IV. — HABITATIONS.
The Reindeer as well as the Maritime Koryak call their dwellings yaya'ñi or li'ge-yan1 ("genuine house"). The Maritime Koryak call the tents of the Reindeer Koryak ca'ucewyan ("Reindeer people's house"), while the latter call the dwellings of the Maritime Koryak wa'lxai ("jaw-bone [of a whale] house"). This name is of great interest. From it the conclusion may be drawn that in olden times the Maritime Koryak used for the construction of their underground houses bone of whale,2 which is still used by the Eskimo.
Remains of underground dwellings the framework of which was of bone of whale were seen by Wrangell and Xordenskiöld along the shores of the rctic. Mr. Bogoras saw ruins of such houses in the villages of the Maritime Chukchee and Asiatic Eskimo on Bering Sea. These houses are called by the natives wa'lkar, which also means "jaw-bone house." 3
Reindeer Koryak. — The dwelling of the Reindeer Koryak consists of an outside tent and an inner sleeping-tent. The frame of the outer tent is built after the type of the movable dwellings of the nomad Mongol and Turkish tribes of Asia; such as the cattle-breeding Kirghiz and Kalmuk,4 who cover the frame of their tent with a felt covering, and the reindeer-breeding Tungus,5 who use birch-bark or reindeer-hide for the same purpose.
The characteristic feature of this type of dwelling is its construction in two parts; the lower part being cylindrical, and the upper part or roof conical, in shape. The Koryak reindeer-skin tent, however, is clumsier and heavier than the felt habitation (kibitka) of the Kirghiz, and the leather or birch-bark dwelling of the Tungus. The lower part of the outer tent of the Reindeer Koryak does not form as regular a circle as do the lower parts of the tents of the above-mentioned tribes. Still it is more symmetrical than that of the Reindeer Chukchee, which, on the whole, it resembles.6 The frame of the outer tent (yaya'ñi) of the Reindeer Koryak consists, first of all, of three foundation-posts (Fig. 59), or ye'lxel, arranged in the form of a tripod, and tied together at the top by means of strong thongs.
1 In the Chukchee language li'ê-ran
ribs or jaw-bones of
whales in the framework of the excavated ancient underground housse of
the Koryak in Gishiga Bay, while bones of whales were scattered all round the pits of the old dwellings.
3 See Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII, of this series, p. 180.
the dwellings of the Turkish and Mongol tribes see the interesting paper
Charusin, The History of the Development of the Dwellings of the Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Turkish and
Mongol Tribes of Russia (Ethnographic Survey, Journal of the Ethnographic Section of the Imperial Society of the
Friends of Natural History, Anthropology, and Ethnography [Moscow, 1896], Vol. XXVIII, No. 1).
detailed description of the different types of Tungus habitations will be given
in my work on the Yukaghir.
Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII of this series, p. 169.
57— JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI, PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
The height of these poles, upon which depends the height of the dwelling, varies from 3.5 metres to 5 metres, according to its size. Around this tripod are placed, at a distance apart of from one to two metres, strong stakes (b), in sets of two or three, from 1.3 to 1.5 metres in height .1 The upper ends of these stakes are tied together with thongs passing through holes. To the tops of these poles are tied the ends of horizontal wooden bars, or wã'ye- ye'lxalu (c). These cross-bars with their supports constitute the lower, circular part of the frame. However, as 1 pointed out above, the lower part of the frame does not form a regular circle, as the cross-bars are too heavy and long. When uncovered, they look more like beams forming the sides of a polygon; but the heavy reindeer-skin cover of the frame conceals to a great extent the angles formed by these cross-bars.2
The conical part of the frame is composed of slanting poles, or yevi'ne (d), extending from the middle of the cross-bars (c) and from the tops of the tripods (b) towards the top of the foundation-posts. By means of thongs both ends of these poles are securely fastened to the corresponding parts of the frame. The following parts also belong to the frame.
Poles (e), the lower ends of which are driven into the ground, and to whose upper ends are fastened curved pieces (f) which serve to prop up the cover. The ends of these curved pieces are tied to the roof-poles by means of thongs. The number of these stretchers (e, f) depends upon the size of the tent. In a medium-sized tent there are from three to four.
Poles (g) with their cross-bar (h), which serve for suspending the kettle over the hearth.1
Stakes (i and k), which are usually placed before the entrance of the winter tent to protect it from snow-drifts. These stakes serve as the frame of a small entrance-room, which is covered with reindeer-skins; but such entrance-rooms do not occur often.
The frame of the Koryak tent is very substantial, and capable of with- standing the strongest wind. The thongs which connect the wooden parts make the tent flexible and elastic. During a heavy snow-storm the tent creaks and shakes like a ship at sea; but when the storm is over, it settles back as firm as ever, unless the wind should have broken the lashings. In a frost following thaws, the thongs become hard, and are liable to break. The tent-cover (xece'getõl), if it is well secured to the frame, in its turn keeps the frame firm, and protects the poles and stakes from the wind.
1 Fig. 59 represents a model of a small tent, with a single
inner tent. In place of the central tripod, we
find here a separate kettle-stand (g). All large tents have the central tripod described above. It serves at the
same time as a kettle-stand.
part of the tent of the
Tungus and of the Kirghiz is, on the contrary, of a more regular cylin-
nciil form. In the Tungus tent the cross-bars consist of round thin and short sticks, and in the Kirghiz tent the
crossbars are curved.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
Fig. 59. Complete Framework, Outer Framework, and Kettle-Stand of Model of Tent.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
The cover consists of reindeer-skins sewed together, with the hair side out (Plate XIX, Fig. I). Worn-out skins which have previously served for the inner tent are used for making this cover. In order to lessen its weight when moving from place to place, the hair is clipped close with a sharp knife. It is made in two or more pieces. The upper part of the cover, where the smoke accumulates, is made of much-worn skins sewed together. The lower parts, consisting usually of two pieces, are attached to it. The ends of the cover overlap on the entrance side of the tent. Inside, the parts of the cover are fastened firmly together and to the stakes and poles with thongs. The lower ends of the cover are tucked under, and weighted down inside the tent with stones and heavy bags filled with clothes, or with loaded sledges. Outside, around the cylindrical and conical parts, as well as up and down, the cover is fastened with thongs the ends of which are attached to loaded sledges surrounding the tent and to stakes driven into the ground or the snow. Water is poured over the snow around these stakes, which freezes and thus makes the snow a solid, resisting mass of ice. Light driving-sledges, when not in use, are tied to the roof of the house, thus fastening the cover to the frame.
The Koryak outer tents are usually more spacious than those of the Chukchee. Several Koryak families live in one tent. The sleeping-tents are placed all around the inner space of the tent, with the exception of the entrance side.
The Chukchee have usually only one sleeping-tent, near the wall opposite the entrance, for unrelated families do not live in the same tent. For this reason the sides of the tent are drawn closer together. The front part with the entrance looks as though it were truncated; and the back part, which contains the inner tent, is extended backward. The diameter of a large Koryak tent is from eight to nine metres. The middle space is so taken up with poles and stakes that it reminds one of the scaffolding of a building in course of construction. The hearth is not placed in the centre of the tent, as with the Tungus, but is on the middle of a line drawn from the front wall of the sleeping-tent in the rear to the entrance. The opening for the smoke (see Plate XIX, Fig. I) is therefore rather in the direction of the slope of the roof on the side of the entrance. The back part is covered to the tops of the poles.
While, in other Asiatic movable tents of the type here described, the inner tent serves as a bedroom only, among the Koryak and Chukchee it serves as a living-room also, particularly in winter. The inner tent (yoyo'ñi) is in the form of a rectangular box placed upside down. It is made of the dressed hairy skin of full-grown reindeer killed in the fall, with the hair side in, and is sewed with sinew-thread (see Fig. 59).
I did not see among the Reindeer Koryak such spacious inner tents as
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate XIX.
Fig. 1. Tent of Reindeer Koryak.
Fig. 2. Large Tent used during a Fair.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
I saw among the rich Reindeer Chukchee of the Kolyma River, in which it was possible to stand up comfortably. The height of the Koryak inner tent varies from 1.3 to 1.5 metres; its length, from 2 to 4 metres; and its width, from 1.3 to 2 metres. To the upper edges of the longer walls, thongs are fastened, by means of which the rear part of the tent is attached to the cross-bar of the frame of the outer tent. The front part, facing the hearth, is tied to a stake (Fig. 59) resting on the cross-bars attached to the frame of the tent.
The floor of the sleeping-room is strewn with willow-branches covered with reindeer-skins. The lower parts of the cover on the rear and side walls of the inner tent are tucked inside, and the bedding is placed upon them; while the cover of the front wall is tucked under only when the inmates go to bed.1 I shall dwell here only on the difference between the Koryak and the Chukchee in the use of the inner tent.
The Koryak seldom break up their inner tent in order to beat it on the snow and dry it. They dry it during the day by lifting up the front part of the cover. Thus the dampness collected from the exhalations of the sleepers during the night, and lodged in the hair of the skins, and the vapors rising from the tea and warm food, mixed with dirt and fat, are only partially dissipated during the day. For this reason the inner tents of the Koryak are dirtier than are those of the Chukchee.
In the evening the inner tent is closed, the lamp is lighted, and the family drink tea and take supper. At this time the skin dwelling gets heated to such a degree that the men strip off their coats and remain half naked.2 During the night the fur sleeping-tent gets cooled off, so that the temperature inside is but three or four degrees higher than that prevailing outside.
A Koryak tent seldom has less than three or four inner sleeping-tents. The master, the families of his relatives and of his herdsmen, live in the same tent; and often members of the same tribe, not related, but wandering together, live in one tent.
During the fair on the Palpal (see Plate XIX, Fig. 2) the Reindeer Koryak put up one common tent with two hearths placed like the foci of an ellipse, and with a passageway, on the two sides of which were sixteen inner tents (eight on each side). Over a hundred persons occupied this tent, the longer diameter of which exceeded twenty metres in length. Kennan3 mentions a large tent of Reindeer Koryak in northern Kamchatka in which he counted twenty-six inner tents. I had no chance to see tents accommodating so many, except the one at the fair. The large tent of the Taigonos elder (see Plate XIX,
1 For a detailed description of this dwelling, see Bogoras, The Ghukchee, Vol. VII of this series, p. 169.
2 It is curious to note, that, while the Chukchee women take off their clothing down to the waist-line, even in the presence of strangers, the Koryak women are too modest to do so in the presence of company. 3 See Kennan, p. 197.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
Fig. 2) had six sleeping-tents for thirty people. Among them were eleven persons not related to him, — herdsmen and their families.
The difference between the summer and winter tents is in the quality of the cover. For winter it is made of better and heavier skins. All holes and openings in it are sewed up and covered over, and the snow is piled up all around the tent. The inner tent for summer is made of old skins with the hair clipped short. Among some Reindeer Koryak of the Taigonos Peninsula I saw inner tents made of dressed reindeer-skins, like those of the Tungus.
To my mind, the Koryak tent with its inner sleeping-place appears to be a compromise between the tent of the Asiatic nomads and the snow-house of the Eskimo. The inner tent is illuminated and partly heated by a lamp fed with reindeer-fat, like the oil-lamp of the Eskimo house; while the hearth of the outer tent is intended for cooking mainly.
Except on particular occasions, when Reindeer Koryak assemble in num- bers, either for purposes of trade or for the celebration of festivals, a camp (ya'mkin, "people," the Koryak term for a camp of Reindeer people) is seldom composed of more than three tents. At least, I have never seen any more populous camps. A camp (see Plate XXI, Fig. 2) is usually composed of families, or groups of families, connected by ties of kinship (by blood or by marriage); or of a wealthy reindeer-owner and the families of his herdsmen; or of families not at all related to one another, but who, for the convenience of common pasture-grounds and the supervision of the herd, have combined their small herds.
The camp does not move from place to place as frequently as the Arctic nomads are supposed to do. There are four main removals during the year. Towards winter, in October, they put up their tents in the river-valleys, under the protection of high banks, among poplar and aspen groves. In spring, at the end of March, before the fawning-period begins, they descend into the open tundras of the lower courses of rivers, which are covered with lichen. In summer, in the month of July, they ascend the mountains to be near the river-sources. In the fall, at the time of the fawn festival, they return from the ridges to the elevated tundras of the watersheds and the river-valleys.
Other removals depend upen special causes; for instance, the exhaustion of pasturage, the prevalence of an epidemic among the people, or of some disease that attacks the reindeer; and sometimes the removal is for purposes of trade.
In olden times, according to tales of the Koryak, when an attack by a hostile neighbor was anticipated, and also during the wars with the Russians, the camps were surrounded by sledges, and the reindeer were driven inside of this fortified camp.
Maritime Koryak. — Like the tent of the Reindeer people, the dwelling of the Maritime Koryak is called, besides h'ge-yan ("genuine house"), also
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Piate XX.
Interior of Subterranean House.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
yaya'ni. It is an underground, or rather semi-underground, solidly built, permanent dwelling-place. It is of wood, mainly of poplar or aspen, which grows to a considerable height even along the lower courses of the rivers of the Koryak territory. The Koryak float the timber down in summer to the mouths of the rivers; and sometimes they use driftwood. Driftwood carried down by the current from the river-heads may be found mountain- high in the bays and at the mouths of the rivers.
The dwellings vary in size according to the number of inhabitants. Small houses occupied by a family of from five to eight persons may be found frequently. From excavations undertaken by me on the' sites of ancient settlements in Gishiga Bay, it appears that in olden times the underground houses were more spacious than those of the present time. Families separated more rarely, and all relatives used to live together. The average number of occupants of one house at present is from six to thirteen. Out of no under-ground houses on the shores of Penshina Bay, of which I took a census, in only one (in the Paren settlement) did I find twenty-one persons, and they comprised two families. According to tales of olden times, there were formerly undergrqund houses occupied by as many as forty persons. Among the Kerek we still find twenty-five persons in one house.1 A house in Mikino (Plate xx) inhabited by fifteen people was found to be 15 metres long (not including the entrance-room), 12 metres wide, and 7 metres high. Such a house is somewhat larger than the average present-day underground house; and those but half as large, or even smaller, may often be found.
In order to build an under-ground house, a circular hole from 1 to 1.5 metres deep is dug, in which the walls are put up in the form of an octagon. The octagon is not equilateral. The sides a (Fig. 60) are longer than b; and the sides are half as long as b. Eight poles (P) about as long as the height of a man are driven into the ground at the eight corners. Between the poles two vertical rows of split logs, or large poles, or round stakes,
Fig. 60. Plan of Underground House.
are driven into the ground, and the spaces between them are filled in with dry grass. The tops of the eight outside corner poles (P) are notched, and
1 See p. 440
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
into the notches wooden cross-beams are placed. Each pole holds the ends of two cross-beams. The upper ends of the inner vertical poles forming the walls are fitted into grooves in the cross-beams. In some houses, one row of the wall-boards, either the inner or the outer one, is set horizontally, and fits into grooves in the corner poles. When the vertical walls are thus prepared, they are covered to the top with earth taken from the hole (see Fig. 61, s).
Four main posts (P') are driven into the ground in the middle space enclosed by the walls (Figs. 60 and 61). These posts support the roof of the house, and form a square. In large houses the diameter of these posts is more than 30 cm., while their height is from 5 to 7 metres and over. Into the notches on the top of these posts two beams are placed, across the grooved ends of which two other cross-beams are fitted and lashed. These four cross-beams together form a square frame. One pair of such beams resting on the posts may be seen in Fig. 61. From these beams, slanting down to the top-beams of the walls a and b (Fig. 60), poles of poplar or aspen logs split in two are placed, thus forming four sides of the roof. The triangles between the cross-beams c and the inner posts P' (Fig. 60) are covered with stakes of varying sizes, the lower ends of which rest on the beams c, and the upper ends on the extreme side-logs of the rectangular slopes.
All the crevices between the poles are carefully filled up with dry grass and loose earth, and on top is placed a row of cleft logs. In this manner the slanting roof of the house is formed. From each corner of the square frame formed by the four main inner beams, two posts rise obliquely (see Figs. 61 and 62 g). Their lower grooved ends rest on the beams on each side of the corner posts. They diverge widely, and their upper sides rest on posts (A) which are grooved at the top for this purpose. These posts, called tivo'-aivq'gil, are driven into the ground outside of the house. Logs (d)
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK
are placed on the poles g (see Figs. 61, 62). This structure (see Plate xxii Fig. 2), consisting of three parts g, h, d (Fig. 61), has the appearance of a funnel, or of an umbrella turned upside down, and placed over the square frame on top of the roof. This funnel is called, in the Koryak language, ti'votil, and is built for the purpose of protecting the upper entrance
to the underground house from the drifting snow piled up by the raging winter storms. The snow driven by the gale from any point of the compass whatsoever strikes against the lower part of the funnel, and is scattered in all directions.
Inside of the funnel is the square upper roof with the square winter entrance in the middle (see Fig. 62).
The upper roof (Fig. 62, l) consists of logs covering the frame made of the four top beams, and forms the bottom of the walls of the funnel. In the middle of the roof a square well-shaped opening, each side of which is about 1 metre long, is made. This is the winter entrance (cina'ugicnin), through which, by descending a ladder (yicigit), people enter the house (Figs. 61, 62, E). This opening serves at the same time as a smoke-hole. The poles of the flat roof are double, like those of the slanting roof, and the open spaces and crevices between them are filled with dry grass and earth.
One side of the funnel, which is above the roof of the narrow passage serving as an entrance-room (Fig. 62, V), is narrower and lower than the others. A ladder is placed against it for the purpose of getting up from the roof of the entrance-room to the upper roof of the house (see Part I, Plate viii, Fig. 1 ; see also Plate XXIII, Fig. 2). The entrance-room is a narrow covered passage leading into the house. It is also excavated. Four short straight posts are driven into the ground, with stakes placed between them, forming two side-walls. A low door is made in the front wall. The wall of the house serves as the rear wall of the ante-room. A small door is placed in that wall also. Both doors turn on wooden hinges. Cross-beams are
58—JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI. PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
placed upon the posts of the ante-room, and on top of them are horizontal poles forming the roof, which is covered with earth. The two side-walls of the entrance-room are covered outside with earth up to the top (see Part I, Plate viii), so that the roof of the ante-room is accessible without a ladder. The height of the passage is hardly that of an average man. I had to stoop considerably to pass through the ante-room into the house. The door leading from outside into the entrance-room, nd that leading from the entrance-room into the house (see Fig. 61), are each only a little over I metre in height, so that one has to stoop very much to enter the passage and the house.
The dirt floor of the entrance-room slopes slightly down toward the door leading into the house. At the entrance from the ante-room into the house there is a threshold. The dirt floor of the house is on a somewhat lower- level than that of the ante-room.. The entrance-room, or passage, is called ya'xel.
The door leading from the entrance-room to the house is in use only during the fishing and sealing season, — from the early part of May till the end of October. 1 In October, when the skin boat is taken out of the water and put away for the winter, the entrance to the passage is closed up. It is first covered with grass, then earth is put over it, and pressed down with heavy logs (see Fig. 182 and Plate xxiii, Fig. 2). The custom of shutting off the door for the winter might be very simply explained as due to the wish to avoid the unpleasant necessity of constantly clearing the entrance from snow-drifts.
In the Kamenskoye settlement my wife and I occupied a small Russian log-cabin belonging to a cossack who was absent at that time, and we had ample opportunity of experiencing the inconveniences of this type of dwelling in that climate. Every wind, violent or not, would cover our house with snow to the top, and we were fastened in until my men (a cossack and an interpreter), who slept in a neighboring Koryak house, came, together with Koryaks, and cleared away the snow from our door.
But the Koryak attach a religious importance to the custom of closing up the lower entrance during winter. It is sinful, they say, to go into the house through that entrance in winter-time. However, none of the Koryak were able to explain the meaning of this taboo, and but one offered a plau- sible explanation.
Just as the entrance to the tent of the Reindeer Koryak faces the side where the sun rises, so does the lower entrance to the house of the Maritime Koryak face the sea. In summer the door of the lower entrance is open in order to give free access to the sea-mammals, as though they were visitors; but if, without any cause, the door should be left open in winter, when all
1 Schrenck's (II, p. 25) statement founded upon verbal information given by Baron Maydell, that the Koryak enter the undergound house through the entrance-room only once during the year, is inexact. Baron Maydell was apparently misinformed (see Part I, p. 14).
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
for sea-mammals is at an end, then the animals would avoid that house
the next summer, and the occupants would be unsuccessful in their hunt.
The lower doors of the houses which are occupied only during winter are,
for the same reason,
not opened at all.
When the lower door is walled up, a ladder is placed vertically on the floor of the house, rising toward the side f (Fig. 62) of the entrance-place in the roof (see Plate xx). The ladder is made from half of a split poplar-tree. On the side where it was cleft, that is, on the back of the ladder, the wood is hollowed out like a trough, that it may be easily grasped with the hands. Instead of steps, holes are cut through at distances of from 30 cm. to 40 cm. apart. These holes are like flattened disks in form. They are large enough for the small feet of the Koryak, particularly those of the women, and children's feet would enter up to the instep; but my feet, in shaggy winter stockings and boots, could hardly get through them. On ladders with small holes I had to get up by the tips of my toes only. Once, as I remember, the fur toe of my boot slipped off the step, and I should have fallen down into the house from a height of five metres, had I not clutched the ladder with my hands, and in this manner slid down. Once my cossack, carrying in one hand a bowl of flour for dinner, was going down into the house. In changing the bowl from one hand to the other, he let go of the ladder, and, losing his balance, fell into the house flat on his back.
Occasionally a Koryak falls from the ladder; but as a rule they run up the ladder carrying heavy loads in one hand, their children on their backs, or with heavy buckets of water, or with pails filled with hot soup for the dogs. It is particularly interesting to see how skilfully they strike the holes, coming down without even looking at their feet. Children three and four years old climb up the ladder as quickly as squirrels, and slide down on their hands to save time. Such a way of sliding down is not quite safe, as I found out for myself. The ladder is planed smooth, so that the hands shall not get hurt by splinters. In course of time it becomes covered with a layer of fat mixed with soot, which makes it look as though it were covered with a dark, glossy varnish. The edges are so slippery on this account that it is quite impossible to hold fast to the ladder with the hands, particularly if they are mittened. If one foot slips out of a hole before the other has had time to get into the next, a fall is likely to follow. In such case, one should by no means let go of the ladder, or he will surely land in the house on his back.
In houses occupied all the year round the ladder is removed in summer, and put away on the floor of the house, near the wall, until the next autumn. When the ladder is put up, it is anointed with fat, and charmed, in order that it may not admit any evil spirits into the house. As we have seen before,1 the ladder is one of the family guardians, and its top is carved in
1 Part I, p. 43.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
the form of a human face. The top of the ladder rises about 1.3 metres above the opening, so that it can be grasped with the hands when one begins to descend. The ladder is fastened with thongs to the entrance-hole (Fig. 62, f), lest it should shake or fall backward; and it is placed nearer to the left- hand corner, when facing the side f. This is done to prevent articles or heavy loads carried in the right hand from striking against the right side of the frame of the entrance-opening. The vertical position of the ladder is accounted for in the same way; namely, that buckets, loads, or children carried on the back may not strike the rear side of the frame of the opening. Very heavy or bulky articles are lifted up, or let down, into the house, by means of thongs.
The hearth usually consists of two oblong stones placed on the dirt floor at a distance of about 50 cm. from each other (see Fig. 60, F). The fire is made of wood in the space between them. The hearth is about 50 cm. from the ladder, toward the entrance-room. Whether going in or out of the house, a person always faces the fire. The smoke escapes through the entrance-opening in the roof. Cinders and hot air also rise from the hearth, and escape along the ladder through the opening. The upper part of the ladder becomes so hot while there is a fire, that it burns the hands.
At first we had a very hard time getting down into the house while the fire was burning. As soon as we put our feet upon the ladder, the smoke blinded our eyes, and the heat nearly took away our breath; but after getting over the first trying moments, and as soon as we had descended a little, we felt relieved. The Koryak, however, do not experience any dis- comfort from having the opening serve the double purpose of a means of exit for people and of escape for smoke.
The arrangement for a draught is as follows. The door leading from the house to the entrance-room, even in winter, is left open, for the entrance- room serves also as a cold-storage place. Seals killed late in fall are put away there, and also blubber, berries picked for winter use, frozen fish, and other provisions. Shelves (see Fig. 61) are arranged there for this purpose. Owing to the exigencies of the climate, a part of the provisions has to be kept near at hand; for during violent winds it is difficult, especially for women, to get out to the store- houses, which are built on poles. A round opening sufficiently large for a man to get through is left on the roof of the entrance-room (see Fig. 62, W). This opening is called na'ucñin. Women and children often get in and out of the house through this opening, in order to avoid going up and down the ladder. The men consider it incompatible with their dignity to enter the house through this opening. In olden times, men "transformed" into women (kavau1) used to go in and out through this opening. Provisions, dogs' harness, and other articles, are lowered down through it. Besides, it serves as a draught-hole.
1 See Part I, p. 53.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
When the fire is not burning in the house, the entrance-room door is closed and the opening on its roof is stopped up by a plug plaited of the stems of Elymus mollis. When the fire is started, the plug is removed from outside, placed upon the roof of the entrance-room, and the door leading from the latter into the house is opened. Thus a current of cold air forces the smoke upward into the roof-hole; but, since the opening is not directly over the hearth, the smoke strikes the ceiling, and spreads over the upper part of the house. When sitting on the floor, it is possible to remain in an atmosphere which is not charged with smoke. For instance, I could easily take notes when sitting on a log; but when I stood erect, taking anthropo-metrical measurements, while the fire was burning, my eyes would begin to water. During very violent or irregular winds, a return-draught or a changing draught is formed, and the house becomes completely filled with smoke.
In the fall the Koryak chop driftwood into thin billets, and put them upon the roof around the funnel, except on that side by which the people ascend to the roof. This is done in order to have handy a supply of wood during severe snow-storms, which often rage for several days in succession, when it is utterly impossible to get out of the house. Of course, in good weather the supply of wood is sometimes renewed in winter. The wood is split into small bits to secure a fire quickly.
When the fire is first started and the entrance-room door is opened for the draught, the cold air strikes the feet, and the house is quite cold; but after the wood has burned out and the draught is shut off, the house begins to grow warm. It gets very warm when only red coals are left on the hearth and the smoke-opening is covered up. The temperature sometimes reaches 200 Centigrade. When the entrance-opening is covered up, the heat remains for a considerable time. During the night the house gets very cold, and the temperature in the morning is often below zero. Thus the temperature drops between the times when the fire is made. To save fuel, the fire is not made often, only two or three times during the day. It is made invariably in the morning directly after getting up, and in the evening, before going to bed, — at the time of the two main meals. During the day, fire is sometimes made in order to prepare tea, or if company should come.
The Maritime Koryak dwelling, compared with the tent of the Reindeer Koryak, provides the people with good shelter from frosts and winds. I think, therefore, that this type of Arctic dwelling is more ancient than the tent, which must have appeared in the far northeast of Asia together with the domesticated reindeer.
The cover used for shutting the roof-hole is made of boards tied to two cross-pieces by means of thongs drawn through holes. The cover is somewhat wider than the square opening of the entrance. A half-circular section is cut out at the side for the ladder to pass through, and thus the entire opening
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
is covered up. During the day, however, the entrance is seldom closed, since people are constantly coming and going. In the evening, after all are in bed, the entrance is always covered up. The one who closes it gets up the ladder, and with his hand pushes out the cover from below over the opening. Of course, crevices enough remain for ventilation.
The cover of the entrance-opening also serves to regulate the draught while the fire is burning. It is placed vertically, near the entrance to face the wind, in order to prevent it from blowing into the entrance. The grass plug on the roof of the entrance-room is also utilized for regulating the draught. It is placed at the edge, in a direction opposite that of the wind, which, after striking against the plug, gets into the opening. Of course, all these arrangements are of no avail when strong winds are blowing.
The inner arrangement of the underground house is as follows. On the side opposite the door leading to the entrance-room, behind the posts, is a platform, from 30 cm. to 60 cm. high, made of boards (see Figs. 60 and 61). This place (ayo'-ai) serves as a seat and as a bedroom for visitors. It is covered with seal and reindeer skins. Upon it, near the walls, are stored away household articles that are in frequent use. The right and left sides of the house are called yelñi-xal. On the right side lives the master; on the left, his brothers, relatives, and neighbors. The places behind the posts are called yoyo'ñi.1 They serve for bedrooms, and have a dirt floor like the centre of the house. These places are separated from the middle of the room by means of logs (Fig. 60, L). The floor is strewn with willow-branches covered over with dry grass (grass mats are used in northern Kamchatka), and then with seal and reindeer skins. Sleeping-tents are pitched over these skins. These tents are of the same shape as the inner tents of the Reindeer Koryak, but, instead of being made of heavy reindeer-skins, they are made of old skins which have served for bedding before ; or they are made of old fur clothing. The hair of the skins is closely clipped with a knife.
These tents serve as bedrooms only, and are let down at night. In the daytime the front side of the tent is raised, and fastened on top with thongs. The children are kept on the skins under the raised tents, and the women alsos it there with their work (see Plate XXXVI). The men sit, during the day, on logs in front of the tents, unless they are lounging in bed. They sleep in the tents with their heads toward the middle of the house. Bags filled with clothing, scraps of skin, nets, and other household articles, serve as pillows, while the bolster is supplied by the log.
To give better support to the main roof-beams in large houses, three additional posts are driven in between the central posts (Fig. 61, P'), except on the side opposite the door.
1 By this name the sleeping-tents or the inner tents of the Reindeer Koryak dwelling are also called.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
served as a storehouse; and it had a grass plug, which was taken out while the fire was burning, to secure a draught. In summer the Kamchadal used to live in conical huts placed upon platforms raised on tall posts. As we shall see below, the Koryak also put up such structures on piles for their storehouses.
Sternberg states that the Gilyak adopted the Manchurian type of winter house, which is above ground, only in places near the Amur River.1 In other places they preserved their semi-subterranean dwelling of the Koryak type. Schrenck gives a detailed description and a cut of that dwelling. 2 The smoke- hole on the roof of the Gilyak house does not serve at present as an entrance, and they have no ladder; but Sternberg surmises that in former times the smoke-hole in the roof also served as an entrance, as with the Kamchadal and Koryak. Even now this opening is used as a door on certain occasions. At the bear festival the Gilyak descend into the house, carrying the skin and flesh of the killed bear, by means of a pole inserted for the purpose through the smoke-hole. At the close of the festival all the ritual accessories, as well as the bones of the bear, are removed from the house through the same smoke-hole. 3 Now the Gilyak enter the house through a narrow passage which slopes down to the door, similar to the Koryak entrance-room. The door faces the side most protected from the prevailing winds. The floor of the house is lower than that of the passage. The hearth is placed in the middle of the house, under the opening in the roof.
The underground house was in common use among the Ainu people as well. We find in Schrenck 4 the description of a modern underground dwelling of the Ainu in the southern part of Saghalin Island. It is entered through a side-door. The roof extends far enough over the entrance to form in front of it a covered landing-place or ante-room, with steps leading inside. The hearth is nearer the door; but in dwellings of smaller size it is also placed in the middle. Large houses possess two hearths at the corners, on the side of the door, with an opening in the roof over each hearth for the exit of the smoke. Not infrequently a channel runs from the hearth itself to the passage, for increasing the draught of the fire. Grimm5 describes a modern Ainu dwelling on the island of Shikotan. The hearth is in the right-hand corner of the earth hut on the side of the door, while the above- ground summer hut forms a passage to the winter pit-dwelling.
The important questions relating to the remains of ancient subterranean
1 See Steinberg, The Gilyak (Ethnographical Survey [Moscow, 1904], No. I, p. 18).
2 See cut in Schrenck, II, p. 12.
3 See Sternberg, The Gilyak (Ethnographical Survey [Moscow, 1904], No. I. p. 6).
4 Schrenck, II, p. 23.
5 H. Grimm,
Beitrag zur Kenntniss der
Koropokguru von Yezo und Bemerkungen über Shikotan Aino
(Mitteilungen der deutschen Gesellschaft für Natur und Vòlkerkunde Ostasiens in Tokio, (1889 - 92, Band V,
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
dwellings found on the islands of Yezo and Saghalin will be discussed in Chapter X, in the section on ancient pottery of the Koryak.
I stated before that Koryak underground houses no longer exist in Gishiga Bay; but remains of such ancient dwellings may be seen on the shores and islands of Gishiga Bay and the Okhotsk Sea as far as the village of Yamsk, and possibly still farther south.
A link between these remains and those of former Gilyak-Ainu earth dwellings and their present underground houses seems to be found in the ruins of such dwellings on the banks of the lower course of the Amur River and at its mouth,1 which may also be ascribed to the ancient Gilyak.
Returning to the Arctic palae-Asiatics, we find that the ancient Yukaghir had underground houses.2 We shall discuss these dwellings in greater detail in the work devoted to the Yukaghir.
The Chukchee, even the Maritime branch of the tribe, now make their houses of reindeer-skins;3 but along the Arctic shore, from Cape Erri (or Shelagski) to Bering Strait,4 and along the Chukchee shore of Bering Sea, south of East Cape (or Chukotsky),5 remains of underground dwellings are found. The frames of these houses were mainly of bone of whale, because timber was not available.
Wrangell, haying heard from the Chukchee that these dwellings formerly belonged to the Onkilon, assumed that they were left by the Eskimo who had lived on the Asiatic shore of the Arctic, but who subsequently wandered off to America. It has been shown before (p. 407) that Onkilon is a wrongly recorded Chukchee-Koryak word, Anqala'n ("maritime dweller"). Even now the Koryak and the Chukchee apply this name to every maritime inhabitant. This name, however, does not throw any light on the tribal relationship of the dwellers.
From the resemblance between the remains of subterranean dwellings on the Asiatic shores of the Polar Sea and those found on the islands and the northern shores of America, Markham6 has formed the theory that the Eskimo emigrated into Greenland from Asia, the groundlessness of which theory has been proved by Professor Boas.7
Schrenck8 has suggested that the remains of underground houses along
1 For the pits of ancient dwellings on the Amur River see B. Laufer, Die angeblichen Urvolker von Yezo und Sachalin (Centralblatt tur Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, Jena, Vol. V, pp. 321—330).
2 See Hedenstrom in the Siberian Messenger, p. 105, and in Fragments about Siberia, p. 97; Wrangell, I, p. 7, II, p. 57; Miiller, Sammlung, Russ. Gesch., III, p. 46; Pallas, Neue Nord. Beitr., I, pp. 234, 235.
The Chukchee, Vol. VII, of this series, p.
II, pp. 220, 221; Nordenskiold,
I, pp. 403-406, 456.
5 Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII, of this series, p. 180.
6 R. Markham, On the Origin and Migrations of the Greenland Esquimaux (The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society [London, 1865], Vol. XXXV, p. 87).
arktisch-amerikanischen Archipel (Zeitschrift
der Gesellschaft fur Erdkunde zu Berlin, 1883, Vol. XVIII, p. 118).
II, p. 28.
59— JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI, PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
the shores of the Arctic Ocean were the ancient dwellings of the ancestors of the present Chukchee, in which they lived before they adopted the tent made of skins. On the shore of the Chukchee Peninsula in Bering Sea, Mr. Bogoras1 saw remains of underground dwellings in the settlements of the Maritime Chukchee, as well as in those of the Asiatic Eskimo.
According to the description of Mr. Bogoras,2 this underground dwelling, called by the Chukchee "jaw-bone house" (wa'lkar), had also two entrances; but, contrary to the Koryak underground house, the upper entrance at the upper part of the wall was used in summer, and in winter a long and narrow underground passage which in summer was filled up with water. The level of the floor of the inner room was above that of the under- ground passage, so that the water could not injure the living-room.
In houses of the Koryak, Kamchadal, Gilyak, and Ainu, on the other hand, the floor of the inner room, as mentioned before, is lower than that of the ante-room or the draught-passage. The underground houses of the Kam- chadal were full of water in summer; and this explains, according to Steller and Krasheninnikoff, 3 why they lived in summer in houses built on piles. Like the Eskimo snow-house, the "jaw-bone house" of the Chukchee was heated and lighted by means of an oil-lamp. The opening in the roof, which was covered with the shoulder-blade of a whale, served only to admit light.
Turning to the American side, we see from the descriptions of Russian and other travellers, such as Sarytcheff, 4 Sauer," Langsdorff, 6 and Veniaminov,7 that an underground house similar to that of the Kamchadal served as the ancient dwelling of the Aleut. The frame was built of driftwood or whale- ribs. The opening in the roof served as smoke-hole, window, and entrance to the house, which was heated by a hearth fire, and the people descended to it by means of a notched log. Outside of the main living-room, or the middle of the house, were other smaller side-rooms with narrow passages leading outside, the latter being very much like the Kamchadal draught-channel.
From the Kadyak Islands along the American shores of Bering Sea and the Polar Ocean, as far as Greenland, we meet with remains of underground dwellings. The type of these dwellings shows some variations.
To judge from the descriptions of former travellers, underground houses of the Aleut type were met among the Eskimo in the southern part of Alaska; with this difference, however, that along with smaller underground
1 Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII, of this series, p. 180.
2 Ibid., pp. 181, 182.
3 Steller, p. 212; Krasheninnikoff, II, p. 40.
Sarytcheff, Travels in the
Northeastern Part of Siberia, St. Petersburg (Russian edition), II, pp. 14, 157.
5 Billing's Reise (Berlin, 1802), p. 294.
6 Langsdorff, Bemerkungen auf einer Reise urn die Welt in den Jahren 1803-07 (Frankfurt a. M.), II, pp. 30, 56.
7 Veniaminov, Notes on the Islands of the Unalashka District (Russian edition), II, pp. 204-211.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
dwellings, subterranean public houses (kashim) were found, which were designed for festivals, entertainments, or steam-baths. In some places remains of similar underground houses of the Gilyak type were found.
On Bering Strait the Eskimo were found to possess underoround houses1 of the wa'lkar type of the Chukchee Peninsula, described above. On the shores of the Arctic Ocean we find again small earth huts of the Kamchadal type, with entrance through the smoke-hole, but with a frame made of the bones of whales. Farther east we find stones also used as building-material for the walls of the earth hut, with a roof made of bone of whale. The stone walls frequently penetrate but very slightly into the ground, or are erected on the surface of the soil, being fenced up with an earth rampart.2
On the shores of the Arctic Ocean the subterranean winter houses have been almost superseded by snow dwellings.
Remains of underground houses, or tales about them, have been found among many Indian tribes of northwestern America, and among some of them underground dwellings are found even now.
One tale of the Bella Coola, a coast tribe of British Columbia which belongs to the Salish stock, points to their former possession of subterranean dwellings.3 We also find a reference to the underground house, exit from which is made through the smoke-hole, in one myth of another tribe of the Salish stock, the Ouinault Indians, who dwell on the coast of Washington.4
Among the Ts'ets'a'ut, an Athapascan coast tribe, the house is made of bark, and, though constructed above ground, it is arranged for the winter to live in as in a Koryak underground house. When snow falls very deep, the door is blocked up, and the exit is effected through the roof.6
The custom of building underground or semi-subterranean houses prevailed in former times, or is still observed among the inland tribes of the Salish stock. All such houses were or are still used as dwellings only during the winter.6 The smoke-hole in the middle of the roof is used as an entrance, through which one descends into the house by a notched log. As with the Koryak and Kamchadal, the hearth is on the floor at the bottom of the ladder. The roof is constructed of poles or timber. Most of these dwellings are circular in shape, though some are square.7 The pit is dug out from four to five metres in diameter, and a metre and a half deep. The roof is covered with grass, and the whole is covered up with earth, so that from a distance the underground house looks like a mound. These underground dwell-
1 See Murdoch, p. 72; Nelson, p. 242. 2 See Boas, The Central Eskimo, p. 539; Turner, p. 228.
3 See Boas, Bella Coola Indians, p. 79. 4 See Farrand, Quinault Indians, p. 94.
6 See Tenth Report on the North-Western Tribes of Canada (Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1895, p. 561).
Sixth Report on the North-Western Tribes of Canada (Report of the British
Association for the Advance
ment of Science, 1890, pp. 633, 635'.
The Lillooet Indians (Vol. II of this series, p. 212).
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
ings have no side-entrance, entrance-room, underground passage, or draught- channel, like the underground houses of the palae-Asiatics, Aleut, and Eskimo.
Until quite recently underground winter dwellings were found among the Shuswap.1 the Thompson River Indians,2 the Lillooet,3 on the lower course of the Fraser River.4 Remains of ancient underground houses have been found among the Chilcotin,5 in the Thompson River region,6 at Nicola Lake (Athapascan), and in other places in the interior of British Columbia.
Farther to the south we find underground houses of the Salish type among the Indians on the Klamath Lakes, Oregon, and in northern California among the Hupa7 and Maidu.8 It is interesting to note that the Indian coast tribes, like the Tlingit, Tsimshian, Haida, whose myths bear the greatest resemblance to those of the inhabitants of the underground houses on the Asiatic side of the Pacific, now live in large wooden houses. The house, however, has a smoke-hole similar to that of the underground house; and in olden times the centre of the house was excavated.9
From this short review of different types of underground or semi- subterranean dwellings on both sides of the North Pacific, we may draw the conclusion that the underground houses of the pala-Asiatic tribes bear more similarity to those of the Aleut and Alaskan Eskimo than to the underground dwellings of the Northwestern Indians.
It is difficult to admit the theory of independent invention for the con- struction of the underground house over this whole area. It seems to me that imitation played its part here, while the climatic conditions contributed to the spread of underground dwellings.
The Koryak underground house serves for a winter as well as for a summer dwelling. As I said above, there are settlements in which people live only during winter, and others which are inhabited only in summer. The houses of the summer and winter settlements are built alike. The use of a dwelling for summer or for winter depends upon its being near the seashore or up the river. The houses occupied only during summer are called ale'-yan ("summer house"), and winter dwellings are called la'xlañ-yan ("winter house").
The Maritime Koryak build their storehouses on platforms raised on poles from four to six metres above the ground, so that dogs, bears, or other beasts shall not steal their provisions. To build a storehouse (Plate XXI,
1 See Sixth Report on the North-Western Tribes of Canada, etc., p. 635.
Vol. I of this series, p. 193 and
Figs. 135, 136.
The Lillooet Indians, p. 212.
Report on the North-Western Tribes of Canada, p. 633.
Report on the North-Western Tribes of Canada, p. 646.
6 Smith, Vol. I of this series, pp. 140, 414.
7 See description by Schurz,
Urgeschichte der Kultur, 1900, pp 422
8 Dixon, The Northern Maidu (Bulletin American Museum of Natural History, Vol. XVII, pp. 168 et seq.)
9 Boas, Tribes of the North Pacific Coast (Annual Archaeological Report, 1905, Toronto, p. 236).
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate XXI.
Fig. 2. Tents and Pole-Game.
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate XXII.
Fig. i. Kamenskoye seen from the Sea.
Fig. 2. View ok Storm-Roof.
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate XXIII.
Fig. i. View of Big Itkana.
Fig. 2. View of Kuel.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
Fig. 1), three stakes are driven at each corner of an elongated rectangle. These stakes meet at the top, thus forming tripods. Two long cross-beams the long sides of the platform, are placed on top of these tripods, and are supported in two or three places by additional posts. Across these long beams, and tied to them with thongs, four or five cross-pieces are laid at equal distances from one another. These are supported in the middle by posts on which rests the platform, which is made of long stakes or of split logs. The storehouse is placed in the middle of such a platform. It is in the form of a gable-roof. Two logs or rafters, the upper ends of which are so tied together as to form an acute angle, are placed three or four metres distant from two other logs tied in like manner. The two angles are connected by a ridge-pole. From the ridge down, on each side, poles are placed. All the spaces between the poles are carefully filled with hay. To give greater firmness to the sloping sides of the storehouse, heavy logs are leaned against them, reaching up to the ridge. The two ends are formed by stakes put in a somewhat slanting position. Into one of the sloping sides facing the ladder, a frame is put, in which a door swings on wooden hinges. The platform around the storehouse is fenced in. For this purpose, long stakes (four or six on each side) are driven into the ground around the longer sides of the platform. These stakes are as high as the ridge of the storehouse. To keep them from moving, they are fastened in notches in the cross-beams of the platform. Through holes in the upper part of the stakes, above the platform, rails are put, which form the fence. The part of the platform where the ladder is placed is not fenced in. The fence around the platform is for the safety of women and children. Fish, nets, skins, and other household articles, are often hung on it. The ladder for getting to the platform is like the one used for entering the house; but it is put in a slanting position, so that it is easier to get up to the platform than to get out of the house. When leaving the winter house for a summer village, or vice versa, the storehouse ladder is removed and put on the platform.
Poles are often fastened under the platform for hanging up clothes; and during the summer rains, fish are hung there to dry.
The settlements of Maritime Koryak (ni'mnim, na'mnan, ne'mnem, or ne'mnem) often consist of but one house, as the settlements on the Tilqai River, or those on the Poqac River, or those of the Kerek; but sometimes they form villages of considerable size. For instance, in Kamenskoye there are about thirty houses inhabited during winter. From a distance this settlement, with its storm-roofs and its many storehouses scattered on all sides, gives one the impression of a large though singular town. In the settlement Kuel there are from thirteen to fifteen inhabite'd houses in the summer, and seven or eight in winter. The peculiar impression made by these villages is shown in the view of Kuel given on Plate XXIII, Fig. 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
In the above enumeration of settlements it is indicated which are occupied only in winter, and which only in summer. With few exceptions, the settlements of Maritime Koryak are situated near the mouth of a river or brook, in order to have a supply of fresh water. The majority of the settlements are situated on the rocky coasts of the seashore.
Plate XXII, Fig. 1, represents the steep rocks at the mouth of Penshina River, behind which the Kamenskoye settlement is concealed; while Plate XXIII, Fig. 1, represents part of Big Itkana.
The Maritime Koryak of the Nayakhan settlement and the Russianized Koryak of the Okhotsk district have completely abandoned their underground dwellings, and live in log-cabins like those of the Russians. The flat roof of these houses is made of logs covered with earth, which lets in the summer rain. Inside is a fireplace or a chimney like that of the Yakut, made of beaten clay.
The Koryak of northern Kamchatka who have embraced the Christian faith have abandoned their former dwellings under the pressure of the Russian Administration. Some of them live in log-cabins like those described above, and others live in houses of the Yakut type, which have been introduced into Kamchatka by the Russians. This structure consists of a flat roof with four slanting walls, and reminds one of a truncated pyramid. The walls are coated with clay to keep in the heat. Instead of the Yakut fireplace in the right-hand corner of the house, with a chimney for the escape of smoke, we find a hearth in the middle of the house and a smoke-hole in the roof.
Owing to the lack of timber, the Kerek build their semi-underground houses without the storm-roof. Since the smoke-hole does not serve as a means of exit, they have no ladder with holes. The frame of the house, placed in a pit, consists of crooked stakes covered with earth. The inside is covered all around with pieces of skin. In winter, to secure more heat, the dwellings are covered with a thick layer of snow. The entrance to the house, in summer as well as in winter, leads through a long, narrow hall. The inner arrangement of the house is similar to that of other Koryak under- ground dwellings.1
1 Bogoras. The Chukchee (Vol. VII of this series, p. 183).