forms   of  marital   and   sexual relations were destroyed  and replaced by mere dissoluteness.     Sociologists who think that all mankind, without exception, have passed   through   the   so-called   period   of  promiscuity  as a necessary stage in the   evolution   of   marital   relations,   might   find   this stage in the free morals prevalent in the hamlets of the Russians or Russianized natives of northeastern

1 See pp. 755, 756.



Siberia. It is difficult to find a girl that has reached or even approached the age of sexual maturity that is innocent; and the attitude of married women to conjugal fidelity is fully characterized by the proverb, "Woman is not a loaf, can't be eaten by one (man)" On the Kolyma, where often several families live together in one house, it is difficult to say who is whose wife. Likewise, cases of incestuous cohabita- tion of the nearest blood-relations are nowhere more frequent than  here.

         In bringing about the degeneration and final extinction of many Rus-sianized Siberian tribes, sexual dissoluteness, combined with the spread of syphilis, have played by no means the least important role.

         I have here expatiated upon the unchastity of the Russian settlers and Russianized natives of the extreme northeast of Siberia, in order to show that the special position which the Koryak occupy among the neighboring tribes regarding the interrelation of the sexes cannot be due to the influence of the morals of the few representatives of a civilized people who have settled among them. On the contrary, the Koryak have waged an active struggle against the Russian influence which threatened to destroy their family life.1

         To what, then, is due the fact that the sexual relations of the Koryak stand, according to our notions, above those of the tribes which are related to them by descent, — tribes that live under the same economic conditions, and under the influence of the same external circumstances ? The explanation lies probably in the peculiar mental attitude of the  Koryak.

         Position of Girls prior to Marriage. — Girls, before marriage, must have no intercourse with men. This rule is pretty strictly observed by Koryak girls. Young men will not "serve" 2  for a dissolute girl. He who would undertake to serve for such a girl would expose himself to ridicule on the part of the other youths. On the other hand, the girl's father and elder brothers "are angry,"  the Koryak say, if they notice that their daughter or sister is intimate with young men. All investigators familiar with the life of primitive tribes know that the anger of the elders has more influence upon the conduct of the younger members of a family than preaching in the higher classes or blows in the lower classes of civilized nations, for the wrath of the elders may do harm to those against whom it  is directed.

         In two myths3 we have characteristic episodes telling how a girl's brothers forced a young man to marry her when she complained that the young man had touched her or had addressed to her a request to give him water to drink.

         Should a girl become pregnant before marriage, it is considered shame-ful,  and her parents scold her.     She goes off into the wilderness to be deliv-

1 See Chapter XIV.                          2 See p.  739.                               3 See Part I, pp. 270, 275.



ered   of  her   child.      She   kills   and   buries   it   in  the ground  or in  the snow. If the  girl  points out  the  father  of her  child,   her  father or brothers endeavor to   pommel   him.     In   olden   times   cohabitation   out   of   wedlock   with   a  girl sometimes led to wars between the families to which the young people belonged. After   reaching   maturity,   the   girl   sleeps   in  her combination-suit, the  make1 of which   prevents  unexpected  violence.     When  strangers sleep in the house over   night,   girls  do not undress at all,  and  sleep together in  one bed.     As we shall see later on,  the bride also resists the bridegroom  at the beginning of their married life,  symbolizing her innocence and  inaccessibility.

         The girl is as inaccessible to the bridegroom while he serves for her as to a stranger. Intercourse of a bride with her bridegroom before the termination of his service is deemed a sin. Oftentimes, during the period of a young man's service, the girl goes away from her parental home to live with her relatives. In one myth it is told2   that the sister of Cloud-Man was let down  to earth pending her bridegroom's service.

         Different rules for a girl's conduct are found among the tribes nearest to the Koryak. Maidenly chastity is valued very little among the Chukchee, says Bogoras.3  Krasheninnikoff says of the ancient Kamchadal, "Though fond of women, this tribe is not so jealous as the Koryak. In marriages the signs of virginity are not considered, and some claim that the young men find fault with their mothers-in-law when they discover their wives to be virgin, but this I cannot assert to be authentic." 4  In my work on the Yuka- ghir I shall speak more fully of their custom of placing guests on the beds of the girls.

         Dittmar states that a Koryak girl who had intercourse with a man was severely punished, and that her own father shot her;5  but Krasheninnikoff asserts, in a passage which I shall touch upon again farther on, that the Maritime Koryak offered their wives and daughters to their guests.6  In another passage7 he says that among the Reindeer Koryak the bridegroom sleeps with his bride during the period of service. I think that these data were recorded by Krasheninnikoff on the authority of the Cossacks, who might have confused the Chukchee customs with those of the Koryak, or simply invented this statement. This seems the more probable, since not even the Chukchee offer their daughters to their guests.

          In the myths of the Koryak we do not find a single allusion to such an order of things. On the contrary, we find episodes of an opposite character. The   girls   are   generally   kept   in   a  secret place,8  or they are hidden during

1 See p. 589.

2  See Part I, p. 131.

3  See Bogoras, Brief Report on the Investigations among the Chukchee of the Kolyma District, p. 36.

4  See Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 169.                                 5 See Dittmar, Die Koräken, p. 32.

6  See Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 202.                                7 Ibid., II, p. 22.
See Part I, pp.  125,  176,   291, 302.




the sojourn of the bridegroom when fulfilling the period of service.1 In one myth,2 Yiñea-ñeut, daughter of Big-Raven, bears a child by Earth-Maker in a miraculous manner, not having seen him personally. Afterwards Earth- Maker comes to Big-Raven, owns up to being the child's father, and rides off to his own parents with Yiñea-ñeut as his wife, taken with her father's consent. But Earth-Maker's parents, on meeting them, express surprise that Yiñea-ñeut already has a child. Yiñea-ñeut turns into a stone for shame. This episode illustrates to a certain degree the attitude of the Koryak towards extra-marital relations of the sexes.

         The character of these relations is confirmed not only by the tales and assertions of the Koryak themselves and from my impressions obtained in Koryak homes, but also by the testimony of such experts in love affairs as the Gishiga Cossacks. I often inquired of Cossacks with whom I chanced to drive, or whom I met on my journeys, about their relations with Koryak women; and they confirmed the Koryak statements as to their inaccessibility. Accord- in to them, there are exceptions, but these are rare. Thus, in the village Kamenskoye, consisting of thirty houses, the Cossacks pointed out to me but one girl of loose conduct, but none of the  Koryak men would serve for her.

         In conclusion, I shall give one more proof of what I have said. I made registers of the families of the Maritime and Reindeer Koryak, in order to form a clearer idea of the number of family members and their marital relations. In making the census, I did not find a single child whose father was not known as the mother's lawful husband, according to Koryak customs. But among the Yukaghir, Tungus, northern Yakut, and Russian settlers of north- ern Siberia, it is hard to find a single family in which there are no children born out of wedlock or of entirely unknown parentage. Such children are called by the Russians "maiden children," — a term adopted from the Yuka- ghir ma'rxid-u'o; i. e., a child (born) by a maiden, and belonging to the clan or family of the latter, even if she should eventually marry into another family.

         Prohibitions applying to Marriages between Relatives. — Relatives between whom intermarriages are prohibited are quite numerous, and may be divided into relatives by blood and relatives by affinity.

         Blood Relatives. — A man is forbidden to marry (1) his mother, (2) daughter, (3) own sister, (4) cousin, (5) father's sister, (6) mother's sister, (7) brother's daughter, and (8) own sister's daughter. Between all other blood- relations, marriages are permitted. In answer to my questions covering second- cousins, some Koryak replied that they did not consider them relatives. From this the conclusion may be drawn that beyond that degree, no blood-relation- ship is recognized; but, on the other hand, in direct ascending and descending line, even very distant degrees, such as great-grandfathers, great-grandmothers, and great-grandchildren, are recognized as relatives.

1  See Part I, pp. 131, 163, 198.                                 2  See Part I, p. 300.



         Relatives    by   Affinity.      A   man  cannot  marry the  following relatives by affinity;   (1)  stepmother;  (2)  sister  of living  wife  (i.e.,  simultaneously two sisters);  (3)  cousin  of living wife  (i.e.,  simultaneously  two  cousins); (4) youn- ger   brother's   widow;   (5)   deceased   wife's   elder sister; (6)  nephew's widow, (7)   sister   of brother's wife (i.e.,  two brothers cannot marry two sisters);  (8)  cousin of brother's wife (i. e.,  two brothers cannot marry two cousins); (9) si- multaneously an aunt and  her niece;  (10) two brothers cannot marry,  one an aunt,   and  the other her niece;  (11)   two   ale  cousins cannot marry, one an aunt,   and   the other her niece;  (12) an  uncle and  nephew  cannot marry two sisters,   two   cousins,   or   two   women  of whom  one  is an aunt and the other her niece;  (13) a step-daughter.

         The aversion to cohabitation between relatives in the first two degrees of blood-relationship — such as the cohabitation with a mother, daughter, or sister, which, with very rare exceptions, we find among the most primi- tive tribes — hardly requires explanation. As regards the prohibition of mar- riages among the other above-mentioned relatives, the Koryak replied to my questions on this point, that relatives of the categories mentioned would die soon if they should enter into cohabitation with one another. Unfortunately this answer gives no clew to the above-mentioned taboos. However, certain marital taboos between relatives by affinity are, as we shall see later, closely connected with the peculiarities of the Koryak levirate.

         Krasheninnikoff states that among the Kamchadal "the forbidden kinds of marriage are with one's own mother and daughter only; while marriages between step-son and step-mother, step-father and step-daughter, and between cousins, are permissible."1

         Steller says2  that if a Kamchadal married a widow who had a daughter, he lived with both as his wives. According to him, the Kamchadal allowed a man to marry his step-mother, or to have two sisters for wives simultane- ously. It seems to me hardly credible that the Kamchadal should differ so sharply in their marriage-taboos from the modern Koryak. It is regrettable that what has been said by Steller and Krasheninnikoff cannot now be verified, since the modern Kamchadal, having become Christians and been completely Russianized, observe the rules of the Orthodox Catholic Church in the matter of marriages, as far as their formal side is concerned. However, Krashenin- nikoff asserts even, with reference to the Reindeer Koryak, that they used to marry cousins, aunts, and step-mothers.3   It is hard to admit that in the brief period (about a hundred and fifty years) which has elapsed since Krash- eninnikoffs time, the marriage-laws of the Koryak should have changed to such an extent.

         It must nevertheless be added,  that,  if we are to judge from the myths,

1 See Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 169.                 2 See Steller, p. 347.          3 See Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 221.



certain of the marriage-prohibitions among relatives by blood or affinity were unknown in ancient times. Accepting the evolutionary theory in the develop ment of marriage1 and family relations, we may view the data contained in myths as reflections of the customs which were prevalent in earlier times; i. e., as historical material.

         Among the legendary tales of incestuous marriages, we find no episodes of cohabitation with a mother or daughter; i. e., with the first degree of blood- relationship. In one myth 2  it is related how Illa', wishing to find the sleeping- tent of his former wife, in order to prevent her cohabitation with another husband, first came across his sister's bed, then across that of his mother; and they cried out, "See what he is doing, he comes to his sister and to his mother!"

         In the myths we find the episode of the marriage of Eme'mqut and his own sister,3 but the narrative censures such cohabitation. From the course of the narrative it is clear that the incest had not been premeditated.  The sister had grown up separately, and Eme'mqut finds her by chance. But, even after having learned that she is his sister, he insists on continuing the union; while his sister Yiñea-ñeut is ashamed of it, and finds a way out of the unnatural marriage by persuading another woman to exchange husbands with her.

         On the other hand, marriages among male and female cousins occur quite frequently in the tales.4 These marriages meet with no reproaches from anybody. In only one story5 does Creator explain his decision to make his children marry the children of his sister by the absence of other people near by.    This is, as it were, an  excuse for his violation of taboos.

         Of other cases of cohabitation between relatives which are now adays for-bidden, we find further, in the myths, the marriage of two brothers with two cousins. Thus the two brothers Kalat marry, one a sister of Eme'mqut, the other Kilu's sister; and two brothers from the Bear-People marry, one Yiñea- ñeut; and the other,  her cousin  Kilu'.6

         It may therefore be supposed that certain marriage-prohibitions are of later origin than the myths, and that formerly these prohibitions were limited to a smaller group of relations by blood and affinity than they are now. Similar contradictions might result if these traditions had been borrowed and were told without those changes which  correspond to the local  customs.

         Even now, in distant localities, the same prohibitions are not observed throughout. In some localities, cases are met with in which individual persons act contrary to public opinion and custom.     Thus, in the village Kamenskoye

1  In speaking  of the evolution of marriage,  I do not  mean  to say that all tribes have passed through the
same successive stages in this development.

2  See Part I, p. 202.               3 Ibid., I, pp. 150, 294, 297.                4 Ibid., I, pp. 150, 294, 297.

5  Ibid., I, p. 139.                        6 Ibid., I, p. 150.



I was told that the marriage of a nephew with his uncle's wife, or that of a widower with the elder sister of his deceased wife, is countenanced. It is possible that these deviations should be ascribed to the decline in the force of traditions, under the influence of the Russians, or, better still, of the Russianized  Koryak  of northern   Kamchatka.

          In the village Itkana a Koryak (E'igexmit by name) who was married to two cousins was pointed out to me; while among the Reindeer Koryak of the Taigonos Peninsula, I knew an elderly Koryak (Xoti'tto by name) who had mar- ried the widow of his deceased younger cousin. The old people told Xoti'tto that he should not do it, that it was a sin ; but he would not listen to them. These cases, too,  may perhaps be ascribed  to the weakening of the taboo.

         Courting and serving for a Bride. — The custom of having the parents or other elder relatives of a young man go to the bride's parents as match- makers for him, was evidently practised in antiquity too. In the myths we  meet with this custom.1  The match-maker is called pañiLo'cetala'n (i. e., "the asking one"), since the essence of match-making consists in the bridegroom's father, mother, or other elder kinsman, asking permission for the bridegroom to serve for the girl. The customary formula of match-making is as follows: On entering the house, the match-maker says, "Here I've come." — "What for?" the girl's father asks. "I am looking for a wife," the match-maker replies. "For whom?" the match-maker is asked. "For so and so," he answers. "Well," says the father, after meditating a while, "we have girls, but they are bad; later on you may yet scold us." — "No, it is all right," the match-maker will say.    "Then  let him  come,  I  will  not harm  him," the host will return.

         It is curious to note the modesty with which the father speaks of the bride, not only without attempting to praise her, but even speaking disparag- ingly of her qualities. In this is partly expressed the desire of the bride's father to disclaim all responsibility for misunderstandings that may arise in the future between  the young couple.

Very often the young people get along without match-makers. This is the case particularly when parents disapprove of a son's choice, and if he does not want to submit to their disapproval. Frequently a young man does not tell anybody of his intentions. He goes to the house in which the girl lives whom he desires to marry, and, without saying a word, remains there, performing all house-work becoming to a man. The house-owner receives
the suitor's services with the same silence as he renders them. If the bride-groom pleases him, the bride's father begins to intrust him with commissions. The Reindeer Koryak send the bridegroom to take care of the herd; and, in general, the future father-in-law tries to tire him out, and is over-exacting. If the bride's parents do not want the bridegroom, they suggest that he

1 See Part I   p. 281.



leave their house. In such cases the Reindeer people catch the reindeer on which the undesirable suitor had come, harness the sledge, carry his belongings out, and place him on the sledge, saying simply, "Depart!" In such cases it happens that the young man goes off a short distance, and, coming back, stops at the tent, and patiently and silently sits on his hitched-up sledge without unharnessing his reindeer, which he starves until he is called back into the tent. By such stubbornness persistent suitors have often obtained the consent of the bride's parents.

         The term of the bridegroom's service varies from six months to three years. In Kamenskoye, for instance, the bridegroom is kept for a long time before the bride is given to him. This depends on the pleasure of the bride's father or elder brother. Often the mother says to the father, or in his absence to the elder son, that the young man has been tortured long enough.

         What is the character of the Koryak custom of serving for a bride ? By ethnologists a bridegroom's service is generally considered as payment for the bride; i. e., as a reward to the bride's father for his loss of a working-woman. In the present case this explanation seems inapplicable. Among the Reindeer Koryak, the wealthy reindeer-breeders would prefer to pay with reindeer, were service a payment for the bride; but this does not occur. Besides, the son-in-law, along with his wife, receives her reindeer, the value of which is not in any way equalled by the value of the bridegroom's services. As we  shall see later on, in those cases in which the son-in-law remains in his father- in-law's house, he must still pass through a certainpreliminary term of service as a bridegroom. This service can in no wise be considered payment for the bride, as her father not only does not lose a worker when she marries, but even acquires an additional one in his son-in-law. Finally, if the suit is pressed by an elderly or wealthy man, the service is reduced to a minimum, and is performed in a formal manner only. In my opinion, the service for a bride among the Koryak is of the nature of a test of the bridegroom. A  serving bridegroom is not an ordinary workman. The principal thought is not his usefulness, but the hard and humiliating trials to which he is subjected.The bridegroom is given a poor bed, he is ill-fed, he is not allowed to sleep late, he is sent on exhausting  errands. As a herdsman he must pass his nights without sleep, while the proprietor of the herd and the bride's brothers are resting. In a word, during his term of service, his endurance, patience, and meekness, his adroitness as a hunter, and his zeal and frugality as a herds- man, are tested. The  bride's father gives his assent to the marriage onlyafter the bridegroom has stood the probation well.

         This view of the trial of a bridegroom, who must perform tests dangerous to his life, and win contests,  is also found in Koryak tales.1

   1   See Part I, pp. 163, 198, 250.



         In antiquity, as the Koryak relate, the match-maker, too, had to do all manner of house-work during the bridegroom's sojourn in the house of the bride's parents. This evidently was considered a test of the bridegroom's relatives. The custom of having the match-maker perform the duties of a servant in the house of the bride's parents is still widespread among many Chukchee.1

          A very characteristic story of match-making among the Indighirka Chukchee   was   related   to  me by a  Reindeer Yukaghir who sued for the hand of a   Chukchee   girl   in   behalf  of  his   brother.      His   brother had fallen in love with   a   Chukchee   girl;   but   her   father,   a   wealthy reindeer-breeder,  did  not  want the bridegroom, not because the latter was a poor Yukaghir, but because he thought him a bad herdsman.     Then the girl herself went to the Yukaghir family,   and   engaged   there   in   household duties with the other women.     By  virtue   of the   custom   of hospitality,   she was not asked what she had come for.    Thus three days had passed.  The kinsman  of the Yukaghir would have had no objection to this marriage,  if they had  not feared,  that, owing to the girl's   wilful   leaving   of  her   parental   home,   her father would refuse to give up   her   share of reindeer.     On the third day the young man's elder brother said   to   the   Chukchee   girl,   "We  do  not act the way you do.     Go with me to your father's  house, and  I  shall press the suit for your hand."    The Chukchee girl went with  him in silence.     On  the way he broke a quantity of dry  wigs,   placed   them   by the hearth,  took the buckets,  fetched  water, and did other household work.     "In vain do you,  old man,  do that which women can do,"  said the  Chukchee host to the Yukaghir." — "I  have come to press suit for   your   daughter's   hand," the Yukaghir replied.     "Why should you sue for it?   She   ran   away   to   your   house   of  her   own accord,"  the Chukchee said, railing   at   the   Yukaghir.     After   that   the   Yukaghir   stubbornly   persisted   in doing   all   tasks   about  the house,   and  the  Chukchee spoke to him no more. A   few   days   later   the   Chukchee   somehow   said   aloud   to   his house-fellows, as   is   their   habit,   "I   am going out to stool."    The  Yukaghir went out after him; and, while the  Chukchee was satisfying nature's demands, the Yukaghir tore   up   a quantity of soft grass and  handed it to him.     This humiliation at last  touched   the   Chukchee.     He   put the bundle of grass to use.    Then he entered   the   house and told the  Yukaghir that he  might send his brother to serve for his daughter.

         Marriage. — When the bride's father has decided that it is time to end the probation service, he tells the bridegroom that he may seize the bride; i.e., marry her. There are no marriage rites or festivities whatever. Marriage proper is performed by the first cohabitation;  but even prior to this,   the   marriage   becomes   legalized   by means of  a symbolic action.  The

1 See Jochelson, Wandering Tribes, p. 25.




mother warns the bride that the bridegroom has obtained the right to take her. Custom requires that the bride shall not surrender without a struggle, even if she love her bridegroom. Should the bridegroom find his bride undressed in the separate sleeping-tent which she is given before marriage, he would  not touch her, considering this accessibility as an offence to himself. The bride's resistance is a test of her chastity.1

         Accordingly, with the aid of her friends, the bride ties up with thongs the sleeves and trousers of her combination-suit, so that it cannot be taken off without untying or cutting the thongs. On the day when the bridegroom obtains the right to seize the bride, the latter goes about thus tied up, and tries to run away when her bridegroom approaches her. The bridegroom seizes an opportunity to attack her unawares, to tear or cut the garments with a knife, and touch her sexual organs with his hand. When he has succeeded in doing so, the bride ceases to resist, and submissively leads the bridegroom to her tent. If the bride loves her bridegroom, she runs straight to her sleeping-tent, where the young man, who follows her, can more easily manage her and tear her clothes. If she dislikes him, however, she endeavors to run out of the house, and hides in a neighboring house; but the parents, if the bridegroom is desirable, hinder her from running out. Being a symbol of copulation, the act of touching the bride's sexual organs makes her the man's wife. In one of the myths2 we also meet with this custom. When Moon-Woman does not trust Eme'mqut's promise to marry her, he  touches her sexual organs with his hand, and says that thenceforth he will not deceiveher, for this contact is the same as marriage. A similar symbolic act was performed also among the ancient Kamchadal.3

         Sometimes the bride is aided by her friends and other women in the act of resistance. In this struggle a good thrashing often falls to the lot of the bridegroom. If unsuccessful, he repeats his attacks several times. If the bride does not want the bridegroom, it is hard to take possession of her; and at times the groom has to give up all further attempts, and let his service go for nought.

         It is related that in former times, not women alone, but the bride's male relatives as well, used to defend her, and beat the groom when he tried to seize the bride. In this conduct of the bride's kinsfolk, some ethnol- ogists might see a symbol of the ancient practice of capturing wives. Without undertaking here to inquire into the question whether capture was at any   period   the   exclusive   or   prevalent   form of contracting  marriages,  I  can

1  I think it is of interest to quote here Steller's curious explanation of the origin of the Kamchadal custom
(similar to that of the Koryak), in accordance with which the bride does not at once yield to the bridegroom. He
hinks that it is done in imitation of animals: a bitch, too,  does not at once yield to  the dog (Steller, p. 345).

2  See Part I, p.  176.

3  See Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 195; and Steller, p. 344. According to Steller's statement, the bridegroom had
to put his finger into the bride's vagina.



only remark that I consider the thrashing of the groom as the final act in testing  his adroitness, bravery, and endurance, and not as a symbolic remnant of marriage by capture.

         Of course,  along with  the other methods of obtaining wives, the Koryak, in   former   times, resorted to carrying away women,  or taking away by force both girls and married women, I have spoken of the "wife-snatcher-strong-men." 1 In  Koryak mythology we find some tales of girls being carried away by force. In   one   tale2   Big-Raven,   the   ancestor of the  Koryak,  carries off a girl from the   kamak   for   his  son  Eme'mqut;  and in another 3  Eme'mqut himself steals the daughter of the kamak.     But if we take into consideration that among the Koryak marriage is rather endogamic than exogamic, and that in war the con- querors usually slew the children of the vanquished lest they should grow up to become avengers,  and their women  lest they should bear avengers,4 it seems plausible  that the custom of capturing wives from foreign tribes or clans never prevailed among the Koryak to any extent.

         Marriage is accompanied by neither feast nor shamanistic ceremonies. The daughter and the son-in-law either leave at once for the young man's house, or they remain for some time in her father's house. In some localities, after a successful "bride-seizing," the bridegroom goes home and sends his parents, or other elder relatives, to fetch the bride. When the bride ap- proaches the house of her bridegroom's parents, the latter come out with fire- brands taken from the hearth to meet her. This reception symbolizes the acceptance of the bride into the family cult which the hearth represents. Beyond her clothes and appurtenances for woman's work, the bride brings almost nothing into her father-in-law's house. The bed and sleeping-tent for the couple are prepared by the bridegroom's family. However, the bride brings along presents of clothing, meat, and other things, for the bridegroom's  mother and sisters, and her own reindeer if she be a Reindeer Koryak. If the bride is the first daughter-in-law in the house, the mother-in-law usually hands the whole household over to her care, and interferes only if the daugh- ter-in-law proves to be an inexperienced housewife. On entering the house, the bride immedately sets out to prepare the meal. The Maritime Koryak do not invite any guests, and the meal has purely a family character. Among the Reindeer Koryak, at the meeting of the bride, one or several reindeer are sacrificed to The-Master-on-High and his son, Cloud-Man, protector of married couples.5  From one myth6  it appears that non-performance of this duty brings  punishment from the deity.In former times the bridegroom's mother or elder brother used to anoint the bride's forehead and abdomen with the blood of the sacrificial reindeer. This, too, evidently meant the adoption of the bride into the new family, and her introduction to the new hearth, by means of sacrificial

1 See pp.  561  and 754; and  Part I, pp.  140,  145, 227.              2 See Part I, p. 210.       3 Ibid., p. 324.

4 See Chapter XIII.                           5 See Part I, pp. 26, 93.                                6 Ibid., p. 300.




blood.     This   rite   was   called   "dying   red,"   and,   as   I   was told,  it  has been preserved among the  Reindeer  Koryak  on  the  Palpal  until  now.

         Although, as a rule, the bride goes to the house of her husband's parents, there are also cases where the son-in-law settles in his father-in-law's house; namely, when there are no sons in the bride's  family. In such a case the future father-in-law says to the young man, "If you care to come to stay with me altogether in the place of a son, come; but if you intend to take the wife away with you afterwards,  you need not come."

In order to determine the relative number of cases where the bridegroom goes over to his father-in-law's house, I registered 181 marriages; and among these, in  II  cases only (6%) did the son-in-law settle in his father-in-law's house.

         After the bride has lived for some time in her father-in-law's house, she and her husband go to visit her parents, where they are also met with fire- brands from the hearth; and the bridegroom, on his part, brings presents, so that the two families exchange gifts. A similar exchange of presents and visiting of the bridegroom's parents by the young couple, take place when the young man settles in the bride's house.

         Position of Women in the Family. — The family organization of the Koryak is of patriarchal character. The father is the head of the family, though his power over wife and children is not absolute. The mutual rela- tions of the other members of the family rest on the principle of seniority. If the father grows feeble or dies, his brother or eldest son, or, in the absence of these, his adopted son-in-law who is married to the eldest daughter, be- comes the head of the family. The principle of seniority influences also the interrelations of the female members of the family. The authority over household affairs belongs to the mother, to the eldest sister if married to the adopted son-in-law, or, if any brothers, to the wife of the eldest brother.

         Though nominally the father can marry off his daughter on his own authority, he nevertheless not only consults his wife and eldest son, but often takes into consideration even the likes or dislikes of his daughter. Cases occur where the daughter does not submit to the father's or elder relative's authority in the choice of a bridegroom. Their will is not forced upon her.  This attitude is also mirrored in the myths. Thus, Root-Man wanted to give his daughter in marriage to Eme'mqut; but she would not yield, and the bridegroom had to give up service.1 Young men often go to serve for a bride, in spite of the non-approval of the "elder" or "elders" of their own families. Should a girl run away to her lover's house against the will of her kindred, her parents would not demand her return, as she went of her own accord.  When asked what their guiding principle is, in theirchoice of a bride or a bridegroom, the Koryak answer that they pay no attention to looks; what is

1  See Part I, pp.   135, 218.



expected  of the  bridegroom  is  that  he  should  be  a good hunter or herdsman, and  the  bride  must  be a good housekeeper and skilled in handiwork.     Never- theless,   sexual   attraction   based  on  sesthetic  sense,  or  physical  attraction,  un- doubtedly   plays   an   important   role   in the mutual inclination between young men   and  girls.     This shows itself in  the relation between husband and wife. As in the relations of the members of the family the principle of senior- ity   plays   its   part,  so in the relation between the male and female  members of a   family   the   principle   of  the  supremacy of men's authority undoubtedly dominates.     Thus,  at the bidding of the family's elder (father, uncle, or eldest brother),   the   Reindeer   camp   is   removed   to another locality,  or, among the Maritime   Koryak,  the place of hunting or fishing is  changed.     The men get the   best pieces of food,  the women  receive what is left over.     Thus,  among the   Reindeer   Koryak,   only  the  men sit around the food which is served in the inner tent; and,  besides the children, only the  mother or the eldest wife is   present,   who distributes the  food or treats the guests.     The other women and girls receive the leavings,  which they eat in the outer tent.     Among the  Maritime   Koryak,   too,   the   women   and   irls   eat separately,  by the hearth, after the men have eaten.     Nevertheless the attitude of men towards women is   protective   rather   than   severe.      Cases of wife-beating are  very rare.     On the   other   hand,   it   happens   that   the   wife   not   only   returns in kind to her husband, but often appears to be the aggressive party.     In general, complete- accord   reigns   in   families.     I  even  had occasion to witness touching displays  of devotion   between   husband   and   wife.      Thus,   I   saw  a smith from  Kuel, somewhat   tipsy   with   whiskey,  leaning his head on the shoulder of his wife, who   supported   him   by the waist.     When  my attention was attracted to this scene,   the   smith   said   to   me   with   a   smile,  "This is my kind wife."    I  was still more impressed with the treatment which the Koryak Oomya' from Kamen- skoye   accorded   to his blind  wife.     When making a trip anywhere,  he takes her along, and even takes care of her most tenderly; he takes her down into the   underground   house,   takes   her out,  hands her the food,  and sits by her side all the time.     Such relations are possible only in cases of deep attachment. In   former times,  men  not infrequently killed  themselves upon the death of  a   beloved   wife.     On   the   Taigonos   Peninsula   I  saw a Reindeer Koryak who   had   attempted   suicide   after   the   death   of his wife.     Entering the tent after the cremation  of his deceased wife,  he sharpened his belt-knife, told his relatives  to divide his property among them,  and went out of doors.    There he   buried   the   knife in  his breast, but missed the heart.     He came into the house   groaning,   and then the people learned that he had attempted to stab himself.     He  recovered, and did not attempt suicide again; but his relatives afterwards railed him, saying that he had not seriously meant to kill himself. Though in following her husband the young woman becomes a member of his family, and subject to the authority of her father-in-law or other senior



member of the  family,  and  although  she  becomes  affiliated  to  the hearth and joins her husband in the cult of his family ancestors, nevertheless she continues to dwell under the protection  of her  blood-relatives.     It is told in one myth1 that Eme'mqut drives off with his sister, who is being tortured by her husband the   Ringed-Seal,   and   his   relatives;   so,   also   nowadays, the  young woman's relatives  still  have the right to take her away from her husband if he treats her   cruelly.     This proves that woman is  not considered to be her husband's property.     If  a   woman   flees   of  her   own accord to  her relatives, they will not surrender her.     Sometimes the husband comes to ask her to come back, promising better treatment.     On the other hand, the husband may cast out his wife without any explanation, if he dislikes her for one reason or another; but by  this   act   he   forever  breaks up the union which marriage had established between   the   two   families.     Henceforth   he  cannot  court  any  relative  of his disowned wife.     No girl relative of the latter will be given to him in marriage.

         A Koryak widower on the Taigonos Peninsula, soon after his marriage, sent his second wife back to her relatives. I asked him why he had turned her out. He replied that she had not attended him when he had been ill, and did not take care of his children by his first wife.

           In this simple manner, Koryak divorce is performed. If there are children at the separation of the spouses, the girls remain with the mother, the boys with their father. Disputes concerning the children do occur, but they are settled without anybody's intervention.

        Form of Property. — Despite the fact that the proprietary right to clothing, household effects, houses, and domestic animals, has already become strongly lodged in the tribal consciousness, we still meet remnants of communal ideas in this sphere. These chiefly concern articles of hunting- and fishing. The principle of property in the produce of labor is not as yet completely applied to the food procured by the hunter and fisherman. People in need of food may lay claim, as we shall see in the next chapter, to the game obtained by the successful hunter or fisherman. .The social union among separate families is based on  this.

         Among the Maritime Koryak, clothing and ornaments alone are considered personal property. Wooden guardians and other amulets, household appurte- nances, the house, nets, and skin boats, are family property. I have already said2  that the boat, being a "guardian" of the family, cannot belong to two different families. All these things pass on by inheritance from father to son, and, in their absence, to brothers. Daughters or sisters who have not been married into other families remain with their brothers or uncles. If one of  the brothers sets up a separate house, he receives a part of the movable property, dishes and implements,  and may continue to share with his brothers

1   See Part I, p. 153.                                              2 Ibid., p. 41.



in   the  common  use  of the  skin  boat,  if he remains in  the  same  village.     In case   of  the   death   of  the   father   or   of a  childless brother,  the  brother  who keeps house for himself receives a portion of the inheritance, even if his broth- er's   widow   passes   on to another,  younger brother.     I have already said that girls, on marrying into other families, take with them nothing but their clothes. The  reindeer which  the bride takes along are often delivered by her kinsfolk to her father-in-law,   not immediately after the wedding,  but according to the most   convenient   moment,   considering what season  is most favorable for the welfare of the herd.

         The reindeer are the property of all  the  members of the family, but the movements   of the   herd   are   directed   by   the   father.     According to custom, each   newly   born   child,   irrespective   of sex,   receives   one   reindeer-heifer  or more   with   a   special   mark   on   the   ear.1     This   gives   each   member   of the family   a   share   in   the   herd   later   on.     Under favorable conditions, a whole herd may be formed by the yearly increase of the herd of these heifers, before the child is ready to marry.     Of course, the original herd belongs to the father; but   considering   that   each  child  has its own  reindeer,  and that the wife and daughters-in-law   retain   as   their property the reindeer which they brought in marriage, the whole  herd of a large family belongs to a group of interrelated proprietors,   under   the   direction  of the eldest male.     This elder may be the eldest   brother or paternal  uncle.     On  the father's death,  the original herd is divided   up   among   the   sons,   and,   in   the   absence   of  children,   among   the brothers of the deceased.    At marriage, daughters usually receive a share of the  original herd from their father,  in  addition to their own reindeer.    Some Koryak   divide   their  deer equally among their sons and daughters, and give a proportionate part to the daughter at the time of her marriage; 2  but then the daughter is  no longer entitled to inherit part of the herd on her father's death.     If an   unmarried   girl is at home when her father dies, her brothers give her the reindeer at the time of her marriage.     If a wife leaves her hus- and   or   is   cast   out   by   him,   her relatives take back her reindeer.    I have already   said   that   divorces   are   very   rare.     After the birth of children, who are   heirs   to   both their mother's and father's reindeer, the husband manages his wife's reindeer more independently.     In general, the eldest member of the family manages the  common herd of the family entirely without control.     He designates   which   reindeer   are to  be killed for meat,  clothing, sacrifices,  and sale.     He   oversees the pasture and herdsman,  and picks out the reindeer to be trained for harness.     Of course,  he often  consults his wife or eldest son. 

         The   parting   of  brothers,   or   the   separation   of a married son from the

1 See p. 492.

2 In Tale 86  Yiñea-ñeut marries  Magpie-Man.    They  eat up all the reindeer  which Big-Raven had given
em.    Yinea-neut  comes to   her  father  to  ask   for  food;   and Big-Raven says, "You ate your share of reindeer, I
have nothing else to give you" (Part I, p. 259).



paternal  family,  rarely occurs.     This happens, in the first place, among people very rich  in  reindeer.     The  division  of too large a herd may become a neces- sity   for   the   care   of  the   reindeer.     The   widow's reindeer pass over to her brother-in-law with whom she lives;  but if she has children, her brother-in-law manages   the   reindeer   only   temporarily.     A   widow   who   does  not re-marry remains   with   her   sons,   together   with  her reindeer; but if she has no sons, she  joins  her brothers, or manages the herd herself,  with the help of herds- men.     The lately widowed sister of the Taigonos elder figured on Plate XXXII, Fig.  2, has remained single; and,  with her two adult daughters,  she person- ally   directs   a   herd   of  eight  hundred reindeer.     For this purpose she keeps two   herdsmen,   of whom   one   was   in   the   position   of   a   bridegroom   doing service for her eldest daughter.

         Levirate. — The institutions known under the general term of "levirate" embrace marriage-customs which, though similar but not wholly uniform, are found among various tribes. I retain this name also for the Koryak institu- tion of this category, although it is not quite broad enough in its strict sense. The word "levirate" denotes the custom by virtue of which a brother (or other relative) marries the widow of his elder brother (or relative). Among the Koryak an analogous custom extends also to the widower. The younger sister or relative of the defunct wife must become his wife. Thus the Koryak levirate may be summed up as follows: 

1.       The  widow must be married to the younger brother, younger cousin
or nephew (son of sister or brother),  of her deceased husband.

2.     The widower must marry the younger sister, younger cousin or niece
(daughter of sister or brother), of his deceased wife.

         I have recorded twelve cases of marriage through levirate. Of these, the widower was married to his deceased wife's sister in one case, to her cousin in two cases, and to her niece in two; the widow married her deceased husband's younger brother in two cases, his younger cousin in four cases, and his nephew in one case.

         From the relations of levirate marriage, it becomes clear why two brothers or male cousins, or an uncle and nephew, cannot be married to two sisters, two cousins, or an aunt and her niece. In case of the death of the elder brother, cousin, or uncle, the younger brother, cousin, or nephew would be unable to take the widows of the first three for wives, unless one man might be married to two sisters, cousins, or aunt and niece. As stated before, such a polygynous marriage is not permitted by custom.1

         The latter custom must be supposed to be of less ancient origin than other marriage taboos, and I think is the foundation for woman's increased modesty.    A Koryak who has two or more wives sleeps  in one sleeping-tent

See p. 738.



with all of them, and shares his bed, now with one, and then with another. The sense of shame forbids a woman to be present at the acts of the intimate life of her sister. What, then, is the origin of this, which I should call "two- sided Koryak levirate"?

         McLennan' and his followers consider the custom of levirate among other tribes as a survival of polyandry. Westermarck2  demolishes this view with great conclusiveness. But if we admit that McLennan is right, whatever he says applies to the one-sided levirate usually spoken of by the ethnologists and sociologists; i. e., when the younger brother marries the elder brother's widow. But, of course, nobody considers the marriage of a widower with the younger sister of his  deceased  wife a survival  of polyandry.

         Lubbock's and Spencer's explanation of levirate is, that woman is viewed as a property which the brother-in-law inherits along with other possessions. Possibly the explanation may apply to the levirate custom of some tribes; but in cases where the widower takes the younger sister of his deceased wife, there can be no question of proprietary title to her; also in the passing of the widow to her deceased husband's younger brother, the family right does not always coincide with the right of property, as it appears from the Koryak order of inheritance. Besides, according to the customs of the Koryak, the elder brother, although he receives part of the inheritance left by his younger brother, cannot marry his widow.

         The view that levirate is connected with the cult of ancestors — such as prevailed among the ancient Hindoos and Hebrews, through the necessity of having an heir in the interests of salvation and bliss in heaven — does not apply to the Koryak levirate either, not only because it is two-sided, but also because among the Koryak any widow of the elder brother, and not alone one without any offspring, or without male offspring, passes over to the younger brother.

         Nevertheless I do think that Koryak levirate, though from another point of view, is connected with the cult of ancestors, or rather with the cult of the family hearth. I have pointed out before 3   that each Koryak family has its guardians and its incantations. The family hearth, the chief family guar- dian, is averse to admitting strangers. Since primitive man views every stranger as a possible foe, the family guardians are inimically disposed toward every stranger, and are ready to guard the family against the evil eye, word, and other magic acts of strangers. Access to the family hearth is had with  difficulty only. Besides, the family hearth is connected with the deceased relatives   whose   souls   return   in   new-born   children.     Marriages between two

1  See  I. J. McLennan,  The  Levirate  and   Polyandry  (The  Fortnightly  Review,   London,  1877,  Vol.   XXI,
pp. 694—707).

2  See E. Westermarck, The History of Human Marriage, London.  1901, p. 510.

3  See Part I, pp. 46, 59.



families   give   free   access to the hearth,  not only  to  the  members  of strange families,   but   also   to   the   souls   of  their   deceased  members.     The  soul  of a deceased   relative,   both   on  the  father's  and  on  the  mother's side,   may enter the new-born child ;    and each child borne by the daughter-in-law or engendered by the son-in-law may become the possessor of the soul of a deceased relative of a strange family.     Thus a marriage contracted between two families brings nearer not only the living,  but also the souls of the dead members, and the guardians of both families.     The Koryak like to strengthen the union by new marriages.     Thus the brother of a married woman will court her husband's sister, if there be such.     These are favorite  unions.     We meet such  cases, not only in   every-day   life,   but   also   in   myths.1     In  my opinion, the  Koryak levirate has   for   its   object   the   maintenance   of the   union   between   two   families:   a widower   marries   the   sister  or relative of his deceased wife, and a widow is married   to   the   relative   of  her   deceased   husband,   in  order to maintain  the family union which  has been  interrupted  by  death.

         As marriage, with the exception of the above-mentioned degrees of kinship, may be contracted between parties of the same village or family even, — for instance, any second-cousins, — it happens very rarely that the match-maker or bridegroom goes to a remote village or nomad camp in search of a bride. Most frequently marriages are contracted between inhabitants of neighboring villages. On the Palpal I once met an elderly Koryak from the village Mikino driving to the Opuka River, and asked him why he was going there. He replied that he was going to get some relative of his deceased wife to marry him. "Can't you find a wife for yourself anywhere nearer?" 1 asked. "I can," he replied; "but the union between my family and the family of my children's mother must not be interrupted. Besides, the relatives of my deceased wife  know  me and  won't make  me serve for a bride."

         As I look at it, the Koryak levirate is an institution having for its object the continuation of the union between families related by affinity. This union is necessary in order that the spirits of the ancestors, the hearth and other family guardians, of the two families entering into relationship, may abide in peace and unity. In former times, when separate groups of a tribe waged  war with one another on the slightest occasion, families united by marriage formed defensive and offensive alliances. Often the marrying-off of a girl into a family with which there had been war, made peace between the spirits of the deceased of both families,  and put an  end to blood-vengeance.

         In certain cases, an extensive league of families may be formed through intermarriage. If there are several sons in one family, and several daughters in  another, these two families cannot confine themselves to intermarrying with each other, for brothers of one family cannot marry sisters of another.     Some

  1  See Part I, pp. 149, 157, 164, 226, 250, 252, 254, 257, 267, 305, 308.



must seek brides in different families, and daughters must be married into different families. Only in the case of the death of a married son or of a married daughter of one family or the other is a second marriage, through levirate,  possible.

         Of  course,   if  the 'nature of the  Koryak levirate has for its purpose the strengthening   of  family   alliances,   it   may   be   asked   why   a widower cannot marry   his   deceased   wife's   elder   sister,   or why a widow cannot become the wife   of her deceased husband's elder brother.     I  have put the question, but to my regret I have received no satisfactory answer from the Koryak.    Person- ally   I   think   that   in   this  case the legal  position  of the elder brother in the family   supersedes   the   considerations   of  blood-relationship.     When  father or mother die or become too old,  the eldest brother and eldest sister take their places.     By   force   of  this   position,   sexual   intercourse   of  the eldest brother (who   enjoys the right of agnate)  with his sister-in-law,  or of the eldest sister with  her brother-in-law, seems to be imagined to  be the same kind of incest as   the cohabitation  of a  father with  his daughter-in-law or of a mother with her son-in-law.

         I will add here a few details illustrating the application of the levirate in the every-day life of the modern Koryak. From these it appears that in several places this custom is coming to lose vigor and to assume the form of a right instead of involving an obligation. Attention must also be drawn to the subjection of woman in this custom. In Kamenskoye I was told that a younger brother may marry his eldest brother's widow, or a widower the younger sister of his deceased wife, while in other places they must do it. On the other hand, if disinclined, the relatives may not give a widow or deceased wife's younger sister to her brother-in-law in marriage. From this it is evident that in Kamenskoye the custom leaves to either side, if such be desired, the choice of not renewing the family union by a new marriage.

          But if the nearest relatives of a woman have died, and she has thus lost her natural protectors, the widower or brother-in-law can enforce the observ- ance of the levirate against her will. However, men rarely make use of this right. Shortly before my arrival, an elder in Kamenskoye (Opilli by name) had lost his wife and eldest brother. The wife of the latter, with her children, went to his home to live; but when asked whether he had married her, he answered that as yet she was not ready to do so. I know of another  case from the village Kamenskoye, where a Koryak, married to a young woman, received into his house two old widows, the wives of his deceased elder brother, but he did  not live with them because they were too old. 

         I met with a similar case on the Paren River. A Koryak, Ewpicõ, who had a young wife, had taken his uncle's widow into his house, but did not live with her, as she was sickly.

         In his preliminary report on the Chukchee,  Bogoras speaks of the exist-




ence of Ievirate among them,1 but a more detailed discussion of their customs may be expected in  his  description of the social organization of the Chukchee in   this   series.     From   certain passages in Steller's book on the Kamchadal,2 the   conclusion   may   be drawn that among them a Ievirate similar to that of the   Koryak   existed;   í. e.,   that   it   was   two-sided.3    It   is   a matter of great regret   that   he   does   not   dwell   in   detail on this institution.     An interesting feature   of the   marriage   customs   of the   Kamchadal   is   mentioned   by   both Steller and Krasheninnikoff.4    It is evidently connected with the Ievirate, and is quite similar to the Jewish rite of khaliche,  which is a substitute for actual marriage   with   a   relative's   widow.     According   to   these   travellers,   nobody would   marry   a   widow   before   an   outsider   had   had   sexual intercourse with her,   which   was   called   "removing   the   sin   from her."     By that intercourse a woman   was   evidently   freed   from   the   union   with   her   deceased   husband's family; and her new husband could take her to his own family hearth without incurring  vengeance  on the part of her first husband's spirit.    This explana- tion is favored by another passage in Steller, in which he states that a man may take his deceased brother's widow without any ceremonies.5    The person who would undertake to "remove sin" from a woman was paid for this service; and   prior   to   the coming of the Cossacks,  it was difficult to find among the Kamchadal   men   who would volunteer for this undertaking, which, according to their belief, was fraught with danger.

         Polygyny. — In some myths the heroes have two wives, and in two of them they have three; but the majority of marriages recorded in the myths are monogamous. The Supreme Deity and Big-Raven have each but one wife. In contemporary Koryak life as well, we find that monogamous marriages prevail, although custom places no limits on the number of wives. 


Among the Maritime Koryak, I questioned 95 married men. Of these, 13 (i.e., 13.6 %) had two wives each, and not a single one had more than two. Among the Reindeer Koryak I recorded the family conditions of 65 married men; and of them, but 3 had two wives each, and 1 had three wives; i. e., the percentage of men having more than one wife was but 6 % , or but half as much as among the Maritime Koryak. Some of the men with two wives had taken a second wife because the first one was barren;  others  had  married a second time because their first wife,  who  was obtained

1 See Bogoras, Brief Report, p. 35.                                   2  See Steller, pp. 346, 347.

3 Customs  similar   to   what   I   call   "two-sided   levirate"   are   known   also   among other tribes.    Some of them
are enumerated by Kohler (Urgeschichte der Ehe, p.  144), who regards this custom as a survival of former "group-
marriages."     The   same   custom  is  also   met   with   among   North   American   tribes.    For  instance,   of the  Ojibwas,
W. Jones says (Central Algonkin, Annual Archaeological Report, Toronto, 1906, p. 136), "It was usual for a man to
marry  the  widow  of his  brother,  and a widower might marry the sister of his dead wife."    The same is stated by
eit with  reference   to   the   Thompson   Indians  (see  Teit,   p. 325),  and   by   Dorsey   to   the   Skidi Pawnee (Congrès
ntemational des Américanistes, XV e  Session, Quebec, 1907, Vol II, p.  73).    No explanation, however, is given by
the last three authors as to the origin of this custom.

4  See Steller, p. 346; Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 178.                              5 See Steller, p. 347.



through   levirate,   was   too   old.     In   some   cases   the   second   wife,   who   was obtained  through  levirate,  is   the  younger  of the  two.     Only in two cases did I   find that both  wives  had  children,   and  in   neither  of these cases were levi- rate   customs   involved.     On   the   other   hand,   in   three cases  of men having two   wives,   neither   wife   had   children.     Their   barrenness,   accordingly,  must be attributed   to the husband.     The only  man  with three wives whom  I  saw was   the   elder   of  the Taigonos Reindeer Koryak.1     He had children by his first   wife;   but   she   became   ill,   evidently   with   hereditary   syphilis,   and her face   is   so   deformed   that   she   covers   it up  whenever an  outsider enters the tent.     His   second   wife   is   barren;   and   from   the   youngest,   the   third   wife, he   has   offspring.     In   one   case,   a   young man  who  married an old  woman,his   uncle's   widow,   through   levirate,   took   into   his   house   a   little  girl, and began to live with her after she had grown older.     She seemed about sixteen years   old   when   I   saw   her,   and she was pregnant at the time.    Such mar- riages with  minors were more common  in  former times.     Generally speaking, girls marry when twenty years old,  or even older.

         It is interesting to note that the greater number of monogamous marriages among the Reindeer Koryak coincides with the greater number of men as compared with women among them.

         The statistics of the official census for 1897 have been discussed before (p. 445). I myself made a detailed census of the Maritime Koryak from the village of Kamenskoye to the three Itkana villages, inclusive, and of the Reindeer Koryak on the Taigonos Peninsula and along the Tilqai River. According to my count, there were 102 women to every 100 men among the Maritime Koryak, and but 89 women to every 100 men among the Reindeer Koryak. The ratio of women to men which I obtained among the Maritime Koryak was identical with the one I found in the official census of all the Maritime Koryak. But the percentage of women among the Rein- deer Koryak which I obtained was even below the census of 1897, which gives 90,8 females for each 100 males. This may possibly be explained by the fact that I took the census after an epidemic of measles which had carried off more women than  men, and left many widowers.

         Judging from both myths and actual observation, it seems that the prevailing form of marriage among the Koryak is monogamic, and that polygyny kept up by the custom of levirate and the desire of having an offspring when the first wife is barren. However, in certain traditions which I heard, relating to a past by no means remote, stories are told of strong men, who were good warriors and skilful hunters, and who had harems of women taken by force from their fellow-tribesmen. A cavern on the rocky coast   of  Penshina  Bay was pointed out to me as the dwelling-place of such

1 According to Dittmar, when he visited the Taigonos Peninsula, the elder had four wives (Dittmar, Die
Koräken, p. 25).



a "woman-snatcher." He would lie in wait for Koryak boats passing by, and would take away the wives of the oarsmen. A similar tale1  is found among the myths. Worm-Man, who carried away many women after slaying their husbands and brothers, takes away the wife of Eme'mqut. He is slain by the latter. Eme'mqut brings back to life the husbands and brothers of the women whom Worm-Man had captured, and restores to their families the wives and sisters, whom he sets free. Many of the brothers give their sisters to Eme'mqut. He retains only three of them : the others he distributes among his brothers and his cousin  Illa'.

         In a household with more than one wife, the first is considered the mistress of the house. The second wife consults the first in everything, and carries out her instructions. In the majority of cases the wives live in har- mony. When intending to take a second wife, the husband usually consults with the first one. An old woman who has grown-up daughters to help her in housekeeping, often asks her husband to take a second, younger wife. But some women are jealous, especially if the second marriage was contracted against their will, and quarrel with the second wife. In myths, too, we find cases of hostile relations between wives, and even of the murder of one wife by another. In one case the first wife cuts off the second wife's nose.2 Here I will relate a characteristic case from the life of a man who had two wives. A Koryak from Kamenskoye, Oacilqut by name, whom I have men-  ioned several times, and whose first wife was childless, courted the young- widow of a deceased distant relative of his. For a long time he could not take her to his house, as his first wife was opposed to their marriage. Finally, despite the objections of the first wife, he brought his second wife to his house. During the husband's absence, the first wife often beat and tortured the second one. Sometimes she would prick her face with a needle. The second wife bore everything in silence, and did not complain to her husband. This finally appeased the jealousy of the first wife, and they now live in peace. All this was told me by Oacilqut's first wife herself. She is a very bright, energetic woman, and still young. Her husband is a mer- chant. When he goes on a business trip to the Reindeer Koryak, she accom- panies him as his clerk, and always brings some present for her friend, the second wife. Like the other polygynous Koryak, they all sleep in one sleeping-tent, — the husband in the middle, the first wife to his right, the second to his left.

         In connection with this subject should be mentioned the cases of men transformed into women, which in former times were not uncommon, and 
were   called   qava'u   or   qeve'u.3     Like the ancient Kamchadal koe'kcuc 4  and

1  See Part  I, p. 145.                2  Ibid., pp. 209, 268, 294.                                4 Ibid., p. 32.

4  See Krasheninnikoff, II, pp.  114, 222; Steller, p. 212.



the present Chukchee irka'la'ul, Koryak "transformed men" contracted marriage with  men,  or, when there was another real wife, would be kept as concubines, and   lived   with  the   so-called husband in improper intimacy.     This, of course, cannot  be treated as  a normal  institution  of marriage.     Such  cases were few in  number.     Bogoras states that among three thousand Kolyma Chukchee he registered five cases of men who were believed to be transformed into women; but   of these,   only   two   were   "married"   to   other   men.1     I   think   abnormal sexual   relations   have developed  under   the influence of the ideas concerning shamanistic   power,   which   the   "metamorphosed"   men   obtain from the spirits at   whose   bidding   and   with   whose   help the change of sex is accomplished. These   beliefs    have   found   fertile   soil   in   individuals   of  abnormal   physical and   psychical   development.     With   the   decadence  of shamanism among the Koryak,    and    the    Russianization   of   the   Kamchadal,   these   practices   have disappeared in  both tribes.

         Polyandry. — I had occasion to observe among the Reindeer Chukchee of the Kolyma tundra that they would exchange wives for the night, or that the wife would be placed at the disposal of the transient guest, while the husband would go off to his herd. Mr. Bogoras, who has studied this question more closely, considers this wife-exchange among the Chukchee as a form of group-marriage. The right of two men to each other's wife is stipulated by the mutual agreement of the husbands.2 This marriage-union is contracted mainly among kinsmen (excepting brothers), such as cousins and second-cousins. A union like this may be contracted among unrelated men  as well. Not infrequently this contract is entered into by a married man and a bachelor, who thus pledges his future wife to his friend. Each Chukchee may contract such a union with several persons, who are called "friends in wives." The result of such a union is a polygynic-polyandric group-marriage. The families participating in such a marriage-union retain, nevertheless, their own economic independence, and the children are considered as belonging to the head of the family in which they are born.

         In Steller's 3  description of Kamchatka we find a passage in which it is stated that friends sometimes agree to exchange wives. It is to be regret- ted that Steller gives no detailed information concerning the character of such agreements.

         Krasheninnikoff says that the Reindeer Koryak are jealous beyond measure, and may kill their wives on the mere suspicion of faithlessness.4 On the other hand, he compares the Maritime Koryak with the Chukchee, and alleges   that   among   them   the  host's wives and daughters are given over to

1  See Bogoras, Brief Report, p. 31.

2  For the same marriage-customs among the western Eskimo, see Nelson, p. 292.

3  See Steller, p. 347.

4  See Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 201.



the  guests,   and  that the host  feels deeply  offended  should  the guest  not accept them.1

         I think that his statement is based on a misunderstanding, or on reports of Cossacks who confounded the Maritime Koryak and the Chukchee. I should find difficulty in deciding who is more jealous, the Maritime or the Reindeer Koryak. If exchange of wives existed among the Koryak in former times, as it did among the Kamchadal, Chukchee, and the northwest Ameri cans, like the Aleut, Eskimo, and Athapascan2 tribes, I have found no traces of such a custom. True, in one myth two kalat have one wife, 3  but such actions, which men deem evil, are always attributed to evil spirits. In another myth 4  Yiñea-ñeut strikes her husband's younger brother with a cut- ting-board because he wooed her in his brothers absence. The Koryak them- selves deny ever having had the custom of exchanging wives. They assert that a married woman had to go in a dirty dress and with unwashed face, that she might not attract the attention of strange men. Once I asked the elder of the Taigonos Reindeer Koryak, who has three wives, what he thought of the Chukchee custom of exchanging wives. He replied that he would gladly avail himself of the Chukchee hospitality in this regard, but would never consent to reciprocity in the matter. Krasheninnikoff says 5  that the  Reindeer Koryak have two and three wives each, and keep them in different places, giving them separate herds and separate herdsmen, as do the reindeer- breeding Chukchee. The above-mentioned elder asserted that neither at present nor in earlier times did any such custom prevail. He says that he would not leave his wife alone with the herd for other men to come and avail themselves of her. If there are two or more wives, they always live in one tent with the husband, as they live in the same house, among the Maritime Koryak. Among the Reindeer Koryak, the senior wife sometimes has a separate sleeping-tent; for instance, that of the Taigonos elder. On the northern side of the Palpal Ridge, where the Reindeer Koryak come into contact with the Reindeer Chukchee, with whom they enter into marriage- relations, the Chukchee marriage-customs may have been adopted to some extent by the Koryak;  but, on the other hand, the Chukchee, who roam at present among the Koryak of the Parapol Dol, and whom I had occasion to see, exchange their wives with neither relatives nor neighbors, having adopted the Koryak  views on this subject.

         Of course, even among the Koryak, adultery is met with, though less frequently than among civilized peoples, but never with connivance of the husband. In former times, a wife's faithlessness would often lead to bloody retribution. Nowadays the husband casts out or thrashes the faithless wife without   mercy,   but   he   does   not   touch   her   lover.      I  know of one case in

1 See Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 202.           2   A.G.Morice, The Canadian Dénés (Annual Archaeological Report,

Toronto, 1905, p. 196).      3 See Part I, p.  134.           4  Ibid., I, p. 248.          5 See Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 221.



which the husband shut his eyes to his wife's liaison with their herdsman; but the husband was a sickly man, and, besides, the herd belonged to his wife. I learned of another curious case on the Taigonos Peninsula. A man, being informed that his wife was visited by his neighbor while he himself was absent, said to the offender, "If you like my wife, don't visit her secretly, but take her altogether, only give me your daughter in exchange." The neighbor complied with so wise a proposal, and they exchanged the women; the neigh- bor, as luck would have it,  having a grown-up daughter.

         Treatment of Children. — The birth of a child is a joyous event, and marked by a feast, to which guests are invited from other houses, or, among the Reindeer Koryak, from other camps. This festivity is called Añanavis- xatín ("woman's feast"). Among the Maritime Koryak, all women and girls of the village are invited in. Men are not admitted at all;  even the master of the house leaves his home. The main dish consists of gruel or pudding made of flour, blood, meat, and fat. This pudding is called ta'knañoika ("bearing-blessing"), symbolizing the future welfare of the child. The Reindeer Koryak, on the occasion of the birth of a child, kill one or more reindeer, and invite men and women to the feast; but the women eat apart from the men, in the sleeping-tent of the young mother, while the house-master enter- tains the men in the outer tent. The Reindeer Koryak make the same kind of pudding as the  Maritime  Koryak,  and call it by the same name.

         I have already spoken 1   of the taboos to which the young mother is subjected, of the care taken to guard the child against evil spirits, and of the divination ceremony while giving a name to the new-born. According to the statements of Koryak women, confinement is easy. In each settlement there is an experienced woman who acts as a midwife. The navel-string is cut with an ordinary iron knife. This knife is not used again until the child is able to walk. The new-born child is rubbed with moss, and immediately placed in a combination-suit,2  which takes the place of a cradle. The child is rocked by the mother in her arms, or placed in bed by her own side. On the flap3  between the child's legs moss is laid, which is frequently changed.  he child is nursed up to the age of two or three years, unless a second pregnancy of the mother prevents her from doing so. At a very early age the child is given pieces of fat of reindeer or seal to suck. I was told that, if the mother dies during or soon after confinement, the child is killed and cremated with the mother, as artificial feeding is impossible with the Koryak's means of existence.

         The Koryak are very fond of children. They take good care of them and fondle them. Children are beaten very rarely, and yet they are meek and obedient. I have often marvelled at the authority exercised by the elders over the children.     I related the case 4  of a girl of about nine who consented

1  See Part I, pp. 100, 101.        2 See p. 601.       3 See p. 602.                4 See p. 591.



to be photographed by my wife without the upper coat, but immediately refused the presents when her aunt shouted to her, "Don't take your coat off, your uncles will be angry." The girl was an orphan, and lived with her father's brothers.

         From the age of ten to twelve, children begin to work, and boys join their father in his daily pursuits. They assist him in fishing, carrying wood for the hearth, and, among the Reindeer Koryak, tending the herd. Boys in their teens are made to go through a rigorous training to accustom them to withstand privations, cold, and fatigue. Lads usually wear the clothing cast off by the old people. Girls, beginning at the same age, help in household duties, skin-dressing,  and the sewing of clothing.

         When grown up, the attachment of children to their parents becomes weaker, and they become more independent, particularly so in the case of sons. Girls are more subjected than boys to the regime of the older members of the family.    Young men at times engage in disputes with their fathers. 

         Treatment of Old People. — The power of the old people rests to a considerable degree on their strength and energy. If an old man can no longer perform the duties of a herdsman or direct the hunt, he ceases to be an authority. In the majority of cases, children treat their elders with respect and listen to their advice, even when they no longer manage the household. Thus I have seen an old man of from seventy to eighty years, who could no longer hold the reins in his hands, and was carried in a special sledge driven by his nephew. The latter would take him off and put him on the sledge, would tuck him up warmly, etc. In another case I saw the cruel treatment of an old father by his son, a wealthy reindeer-breeder. The father had had a small herd, and the son married a rich girl, who brought in a large herd. The two lived together. Once they were with the herd near the village Itkana, and the old man began to press his suit for the hand of a girl of the Maritime Koryak, who consented to marry him. The son objected to his father's marrying a Maritime woman; and when the father would not listen to his son, the latter separated  from him.

         In passing, I should like to mention here that marriages between the Maritime and Reindeer Koryak are very rare.1 This is a consequence of the different forms of housekeeping carried on by the two groups of the Koryak. A daughter-in-law from a Maritime village will be a poor housekeeper in a Reindeer camp, and a son-in-law from the coast will be a poor herdsman. However, the pastoral life of the reindeer-breeders has not led to any changes concerning the customs relating to the bridegroom's service, marriage, levirate, etc.; but the new form of household economy has developed the principle of personal   property more sharply, and has  made woman  more subject to man.

1  Excepting   the Reindeer  Koryak who constitute one group with the inhabitants  of the villages about Bering
Sea (see p. 434).



This latter circumstance is explained by the influence of the severe life which the herdsman leads. While the Maritime Koryak does almost nothing during the winter, living as he does in a comparatively warm house, the Reindeer Koryak must undergo all the  hardships of winter while tending the herd.

         But to return  to the old man  of whom I spoke before.     Having entered into   relationship   with   the    Maritime   Koryak,   he   remained   near   the   coast, wandering   about near their village.     One year happened   to be a poor one •, no   sea-animals   were   caught,   the  Maritime  Koryak were  starving during the winter, and the Reindeer Koryak killed his reindeer for food for the coast people. When all his reindeer were gone, he left his wife and returned to the Reindeer Koryak;  but his son would  not  have him,  advising  him  to go and live with the   Maritime   Koryak.     The   old   man   was   finally taken in by a very poor kinsman, where I saw him in a pitiful condition.     He was assisting the women in drying fish in the sun,  and was dressed  in tatters.

         The Killing of Old People. — The custom of having the nearest of kin kill an old person at the latter's desire, which is still extant among the Chukchee,1 is no longer met with among the Koryak; but in some localities the memory of this custom has been preserved. In the district-commander's report for 1886 2  to the Governor of the Maritime Province, mention is still made of such murders, though it does not clearly appear whether Chukchee or Koryak are referred to. For details of this custom I refer to Bogoras.1 Generally speaking, however, the motives of the old  people in desiring to be killed were decline of strength, disease, or simply dissatisfaction with life.The executors of the old people's desire were their sons or other nearest of kin. The killing was done either by strangling with a thong or by stabbing the heart with a spear.

         Terms of Relationship. — From the list of terms of relationship given below, it appears that the system corresponds to the regulation of marriages, described before.


Acì'ce (Paren), a'pa (Kamenskoye),    

apa'pel (Reindeer Koryak)

} {

 Grandfather and great-uncle,

 paternal and maternal.

Yi'lñy-aci'ce, yi'lñi-apa ("linked grandfather")  

A'ma  a'n-a {

Grandmother and great-aunt,

             paternal and maternal.

Yi'lfii-a'n-a ("linked grandmother")

Enni'w (Chukchee, Endi'w). Uncle, paternal and maternal.
itcei'. Aunt, paternal and maternal.

A'pa (Paren), ta'ta (Kamenskoye),  

E'npic (Reindeer Koryak) 3 

}  Father.

    1 See Bogoras, Brief Report, p. 38.                      2 Gishiga Archive Records, File No. 404, 1886.

3 E'npic is used also at Kamenskoye. Literally it means "eldest." E'npicö (plural) denotes "fathers" and
"old men."




Ella'  (va'va,   a'mma,   terms   of endear-

ment used by Reindeer Koryak)

}  Mother.
   E'npiciket (dual of e'npic,  "the fathers"). Parents.
Qaitaka'lñin Brother.
Eni'nela'n Eldest brother.
etea'in   Younger brother.
Öã'kit Sister.
       Enpi'ci-cã'kit   Eldest sister.
       Ñenca-cã'kit Younger sister.
Yila'lñi-tu'mgin (female cousin, na'u-yila'lñi-tu'mgrn) Cousin, paternal and maternal.
Kmiñin 1 or akik Son.
       Yi'lñi-kmi'ñin ("linked son")   Grandson.
Ñava'kik Daughter.
       Yi'lñi-ñavakik ("linked daughter")   Grand-daughter.
Illawa' (niece, ña'u-illawa') 2. Brother's or sister's child.



Mata'la'n   Father-in-law and brother-in-law.
       Ña'u-nata'la'n   Mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
Inti'wulpi. Son-in-law.
Inte'   Daughter-in-law.
Taka'lñin.   Husband of wife's sister.
       Ña'u-taka'lñin   Wife's sister.
Ña'ul  "female friend )

Term of address used by one

wife to another wife.

         We see from the preceding list that the nomenclature of the Koryak relationship is nearer to our own system, called by Morgan the descriptive,  han to the classificatory one. Father and uncle, mother and aunt, son and nephew, daughter and niece, brother or sister and cousins, have different names. Only the brothers and sisters of grandparents are termed "grandparents."

         It is also of interest that the Koryak terms for grandson, grand-daughter, great-grandfather, and great-grandmother, are formed by a combination of the word "linked" with primary terms for son,  daughter,  etc., just as ours.

         The distinct denomination of the elder brother and sister shows their position in the family.

         The name mata'la'n, which embraces a whole group of relatives by affinity (with the prefix ña'u for females), must be regarded as a classifying term. The word mata'la'n is derived from the verb mata'ikin, meaning "to take"  and also  "to marry," and therefore designates a certain group of relatives by marriage.

1 Qailcmi'nm signifies "boy."

2 Illa', the name of Big-Raven's nephew, is evidently illawa' abridged.