|The Name "Koryak"||406
|Mortality, Fecundity, and Extreme Age||413
|Numeration and Measures||427
II. — THE KORYAK TRIBE.
The Name "Koryak". — The Koryak do not call themselves by this name, and the exact origin of the word is unknown. Some travellers are inclined to connect the name with the Koryak word qoya'ñi or qora'ñi, meaning "domesticated reindeer." Mr. Bogoras thinks that the Cossack con- querors created it from the word qora'ki, taken from the southeastern Koryak dialect, and meaning "(being) with reindeer." 1 On the other hand, the Yukaghir call the Koryak Kere'ki or Kere'ke (pl., Kere'kepul). It is difficult, therefore, to tell who first gave the name "Koryak" to this tribe. It only remains to be said that there is no other word in the Yukaghir language to indicate the Koryak. Similarly, the origin of the name "Ke'rek" is unknown. The Ke'rek constitute the eastern branch of the Maritime Koryak, occupying the country between Cape Anannon and Cape Barykoff, and the name has been borrowed by the Russians from the Chukchee.
The following considerations seem to favor the supposition that the name "Koryak" was not invented by the Russians, but was borrowed from the tribes contiguous to the Koryak. In former times the Maritime people constituted the majority of the Koryak tribe; while the Chukchee, particularly those with whom the Russians came in contact, belonged mainly to the Reindeer branch, which at present constitutes seventy-five per cent of the entire tribe.2 The Russians would therefore have more reason to call the Chukchee a "Reindeer people" than the Koryak. At the same time, the nearest neighbors of the nomad Reindeer Koryak were, besides the Chukchee, on one side the Yukaghir living near the sources of the Kolyma River, and on the other side the Kamchadal, who had no nomad members among themselves. If the name "Koryak" is connected with the word qora'ki ("being with reindeer"), this name may have been given to the Koryak by the Kamchadal or the Yukaghir. It may be noted here that the Yukaghir word Kere'ke, or Kere'ki, is evidently the Koryak word qora'ki, in which the vowels a and o are changed into e, according to the Yukaghir rules of harmony of sounds.3
Prom a comparison of the words which have apparently some connection with the formation of the name, it may be concluded that "Ko'rak" would be the more correct spelling of it; but I retain its modified transcription "Koryak"
The Chukchee, Vol. VII of this series, p. 19.
2 See Patkanov, p. 66.
See W. Jochelson, Essay on the Grammar of the Yukaghir Language (
Supplement to American Anthropolo-
gist, S., ,905, Vol. VII, p. 373).
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
(evidently adapted from the Russian spelling of the name, корякъ), since that spelling has been adopted in ethnology.
The Koryak themselves have no common tribal name, unless we consider the word voye'mtivola'nu or voye'mtivolu ("people," "men") as a name. By this term the Reindeer as well as the Maritime Koryak call themselves, and it corresponds to the Chukchee ora'wêlat ("men"). The Maritime Koryak call themselves, and are called by the Reindeer branch of their tribe, Na'mala'n (pl., Na'malu), Ne'mela'n (ple'milu), or Ni'mila'n (pl., Ni'milu), according to the different pronunciation of the Koryak dialects. These words signify "an inhabitant of a settlement or village," and are from na'mnam, ne'mnem, or ni'mnim ("habitation"). The Maritime Koryak call themselves also voye'mtivola'n ("a man from a habitation") or A'ñqala'n ("maritime dweller"), from a'ñqa ("sea").
According to Steller,1 the Reindeer Koryak, the nearest neighbors of the Kamchadal, called the latter Nämälán, "since they were dwellers of under- oround houses." But, as we have seen before, this name means simply "an inhabitant of a settlement," for it is evident that Steller's spelling namálän corresponds to our na'man. According to Wrangell,2 the ancient inhabitants of underground houses found by him on the Arctic shore were called by the Chukchee Namollo or Onkilon; but these names also, it seems to me, are but the incorrectly recorded Chukchee-Koryak words na'man and a'ñqala'n, signifying "an inhabitant of a settlement" and "a maritime dweller."3
The Reindeer Koryak, like the Reindeer Chukchee, are called Ca'ucu (dual, Ca'ucenet; pl., Ca'ucenni). Krasheninnikoff's assertion,4 indorsed since by other travellers, including Dr. Slunin,5 that the Maritime Koryak call themselves Ca'ucu, and the Reindeer, Tumu'gutu, is apparently based on a misunderstanding; for ca'ucu means "rich in reindeer," 6 and tumu'gutu (sing., tu'mgin), "comrades," and "kinsmen, relatives."
The Chukchee call the Koryak Ta'irñitan; and the latter, in turn, call the Chukchee by the same name, with the only difference that the Chukchee form of the plural, Ta'n'ñit, 6 is used in the Koryak language as the dual. The Koryak plural would be Ta'n'ñu. The Chukchee has no dual. Accord- ing to the explanation of the Koryak, ta'nñin means "a warrior." It is curious
1 Ssteller, p. 240. . 2 Wrangell, II, pp. 295, 333.
3 From the fact thet we find among the Eskimo of northwestern America the same kind of underground houses as those the ruins of which have been found along the shore of the Arctic Ocean from Cape ErrI or Shelangski to Bering Sea, Wrangell draws the conclusion that the former inhabitants of the Arctic shores were Eskimo. On the seme basis, Markham (On the Origin Migrations ofthe Greenland Esquimaux, in The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, London, 1865, Vol. xxxv, pp. 87—99) draws his conclusion regarding the emi-gration of the Eskimo from Asia to America. This supposition is quite as groundless as is the assumption that to the Eskimo alone belong the names which are applied by the Chukchee, as well as by the Koryak, to people in general living in permanent settlements. (See Chapter IV )
4 Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 6. 5 Slunin, 1, p. 376.
6 Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII, of this series, p. 11.
52---JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI, PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
that, in the Nishne-Kolymsk dialect of the Yukaghir, the Chukchee are called Kude'je, which also means "warrior." 1
Separate branches of Reindeer and of Maritime Koryak give to each other territorial names, according to their place of wandering, the point of the horizon or the rivers where their settlements are situated. For instance, the Reindeer Koryak of the Taigonos Peninsula call themselves Taigonotolu ("Taigonos people"), from the Russian word Taigonos (Тайгоносъ); 2 the inhabitants of the village of Kamenskoye are called Va'ikenalu ("Kamenskoye people"), from Va'ikenan, which is the Koryak name of that village; the inhabitants of the village of Nayakhan are called E'igivalu ("people from the west"), from E'igival ("sunset," "west"), the Koryak name of that settlement. The Koryak of Gishiga call the Koryak of Kamchatka, as well as the Kam- chadal, I'vtala'lu (sing., I'vtala'n or Ivtalala'n), " the lower ones," "those living below." According to an oral statement by Mr. Bogoras, the Kerek call the Maritime Koryak living south of them by the same name.
Physical Type. — As yet but very little of the anthropological material collected by the Jesup Expedition in reference to the Koryak has been worked up; but I shall make use here of some data from the essential measurements of the Koryak worked out by Mrs. Jochelson,3 as well as of observations from the anthropometrical notes of the Expedition.
The Koryak are below the average height, and indeed may be said to be of rather short stature. From the measurements of 173 men and 133 women, we found that the average height for men is 1596 mm. (the maximum, 1700 mm.; the minimum, 1490 mm.), and that the average height for women is 1491 mm. (the maximum, 1610 mm.; the minimum, 1380 mm.). The average height of the Koryak of northern Kamchatka (based on measure- ments of 24 men and 19 women) is 1620 mm. for men (the maximum, 1710 mm.; the minimum, 1530 mm.) and 1530 mm. for women (the maximum,
1 Kude'je is the co-operative voice ("to kill together") of the verl) kude'de ("to kill"). Kude'Jepul`means "fellow-killers," "fellow-fighters;" that is, the men who kill or fight together,`— wairiors. In primitive`times it was but natural for a people to call by this name a tribe with whom they were constantly at war`(see W. Jochelson, Essay on the Grammar of the Yukaghir Language in American Anthropologist, S., 1905, Vol. VII, p. 403).
2 The Russian word taiga' (тайга) means "a vast marshy Siberian forest;" and nos (носъ) means "nose" and also "cape." Probably the peninsula between Gishiga and Penshina Bays is called by the Russians Taigonos ("the forest cape") from the forests in its river-valleys, especially the poplar forests in the valley of the Topolovka River, which means "Poplar River" (from to'pol тополь], "poplar").
3 I wish to state here that the anthropometrical work of my party in the field was carried out by Mrs. Jochelson. Wtih the permission of Professor Boas, she worked out a part of the anthropometrical material of the Jesup Expedition in Siberia for her thesis for the degree of M.D. of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. This work was also published in the Archiv fur Anthropologie, Jahrgang V, Neue Reihe, Heft I, 2, 1906, pp. 1—63, under the title "Zur Topographie des weiblichen Körpers nordostsibirischer Völker," and a Russian translation was printed in the Russian Anthropological Journal in Moscow. For the Koryak men and women Mrs. Jochelson worked out the following measurements and indices: standing height, height of the ear, length of the head, breadth of the head, bizygomatic breadth, anatomical index of the face, and the length-height index of the head. For comparative data and special measurements of women, see the above-mentioned work.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
1600 mm.; the minimum, 1430 mm.).1 Thus we might consider the Koryak of Kamchatka as below the average stature, according to the accepted standard; but we must not be too hasty in drawing such a conclusion, since the number of measurements taken was so small. There is the more reason for this, since the Kamchadal, with whom the southern Koryak have been intermixed to a degree, show a lower average height. The measurements of 63 Kamchadal men and 65 women give the average height of their men as 1601 mm. (the maximum, 1740 mm.; the minimum, 1470 mm.), and of their women as 1496 mm. (the maximum, 1600 mm.; the minimum, 1400 mm.).2 To some travellers the Koryak gave the impression of being a tall people. This is apparently owing to their strong constitution, and to the fact that their neighbors, the Lamut and Yukaghir, are" of very small size. No fat and stout people are found among the Koryak, such as are met with among the wealthy, cattle-breeding Yakut or Buryat; neither are there such lean, lank figures among them as among the Tungus and Lamut reindeer-riders.
On the whole, the Koryak are well built. They have a well-developed bone-structure, broad shoulders, and good muscles. Among the Maritime Koryak, one may often see well-shaped figures; as, for instance, among those of the Big Itkana settlement. The Reindeer Koryak, however, make a less favorable impression in this respect. They are clumsy in appearance, their build is not symmetrical, and their motions are angular; but in taking care of the herd they are nevertheless very dexterous and alert. All Koryak, as a rule, are slow; and they talk in a lazy manner, without hurrying, unless they are excited.
The cephalic index of the men is 80.3 (maximum, 86; minimum, 75), and of the women 80 (maximum, 86; minimum, 75). The greatest percentage falls to the group between 78 and 82. The average cephalic index is below that of the Mongolian-Turkish tribes.3
1 The above figures relate to men between the ages of twenty and fifty years, and to women between the ages of eighteen and forty years. In all, measurements were taken of more than five hundred Koryak (men, women, and children), and they are the first measurements ever taken of them. Dr. Slunin tells us (I, p. 378) that all his attempts at taking measurements of the Koryak were unsuccessful. He always met with a refusal. Only among the Reindeer Koryak of the Palpal and among some Maritime Koryak of the village of Kamenskoye did we meet with a reluctance to being measured. I cannot say that the others submitted to the measurements with great eagerness; but they were generally tempted by presents, and then regarded the proceedings with amusing curiosity. While they were wearing the wooden masks (see Part I, p. 80, and Plate V., Fig. 2, opp. p. 74), the young men of the Paren settlement acted in pantomime the process of taking measurements. By means of a stick and various gestures one masked man would take the measurements of another, burlesquing us. Many Koryak asked the reason for being measured. As soon as the older people consented to be measured, the young people came up without objection. Among the Taigonos Koryak I owed much of my success to the influence of their elder, a bright and sharp fellow (see Plate XIV, Fig. I ).He assured the Koryak, half in jest and half in earnest, that their heads and bodies were being measured in order to get caps, boots, and coats which the Czar was to send them the next year. However, he himself refused for a long while to allow me to take his measurements. 2 See Jochelson, Zur Topographie des weíblichen Körpers etc., p. 6. 3 See Jochelson, Ibid., pp. 11-14.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
the same manner, the maximum breadth of face of the Koryak is
below that of the Mongolian-Turkish tribes. The average breadth of face
the men is 146.2 mm. (maximum, 160
mm.; minimum, 132 mm.); that of
the women, 139.5 mm. (maximum, 151
mm.; minimum, 126 mm.). The
measurements of the Yakut taken by us give the average breadth of face of
the men as 150 mm., and of the women as 142
mm.1 The face is
oval, with the corners of the lower jaw strongly developed, and the chin narrow. A number of types are shown on Plates XIV-XVIII.
The prevailing color of hair among the men is black. Out of 282 men, 220 (78 per cent) had black hair, 59 (20.9 per cent) had brown hair, 2 (0.7 per cent) had light-brown hair, and I (0.3 per cent) was a blond. The prevailing color of hair among the women is likewise black, but the percent- age is considerably lower than it is among the men. Out of 185 women, 98 (53 per cent) had black hair, 78 (42 per cent) had brown hair, 8 (4.3 per cent) had light-brown hair, and I (0.5 per cent) was a blond.2 Gray hair is seldom seen. Out of 14 old men of an estimated age of from fifty- five to seventy years, only 2 had gray hair. There was not a single bald person among the entire number of persons whose measurements were taken; but, according to the myths, bald-headed people may be found among the Koryak, though seldom.3
All of the 282 men had straight hair; while out of 179 women, 3 had wavy hair: the hair of the rest was straight. Mr. Bogoras says that the hair of the Chukchee, as well as that of the Koryak, is often wavy or even curly.4 The above statement refers apparently to the Koryak of Bering Sea. I was told that among the Koryak of Alutor there are people with curly hair; but the Koryak of the Pacific coast whom I saw had straight hair.
The prevailing color of eyes is dark brown. Out of 257 men examined, 189 (73.5 per cent) had dark-brown eyes; 62 (24.2 per cent), light-brown eyes; 4 (1.5 per cent), black eyes; and 2 (0.7 per cent), gray eyes. Out of 166 women, 151 (90.9 per cent) had dark-brown eyes; 12 (7.2 per cent), light-brown eyes; and 3 (1.8 per cent), black eyes. Thus we see that the number of men with dark eyes exceeds that of women with hair of the same color, while dark-haired women are much more numerous than dark-haired men. Among the men we find a larger percentage of persons with eyes of a light color.
The form of the Koryak eye is not of a marked Mongolian type, still it is narrow. The outer corners are raised, and the upper fold is well
1 See Jochelson, Zur Topographie des weiblichen Körpers etc., pp. 17-19.
Although the genealogical information obtained about the blonds showed that their fathers and mothers were Koryak, it is fair to presume that there is an admixture of Russian blood. Moreover, the eyes of the woman are light brown, and those of the man are gray, neither of which colors is ever met with among the Koryak. borne myths tell how Big-Raven or other people who have been for some time in the anus or s omach of a man or an animal, grow bald (see Part I, pp. 169, 293)
4 Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII of this series, p. 34.
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate .XIV.
Types of Koryak Men.
Jesup Hopth Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate .XV
Types of Koryak Men and Women.
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate XVI
Types of Koryak Women.
Jesup Hcpth Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate XVII.
Koryak Boy and Girl.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
developed. The cut of the eye, nevertheless, is wider than that of the Mongolian. The lower eyelid seldom forms a straight line, which produces the effect of a narrow Mongolian eye. With rare exceptions it is more or less arched. Frequently the fold over the upper lid is but slightly developed; and instances are found of a wide-open eye, like that of the Caucasian race. For instance, the eyes of the boy (Plate XVII, Fig. 1) and of the woman (Plate XVI, Fig. 2) approach this type.
The eyebrows of the Koryak do not form a regular narrow line or arch. They usually grow irregularly, forming an unsymmetrical broad line, and meet on the glabella above the bridge of the nose. This gives a severe expression to the face; and at a distance the eyebrows appear to be thick and heavy. The eyelashes are very thin, and hardly perceptible.
The measurements of the nose have not been worked up as yet; and so far, I can only say that the nose is of moderate width. Its profile is depressed above, straight lower down. The bridge of the nose of men is higher, the nose is longer, and the nostrils are less frequently turned upward, than is the case with the women. The short, low-bridged nose of the women, with a wide bizygomatic diameter of the face, gives, in most cases, the impression of the flat Mongolian face. A projecting nose with a high bridge is more frequently met with among men than among women, but I never saw an aquiline nose.
The growth of hair on the face is scanty. As statements from memory, based on personal impressions, are liable to be misleading, I have taken the data pertaining to this point from the measurement notes.
Out of 185 men over twenty years of age, 66 (35.7 per cent) had no growth of hair on their faces; 32 (17.3 per cent) had removed it by shaving, clipping with'a knife, or by pulling it out; 37 (20 per cent) had a mustache only; 37 (20 per cent) removed the whiskers, leaving the mustache; and 13 (7 per cent) had whiskers and mustache. The hair of the mustache is usually thin, short, and straight. A long, thick mustache is seldom found. Age has nothing to do with the wearing of a mustache. Young men often have a mustache, while old men will pull it out. As a rule, hair does not appear on the face till rather late in life. More than half the persons without any growth of hair on the face were from twenty to twenty-five years of age, and some of them may yet grow a beard.
Men, after reaching the age of forty, usually allow the beard to grow, although the only two old men mentioned in our notes, who had gray hair (one was said to be sixty, and the other seventy years old), had mustaches only, and were in the habit of pulling out their whiskers. Usually the beard consists of a short, scanty growth upon the chin, though sometimes there are stray tufts of hair on the cheeks also. 1 saw only one Koryak of Penshina Bay with a more or less thick round beard, — an old man of the village of
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
Ma'mec; and he gave me the impression of being a Russian-Koryak half-blood. I heard that the Alutor people have a more abundant growth of hair on their faces; but those whom I saw did not differ in this respect from other Koryak.1
It is quite impossible to define the shades of color of the skin without the assistance of chromatic tables, which we did not have with us; so we can speak on this point only in a general way.
The characteristic coloring of the Koryak skin is of the bronze scale of tints, ranging from light brown to copper-red and dull brown, and is darker on the exposed parts. The skin of the women is of a somewhat lighter shade. It is easy to distinguish between the color of skin of the Koryak and that of his neighbors, the Tungus and the Russians. The Koryak skin seems to me to lack entirely the yellow pigment of the Tungus skin, as well as the pale white of the Russian. In comparison with the Koryak, the Tungus appeared white to me.
I observed an interesting illustration of this. In the summer of 1901 I was at the mouth of the Avekova River, where a few Koryak and Tungus families were hunting and fishing. Once when 1 was present at a contest between two boys, a Tungus and a Koryak, with their bodies stripped to the waist, I was struck by the whiteness of the body of the Tungus boy com- pared with that of the Koryak. The photograph which I took then illustrates this difference well (see Plate XVIII, Fig. 2).
I was often struck by the light color of the skin of the Tungus (at least, the northern members of the tribes with whom 1 came in contact), particularly of their women and children. When I examined their skin closer, and com- pared it with mine or with that of my European fellow- travellers, I discovered that the Tungus skin is actually a light yellow (the color of a lemon-rind), or even somewhat lighter, while the skin of northern Europeans is of a bluish-milky or rosy-white color.
The bright-red cheeks so often seen on young Tungus women are particularly misleading as to the character of their complexion. The greater part of the northern Tungus seen by me were of a dark-yellow or dull earthy hue.
The above description of the color of the Koryak skin is as accurate as it is possible to give it without the aid of tables.
The tribes with whom some branches of the Koryak formerly intermarried, and do even at present, are the Chukchee, Kamchadal, Tungus, Russians, Yakut, Chuvantzy, and Yukaghir. The Reindeer Koryak of the Palpal, at the southern border of the Chukchee territory, intermarry mainly with the Chukchee. In northern Kamchatka the Maritime Koryak have long inter-
of interest to note that the conqueror of Kamchatka, Atlassoff, in his report,
characterized the Koryak
as a bearded people. Barrett-Hamilton and Jones (A Visit to Karaginski Island, Kamchatka [Geographical Journal,
London, 1898, Vol. XII, ]). 290]) tell that some of the men of the Karagha village were bearded, and they regard
this as due to a mixture with Russian blood.
Fig. i. Koryak Children
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate XVIII.
Fig. 2. Tungus Boy and Koryak Boy Wrestling.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
married with the Kamchadal. In olden times the Koryak on the border of the ancient Tungus-Koryak territory, near Tauysk, undoubtedly intermarried with the ïungus. Of late years the Reindeer Koryak of the Gishiga and Varkhalam Rivers have intermarried with Tungus women, and vice versa. Since the close of the eighteenth century some of the Russianized Maritime Koryak of the Okhotsk Sea in the villages of Yamsk and Tumanskoye have intermarried with the Yakut.
Russo-Koryak half-breeds are found in the Russianized settlements of Nayakhan, Yamsk, and Tumanskoye, and in Russian villages of that region. The Koryak intermarried with the Chuvantzy and with the Yukaghir at the time when they were waging war with them, and took their women prisoners.
Mortality, Fecundity, and Extreme Age. — To get an idea of the rate of mortality among Koryak children, 1 copied from the records of seventy-one married women whose measurements we had taken, the number of their living and dead children. Of 278 births, 160 individuals lived, and 118 (42 per cent) were dead.1 The ages of the dead children are not indicated; but, since about half of the mothers were not quite thirty years old, the children must have been young when they died. As everywhere, so among the Koryak, most of the children that do not survive die during the first year of their lives. This may serve as an explanation of the Koryak belief that children's souls are timid, and that therefore children are more subject than older persons to attacks from evil spirits. For this reason, children are placed under the special protection of the household penates.'2 Notwithstanding this, the mortality of children is enormous in comparison with that of civilized nations. This is the more remarkable, since the Koryak women nurse their children, and not infrequently continue to do so until the children are three years of age. As is well known, the great mortality in civilized countries among children in their first year is due to artificial feeding. It should be noted, in connection with the number of deaths among the Koryak children, that the records were taken by me just after an epidemic of measles, which had proved very fatal to children of all ages. The mortality of children is the same among the Reindeer as among the Maritime Koryak. Dividing the above number of children into two groups, according to their origin, I obtained the same coefficient of mortality in both groups. Apparently the difference n the mode of life of these two groups has no effect on the mortality in childhood.
In order to arrive at some conclusion concerning the fecundity of women, I singled out from the above number of women all those over thirty-nine years of age. Koryak women grow old at an early age, and forty years in most cases may be considered as the age-limit for procreation. Thus I found
Stül-births and miscarriages are not included here. 2 See Part I, p. 101.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
that twenty-two women of from forty years of age and over had 120 children, --- one had I child; five had 3 children each; four had 4 each; three had - each; two had 6 each; one had 7 ; three had 8 each; one had 9; one had 10; and one had 11. If we assume that all these women are unable to bear any more children (which evidently cannot be said with certainty), we shall then have an average of 5.5 births of living children to every woman, a considerable coefficient of female fecundity.
Of the total number of women whose measurements were taken, 13 per cent had never borne children. However, a part of these women were the wives of bigamists both wives of whom were infecund, and in such cases the husband may have been the cause of the sterility.
The accounts given by some travellers, of the extreme age reached by the Koryak, are much exaggerated. We could ascertain the age of the Koryak only approximately, by judging from their appearance, for they themselves do not know their age.
When conversing with old people, we tried to call up some event of their childhood, or of some other period of their life, which had left an impression on their memory. For instance, we tried to ascertain who was the chief of the district at the time of a person's marriage. In most cases the recollection of a Koryak regarding the events in his life is extremely confused.
In making our records we found, out of 284 men, only 13 whom we judged to be more than fifty-five years of age, and but one very old man, a Reindeer Koryak. He was not less than seventy years old, according to recollections of his children, and he may have been older. He was no longer able to drive reindeer, and was brought to us by one of his grandsons. Old women are met with even less frequently than old men.
On the basis of the above data, it is difficult to give a definite answer to the question whether the tribe is increasing in numbers or not. I shall touch upon this point in Chapter III; but, speaking generally, the Koryak population at present is increasing in the intervals between epidemics and famines. Epidemics especially carry off the increase of many years. Some Koryak settlements, those which have been or are at present subjected to the process of Russianization, are perceptibly decreasing in numbers.
There is no reason to suppose that the Reindeer Koryak — perhaps with a few exceptions — are decreasing in numbers. They come less in contact with the Russians and with civilization in general than do the Maritime Koryak; they are better provided with means of subsistence, and have there- fore preserved to a greater degree their primitive energy, so indispensable in a struggle with the adverse conditions of arctic life. There is no doubt that the Koryak were not very numerous in the past. That which is now accomplished by diseases imported by the Russians was effected in olden times by wars and famines.
JOCHELSON THE KORYAK.
The Koryak tribe, taken as a whole, is at present, after the Chukchee, the healthiest of all the tribes of northeastern Siberia. Of the influence of civilization upon them, I shall speak in the last chapter.
The Senses. — The Koryak discriminate between people of their own tribe and those of another by their smell. Thus, for instance, they cannot stand the smell of a Russian house or of a Tungus tent. And I can say for myself, that, after an intercourse of many years with various Siberian tribes, I was able to recognize the characteristic smell of a Yukaghir, a Tungus, or a Yakut.
Their vision is very keen. They are able to distinguish objects, and recognize persons, at a distance at which 1 can see nothing. Near-sightedness is rare among them; and one would hardly find among them an instance of looking through half-closed eyes, so characteristic of near-sighted people. I did, however, meet with two or three cases of near-sightedness. Such persons felt helpless, and did not go out hunting, nor did they drive the first sledge of a train.
The Koryak dislike salty and bitter things. While the Yukaghir, Yakut, and Tungus frequently came to us for salt, the Koryak seemed to feel no need for it. Those people to whom I gave mustard to taste expectorated for quite a while.
They are very fond of hard biscuit; but many of them prefer the fresh, slightly sour rye bread baked by the Russians of that locality, and which I carried with me in a frozen state in bags. Before meal-time they put the bread before the fire to thaw it out. The sour and pungent taste of putrid fish and decomposing meat seems to tickle the Koryak palate.
They are very fond of sweet things, and sugar is in the greatest demand among articles of exchange. They compare the taste of sugar to that of reindeer-fat, or to the taste of the marrow of the reindeer leg-bones.
The Koryak like fat in all forms; as, for instance, fish-oil, reindeer-fat, the blubber of sea-animals, and the fat of other animals, but they cannot consume it in such quantities as the Yakut consume melted butter. Excessive use of the blubber of the spotted-seal (Phoca ochotensis) produces vomiting; and many of them cannot bear the smell of the blubber of the male of the ringed-seal. The Koryak distinguish the following colors, — black and dark blue (called by one name, nu'uqen), white (ne'lhaqen), red (naye'ceqen), green, light blue, and coffee-color (nota'lhayeqen), and yellow (mali'ceqen). When they are shown (for instance, on printed calico) the various colors intermediary between those enumerated, they class them among one or another of the above. Red is regarded as the most beautiful color. Faces with ruddy cheeks are considered handsome. Soft light-brown hair and brown eyes are valued as marks of feminine beauty. Dark eyes and coarse black hair in a woman are looked upon as signs of ill-nature.
53—JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI, PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
Cleanliness. — The Koryak can by no means be classed among cleanly people. With extremely rare exceptions, resulting from the civilizing influence of the Russians, they do not wash. The faces of children, as well as those of old people, are covered with a layer of dirt and soot mixed with fat, so that it is difficult to determine the natural color of their skin. Only the girls and young women washed their faces before coming to us to be measured. Mucus from the nostrils is almost always a decoration of the children, and the older people are frequently not far behind them in this respect.
The kettles in which the food is cooked are full of reindeer and dog hair, which fall from the clothes and fill the air of the Koryak house. The Koryak kill lice, which are regarded by them as properly belonging to a healthy man, with their teeth. There is a prevailing belief among them, as well as among the Yukaghir, that when a man is deserted by lice he will soon die. They eat also the large larvae which develop from the eggs deposited by the reindeer-flies in the hair of the reindeer. No matter how putrid food may be, the Koryak have no aversion to it, and they will even drink the urine of persons intoxicated with fly-agaric.
Diseases. — Among non-contägious diseases, the most frequent are derange- ments of the digestive organs, caused by irregular nutrition and the use of putrid fish and meat. Complaints of pain in the stomach are frequent, and the Maritime branch of the tribe especially suffer from the tape-worm. Tetter, scabies, and other skin-diseases, are very common, owing to their filthy habits.
Diseases of the eyes — such as inflammation of the lids, or an affection of the cornea — are widely spread. This is to be attributed to the action of smoke in the underground houses of the Maritime Koryak, and to the reflected light of the snow in the spring. People suffering from conjunctivitis and cataract are frequently met with; but I saw only three cases of blindness during my travels, and the three so affected were people of middle age. From the Report of 1884, by Dr. Uspenski, the district physician who visited some Koryak settlements and camps, there were found, in 70 houses visited, 14 persons suffering from cataract, 1 which is a large percentage.
The Koryak are not subject to nervous diseases to the same extent as other arctic tribes, though some are afflicted with symptoms of the two forms of nervousness so frequently met with in the Arctic region. These two forms are widely prevalent among the Yukaghir, Tungus, Yakut, and also among the Russian immigrants. They are generally known by the Yakut names of meryak and menerik; but there are specific names in all the languages of the arctic tribes, not only for these two diseases, but for their various symptoms as well. 2 However, it is probable that these two forms of nervous suffering- are symptomatic manifestations of arctic hysteria.
1 Taken from the Government Archives of Gishiginsk.
2 A more detailed description of these diseases will be given in my work on the Yukaghir.
JOCHKLSON, THE KORYAK.
Meryak is a form of hysterical fit, with some peculiarities. Severe cases of it result in epileptic and cataleptic fits. Mild cases of menerik are indicated by extreme excitability, a shuddering at the least unexpected noise, accom- panied by indecent exclamations, such as the mention of male and female sexual organs, or by making remarks referring to them. In severe cases, the persons affected lose their will-power, and are easily controlled by outside influence: in fact, they may be said to be hypnotized without being in the state of sleep. Such subjects will repeat the words and actions of another, and will do whatever they are ordered to. In this condition they are able to repeat speeches made in a foreign language, or perform difficult, dangerous, or indecent things.
sick old woman, for instance, is able to dance until utterly exhausted,
induced to do so by the mere sight of dancing young people; or to
across a gorge or into a river, or throw herself into the fire, on the
of a joker; and if not stopped in time, she may be seriously injured or killed. Young profligates make sport of the modesty of women so
them to do various indecent things, or abusing them. Women
particularly are subject to both forms of arctic hysteria; those of middle age suffering from menerik, and young women and girls from meryak.
In rare cases, men also suffer from nervous attacks, shamans in particular. had several opportunities to observe the various symptoms of arctic hysteria among the tribes enumerated; but I had no opportunity to witness any cases of meryak among the Koryak. I was told that nervous attacks accompanied by spasms and catalepsy are frequent among women, particularly among those of the Reindeer Koryak.
The Koryak replied to my inquiries about menerik, that some time ago this disease was more widely spread than now, and that at present there are women suffering from a disease called in Koryak me'nkeiti ("to startle"), which is manifested by a quick susceptibility to fright. Subsequently I had the good fortune to observe two cases of menerik in a mild form. The first case was that of a young girl in Kuel. When my cup fell on the floor, she started, and exclaimed, "Pakuka!" ("vulva!")1 Such exclamations are so closely connected with the fright, that they themselves are a symptom of the disease. I saw two really insane people. One was quiet, rather feeble-minded; but the other, in the Kamenskoye settlement, was violent, and he was often kept chained. Once he took by force the food from my cossack and inter- preter. On another occasion he stole a hatchet from me, and hid it. After that, the Koryak took him to another settlement.
People addicted to the use of fly-agaric can be detected by their appear-
1 In tale No. 80 (p. 247) KIlu', Big-Raven's niece, frightened by Grebe-Man, started, and exclaimed, "Tonakan-a'pali!" ("The penis hangs!") "Upakan-a'pall!" ("The vulva hangs!") From this we see that this symptom of arctic hysteria has long been known to the Koryak.
JOCHELSON, E KORYAK.
ance. Even when they are in a normal condition, a twitching of the face is observable, and they have a haggard look and an uneven gait.
Contagious and epidemic diseases find fertile ground among the Koryak as among other Siberian tribes. Even measles, which in civilized countries is generally confined to children, and is comparatively harmless, carries off large numbers of grown people among the Koryak.
Small-pox and measles appeared among the Koryak after they came in contact with the Russians. Small-pox is said to have appeared for the first time in the Okhotsk-Kamchatka territory about 1767. Since then it has been epidemic in that region several times. The contagion spread from Yakutsk or the Kolyma River; but, since intercourse between the bulk of the Koryak tribe and the Russians was not frequent until recently, small-pox did not rage in the interior of the Koryak territory to the extent that it did among other tribes. The last epidemic of small-pox occurred in 1895. It came from the Kolyma side, and claimed numerous victims among the Chukchee of the northern tundra; but the Koryak were affected very little by it.
Epidemics of measles are hardly less fatal. The last one was brought to the Koryak from Kamchatka in 1899. In some cases the havoc wrought by it was so great as to carry off a third of the population. Among the Reindeer Koryak of the Taigonos Peninsula, for instance, 97 persons, according to my record of families, died of it.1 While the census figures of 1897 show that there were in all only 297 persons on the Taigonos Peninsula before the epidemic, the enumeration made by me after the epidemic gives 318 persons there."
Like the Chukchee, the Koryak call syphilis the Chuvantzy or Yukaghir disease (atal or etel va'irgin 3 ), evidently because it was through these tribes that the infection was brought from the Russians. The Paren people call it also tagi'ta. In our travels among the Reindeer Koryak, as well as through
To give an idea of the ravages of measles among the Koryak in 1900,
I will cite here what I heard from
a young Koryak employed as a herdsman by a wealthy widow, the sister of the Taigonos elder.
tent stood alone on the shore of the Avekova River. There were ten of us. We all
took sick, and
could hardly drag ourselves about. Soon one after another died. Another herdsman and myself, both ill, drove
the dead to be burned. Finally this herdsman, too, died. There were now three of us, — our mistress, another
woman, and myself. Soon the other woman died. Alone I drove her a little way from our tent; but I had no
strength to burn her, for 1 could not pick up the wood. I put the dead woman on the snow, killed the reindeer
on which I had brought her, and placed him alongside of her. Then 1 plucked some alder-tree branches, covered
the dead woman and the reindeer with them, and pressed them down from the top with the sledge.
"An awful storm was raging at the time. When I returned home, I
found the tent had fallen down, and
that my mistress was lying under the uprooted stakes of the framework. All alone, she had been unable to withstand
the strong wind, and fasten down the falling tent. I drew her from under the tent, and with difficulty we pitched
it again the best we could. Thus only two of us recovered After that I wandered about for several days to
collect the herd, which had scattered in all directions."
sent this herdsman with my
cossack to find the skull of the woman that had not
been burned, but they could not discover it. Very likely the bears had carried off the corpse.
- For the difference between the figures 297 and 318 see Chapter III.
By the name atal, or etel, as the Paren people pronounce it, the Koryak call the Chuvantzy as well as the
JOCHKLSON, THE KORYAK.
the settlements of the Maritime Koryak, we often came across syphilitic patients; but all the cases were either in the tertiary stage or were instances of hereditary syphilis. From the Report of 1884, by the district physician Uspenski, I have taken the following interesting data: —
Syphilis developed, particularly during the seventies of the last century, in the Gishiga district. The Government then established a special hospital for syphilitics in Gishiginsk, where the Koryak went readily to be treated. In 1880 this hospital was closed, and syphilis spread more virulently.
Dr. Uspenski, on his inspection tour of 1884 over the Koryak settlements of the western shores of Penshina Bay, found in 91 houses 42 persons suffering from syphilis; among the Taigonos Koryak, 19 infected in 9 camps; and among the Reindeer Koryak of Opuka on the Palpal, 16 in 10 camps. Among the Alutor Koryak he did not find a single case: so that little nook on the Pacific had not been touched by the disease.
The idea is prevalent among the Russians, for some reason or other, that the presence of syphilis among the Koryak is due to the sailors of American whaling-vessels. This was the opinion of the chief of the Gishiga district 1 and of Dr. Uspenski in the above-mentioned report. In support of this opinion, Dr. Uspenski pointed out that, while he found among the Koryak near Gishiga numerous cases of syphilis in its contagious stage, on a wholesale examination of the cossacks and their families of Gishiga he discovered that five persons out of a hundred showed traces of former venereal disease, but not one of its contagious form.
Dr. Slunin also says that some settlements along the Okhotsk Sea, as Yamsk (Russianized Koryak) and Arman (Tungus), which were often visited by American whalers, have a bad reputation.2 George Kennan also is of the opinion that the American whalers have imported syphilis to the Koryak of Penshina Bay.3 However, I do not believe that the Koryak are exceptional among the Siberian tribes. All the tribes of northeastern Siberia, the Chukchee and Kamchadal among them, contracted syphilis from the Russians long before the appearance of American whalers in Bering and Okhotsk Seas. It is known, for instance, that among the Kamchadal syphilis was particularly widespread after the arrival (in 1799) of an infantry regiment under the command of Major-General Somoff at Petropavlovsk.4
There is another interesting feature in connection with the appearance of syphilis among the Koryak. As we shall see later, in the chapter treating
1 See Government Archives of the Gishiga District, 1884, Case 1094.
2 Slunin, I, p. 522.
3 Kennan, Tent-Life in Siberia (London, 1870), p. 233.
the first visits to Petropavlovsk by foreign vessels. — namely, by the English
Captain Cook, who had been killed not long before the visit, and by the expedition of the French navigator La
Perouse, — the Russian Government thought it necessary to put the port of Petropavlovsk under military
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
of family relations, the sexual relations of the Koryak, compared with those of their neighbors, are remarkably pure for a primitive tribe. This should make the possibility of infection through sexual intercourse rare. It is likely that the contagion spread simply through contact, in consequence of their lack of aversion to things eaten by others and of the excessive filth obtaining among them.
Leprosy, so widely spread among the Yakut, is not found at all among the Koryak. Slunin says that the Kamchadal also are exempt from it.1 The Yakut, also Russian immigrants, half-blood descendants of Kamchadal and Russians or Yakut, and to some extent the Tungus, are subject to this disease. Personally I did not meet with a single instance of a Tungus affected by leprosy.
From time to time a contagious disease similar to grippe in its prolonged and severe form, accompanied with many complications, spreads among the Koryak, and each time it claims a few score victims. This disease was introduced by the Russians. At the time of my arrival at the Russian town of Gishiginsk (August, 1900), almost its entire Russian population, the cossacks included, were down with the grippe.
The remedies used by the Kamchadal are not used by the Koryak. In case of sickness they have recourse to shamanism, family charms, and incan- tations. They readily apply for help to a Russian physician or to travellers, whom they regard as shamans, and take their medicine gladly. Wounds heal with remarkable rapidity after they have been dressed, and antiseptics have been applied to them. The Koryak usually leave their wounds open, for they have not the necessary material with which to dress them. Hare's hair is frequently applied by them to a wound ; but the hairs stick to it, and dirt accumulates, and it is surprising how the wounds heal at all under such conditions. By applying the proper dressing, we often succeeded in healing in a few days ulcers, cuts, and wounds from which they had been suffering for months.
Mental Traits. — There is quite a disparity of opinion among travellers in reference to the psychological and moral traits of the Koryak.
Krasheninnikoff says, "They are all exceedingly rude, irascible, ill-disposed, spiteful, and unmerciful;"2 but in another place he says, "The Koryak are truthful, diligent, and endowed with a sense of shame." 3 On the same page he says that the Maritime Koryak are more courageous than their Rein- deer brothers.
Dittmar says that the Koryak are "good-natured, honest, strictly truthful, and do not know deceit. But should any one offend their sense of honor, or insult them, their anger is lasting, and they seek to avenge themselves." 4
1 Slunin, I, p. 529. 2 Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 202. 3 Ibid., II, p. 203.
4 Dittmar, Die Koraken, pp. 26, 27.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
With reference to the Paren and Kamenskoye people, Dittmar says in another place that they are "of a restless, warlike nature, or, rather, they have the nature of robbers, which has made for them a number of enemies,"1 and that the wandering Koryak visit them only in case of dire necessity. The Rein- deer Koryak, on the other hand, are, according to Dittmar,2 such an honest, straight-forward people, that he expresses a wish that the demoralizing influence of civilization should not touch their pure patriarchal life.
Maydell, on the contrary, considers the Koryak a wily people, who have caused a good deal of harm to the Russians by their pretended submission and treacherous revolts.3
Slunin says of the Maritime Koryak, that they are "more advanced, more receptive, have better morals (?), and are more sociable in their manners,"4 than the Reindeer Koryak, but are not very hospitable; while hospitality, and readiness to come to the assistance of the needy, constitute, on the contrary, a distinctive trait of the nomadic Koryak.
Kennan5 also praises the Reindeer Koryak for their honesty and hospit- ality, while the picture he draws of the Maritime Koryak is anything but attractive. "They are," says Kennan, "cruel and brutal in disposition, insolent to everybody, revengeful, dishonest, and untruthful. The settled Koraks of Penzhinsk Gulf are unquestionably the worst, ugliest, most brutal and degraded natives in all northeastern Siberia; more trouble than all the other inhabitants of Siberia and Kamchatka together."
Personally I believe that the principal traits of character of the Maritime and Reindeer Koryak are much alike. They are proud, independent, inclined to brag ; their - passions are easily aroused; they take offence readily, and try to avenge themselves by any possible means. They are hospitable and so- ciable with people in whom they have confidence, but do not conceal their dislike for those who are unfriendly to them, or who, for some reason or another, did not gain their favor. They do not fear death, and they cannot be frightened by anything. For reasons such as the death of a relative, quarrels, or wrath, suicide has frequently been committed among them, as well as among the Chukchee, even recently.
In former times, owing to these traits of character, feuds, or misunder- standings among the Koryak, or between them and other tribes, ended in mutual slaughter. At present, their manners are somewhat gentler, but in dealing with them one must always take into consideration their obstinacy, austerity, and dauntlessness.
Together with the Chukchee, the Koryak are the only Siberian tribe whose attitude toward the Russian authorities is that of almost perfect independence. However, the Russianized Koryak of the Okhotsk district, and
1 Dittmar, Die Koräken, p. 11. 2 Ibid, p. 34. 3 Maydell, I, pp. 527-573.
4 Slunin, I, p. 392. 5 Kennan, pp. 197, 203, 209.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
particularly the Maritime Koryak of northern Kamchatka who have embraced Christianity, are exceptions to this rule. They have the same pitiful and humble appearance as the Kamchadal, Yukaghir, and Tungus, and carry out submissively each and every order of the cossacks and the Russians in general. Evidently the process of Russianization, combined with two centuries of oppression by the Russian authorities, has brought about this change in the primitive character of this branch of the Koryak.
During the time of the subjection of the Koryak, full-grown men in the villages or camps, unable to withstand longer the besieging Russians, often killed their dogs or reindeer, their women and children, and finally themselves, if they could not escape by flight. Such a state of things discouraged even the conquerors. Similar instances of wild self-destruction while battling for their freedom occurred later on as well, when the Russians were suppressing the Koryak rebellions. These rebellions were caused by the levying of the fur-tribute (yassak), or by the demand of the Russians for hostages. These demands the Koryak refused to grant, though other Siberian tribes, with the exception of the Chukchee, complied with them.
Strictly speaking, the Koryak were not on the whole opposed to the fur-tribute, which they considered an offering to the Czar; but the extortionate demands made by the cossacks and officials for furs and services for them- selves were contrary to the Koryak sense of justice and his love of freedom. The rebellious spirit of the Koryak was not crushed with the suppression of the revolts.1
An old man from the Kamenskoye village told me that he could remember seeing, when he was a child, Russian merchants accompanied by cossacks come to trade, and that, fearing an attack, they stopped outside the village. It was only when the Koryak came out to them unarmed that trade began. Even very recently the chief of the Gishiga district travelled through the Koryak villages and camps under the protection of an armed body-guard. In the sixties of the last century the chief of the Gishiga district, Volkov, ordered a drunken Koryak from the village of Kamenskoye to be beaten with rods when he came to Gishiginsk. The relatives of the man determined to flog the Russian chief in Kamenskoye, where he was expected to arrive as usual for collecting tribute of furs. When Volkov heard of this, he sent two cossacks for the tribute, instead of croing himself. As soon as they arrived in the settlement, they were stretched out and flogged, and then sent back to Volkov to tell him that now he might come, since the indignity to their relative was avenged.-
For a more detailed account of the relations between the
Russians and the Koryak, see the historical sketch
in Chapter XIV.
2 From the
successor of Volkov, chief of the Gishiga district, to the Governor of
the Maritime Province, Dec. 31, 1886, No. 404 (Government Archives of Gishiga).
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
The same official, Volkov, was for a long time unable to collect the fur-tribute from the Koryak of Shestakovo village. When some of these Korvak came to Gishiginsk with furs to sell to the merchants, Volkov ordered the furs to be confiscated. The Koryak went away empty-handed. When, after that, Volkov passed the village of Shestakovo, the Koryak surrounded the underground house where he stopped and tried to beat him. The chief drew his sabre, and with its flat side struck over the back a Koryak who was trying to get at him. Then all the Koryak fell upon the chief, but they were held back by his body-guard of five cossacks. The cossacks, in the Korvak language (which the chief did not understand), begged the Koryak not to ruin them by acts of violence on the chief. The Koryak yielded to the entreaties of the cossacks on the promise of a present of powder, and after the Koryak who had been struck by the chief had been allowed to pass his hand over the back of the chief's coat (without his knowledge of it), thus simulating a return stroke.1
In the Report cited above there are other facts of a similar nature. For instance, District Chief Mazurkevich, when visiting the village of Kamenskoye in 1872, provoked by the insolence of the Koryak I'velqut, struck him in the chest to drive him away. I'elqut attacked the chief, but was caught by the latter's body-guard, and driven out of the underground house. In a few minutes the house was surrounded; and the cossacks of the guard, seeing that they were unable to shield Mazurkevich from harm, offered themselves as a propitiation for the insult. The Koryak were satisfied with this sub- stitution, and gave the cossacks a thrashing.
To give an idea of the Koryak customs and manners, I will cite here some incidents of my personal intercourse with them. In the fall of 1900 some Koryak from Kuel took my companions, myself, and my luggage, in two skin boats, from the mouth of the Paren River to their settlement. I asked them what they wanted in payment for their trouble. They held a consultation among themselves, and asked for twenty bricks of tea. It must be borne in mind that they were then out of tea. In summer they do not come in contact with the Russian merchants, and their supply laid in during spring is quickly consumed. If by chance a Russian merchant were to come among them in the fall, he would charge from two to three rubles for a brick of tea.
Now, the distance by sea from the mouth of the Paren River to Kuel is about twelve miles. According to local conditions, the price set by the Koryak was too high, and I asked them if they did not think it was too much. The elder of the Kuel settlement, old Euvi'npet, replied angrily and impatiently, "If thou findest that it is too much, then we do not want any
1 Told by a cossack who participated in the quarrel.
54 -- JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI. PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
pay" I had not expected that my question would offend them. In my intercourse for a number of years with other Siberian tribes, I had not only always come to an understanding with them about the pay for their services, but in most cases had set it myself. In cases where I offered less than was asked for, they never took offence.
Among those tribes there is no definite scale of prices for services in general, and obviously not for those for which I was the first to apply to them. Sometimes a native would ask of me at random the first thing that he saw in my tent, or in the house where I stopped, without taking its value into consideration. For instance, a girl from the Itkana settlement asked me, by the advice of her uncle, in return for permission to make a cast of her face, for a copper pot which I subsequently exchanged for a small skin boat.
After my experience with Euvi'npet, I did not haggle with the Koryak again when I had not come to a previous understanding with them. I often gave them more than they asked for, since they would ask for a trifle, when it happened to strike their fancy, in payment for quite laborious work. In the end, the Koryak left the settlement of the reward to me.
I had another unpleasant experience among the Reindeer Koryak during the fair on the Palpal Mountains in March, 1901. Owing to the epidemic of measles that had been raging a short time before my arrival, I was not welcomed very cordially. By order of the old men, no one wished to be measured. A few men only, who acted independently and did not care for public opinion, consented to be measured two or three days after my arrival. The women were angry when I applied to them for anything. They wished to get our presents, but they were afraid to disobey the old men. One young woman, tempted by the presents, began to dictate a tale to me. With her and my interpreter, I sat on a sledge outside. While she was dictating, an old woman came up to her and said something. Thereupon the young woman showed signs of impatience, and talked reluctantly. When I asked her to explain one place which I did not understand, she suddenly flung the presents at the interpreter and ran away into the common tent.1
Another woman, whom I asked to sell me the embroidered trousers for men which she was drying, replied angrily and with irony, "Go, go farther! Look for cutting-boards!" She was hinting at the fact that I had previously made an unsuccessful attempt to buy, from some women, cutting-boards with figures engraved upon them. However, the husband of the woman brought to me on the following day those very trousers.
It should be kept in mind, in connection with these remarks, that the Koryak look upon every traveller as an official of high rank. If I could have remained longer with the Palpal people, I have no doubt that our
1 See Part I, p. 77.
IOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
relations would have undergone a complete change. Unfortunately the fair lasted but a few days, and my plans were such that after the fair I had to 00 to the Taigonos Peninsula.
The discrepancy in the accounts given by various travellers of the char- acteristics of the Reindeer and Maritime Koryak can, it seems to me, be explained by the fact that the Reindeer people, being nomadic, could always get away from unwelcome visitors, and the Russians did not know where to find the camps which they desired to visit; while the Maritime Koryak, being established in certain places, could not escape undesirable visits, and were compelled to offer resistance when they did not wish to yield to the demands of the Russians.
One demand of the cossacks always irritates the Koryak, and that is the exaction of conveyance without charge. The Koryak, as a rule, have few driving-dogs, and, moreover, food must be taken along for the dogs, even if there is not enough left for the people. In this respect the Reindeer Koryak are more favorably situated. It is a trifle for a wealthy reindeer-owner to give a few reindeer for driving. He does not suffer any privation by render- ing such service, and therefore is not irritated by demands of this sort.
The same is true regarding their hospitality. The Maritime Koryak are as hospitable as those of the Reindeer branch, but they have nothing accept- able to offer to a white person. He will not eat seal-meat with blubber. Not even all cossacks can eat the food of the Koryak, who feel insulted if any one shows aversion to it. Besides, the Maritime Koryak themselves often suffer from a scarcity of food. The Reindeer Koryak, on the other hand, are in a position to offer reindeer-meat to the white man.
The Maritime Koryak, for instance, never offered me food, unless I my- self asked them for dried fish, while they always treated my people with food. The Reindeer Koryak, on the contrary, always treated us to boiled reindeer- tongues, a delicacy kept for guests of honor.
On the whole, I retain a good impression of the Koryak. They are hard to get along with if one does not know their ways. They are churlish', rude, and quarrelsome, if displeased; but they do not flatter, are truthful, straightforward, and, when in good-humor, good-natured and jocose.
Mr. Kennan's remarks about the Kamentsi may be explained by the fact that the agents of the Russian-American Company, in whose employ he was, either paid the Koryak, under the patronage of the Russian authorities, very poorly or not at all for their services, or treated them arrogantly, as they did the meek and humble Kamchadal. This is the only way in which I can reconcile the relations between the Maritime Koryak and the employees of the Telegraph Company as described by Mr. Kennan. Some old Russians in Gishiginsk told me that the agents of the company paid by slips or receipts, the money for which has not yet been collected.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
Krasheninnikoff's opinion, that theft is regarded by the Koryak as laud- able 1 is utterly unjust. In former times it was considered right to plunder enemies; but this was a form of spoil, and not theft. Their language has a word for stealing (ti-to'latiñ, "I steal"); but cases of theft are rare. If one is convicted of stealing, the owner takes away the stolen things, and just laughs at the thief.2
During the whole of my sojourn among the Koryak I lost nothing from my belongings. My boxes and bags, packed full of provisions, and goods for exchange and presents, — all of considerable value, and sealed only with a sealing-wax seal, — were frequently left by me outside, or in the care of a Koryak, to be taken to some other place in my absence; and never a thing was lost. On the contrary, on the two occasions on which I did lose things in the Gishiga district, the theft was committed by Russian drivers.
The orders that I gave to the Koryak for models, or for the acquisition of articles for my collection, were carried out by them honestly and promptly. On one occasion only did a trader — a Koryak from the Mikino settlement, who had gone to the Opuka River for purposes of trade — send me fewer things than I ordered from him. In this case, his son, when I told him that according to my calculations his father was in debt to me, straightened out the difference by giving me a rug of reindeer-skins.
I will touch here on the sympathy of the Reindeer Koryak for human suffering. They are always ready to assist the starving — no matter who they may be, Maritime Koryak or Russians — by bringing them reindeer. The poor inhabitants of the Russian settlements, when their fish-supplies are exhausted toward spring, go to the Reindeer camps, and the Koryak slaughter reindeer for them, either for a trifling remuneration or on trust. The Russian drivers who, in the spring of 1900, took me and my belongings on seven dog-sledges to the Reindeer Koryak of the Topolovka River, left that place with their sledges loaded with slaughtered reindeer.
The mind of the Koryak, we may say, works as slowly as does his clumsy body, and gets tired as quickly. Very few of the women were able to dictate to me two tales in succession. Usually, after having told one tale, they would ask to be relieved, for they were tired. In taking my notes, I was obliged to stop frequently, for I could see that my interpreter was tired, and unable to follow my questions with proper attention.
The Koryak are very fond of knowledge. They followed with great interest the descriptions of the life of the people in other countries. Every novelty excites and attracts them; but their attention is not lasting. Our phonograph made the most striking impression wherever we went. Often a
1 Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 220.
the myths we can also see that the Koryak do not regard theft as a virtue.
trmine-Woman, being accused of stealing, was driven out of Big-Raven's house (Part I, p. 222).
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
hundred persons would crowd into the house where we put up our phono- graph, and gather around it in a ring. Some of the lads watched the phongraph in action with an interest as intense as if they were about to penetrate the mystery of the box which could utter words and sounds.
The grown-up people explained it very simply, thus: "A living being, capable of imitating humans, is sitting in the box." They used to call it the "old man." Naturally, they were especially pleased to hear the box repeat Koryak tales and songs. Of the musical records they liked particularly the reproduction of the xylophone and of negro melodies. They preferred solo to orchestral records. The Koryak are easily excited by their own primitive music and songs. They appreciate a good voice and skill in beating the drum. They will sit and listen for hours to singing accompanied by the drum.
Measures. — The Koryak system of numeration, like
of the Chukchee,
has two bases, —
number of fingers on one
the number of fingers
and toes combined, or simply the
man. They Koryak are not
expert in the use of numbers.
The majority of
even at the
present time, use
their hands and feet as
helps in computing
numbers; but even so, they count better than the Chukchee.
I saw Reindeer Koryak with several
hundred reindeer who knew their number
exactly. The traders from among the Maritime Koryak can not only reckon mentally small numbers (not above a hundred) without the help of fingers or sticks, but even have a curious way of keeping their accounts.1 While I was among the Chukchee, I saw traders who were absolutely unable to count.
In the Kolyma district, not far from the Indigirka River, I once met a wealthy Chukchee returning from the Russian settlement called the Russian Estuary. He was in the habit of exchanging reindeer-meat and tea with the hunters of the tundra for their arctic foxes, and selling them to the Russian merchant from whom he was returning when I met him. Before retiring to bed, he took out of a leather bag bricks of tea, and arranged them in a row, in pairs. Then he took from another smaller bag little willow sticks, and placed a stick on each pair of the bricks of tea. The number of the sticks corresponded to the number of the fox-skins he had had. In this man- mer he checked off the exchange he had effected, and he usually received two bricks of tea for each arctic fox. This time a few pairs of bricks were left uncovered by the sticks. The Chukchee decided that the merchant had made a mistake. Subsequently, when I met the Russian merchant, it turned out differently.
The Chukchee brought a few bundles of fox-skins, and, throwing them to the merchant, said, "Give me tea for this." The merchant counted up the skins, and gave him tea at the rate of eighty kopecks per brick, while before
1 See Chapter XI, Figs. 248—250.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
he had charged one ruble per brick. At that time, tea was cheaper than usual; but the Chukchee was utterly unable to understand the merchant's calculations.
The Koryak have no standard for the expression of relations of space. The distance between certain points is computed in terms of time. Thus, for instance, the distance between Paren and Gishiga (about 100 miles, accord- ing to the estimate of Russians) is spoken of as a trip, on good driving-dogs, lasting two days, or requiring one stop for the night. The conception of distance is in this case only a relative one. A camp of Reindeer Koryak which is moving rather slowly requires si or seven days for this trip. Neither have the Koryak a scale of lineal measures. They use the finger- reach as a unit, but only for measuring thongs.
Seasons. — The year is divided into twelve lunar months (ya'Alñin, "the moon"). The first month begins at the time of the winter solstice, and corresponds to our month of December. The Koryak are very little troubled by the fact that in the interval between two winter solstices an extra new moon may occur. Some months have different names in different places; but the names of the months most commonly used are as follows: —
("cold winds' month") or I'viw-ya'alñin ("snow-storms' month").
Y'a'yawuca-ya'alñin ("[growing] of the reindeer's spinal sinew
udder month"). Mr. Bogoras 1 cites for the third and fourth Koryak months names signi-
fying "false reindeer-birth month" and ''genuine reindeer-birth month." The first name
apparently corresponds to the name of the month signifying "false-udder month."
month" by the Chukchee also.
Ano'-ya'alñin ("first summer month").
Ara'-ya'alñra ("second summer month").
Öeipi-ya'alñin ("reddening [of leaves] month").
Yma-kycñ-ya'alñin ("pairing season
of the reindeer-bucks month")
("empty [bare] twigs' month").
He'tihe-ya'alñin ("autumn's month").
Kite'p-aiña-ya'alñin ("rutting-season of
Ligun'-leut-ya'alñin ("itself head month," "month of the head
These names of the months are used not only by the Reindeer, but by the Maritime Koryak as well, though the latter, however, do not know them quite as well. No matter how many times I inquired of the Maritime Koryak the names of the months, they invariably got mixed up.
Language. — Mr. Bogoras' linguistical researches have proved that the languages of the Chukchee, Koryak, and Kamchadal, are but branches of one linguistic family.
The Koryak language may be subdivided into four main dialects, —
1 Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII of this series, p. 51.
JOCHF.LSON, THE KORYAK.
that of the Koryak of northern Kamchatka, of the Reindeer and Kamenskoye- Paren Koryak, Alutor Koryak, and the Kerek. Moreover, every group of Reindeer Koryak, and almost every village of Maritime people, have their own provincialisms, with a few insignificant phonetical and lexical peculiarities. Thus, for instance, there are phonetical and lexical differences even between the dialects of the Kamenskoye and Paren villages, which are so short a distance from each other.
Thus, in the Paren dialect, a of the Kamenskoye dialect is changed to e; and the same word may have a different meaning in each of the dialects, or different words may be used to express one and the same conception. For instance, a'pa in the Kamenskoye dialect means "grandfather," and in the Paren dialect, "father." In the Kamenskoye dialect, "mother" is expressed by a'n'a, and in the Paren dialect, by a'mma.
Dittmar1 divides the Koryak language into five dialects, — that of the Reindeer Koryak, the Kamenskoye, the Ukinskoye, the Pallanskoye, and the Alutor. On the basis of the difference in the dialects pointed out by him, he divides the Koryak into five branches, — the Reindeer, Kamenskoye and Paren people (under which name he includes the inhabitants of eight villages between the Kamenskoye and Paren), Pallantsi (the inhabitants of seven settlements between Pustoretsk and Vayampolka), Ukintsi (the inhabitants of six settlements along the Pacific shore between Oserna and Karagha), and the Alutor people (the inhabitants of nine settlements north of Karagha). Passing over the fact that several settlements and entire groups of Koryak are not included in the branches of the Koryak enumerated above, as we shall see in Chapter III, the very basis of this division is wrong.
Almost all the Koryak have preserved their native tongue. They learn a foreign language with difficulty; and in their intercourse with other tribes, it is not they who take up the new tongue, but the foreigner, who is usually forced to learn the Koryak language. Thus, the Kamchadal, Tungus, and Russians, when living with the Koryak, have to learn to speak in the Koryak language. Even the Christianized Maritime Koryak of the northern part of Kamchatka, with but few exceptions, have not learned to speak Russian ; and none of the Reindeer Koryak know the Russian language.
Of the Maritime Koryak, only two hundred (or 2.6 per cent) regard the Russian language as their mother-tongue. These are the inhabitants of the Nayakhan settlement in the Gishiga district, and the Koryak of the Okhotsk district (see Chapter III). The latter are intermixed to such an extent with other tribes (Tungus, Yakut, and Russians) that they can hardly be considered as genuine Koryak.
An insignificant number of Reindeer Koryak, wandering with the Tungus
1 Dittmar, Die Koräken, p. 47.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
in the Gishiga district near the sources of the Gishiga and Varkhalam Rivers, have acquired the Tungus language. According to the census of 1897, they are 73 in number (41 men). Mr. Patkanov 1 polls them erroneously in the Petropavlovsk district. This process of "Tungusianizing" a small part of the Koryak has been going on for the last ten or twenty years, owing to their intermarrying with the Tungus. On the other hand, the census mentions 17 Tungus who wander with the Koryak, and who have acquired Koryak as their native language.
Not only are the Koryak disinclined to learn foreign tongues, but, rather than adopt Russian names, they prefer to make their own words for objects imported by the Russians, or for those things of which they have learned but recently. The Koryak names are usually characteristic of the person or object, and frequently are aptly chosen. For instance, the chief of the district is called by the Koryak Ta'xa-a'yim ("fur-tribute chief). The Paren people called me Li'mñila'yim ("tales chief"), because I recorded the tales; and the Taigonos people called me Lon-te'nme-a'yim ("face-measuring chief").
1 Patkanov, p. 21.