|Ancient Forms of Social Life||761|
|Present Forms of Social Life||766
|Racing and Games||780
XIII. — SOCIAL LIFE.
Ancient Forms of Social Life. — Social units, in the sense of organized tribal or gentile groups, do not exist among the Koryak. The agnatic family is the social unit. We do, however, find certain facts which seem to indicate the incipient formation of social groups exceeding the limits of a large patri- archal family. One such element, as I have stated before, is the relationship through marriage. Families which enter into such relationships thereby assume certain reciprocal material and moral obligations.
In those customs of the Koryak which refer to social relations, two antithetical tendencies are clearly discernible. One of these tendencies, which we might call anti-social, furthers the isolation of family groups of blood-relatives. The other tendency, on the contrary, develops the germs of a broader social organization. This antagonism in the social life of the Koryak was more marked before the advent of the Russians. Natural evolution would undoubt- edly have led to an increasing predominance of the social element. Under the influence of the Russians, however, the social structure of the Koryak has degenerated. All antagonism having become obliterated, their present social life is colorless, and an independent development ofsocial forms can no longer be expected.
I shall attempt to reconstruct the ancient social life of the Koryak from traditions as well as from still discernible survivals of the past. Constant wars, not only with other peoples, but between the separate groups of the Koryak themselves, and the ravages of blood-revenge between the families, rendered life insecure. Every stranger was regarded as a possible enemy. If an unknown man appeared in the settlement or the camp, he was at once asked where he came from, his weapons were inspected, and he was forced into a contest in order that his strength and agility might be ascertained. Then only was he admitted to the house. I was told of an ancient Koryak brave who, before attacking a man, would appear before him in disguise, in a miserable condition, his clothes in rags, and carrying a poor bow. In the ensuing contest he would defend himself but feebly, trying meanwhile to find out the strength of his adversary. During the contests at feasts, the warriors of the various settlements would carefully note each other's strength and methods, in order to profit by the knowledge thus obtained when real feuds would arise.
I he attitude towards an outsider as an enemy or ill-wisher found expression not only in the fear of physical injury, but also in the fear of the evil
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influence of his ill-wishing eye, wicked tongue or word. To prevent such magical influences, the stranger was not admitted to the family hearth, or the inmates would guard themselves against him by invoking the aid of protectors. These were either special idols or any other objects of the household.1
The hearth, as the chief protector of the family, was tabooed to the outsider. Equally inaccessible to all but relatives were the family drum and the sacred fire-drill. A kettle from a strange house could not be placed on the fire of the hearth, nor could the kettle be taken out of the house to another's fire. The drum and the fires of the hearth were never taken to a strange house, and only members of the family were allowed to touch the fire-drill. At present, as we shall see later, all these taboos have lost much of their force, but when strictly observed they must have exercised a ham- pering influence on the development of social life.
These anti-social customs have to be attributed partly to the sense of insecurity, and partly to religious beliefs; but I am also able to indicate certain incipient tendencies towards a higher social status than the one repre- sented by the family organization.
In the first place, the tradition of Big-Raven as a common ancestor generates the idea of ethnic unity. True, this idea exists but dimly in the consciousness of the Koryak. The partitive terms "the Reindeer Man," "the Maritime Man," the inhabitant of this or that settlement or camp, are more congenial to his mind than the collective term "Koryak," 2 as a member of a unified people; but when I invited comparisons between the Koryak and the Tungus or the Yakut, the former drew the conclusion that the Koryak were of one blood, while the Tungus and the Yakut were foreigners. On the other hand, the Maritime Koryak considers himself more closely related to the Maritime Koryak than to the Reindeer Koryak, and vice versa. This separation of the two groups of Koryak is fostered by the different forms of the household.
In ancient times the settlements of the Maritime Koryak were not mere territorial groups, but associations of households, the inmates of which were united by ties of common rights and obligations. New settlements were habitually founded by men who had left the original villages, — men of independent character who had gained equal prominence as good warriors and as clever hunters. Around these leaders groups of men of ordinary abilities would settle, mostly relatives by blood or marriage, but occasionally also strangers seeking the protection of the founder of the settlement. Thus the settlement had no tendency to develop into a gens whose members traced their descent to a common ancestor, but presented a union of related or friendly families with an elder at the head. Neither in traditions nor in other
1 See Part I, p. 32. 2 See p. 407.
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tales do we find any trace of the representative principle before the advent of the Russians. The principle of seniority dominated in the settlement as well as in the family. By seniority we must not understand greater age alone, but also greater physical strength. Aged weaklings were not considered. As long as no stronger man appeared, the founder of the settlement was the elder. The sacred post 1 erected by him was regarded as the guardian of the entire settlement. The strong man always had several wives and many children, and after his death his family continued to dominate in the settlement. In the reports of the Cossacks who fought the Koryak, mention is made of the elders of settlements. There the Yakut name Toyon is given them, which name in Yakut also means the representative of a clan or gens. The Koryak called them E'yem, which means "the strong one." What the power of these leaders was cannot be gathered from these reports; but they relate that the settlements would at times combine into defensive and offensive unions, as was the case during the uprisings of the Koryak against the Russian conquerors. What part was played in the formation of these unions by the E'yems, what part by the mass of the Koryak, we do not know. During battles the ex- treme authority was vested in the "strong men" and the good warriors, but leadership in war was not always accorded to the elder in times of peace.
The family shamans and the professional shamans, who regulated the family cult and the general religious life of the people, enjoyed a position of a certain prominence in social affairs. Often the "elders" and "braves" them- selves possessed shamanistic powers, or they kept shaman helpers, whose magic assisted them in their combats with enemies.
The fortification of a settlement2 was the concern of all its inhabitants. I have spoken before of the guardians of settlements and of the communal character of the whale festival.3 It is very probable that in ancient times special houses were set apart in the villages for gatherings and feasts. In describing the whale festival4 I pointed out that the celebrations took place in the largest house of the village, that the fire of the hearth was kept alive by wood supplied by each and every one of the participating families, the beds and sleeping-tents having previously been carried out of doors. Thus the dwelling was temporarily transformed into a public house, the family hearth became a communal hearth, and all the inhabitants of the settlement cooked their meals at its fire. I saw another public house at the fair in the Palpal. This house was a large skin tent built by all the Reindeer Koryak who had come to the fair.5 In one myth6 we are told that in the centre of the kalau settlement a large house was situated, where the kalau were gathered for a council.
We find another manifestation of social tendencies in the still surviving
1 See Part I, Fig. 4, p. 37. 2 See p. 563. 3 gee Part I, p. 67.
4 Ibid., p. 71. 5 See p. 451; also Plate XIX, Fig. 2. 6 See Part I, p. 314, No. 114.
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custom of making friends and fraternizing with members of an unrelated family. No formal rites accompany the formation of such friendships; at least, not at the present time; on the suggestion of the visitor or of the host, the two simply decide to be friends. It is customary among the Koryak to give some present to a man who enters the house for the first time. This is evidently the first step towards gaining the friendship or good-will of the stranger. In ancient times such friendships imposed on the members of a fraternity the duty of mutual protection against enemies; at present, however, their obligations are limited to mutual material support. In principle, this support must be regarded as an exchange on credit. It appears as if friends did not count favors, yet one or the other of them was always considered in debt. Friendships are concluded among the Maritime as well as among the Reindeer Koryak; but the friendships of the Reindeer Koryak on the one hand, and of the Maritime Koryak on the other, are of greater significance. Without a fixed system of exchange, these two sections of the people could not exist. The Reindeer Koryak needs seal-skin thongs and entire skins of sea-animals; he also wants seal-blubber, and enjoys an occasional meal of sea-animals and fishes. The Maritime Koryak, on the other hand, needs reindeer-meat for food, and particularly reindeer-skin for clothing. With the first snowfall, in October or November, communication between the two groups is established. Parties of Reindeer Koryak at once start out for the settlements of their friends on the coast, who, in their turn, visit the Reindeer Koryak during the winter months. Generally the host asks his newly arrived friend what he needs, and informs him of the extent of his own possessions and the amount laid aside for barter. The host, on such occasions, frequently understates the amount in store. The visitor will often ask for any object in the house or storeroom of his friend which happens to strike his fancy, and he seldom meets with refusal.
The Koryak, in general, are afraid to disregard the wishes of any man, for refusal might arouse his anger or displeasure; and the ill-will of a man, whether shaman or not, may result in misfortune. The visitor, on his part, tries to be moderate in his demands; for if the host fulfils them reluctantly, and conceives an ill-feeling against his visitor, the object received will not bring any luck. However, in spite of all this, inequitable exchanges of services between friends do occasionally result in displeasure or misunder- standing.
Friendships are also formed between women, who then call each other ña'ul. In exchanging goods, the Maritime Koryak women provide chiefly em- broidered and other ornamented parts for clothes, bags of seal-skin, grass baskets, and decorated boots; while the Reindeer Koryak women contributesinew-thread, reindeer-skins, and clothes.
The Koryak extend their friendship also to the Russians, whose presents
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generally consist of tea, tobacco, baked bread, biscuits, flour, and other imported articles.
A Koryak, on his arrival in a settlement or camp, makes his headquarters in the house or tent of a friend, and while there partakes of the meals as a member of the family. The lads feed his dogs or guard his reindeer. Among the Maritime Koryak a place is reserved for his bed on the platform in the front part of the subterranean house, while among the Reindeer Koryak he passes the night in the host's own sleeping-tent or in a separate sleeping- tent. In ancient times the "friends" were met with fire from the hearth, obviously in demonstration of the amicable feelings of the hearth as the family protector, and of the host. At the present time, these friends, as all other visitors, are met with the greeting "Eh, ye'ti!" which means simply "Ah, thou hast come!" to which the visitor answers, "Ye'ti."
Clearly, the fraternities as a social institution have a utilitarian basis; but we also find certain manifestations of a social feeling of altruistic character. Thus the announcement of the death of a member of the family, made by the relatives to all the inhabitants of the settlement or of the surrounding camps, is obviously intended as a warning of the danger from evil spirits, which caused the death. The neighbors thus informed at once take protective measures.1
As a rule, material support is offered by the more prosperous only to relatives. In times of famine, however, the provisions are divided indiscrimi- nately among all the inhabitants of the settlement who are in need.
If we disregard for a moment the influence of the Russians on the social life of the Koryak, it can, I think, be asserted that the independent develop- ment of social forms among the Maritime Koryak could hardly have reached the stage at which the nobility and the common people would appear as two sharply defined hereditary classes. The brave warrior and the clever hunter, who, as a rule, ranked above the masses as protectors and providers of the group, lost their influential positions during famines in years when hunting and fishing had been unsuccessful. Not so with the Reindeer Koryak.
The concentration of fortunes in the form of large herds in the hands of single individuals, and the perpetuation of these fortunes through inheri- tance, might have furthered social differentiation, and led to the formation of aristocratic families. In ancient times the possessor of a large herd had to be not merely a good shepherd, but a warrior well able to protect his herds against the attacks of enemies. Around him as a natural protector would cluster, first of all, groups of relatives, but also neighbors (na'mtumgin, "neighbor in camp") possessing but small herds or no herds at all. These people would become herdsmen subordinate in position, while it devolved on
1 See Part I, p. 104.
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the master to provide them with food and with skins for clothes. Able herds-men would receive reindeer as presents from the master. In the further progress of these relations, the rich possessors of herds might have consoli- dated into an hereditary ruling class. This was prevented solely by the low character of the reindeer-culture. Frequent reindeer-pests, against which these primitive reindeer-breeders were and still are powerless, suddenly transformed rich herdsmen into beggars.
The life of the masters was in no way different from the life of the poor herdsmen. The latter were not considered a lower class. Good herdsmen could expect not only to marry the master's daughter, as they do up to the present time, but to receive from the master a part of his herd. In one myth1 we are told that Big-Raven handed over to his son-in-law the larger half of his herd, the latter having proved himself a good herdsman. In another tale Big-Raven presents a part of his herd to the herdsman simply on account of his being a faithful worker.2
The Koryak say that in ancient times the rich and the strong men held slaves. These remained at home, and were employed for different kinds of housework, and under the supervision of the women. It is difficult to ascer- tain in how far they were the property of the conquerors, and whether they could be bought and sold. In my opinion, slavery as a regulated institution could hardly have existed to any great extent; for, as intimated above, the Koryak had little faith in their captives, and generally put them to death, fearing their vengeance.
In this connection, a myth in which it is related that parents gave to their married daughter one woman for cooking and one for sewing,8 is of interest. These women, of course, could not have been hired servants in the modern sense, but must have been slaves with whom the masters could do as they pleased.
Present Forms of Social Life. — I have already referred to the deteriorating influence which contact with the Russians has had on the development of the social relations of the Koryak. Relative security, with the cessation of wars and the waning of superstitions, weakened or eliminated the anti- social tendency towards the isolation of individual families. Such customs as the guarding of the family hearth against contact with objects belonging to other families, are now, under Russian influence, either but partly observed or they have been completely abandoned.
In the settlement Itkana, for instance, the only time when the family fire cannot be taken to another house is while fishing is going on, as this might turn the luck of the fishermen ; but it may be carried in other seasons of the year. Kettles and teapots, on the other hand, are carried to other houses and back again at any season.
1 See Part I, p. 269. 2 Ibid., p. 268. 3 Ibid., p. 209, No. 52.
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In Kuel the only season when fire, as well as the drum, cannot be taken to another house, is the winter, obviously for the reason that the fire and the drum as family protectors are most needed in winter, when the kalau most frequently visit human habitations. The Reindeer Koryak on the Ti'lqai have abandoned all taboos referring to the fire and to the drum. The Reindeer Koryak on the Palpal have no interdict against taking the drum to another house; the fire, however, they allow to be carried to the houses of relatives only. On the Taigonos, ordinary fire may be taken to another house, but not the sacred fire obtained by drilling.
The skin boat, in all non-Russianized villages, still forms part of the family cult, and it can belong to but one family.1 The sacrificial grass and the alder-branches which are hung on the frame of the skin boat when it is put away for the winter, must not be taken to another house.2 In spring, when the seal-skin cover is again put on the boat-frame, and the skin boat is made ready for the sea, the possessor of the boat burns the sacrificial grass and the branches at his hearth.
Russian influence has, on the other hand, also hampered the development of some social factors, or has given them a new direction. Owing to increased security, the tendency to form unions between settlements, camps, and other groups, for the purpose of protection against enemies, has disappeared. In the concluding chapter I shall give a short history of the conquest and final subjection of the Koryak by the Russians. Here I will speak of the present social standing of the so-called "elders" (Russian, starosta [староста]). The obligations of the non-Russianized Koryak to the Russian Administration consist in the payment of a tribute called yasak, and in free transportation given by them to Russian officials. Mail also used to be carried without pay, but recently the Government has fixed a fee for its transportation. To enforce the duties imposed on the natives, men responsible for them had to be ppointed. For this purpose the Koryak were divided into "clans" (Russian, ro'dy [роды, sing. родъ]).3 These were purely territorial groups, lacking the ties of common origin; and the name "clans" given to them is quite artificial. For instance, some settlement of the Maritime Koryak, or a group of Reindeer Koryak camping within the limits of a certain locality, were called clans. At the present time these clans have ceased to be even territorial groups; for, since the lists of families belonging to this or that group were first compiled, many families have moved to another settlement or migrated to another locality. The officials mistook the loose social structure of the Koryak for a fully developed social organization, like that of other Siberian peoples (the Yakut or Tungus, for instance), whose elders were elected by the members of the clan or occupied hereditary positions. The territorial groups of the
1 See Part I, p. 41; p. 747. 2 See Part I, p. 78; and Plate VII, Fig. I, opp. p. 80. 3 See pp. 433-443.
97— JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI, PART 2.
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Koryak consisted of families bound together by ties of blood or marriage or by economic relations, — the poor and weak were vassals of the rich and strong ,--- but these ties were based only in part on consanguinity; and the elders', elected as directed by the Russian Government, were not the natural heads of their communities. The representative principle itself has been accepted very superficially. Among the Maritime Koryak a few old men of the settlement meet, and, if any one points out a man of executive ability, the others give him their support. The results of these elections are commu- nicated to the chief of the district, either directly or through the Cossacks. The district chief reports to the Governor of the Maritime Province residingin Vladivostok, who confirms the elder in his office. The elder generally remains in office for a number of years, and then resigns. Among the Reindeer Koryak these so-called "elections" of elders are still simpler. The elder is always one of the richest men, and is elected according to the instruc- tions of the old men, possessors of herds, who decide the matter at a meeting.
The elder gathers the yasak, and delivers it at the Russian headquarters; he supervises the delivery of dogs by the families in his district, and super- intends the people during the passing- of Cossacks or the mail, and the visits of the officials, doctor, or minister; and he divides among the inhabitants of the settlement the pay for the transportation of mails. Those Koryak who live away from the main route have no mail to transport, and but seldom furnish free dog or reindeer sledges for the officials.
The elders of the Reindeer Koryak often simplify the fulfilment of the duties above enumerated. Possessing great numbers of reindeer, they furnish their own animals for the transportation of officials, and frequently pay out in their own fur or reindeer-skins the yasak for the entire group. The Taigonos elder, however, exacts the yasak from the members of his group.
During the summer, when communication with the Russians is temporarily suspended, the functions of elders also come to an end, for in no other phase of the family or social life are the elders of any account. Quarrels within the family do not spread beyond its limits, and friction between strangers is checked in one way or another by the parties concerned, without the inter- ference of a recognized authoritative power.
Custom and religious taboos regulate the mutual relations of individuals and families. Frequently the opinions of old men exert a moral pressure on the conduct of the interested parties. All this does not, of course, exclude occasional violence on the part of the stronger man. On the whole, however, the general softening of manners, under the influence of Russian proximity, and possibly to a certain extent the weakening pulse of the primitive vital energy, have of late rendered violence a rare phenomenon.
It must, I think, be admitted that the imposed institution of elders is not devoid of all importance; for, though in a limited degree, it leads to the
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practice of the principle of representation, and develops to some extent the authority of representative persons. In Itkana, for instance, the elder, besides paying the yasak of the "clan," makes purchases of flour, powder, and other articles in the official stores, and divides them among the families, whose faith in his impartiality is implicit.
I settled with individual drivers for the transportation of freight or of myself and my associates; but whenever a greater number of sledges was required, I always resorted to the elder of the settlement, who directed me to the men willing to be hired. The details were arranged with the men individually. Once when I had hired skin boats in Penshina Bay, 1 handed over to the elder the entire pay, consisting of bricks of tea, and he divided them among the owners of the boats and the oarsmen. On one occasion I saw an elder in the Paren settlement take by force the dogs of an old man for the transportation of Cossacks. This quarrelsome old man was dissatisfied with his share of the pay for the transportation of mail allotted to him by the elder, and refused to furnish dogs, as required by the free transportation obligation; whereupon the elder untied by force two dogs of his pack, and harnessed them to one of the sledges. Of course, he could not have done this if the other members of the settlement had not been on his side. On various occasions the elders complained to me of the disobedience of the people. The elder of the Reindeer Koryak of the Taigonos Peninsula, whose personality and riches in reindeer had made him very influential, expressed to me his wish that the Czar might allow lazy herdsmen to be punished. He claimed that young men nowadays were worth nothing. This shows that the elder himself saw the source of his power in the Russian Government, and not in the customs of his people. Russian laws regarding the natives of Siberia, by the way, do authorize the elders to inflict punishment for trivial offences. Of course, the elder did not know this, and, had he known it, could not have acted according to this law, it being opposed to the usages of the Koryak.
In reference to food, Russian influence shows itself in favor of individualistic tendencies as against the tendencies of primitive communism in this matter. In ancient traditions the ideal hunter is represented as follows. He heaps the results of the chase on the shore, and bids the inhabitants of the settle-ment divide them among themselves, and he takes for himself only what is left. He sits at a distance and watches how his catch is divided.1 At the present time this principle is followed to a certain extent in hunting the whale, and even the white whale.2 When their meat is divided, the entire settlement is invited. In regard to the white whale, however, this custom is not every- where observed. I think that in reference to the products of hunting and fishing, indications of the principle of work could from the earliest times be
1 See, for instance, Part I, Tale 94, p. 275. 2 See Part I, p. 66.
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found side by side with the communistic principle, but that at the present time the principle of work has become predominant. As I have said before,1 not all among the Maritime Koryak are owners of skin boats. For the hunting of sea-animals in boats, many men are required, and the owners of boats are eager to accept the services of those who do not own any. The relations of these helpers to the owner of the boat are not those of hirelings and master, but of associates with equal rights. The catch is divided into equal parts. In order to obtain more men for his boat, the owner at times takes for himself less than his just share. The participants in his chase, on their part, contribute their own harpoons, and supply the owner with thongs and skins for repairing the boat. When fish and seals are caught with nets, the owners of the latter form groups of several families at each net, among whom the haul of the net is equitably divided. Some individuals prefer to hunt and fish by themselves. Needed assistance is offered mostly to relatives through blood or marriage. Workmen hired for a certain yearly compensation can be found only in the Russianized settlements. Men serving for their brides occupy the position of free workmen; if, however, they have to support aged parents, a share in the products of hunting and fishing is accorded to them. During the exchanges with tradesmen it becomes evident that the hunter's right or ownership is more sharply defined in reference to products of fur-hunting than in reference to objects of consumption. At home the hunter deals with the skins of the fur-animals he has killed more independently than does the fisherman with the fish he has caught, exchanging them frequently for articles he personally needs.
The position of herdsmen among reindeer-owners is now essentially the same as before; 2 but, if a herdsman lives with his family in a separate tent, the number of reindeer he will receive during the year to kill is often agreed upon in advance.
Russian influence has further manifested itself in the tendency of large families to split up into smaller ones. The Koryak assert that in ancient times the houses were more spacious, and that all relatives, to the number of forty or more individuals, lived together in one dwelling. In houses of the Maritime Koryak I have never seen more than fifteen individuals. Among the Reindeer Koryak I found twenty-five individuals in one tent, thirteen of whom, however, were herdsmen and their families. Besides, the sisters and daughters of the master had married into other families, which is of common occurrence, although in ancient times families related by marriage not infre- quently lived together. In this case, however, the elder brother, with his family and herds, had also separated from the group, which in ancient times happened very seldom. But nowadays I have frequently met cousins or brothers
1 See p. 538. 2 See p. 766
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living apart. In connection with the separation of brothers, the custom of minority succession has become established. The mother, the aged father, and the unmarried sisters, remain with the younger brother, who also retains the house, all family protectors and amulets, and the boat. The reindeer of the remaining members of the family are under his general supervision.
Vendetta. — Blood-revenge does not seem to occur at present. This is one of the late results of Russian influence, for the archives record cases of blood-vengeance reported by district officials to the Province Administration up to very recent times. The disappearance of this custom, however, must be ascribed solely to the cultural influence of Russian manners, and not to the stringency of the Russian laws.
The Administration is powerless to enforce respect for the Russian laws in the desolate tundras. In distant localities beyond the easy reach of Russian settlers, murders in the name of revenge for blood or insult probably still continue to occur.
With the Koryak, as with all primitive peoples, the practice of taking blood-revenge has arisen as a re-action to lawless violence. Within certain limits this object has been attained; but no sooner did one murder occurred than it would be followed by an entire series of other murders, and the feud between two family groups would not infrequently be kept alive through several generations.
The duty of avenging the murder of a relative fell upon the male members of the consanguineous group. According to the accounts of the Koryak, the immediate avengers were the brothers; then followed cousins, nephews, and the more remote relatives on the father's or mother's side. In case there were no brothers, the father or uncle, unless impeded by age, would take their place. On the whole, however, vengeance for blood was considered by the Koryak to be the duty of all blood-relatives, and not of single individuals. A consanguineous group consisting of one or several families was also jointly responsible for a murder committed by one of its members, and in so far must be regarded as one juridical personality. We know that the old men often attempted to check the spread of blood-revenge. For this purpose, ransom was resorted to. The Reindeer people would give reindeer to the family of the victim; while the ransom of the Maritime people would consist of skins, embroidered clothes, arms, and other articles.
In one of his reports to the Governor in 1885, the chief of the Gishiga district refers to one case of murder committed at a fair on the Palpal. The relatives of the murderer entered into negotiations with the relatives of the victim in regard to a ransom; but when the latter proved too exacting, the former cut short the negotations, hurriedly broke camp under cover of night, and, accompanied by distant relatives, migrated northward, leaving the family of the victim free to act in accordance with custom. It is further
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stated in the report, that on the following day the family of the victim started out in pursuit of the offenders. Here the report of the case ends. In blood-revenge the Koryak did not insist on the punishment of the cul- prit himself. Any one or a number of his relatives might fall in his stead, blood for blood being the only principle followed. The interpretation of the usage of revenge is corroborated by the circumstances under which reconciliation is occasionally effected between the family of the culprit and that of the victim. The family of the former cedes to the family of the latter a young man as a son-in-law, or a girl as a daughter-in-law. The essential element in this method of reconciliation is obviously, not the ceding of a member of the family in compensation for the murderer's victim, but the fact that through these marriages ties of affinity are established between the hostile families, in consequence of which the blood-revenge lapses, for no compensation is required for the murder of a relative. Murder within the family is the shedding of one's own blood; vengeance here would mean perpetual bloodshed. I was told that in the past, murders of vicious, cruel, or tiresome people remained unpunished. Even when strangers would kill a member of the group whose conduct was anti-social or otherwise objectionable, relatives would not seek compensation for him.
Cases have occurred where relatives of the murderer, in order to escape vengeance, have abandoned him to his fate at the hands of the avenger. On the Taigonos Peninsula I met a Koryak named Xoti'to, whose father had come from the Oklan River. His father's brother killed, in a quarrel, a rich and influential Koryak; and his father, in order to prevent the victim's family from taking vengeance, killed the culprit with his own hands. Even after this he did not feel safe, and finally migrated with his family and herds to the Taigonos Peninsula. On the same peninsula I met another fugitive from the Opuka River who had killed his friend, a herdsman. His flight was successful; for the relatives of the victim were poor people, who could not pursue him for a long distance. This murder was not avenged.
The incidents recorded in some of the myths are interesting, in that they show that even in ancient times the old men strove to check the feuds of the younger people. Thus it is told that Big-Raven conceals from his son the fact that their relatives were killed by the neighboring Chukchee, fearing that this revelation might lead to vengeance.1 The son, having learned of the truth, goes to the neighbors at night, and, finding their elder son asleep, decapitates him. On the following day, the Chukchee come to Big-Raven's house, and say, "You have not taught your son not to kill people. Now come out: we will kill you all." Hearing this, Big-Raven turns to his elder son, and says, "You did not mind me. Go out alone. Let them kill you first, then perhaps they will spare the others."
1 See Part I, p. 137, No. 6.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
In another myth1 Big-Raven's elder son, Eme'mqut, bids his younger brother Big-Light to bring back to life a girl of the kamak whom he had killed, that they might live in peace with their neighbors.
A terrible case of blood-revenge is narrated in the district chiefs report to the Governor, of Dec. 31, 1882. 2 An Alutor had killed another while sharing the catch of a seal-hunt. With the help of relatives and friends, the culprit succeeded in taking such elaborate precautions for his personal safety, that the attempts of the hostile group to avenge themselves repeatedly failed. At last the relatives of the victim succeeded, under cover of darkness, in creeping up to the house of the murderer. They barricaded the entrance and set fire to the house. The entire family of the culprit and one strange woman perished in the flames. This cruel procedure was not consideredexcessive by the Koryak. Only the relatives of the strange woman considered vengeance justifiable, and demanded a ransom.
During wars, the victors would put the children of the vanquished to death to prevent vengeance. In one of the myths cited above, Eme'mqut, having annihilated the warriors of the Chukchee, says to his people, "Let us go to their camp and kill their women and children. If we leave them alive, the sons of the killed men will make war upon us when they grow up."3
The Koryak are very rancorous, and try to avenge every insult. At the Koryak fair on the Palpal I witnessed a fight which I consider charac- teristic. On the third day of the fair, reindeer-races and other contests took place. Among the combatants were two young Koryak from the Opuka River, A'inqo and Xata'uõñin. The former was the older and weaker, but succeeded by a clever twist in throwing his adversary. Xata'ucñin soon found himself on top of A'inqo, but the combat was pronounced undecided. In the evening of the same day, Xata'ucñin quietly approached A'inqo and struck him. A fight ensued, in which Xata'ucñin soon gained the upper hand. Nobody interfered. Suddenly A'inqo, whose face was all battered, ceased to defend himself, and squatted down on his heels. Xata'uèñin kept on striking him on the head, while A'inqo sat helplessly, his head drooping, his face covered with blood. Thus the beaten Koryak expresses his submission and pleads for his life. Xata'ucñin raged like a wild beast, and would probably have killed A'inqo but for the interference of the old men. As A'inqo's relatives were expected to arrive at the fair the next day, the old men forcec Xata'ucñin to leave the same night in order that further fighting might be avoided. Before Xata'ucñin's departure I invited him to my tent for a glass of tea, and asked him to explain to me the cause of the fight. It appeared that his enmity toward A'inqo was of old standing. When he (Xata'ucñin) was a boy, the elder A'inqo used to beat him. Their fathers, too, had had
1 See Part I, p. 239. 2 See Case of the Archives of the Gishiga District, 1882, No. 404.
3 See Part I, p. 138.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
quarrels. Shortly before the fair, A'inqo took by force two reindeer belonging to Xata'ucñin's brother. On their way to the fair, Xata'ucñin called at A'inqo's tent, put on his new boots, which were drying outside, and left his old pair in their place. A'inqo said nothing, but Xata'ucñin finally decided to settle accounts with him at the fair. The undecided contest of strength with A'inqo, from which Xata'ucñin was sure to come off victorious, merely gave a fresh edge to his intentions. Such encounters sometimes end very sadly.
Trade. — I have already spoken of the character which the exchange traffic of the Koryak has assumed at the present time. Here I shall give data on the amount of the export and import trade of this region for the year 1899. These data I obtained from the merchants themselves, who that year were four in number. Three of the firms were situated in Gishiginsk, and the fourth in Baron Korff's Bay. During the winter these firms send their assist- ants with goods to the settlements and camps of the Koryak, or the assistants arrange purchasing-parties to one of the above localities. Some Russians and Koryak take goods from the merchants on credit, and trade independently in the interior.
The imports for the year 1899, calculated from the selling-prices of the above-mentioned trading-firms, amounted to 47,000 rubles.'
The imports consisted of American, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian goods. The American goods were wheat-flour, biscuits, drilling, and axes, to the amount of 5833 rubles. From China came tea (mostly bricks and some black leaf- tea) amounting to 12,489 rubles. The only Japanese importation was rice, 140 rubles. The remaining sum (29,000 rubles) represents Russian goods. Among the Russian goods, the first place belongs to tobacco (9710 rubles); the second, to manufactured articles, — calico, fustian, cloth, scarfs, tow-ropes, and thread for nets (6503 rubles); the third to sugar (5258 rubles); the fourth to iron and brass ware (4317 rubles). The remaining sum (about 3500 rubles) covers ornaments, matches, candles, and articles of luxury, such as butter, soap, ready-made clothes, sweets, petroleum, and other articles consumed by the Russians themselves.
To the total amount of the imports must be added the articles sold by the Government store, — flour, rice, weight iron, powder, and lead, — amounting, during the year, to about 10,000 rubles. A certain sum must also be counted for the contraband trade in alcohol, the sale of which is pro-hibited.
Barter, to a small extent, is carried on by the Koryak with American whalers of Penshina Bay and Bering Sea.
Exports. — In 1899 the following goods were exported to Vladivostok from Gishiginsk and Baron Korff's Bay.
1 A ruble is equivalent to about fifty cents.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
Exports from Gishiginsk and Baron Korff's Bay.
Rubles. Rubles. Kopeks.1
1. Sables (85 skins).................................................................................................... 1825 21 47
Red foxes (1743 skins)..........................................................................................
Gray foxes (122
White Arctic foxes, adults (525 skins).......................................................................
White Arctic foxes, cubs (332
Blue Arctic foxes (4 skins)..........................................................................
Fox-paws (1350 pieces)........................................................................................
Squirrels (28,230 skins)........................................................................................
Squirrel-tails (6 pounds).....................................................................................
Black bears (380 skins)...................................................................................
White bears (4 skins).............................................................................................
Otters (4 skins).....................................................................................................
Beavers (69 skins)2....................................................................................................................................................
Spring fawn-skins (1810).....................................................................................
Fall fawn-skins (10,520)........................................................................................
Summer skins (1350)..............................................................................................
Winter skins of adult reindeer (650).............................................................
Dressed reindeer-skins (1555)...........................................................................
skins (3000 pieces)............................................................................
Rugs of Reindeer-fur (10 pieces)............................................................................
Coats of reindeer-fur (76)....................................................................................
Coats of reindeer-leather (41)..............................................................................
Gloves of reindeer-leather (22
Boots of reindeer-fur (254 pieces)..........................................................................
Spotted-seal skins (98 pieces)..............................................................................
Whalebone (82 puds4)
Walrus-tusks (25 puds4).......................................................................................
Total exports.................... 56,831 rubles.
1 A kopek is equivalent to about half a cent.
are not found in northeastern Siberia. Those exported were skins of Castor
canadensis, and of
American origin. The Chukrhee near Bering Strait acquire them from the American Eskimo through barter, and
sell them to the Russian traders of the Kolyma, Anadyr, and Gishiga districts.
3 Sashen (сажень) is equivalent to 7 feet.
4 A pud is equivalent to 40 Russian or 36 English pounds.
98 - JESUP north pacific EXPED., vol. vi, PART 2.
JOCHKLSON, THE KORYAK.
Fairs. — I have stated before that during the winter months represen-tatives of firms and petty traders make the round of the settlements and camps of the Koryak, but in two localities1 veritable fairs are organized. Both take place on the Palpal in localities about one day's journey apart. The more southern one is known as the Koryak Fair; the other, as the Chukchee Fair, on account of the prominent participation in it of the Chukchee from the Palpal. Both fairs are held in March, the Chukchee fair coming first, and the Koryak immediately after. The locality selected is not always the same. It is determined by the Reindeer Koryak from the Palpal, who take into consideration the convenience of the reindeer-owners. The partici- pants in the fair, while on the way, receive intelligence as to the locality decided upon. The same agents and petty traders visit both fairs, which last from three to five days. Among the traders, the ironsmiths from the western shore of Penshina Bay, carrying their iron products, may always be seen. The buyers at the two fairs are different. These fairs are arranged particularly for the benefit of the Palpal Reindeer people, who follow their herds far away from the main routes. Other prominent participants in the fairs are the northeastern Maritime Koryak from the Poqac and the Opuka Rivers, and some Kerek. These fairs are not very crowded. The people assembled number from two hundred to four hundred, and the transactions sum up to a few thousand rubles. The fairs are attended by a Gishiginsk official accompanied by three or four Cossacks, who receive the tribute from the Palpal Koryak, and preserve order. The Cossacks, however, are utterly unable to fulfil this latter duty unless assisted by the Koryak themselves. The Russian Administration prohibits the merchants from opening the fair until the tribute from the Palpal elders has been gathered in.
I witnessed one of these fairs, — the Koryak one. It took place in the valley of the Vañnetat River. The Reindeer Koryak were stationed on an open treeless plain on one bank of the river. They erected one spacious common tent,- excepting two Chukchee families, which had tents by themselves. Not far away from the large tent the Russian traders, took their stand. The goods were placed on exhibition on sledges and boxes. Two of the Russians had canvas tents in which they slept wrapped in furs. On the opposite bank the Maritime Koryak from Penshina Bay and Bering Sea could be seen. Here mumerous fires were burning, at which tea was boiled and reindeer- meat cooked, and around which the Maritime Koryak slept at night in the open. The temperature at night fell to — 35' C. The poplars and aspens scattered over the grounds were used for fuel. Close to the fires stood the dog- sledges of the Maritime Koryak, on which bags with goods and other articles were heaped. The dogs were tied to trees to keep them from attacking the
1 See Part I, map 2 See Plate XIX, Fig.2, and pp. 451, 763.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
reindeer which were roaming near the tents of the Reindeer Koryak on the other bank. Early in the morning the Maritime Koryak would start crossing the river to the Reindeer Koryak and the Russian merchants, and back to their own camp. The skins of foxes and other animals were procured from the bosom, or brought in bundles, and offered to the merchants in exchange for goods. The merchants sold knives and spears. During the first two days the Reindeer Koryak made offerings of reindeer to the owner of the place and to other deities.1 On the last day, when the camp was deserted, all that was left were heaps of antlers of the killed reindeer, and traces of the numerous fires. Plate XXIV, Fig. 2, represents the train of a Reindeer Koryak after the close of the fair, ready to leave the deserted camp.
Units and Prices. — The average prices which I gave for the export goods in the above list are the prices made by the merchants for the trading- companies in Vladivostok, to which place the goods were sent. The actual cost of these goods to the merchants is determined by the value attached to the articles received in exchange. These values, as will be seen later, vary greatly. When the petty traders sell fur skins to the merchants for cash, the skins are rated at approximately the prices given in the list. Thus, for example, a red fox varies in price between 4 and 5 rubles; a gray fox, between 12 and 13 rubles. Squirrels, the exchange units of the Tungus, are rated at 20 kopeks apiece; a reindeer-skin, at 1 ruble; and a dressed skin of a grown reindeer-calf, at 1 ruble 50 kopeks; and so on. Koryak who come to Gishiginsk in the winter also sell fur skins for cash, to pay the tribute, and to make purchases at the official store. As a rule, however, trade is still carried on by barter; and the valuation of the import articles by the merchants depends on the locality where the exchange is expected to take place. The farther from Gishiginsk it is, the higher become the prices of the articles. A brick of tea, for instance, — which is one of the most common units, and weighs about 1.5 pounds, — represents at Gishiginsk the value of 50 kopeks; but, as one proceeds away from Gishiginsk to the interior, its price gradually increases up to 2 rubles. At Vladivostok, on the other hand, a brick cost, during my stay there, 30 kopeks. Another important exchange unit, a package of tobacco-leaves, weighing 2 pounds or slightly above that, and rated in Gishiginsk at 60 kopeks, also reaches the price of 2 rubles. Besides, the merchants do some cheating. For instance, special orders are placed with Chinese plantations for bricks of smaller weight than the normal, and tobacco-packages are untied and three are made out of two; the stems of the tobacco-leaves are soaked in water, which is absorbed by the tobacco, thus increasing the weight of the package. Iron and brass ware is sold by the pound, and is rated, iron at from 30 kopeks to 1 ruble; brass,
1 See Part I, p. 96.
TOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
at from 50 kopeks to 2 rubles. The result of this system is, that for a brick of tea one can get one reindeer-skin in some localities, and four reindeer- skins in others.
For 5 arshin 1 of calico for a shirt, one can get one or two reindeer-skins. Some Cossack traders, profiting by the love of the Reindeer Koryak for gay colors, manufacture small wooden boxes, paint them with colors, or cover them with red cloth, and exchange them for foxes or other furs. Of course, only Reindeer Koryak of distant localities can be caught by such devices. Koryak women give reindeer-skins, bags of seal-skin, small rugs, and other products, in exchange for glass beads, ear-rings, bracelets, brass buttons, and other ornaments. Sugar is the favorite exchange article. During the winter the Reindeer Koryak store away the tongues of killed reindeer, and in spring deliver them to the merchants in exchange for sugar, one tongue being given for each piece. In general, sugar is the most mobile exchange article next to tea and tobacco.
Many Reindeer Koryak, as well as the trading Maritime Koryak, enjoy credit with the merchants, and settle their accounts semi-annually or anually with furs or reindeer-skins. On the whole, however, trade on credit is much less common with the Koryak than it is with the Tungus or the Yakut.
Notwithstanding the exchange character of their trade, the Koryak, even in the remotest regions, know Russian money. In the places nearest to Russian settlements the Koryak prefer money to exchange articles in trading-transactions, and also as compensation for services rendered, for with money they can make purchases at the Government store.
Curiously enough, the Russian monetary unit, the ruble, has among the Koryak the same name as iron, polou'nto; a paper ruble is called keli'tul olou'nto (that is, "painted iron"); while a silver ruble, as well as silver itself, is called nan-lu'nt ("current iron").
Routes. — I have spoken of the means of transportation in several chapters. As to routes, there are none in those localities where the Reindeer oryak wander with their herds. The Reindeer Koryak, in their wanderings, follow the currents of rivers or streams. From the valleys of the rivers they ascend to the pasture-land of the elevated treeless tundras, or cross over the mountain-ranges to other valleys.
The Maritime Koryak, in their winter travels with dogs, follow definite routes. From Itkana one route leads to Gishiginsk, another to Paren. From Gishiginsk the route leads over Paren, Kuel, Mikino, and Shestakovo (Egac), to Kamenskoye. Between Shestakovo and Kamenskoye, the route branches off to the north, by way of the Penshinsk settlement, to Markova on the Anadyr; and from Kamenskoye one route leads to Palpal, another to Talovka. From
1 An arshin is equivalent to 0.778 of an English yard.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
Talovka one route leads by way of Rekinnok to Kamchatka, another by way of Vetvey to Oayilin. From Oayilin one route leads to the Opuka River, and another by way of Vivnik to Kamchatka. Along the most of these courses lies the official route over which the mail is transported. From Gishiga the mails are sent to three places and back again, — to Yakutsk by way of Okhotsk, to Petropavlovsk by way of Kamenskoye, and to Markova on the Anadyr by way of Shestakovo and the Russian settlement Penshinsk. Three mails are sent during the year from Gishiginsk to each of these three points, and as many return mails are received in Gishiginsk. The mails are sent in November, January, and April respectively. They are despatched on two or three sledges, one of which is occupied by the Cossack letter-carrier. As a rule, the mail is carried by dog-sledge; but over the Parapol Dol to North Kamchatka it is often carried by the reindeer of the local Koryak. In each settlement, Rus- sian or Koryak, lying on the route, the dog-teams are changed. Some time ago the inhabitants of villages had to transport the mails free of charge; but of late the Government has fixed a fee of three kopeks per verst 1 for each sledge. The elder of each village gathers the dogs contributed by the vil- lagers, receives the official fees and distributes them among the inhabitants. The elders come for their pay to Gishiginsk, or receive it from the district chief or his assistant when one of them makes the round of the district. The dis- tance from Gishiginsk to Yakutsk is equal to 2975 versts; from Gishiginsk to Petropavlovsk, 2061 versts; and from Gishiginsk to Markova on the Anadyr, 700 versts.
In summer, communication between Gishiginsk and the interior ceases almost completely. Neighboring settlements or camps are reached by walking. The Maritime Koryak use skin boats, in addition. Until the year 1900, there arrived at the mouth of the Gishiga River during the summer one Govern- ment steamer from Vladivostok, not counting two trading-steamers. The Government hired a steamer of the voluntary fleet. In 1900 the Government entered into an agreement with the steamship company of the East Chinese Railway, calling for four cruisers to northern waters up to the mouth of the Anadyr. All the steamers had to stop at the mouth of the Gishiga River; and the steamer of the second cruise, at Baron Korff's Bay in addition. During the period 1900-02 these cruises were made regularly; but with the opening of the Japanese war, they were stopped entirely, and I do not know in what form they were renewed after the conclusion of peace.
There is no direct winter route from Okhotsk south to the Amur River and to Vladivostok. This almost precludes all winter communication between Gishiginsk, Markova, and Petropavlovsk, with Vladivostok, the last-named place being the seat of the Governor, to whom the Gishiga, Anadyr, and Kamchatka districts are subject. The only practical winter route between these places
1 A verst is equivalent to 0.663 of an English mile.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
and Vladivostok is by way of Irkutsk, Yakutsk, and Okhotsk. Thus a message from the Governor to the chief of the district of Petropavlovsk, for instance, if sent in autumn, can reach its destination only in spring.
Racing and Games. — Reindeer and dog racing, as well as walking-contests, are popular pastimes with the Koryak. As I have mentioned above, reindeer- racing among the Reindeer Koryak assumes a religious character, which walk- ing and dog-racing do not possess. Reindeer-races, with or without prizes, take place very frequently; dog-racing, on the contrary, is of rare occurrence; while walking-contests are equally popular with the Reindeer and the Mari- time Koryak.
On Plate XXXVIII, Fig. I, is represented a walking-contest of the Rein-deer Koryak which took place on the Topolovka River towards the close of the winter. At the start the contestants formed a transverse line ; but, as the stronger members gradually gained headway, the line became longitudinal. Thus they walked for a distance of about two miles to a marked goal, and back again to the starting-point, where the first to arrive tore down a package of tobacco from a pole erected in the snow. The participants in the race not only pay attention to the rapidity of their motion, but also attempt to take long steps, jumping occasionally, and throwing their feet up out of the soft snow.
I also witnessed the following games played, some by adults, others by children.
The raven-game (we'lve-ci'titkin), is represented on Plate XXXVIII, Fig. 2, where the mother-raven, and the young ravens standing behind her, may be seen. The raven that stands facing the mother-raven tries to catch the; young ones and eat them, while the mother exerts herself to the utmost to prevent it from doing so. In spite of her efforts, it catches them one by one and drags them to its side. In this game, men and women alike take part promiscuously. In some games men and women separate into two mutually antagonistic groups. Such is the case in the game of "playing house," or koyayacelañin (see Plate xl, Fig. 2). The men join hands and form an inner circle, which stands for the house ; while the women surrounding it on all sides try to destroy the house by pulling apart the hands of the men. An animated fight ensues, during which the women, kicked by the men, fly off in all directions, and many fall to the ground, but presently pick them- selves up and return to their task with renewed vigor. If the women are more numerous than the men, they always succeed in destroying the house.
A variation of the "raven-game" is the game wita'yocñin ("[a sack] filled with moss"). The participants sit down on the ground in such a way that each one finds himself between the legs of the one behind him. The first m this row represents the mother, the rest are the children. Then Ka'la (the cannibal) approaches, saying, "Give me a child or I will eat you." —
Jesup Forth Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI Plate XXXVIII.
Fig. i. Foot-Race
Fig. 2. Raven-Game.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
"These are not children," she answers, "but sacks filled with moss." — "Let it be moss," replies Ka'la, and grabs the hindmost child. He does the same with all the other children; but when he gets to the mother, she kills him and takes back all her children. The designation of children as "sacks filled with moss" recalls an episode of the Koryak-Eskimo tales, where the people save themselves from a cannibal through flight, leaving in their stead clothes stuffed with moss.1
In the "marmot game" the participants join hands and form a circle while two individuals represent a clog pursuing a marmot, which keeps on leaving and entering the circle.
A very common game, or rather physical exercise, is that of running around a circle. In the villages of the Maritime as well as in the camps of the Reindeer Koryak, when the day's work is done, and before supper is served, youths may be seen running around in a circle, while the old people sit on the snow not far away from the players. From the running, a firm circle is trodden down in the snow. The evening games are discontinued with the approach of spring, when frosts no longer occur.
Besides racing, various kinds of contests are arranged. Before a fight the young men strip themselves to the belt and rub their bodies with snow. Various forms of combats are represented in the carvings in Figs. 166 and 167 (pp. 650, 651). Among the Reindeer Koryak a common form of contest is jumping over a reindeer. Ball-playing is as popular with the Koryak as it is with the Chukchee.2 In olden times the Koryak, like the Eskimo, used to have a ball-game with strangers before entertaining them.3 Small children play with dolls, represented in Figs. 186 and 187 (pp. 669, 670); also with animals carved of wood or bone, and toy vessels, drums, and tents. The older children play dog and reindeer driving. Some put on the harness, others sit on the sledge (Plate XXXIX). Children have races and contests similar to those of adults.
A favorite game of boys of the Reindeer Koryak is the following. A long thong is fastened to an inclined pole sticking out of the snow. To the lower end of the thong a piece of wood or a bone is attached. The thong is swung to and fro, and the players try to lasso the stone. Thus the boys acquire practice in the skilful handling of the lasso, presently to be used in catching running reindeer (see Plate XXI, Fig. 2). Of similar character are the target-shooting contests of the boys, in which toy boys are used. An old mitten suspended on a stick in the snow serves as a target.
Among other toys, the spinning-top must be mentioned. There is also a kind of cup-and-ball game called oxxa'ltin, in which a hollow piece of wood is thrown up and caught on a peg provided with a cross-piece. The Chukchee have a somewhat similar game called o'kkal.4
1 See Part I, pp. 181, 212, 331, 364, 365. 2 See Bogoras, The Chukchee. Vol. VII of this series, p. 271.
3 See Part I, pp. 129, 163. 4 Ibid., 272.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
The dramatic dances of children and adults, consisting in the imitation of the movements and sounds of animals, are the same with the Koryak as with the Chukchee.1 Plate xl, Fig. I, illustrates a dance of the Reindeer Koryak which I saw on the Taigonos Peninsula. Men standing in a row face a row of women, and men and women produce in turn guttural rattling sounds in imitation of seals, trample on one spot, bend and unbend their knees, and move their shoulders.
1 See Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII of this series, p. 268.