|The Beginning of Reindeer-Breeding||469
|Draught and Riding Reindeer||475
|Races of Northern Reindeer||477
|Degree of Domestication||479
|Food of Reindeer||483
|Sledge and Harness||484|
|Management of Reindeer-Herds||488
|The Domestication of the Wild Reindeer||498
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
different stages of domestication of that animal. The domestic reindeer of the Chukchee and the Koryak are only slightly tamed, and may be regarded as in a primitive stage of domestication. Left to themselves, they readily return to the wild state. On the other hand, we know of no other instances of the domestication of wild reindeer. Thus, the traveller Maak relates an instance in which all attempts to tame captured wild fawns ended in failure.1 The same is reported by Sieroszevsky,2 although the offspring of domestic does and wild bucks become tame when reared in a domesticated herd. However, though they are much better runners and much stronger than the offspring of domesticated bucks, they develop an abnormal stubbornness.
It is difficult to solve the question whether reindeer-breeding originated in one place, from which it spread in various directions, or whether different tribes of the northern part of the Old World succeeded independently in the difficult task of domesticating the wild reindeer.
I. Lippert supports the hypothesis that the German Scandinavians were pioneers in domesticating the northern reindeer, and later imparted their knowledge to the Lapps, from whom the domestic reindeer spread farther east.3 On the other hand, E. Hahn locates the origin of reindeer-breeding in northeastern Asia,4 whence, in his opinion, it spread westward.
The latter hypothesis does not seem to me very plausible, because in northeastern Asia, among the Chukchee and the Koryak, reindeer-breeding is even now in a more primitive state than it is in the west. Besides, if northeastern Asia were the birthplace of the domestication of the reindeer, it would be difficult to explain why it spread to the west only, while the Eskimo and the Indians of the extreme north of America remained outside the sphere of influence of this civilizing factor. Both species of the American Rangifer tarandus — the barren-ground caribou and the woodland caribou — still remain in a wild state. The Government of the United States, desirous of introducing reindeer-breeding into Alaska, had to import domesticated reindeer from the Old World. If we are to assume that reindeer-breeding had its inception in but one place, Lippert's hypothesis would be the more probable.
reindeer were introduced
into Iceland, and of late years attempts have been made to introduce
into Alaska. In Iceland the attempt failed completely. The imported reindeer soon returned to the wild state,
and now they are hunted only (see Fr. Ekhard, Islands Natur und Volkskunde [Copenhagen, 1813], p. 90). The
importation of reindeer into Alaska was begun by the United States Government in 1890. In 1903, when the
importation had ceased, the herds in Alaska contained 6114 head. In 1905 they increased to 10,241 head. It is
difficult to predict whether or not reindeer-breeding will ultimately prove successful (see G. . Gordon, Notes
on the Western Eskimo [Transactions Department of Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania, 1906, Vol. II,
Part I, p. 73]).
The District of Viluisk, III, Ethnographical part, p. 154.
I. Lippert, Kulturgeschlchte der
Menschheit, 1886—87, I, p. 541. That
the Lapps have learned to tame the
reindeer from the Scandinavians is asserted by Professor Frijs in the paper mentioned before (Globus, XXII, 1872, p. 2).
4 E. Hahn, Die Haustiere und ihre Beziehungen zur Wirtschaft des Menschen (Leipzig, 1896), pp. 263, 265.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
The best-trained race of reindeer is that owned by the Lapps, who make use of the watch-dog for guarding their herds. The Lapps, moreover, lay in stores of reindeer-moss,1 so that the reindeer are better cared for by them than by other reindeer-breeders. All this points to the fact that reindeer-breeding in the extreme west of the Old World is of more ancient origin, since, in the domestication of animals, the more advanced the system, the longer is the period required to develop it.
Schrenck considers the Tungus as primarily a reindeer people, and he advances the hypothesis that they transmitted reindeer-breeding both to the East and to the West, to the Samoyeds and Lapps inclusive.2 He thinks3 that the Koryak and the Chukchee may have obtained domesticated reindeer from the Tungus, who came to the polar region from the south.
Bogoras admits the possibility of an influence of Tungus reindeer-breeding in inducing the Koryak and the Chukchee to breed domestic reindeer of their own; but he thinks that they may have tamed wild reindeer which they had found in their own territory, without actually obtaining domesticated animals from the Tungus. "This would seem the more plausible," says Bogoras, "since their reindeer is quite different from that of the Tungus."4 In support of this hypothesis, the fact could be cited, that, while the Tungus are principally reindeer-riders, the Koryak and the Chukchee use their reindeer harnessed to sledges.
Whatever the origin of reindeer-breeding among the Koryak and the Chukchee may have been, there is no doubt that its development was stimulated by hunting-expeditions into the interior of the country on the part of the maritime inhabitants. In those years when they had no luck in fishing, hunting-expeditions in search of land-animals were more frequently undertaken, and lasted longer. This was necessary for the support of the population. At the same time, a protracted stay of individual hunters, and sometimes of entire hunting-parties, in the interior of the country, led to the taming of wild reindeer or to the acquisition of domesticated reindeer from neighboring tribes. The acquisition of domesticated reindeer or the taming of wild ones insured the people against starvation in case of failure in fishing, and against accidents in hunting land-animals. It also made it possible for certain parts of the tribe to remain entirely in the interior of the country; and it facilitated, moreover, migration from place to place.
The domesticated reindeer not only began to furnish food and clothing, but rendered possible the transportation of tents, household goods, and supplies. In the interior of the country the reindeer proved a more convenient
1 Schrenck (II, p. 180) once met two reindeer-sledges of Saghalin-Orok loaded with lichens. 2 Schrenck, II, p. 178.
II, p. 176.
The Chukchee, Vol. VII of this series, p.
60-JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI, PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
draught-animal than the dog. The reindeer found its own food, while the dog required supplies of fish, which could not be had in the interior of the country, especially in the mountains. On the other hand, the reindeer com-pelled its tamers to begin a nomadic life in search of pastures; and in this manner the more or less settled inhabitants of the maritime and river regions became nomads. This process controverts somewhat the accepted scheme of the development of civilization, in which a settled state is usually considered to denote a higher stage of culture than a nomadic state; while here the nomadic state appears as a later step in the development of Koryak culture.
The taming of the reindeer is undoubtedly a civilizing factor of high order. Still, under given conditions of Koryak life, reindeer-breeding repre- sents primarily material progress. The reindeer-breeder is more secure and wealthier than the maritime inhabitant, but, on the other hand, he is coarser. Constant worry connected with the care of his herd, the struggle with nature, and the moving from place to place, claim all the time of the reindeer- breeder, and stunt his mental development. On the contrary, the compara- tively warm home of the settled Koryak, and his leisure in winter, stimulate habits of reflection, and develop his mind and his powers of observation. The different forms of primitive art, as we shall see later, are found developed principally among the sedentary Koryak.
It is strange that some travellers have thought that the sedentary Chuk- chee and Koryak were the descendants of Reindeer nomads who had lost their herds through epidemics or wars. Thus, Krasheninnikoff, Ermann, Dittmar, Kennan, and Slunin say of the sedentary Koryak, that they were formerly reindeer-breeders, but that in the wars with the Chukchee — or through epidemics, as Slunin says — they lost their reindeer; 1 while Sary- tcheff, Wrangell, and Schrenck say of the Maritime Chukchee, that they were formerly reindeer-breeders, but, having lost their reindeer through epidemics, left the interior of the country for the coast to engage in hunting sea-animals.2
a matter of fact, several groups of sedentary Koryak, such as the
Opuka Koryak, are claimed to have been reindeer-breeders; but, as a rule,
reindeer-breeding appears as a higher economic type in the development of
material culture than do fishing and hunting. There is no doubt that the
remote ancestors of the Reindeer Koryak of to-day were a maritime people,
and began to leave the shores for the interior of the country, only after
development of reindeer-breeding. The custom of carrying burdens and chil- dren on their backs by means of head-bands, which is still prevalent among the women (see Plate xxxv, Fig. 2, and Plate XXXVI) is a survival of the
See Krasheninnikoff, II, p.
204; Ermann, Reise urn die Erde (Berlin, 1838), p. 423; Dittmar, Die Koräken,
pp. 7, 36; Kennan, p. 159; Slunin, 1, p. 354. The same is maintained by Professor D. Anuchin (Russian Encyclo-
paedia of Brockhaus and Efron, Vol. XXVII, p. 151).
Sarytcheff, Voyage, II, p. 105; Wrangell, II, p. 222; Schrenck, II, p. 25,
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
are found only among the genuine Reindeer nomads of the Taigonos Penin- sula, the Palpal Ridge, and in the Parapol Dol. It is quite possible, as I said before, that the proportion of Reindeer Koryak has now increased, but that is because a considerable part of the settlements has disappeared as a result of wars and of a high rate of mortality.
To answer the question which of the two tribes, the Chukchee or the Koryak, engaged in reindeer-breeding first, is no less difficult to answer. If Schrenck's hypothesis, that these two tribes had obtained the domesticated reindeer from the Tungus, is correct, it would necessarily follow that the nearest neighbors of the Tungus, the Koryak, would be the first to acquire them. But that is just what cannot be maintained.
If we turn to the myths, we shall see that they throw little light on this question. The Chukchee myths represent the Koryak as a people engaged exclusively in reindeer-breeding, and the Koryak myths maintain the same thing of the Chukchee. This mutual characterization of the two peoples by their myths reflects the surroundings amidst which they came in conflict at a period when reindeer-breeding had already begun. During that period, wars were waged, principally between the Reindeer Chukchee and the Reindeer Koryak. If, according to Russian annals, the Reindeer Chukchee not only waged war on the Maritime Koryak of Bering Sea, but also penetrated to the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk, there is no indication, on the other hand, that the Reindeer Koryak ever attacked the Maritime Chukchee. The north- eastern branch of the Maritime Koryak, the Kerek, may, of course, in times past, have had intercourse with the Maritime Chukchee near the mouth of the Anadyr River; but the Maritime Chukchee on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, and the Maritime Koryak of the Sea of Okhotsk, not only could not have met, but they had as vague an idea of each other as they have to day. The remote maritime people of the north are known among the Maritime Koryak under the name of "Aiwan;" but that is the name under which the Asiatic Eskimo are known on the Chukchee Peninsula.
The myths give no tangible data as to the origin of reindeer-breeding. The appearance of domesticated reindeer is represented in legends rather as an act of special creation. Sometimes they are lowered down from heaven by the Supreme Deity, and sometimes the heroes put life into the wooden figures of reindeer. Most frequently we find, in the myths, tales relating how Big-Raven, or his son Eme'mqut, would pull poles out from the ground, and how reindeer would come out of the holes. According to this account, domesticated reindeer, previous to their appearance on earth, had lived, by the will of the culture-heroes, in the underground world. On the whole, Koryak myths give no hint regarding the process of domestication of the wild reindeer.
The Koryak, like other reindeer-breeders of northern Siberia, have special
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
names for the wild (o'lgolu) and the domesticated (qoya'ñi) reindeer,1 as if the origin of the domesticated reindeer from the wild had entirely disappeared from the memory of the reindeer-breeders. Thus, it is interesting to note that the stories of the reindeer produced by heroes from holes in the ground are related by the Eskimo and the Indians in connection with the caribou;2 while the Koryak tell the same tales about the domesticated reindeer.
It is likewise of interest that in Chukchee mythology we find the domesti-cated and the wild reindeer identified. One of the Chukchee incantations3 for attracting wild bucks to a domesticated herd is called "The Buck Incantation " or "Incantation for converting Wild Reindeer into Domesticated Ones" (Oaalva't- e'wgan, Kirñat-e'wgan eu'rim). Furthermore, one of the Chukchee myths contains the following story as to the origin of reindeer-breeding.4
"Old Creator, having taken on the image of a raven, flew up to the Supreme Deity (Anañ-Va'irgm) and asked him for reindeer for the people. The Deity gave him wild reindeer. The Creator brought them down to earth. The people met the reindeer with cries, which frightened them and caused them to disperse over the tundra. The Creator again went up to heaven and brought down to earth other reindeer, which remained with the people."
According to the Koryak myths, Big-Raven, their ancestor, owned domes-ticated reindeer. Yet he is represented rather as a Maritime hunter; and the real Reindeer people — the Chukchee and the Tungus, as well as the Koryak reindeer-breeders — are pictured as people strange to him, of low intelligence, and most frequently hostile to him. This divergence between Reindeer and Maritime inhabitants is even more strikingly illustrated in the Chukchee myths, in which ancient Chukchee life is depicted in an exclusively maritime aspect.
Draught and Riding Reindeer. — The Koryak, like the Chukchee, use their reindeer exclusively in harness, and even consider it a sin to ride them. In summer the herdsmen themselves not only walk from one pasture to another, but even carry with them their belongings. Only inlocalities where the Chukchee and the Koryak live in close proximity to the Tungus, inter- marry with them, and interbreed their reindeer in order to make them tamer, do they ride their reindeer, and then principally in the summer, when it is impossible to use sledges, owing to the swamps. Such is the custom of the Koryak on the Varkhalam and Gishiga Rivers, and of the Chukchee near the Indighirka River.
According to the accounts of Lehrberg, cited by Hahn and Keller, the
Tungus call the
domesticated reindeer "o'ron," and the wild, "buyu'n;" and the Yakut call the domesticated reindeer "taba'," and
the wild, "men-a'x." The Yakut have another name for the wild reindeer, namely, "taba'-kil." "Kil" means "a wild
animal." This name is probably a translation from the Russian дикiй олень.
Part I, pp. 143,
164, 187, 367.
Materials, p. 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
Samoyeds of the fifteenth century used to ride their reindeer at that time, but also used them in harness.1 At present, the Samoyeds, like their neigh- bors the Ostyak, use the reindeer only in harness, but that does not exclude the possibility of other uses of the reindeer by them in the past.2 In the opinion of ethnologists, the original country of the Samoyeds extended at one time considerably farther south than at present, or as far as the region of the Sayansk Mountains, whence they were crowded to the north by the Turko-Tartar tribes. Moreover, some of the Samoyed tribes which remained in the Sayansk Mountains and along the upper course of the Yenisei River have become assimilated with the Turks or the Mongols. These tribes include the Tartarized Karagos and Soyot. The small tribe of the Karagos, and part of the Soyot, are still engaged in reindeer- breeding, and use their reindeer for riding only.3
But the principal and typical reindeer-riders at present are the Tungus. The use of reindeer by them as pack and riding animals is evidently influ- enced by the character of the locality in which they live, as well as by their mode of life. The Tungus occupy the most mountainous as well as the most wooded part of northeastern Siberia, and, as typical hunters, they are always wandering about. In summer they have to pass over deep swamps, or to cross not only mountain-streams but also large rivers; and it is exceed- ingly difficult to cross high mountain ridges, or to penetrate wild, dense woods, with sledges. This necessitates the use of pack and riding animals. For the same reason the Karagos and Soyot, living in mountains not easily accessible, have trained their reindeer to riding. According to the verbal statement of Klementz, the Karagos, in ascending and descending mountains, dismount, and lead their reindeer by the rein. The same is done in the mountains by the Tungus, who take great care of their reindeer when travel- ling. Being a comparatively frail animal, the reindeer is easily exhausted, or succumbs to bruises and strain. The Tungus, therefore, always see to it that their reindeer are not overworked, and that wounds are not caused by the friction of the saddle and packs.4 The Scandinavian Lapps, in spite of the mountainous and woody nature
Judging by their epos, the Ostyak used the reindeer as a draught-animal
in ancient times as well. At the
time described in their legends, reindeer-breeding among the Ostyak was developed to a greater extent, and extended
farther south, than at present. See S. Patkanov, The Type of an Ostyak Hero, according to Ostyak Legends and
Hero Tales (St. Petersburg, 1891), pp. 34, 35.
information as to the Karagos and the Soyot was obtained personally from Dr.
curator of the Ethnographic Division of the Museum of Emperor Alexander HI., St. Petersburg, who is known for
his explorations, principally archaeological, in southern Siberia and Mongolia.
4 Reindeer-riding will be described in detail in the work on the Yukaghir.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
of their territory, use the reindeer only in harness; but their narrow, canoe-like sledges easily glide along paths that are otherwise hardly passable. Besides, they harness only one reindeer to a sledge, after the manner of the freight-sledges of the tundra Yukaghir, the Chukchee, and the Koryak.
However, some Tungus tribes, when they come in contact with people using sledges, employ their reindeer in harness and for riding, and for carrying packs, or for use in sledges exclusively. Schrenck thought1 that the Saghalin Orok are the only Tungus tribe which make use of reindeer both for riding and for hauling sledges. According to his opinion, they adopted the idea of using sledges from the dog-breeders, the Gilyak. That is, of course, possible; but, as I have said before, there are other Tungus tribes who use sledges. Thus, all over the extensive northern tundra — between the Kolyma and Lena Rivers, where the Tungus tribes come in contact or intermingle with the Yukaghir or the Yakut — they have in certain cases adopted the sledge-harness without giving up reindeer-riding. The same may be said also of the Tungus living in other parts of the province of Yakutsk. On their trips through the mountains, or on hunting-expeditions, they still use reindeer for riding and for carrying packs; but, for transporting merchan- dise and mail between post-stations, they hitch their reindeer to sledges. Such contracts, however, are taken up only by rich Tungus who own large herds. In some localities the Tungus have, in later times, begun to train their reindeer to draw sledges. Thus, on the trail between Ola (a bay of the Sea of Okhotsk) and the upper course of the Kolyma River, which was opened only ten years ago, the local Tungus have trained their reindeer, which were formerly used exclusively for carrying packs, to carry goods on sledges. The Dolgan, a Yakutized Tungus tribe in the Yenisei tundra, and the Khangai, a Yukaghirized Tungus tribe in the Kolyma tundra, are now using the reindeer in winter in sledge-harness, and in summer as riding and pack animals.
Races of Northern Reindeer. — In eastern Siberia two principal races are distinguished, both among the wild and the domesticated reindeer. The wild reindeer are divided into mountain and tundra reindeer. The former are characterized by their greater height and the gray or light-gray color of their fur. In summer they retire from the mosquitoes to the summits of themountains, and in winter they come down to the river-valleys. The tundra reindeer are not so tall, and they have darker hair. They, too, flee from the mosquitoes in summer, but to the shores of theArctic Ocean and to near-by islands; and in winter they return to the northern forest-line. These migrations are carried out in large herds, which are waylaid by hunters on the Anadyr River and on the lower course of the Kolyma River in the spring and fall, when the reindeer cross those streams.
1 Schrenck, II, p. 179.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
It is worthy of note that the pregnant females leave for the north ahead of the males, crossing the rivers on the ice, so as to reach the summer places before the fawns are born. One of the distinguishing peculiarities of these two races of reindeer is the form of the hoof. The mountain reindeer have a high, steep hoof; the tundra reindeer, a rather flat, platelike hoof.
The domesticated reindeer are
likewise divided into two races, corresponding to the races of the wild reindeer; namely, the Tungus and the
Koryak-Chukchee reindeer. The Tungus reindeer is taller in stature, has
longer legs, a more elongated muzzle, and hair of a lighter color (mostly
gray or reddish gray), than the Koryak-Chukchee reindeer. The body of the
Koryak-Chukchee reindeer is larger in proportion to its height. The color
of its fur is darker than that of the Tungus reindeer. The hair of the
fawns is especially dark; frequently it is black in the fall, and toward
as they grow older, it turns somewhat gray. The dark color of their fur
seems to me to be caused by the humidity of the climate. In maritime
regions the coloring of the reindeer is darker than in the mountains and
the continental climate of the Yakut territory. Among the Koryak-Chukchee
reindeer we also meet more frequently with white (as though in contrast with the dark shades) and with dappled reindeer than we do among the Tungus. The spotted skins are highly prized for clothing, and the white ones for funeral dress. Spotted skins are never found among wild reindeer.
All that I have said here about the two races of reindeer is based upon accounts of the natives and on my own superficial observations. Professor Allen, in describing the material furnished by our Expedition, says, however, "Although this material seems considerable, it is insufficient, both in quantity and in character, to enable one to make satisfactory comparisons between the wild and the domesticated animals, or between the two commonly recognized domestic races, — the Lamut and the Chukchee." Further on he says, "The color of these skins is much like that of our eastern woodland caribou, at least, in general effect: the antlers, however, are longer and more slender, and partake more of the Greenland type."1
The domesticated reindeer of the tundra Yukaghir and of the polar Yakut belong to the Tungus race of reindeer. We know that the reindeer- breeding of the polar Yakut is of recent origin, and that they adopted the reindeer from the Tungus; but of the tundra Yukaghir this can hardly be said. It is quite possible that their first reindeer were of the Chukchee race, and that, after amalgamation of the tundra Yukaghir with the Tungus, the reindeer of the former gradually approached more nearly to the type of the Tungus race. A change of that kind may be observed in the reindeer of the Chukchee group which settled but thirty years ago on
1 Allen, Report
the Jesup North Pacific Expedition
(Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History [New York, 1903], Vol. XIX, p. 126).
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
the Yerchen, a tributary of the Indighirka River. It may be observed, in this connection, that the sledge of the tundra Yukaghir belongs to the Koryak-Chukchee type, and not to the Tungus-Yakut type.
Degree of Domestication. — Next to the Chukchee reindeer, the Koryak reindeer are the wildest, and, but for their gregariousness, it would be difficult to manage them. The number of driving and draught reindeer in each Koryak herd is very small, seldom exceeding that necessary for moving the family. The driving and draught reindeer are more accustomed to man and his habitation, but, after spending a summer with the herd without being used, they return again to their native state. The Koryak reindeer is mainly part of the herd, and feels but little its connection with man and his habitation. Human urine is an essential attraction for the reindeer in a nomad camp in winter.
The Koryak very seldom travel alone or with light supplies; that is, without family, baggage-train, tent, and herd. When stopping over night, the driving and draught reindeer are allowed to join the herd; and in the morning, before starting out for the journey, they are caught by means of" a lasso. Whenever I happened to travel by reindeer-sledge without the herd, family, and baggage-train of the drivers, nearly half a day would be spent in trying to catch the reindeer. In spite of the fact that the wilder among the driving-reindeer had yokes suspended from their necks, which dragged before their front-feet and interfered with their running, they managed to get away many miles from the camping-place during the night.
The heavy Koryak tent is less adapted for frequent migrations than that of the Tungus. The herd, after eating all the moss around the tent on a new place, wanders farther and farther away from it. The Tungus are more mobile than the Koryak, and, as soon as the lichen around the campis eaten, they move to another lichen-covered place. The reindeer must always be near the habitation. Moreover, two or three times during the day, the Tungus herdsmen round up the herd, bringing it close to the tents, so that the reindeer may remain accustomed to people and their habi- tations. No matter how large a Tungus herd may be, its owners try to ride as large a proportion of the animals as possible. Even the females are laden with packs during migrations, or are made to carry the children and the young. Thus the greater part of the herd is used to the saddle. The smaller a Tungus herd is, the tamer; because in that case all the reindeer are trained to ride, and are more accustomed to man. On the contrary, the Koryak manage a large herd more easily. For that reason the owners of small numbers of reindeer combine their herds into one large one.
When I crossed the Stanovoi Mountains, on my way from Gishiga to the Kolyma River, I had with me in the early part of my journey two Tungus herdsmen with ten pack-reindeer and a few reindeer for slaughter
6l— JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI. PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
for food.1 When halting for the night, we took the reindeer to a lichen -overed place, where we left them, and in the morning the herdsmen would bring the reindeer to the camp before our Yakut drivers had had time to find their horses.2 But, whenever I had occasion to drive Koryak or Chuk- chee reindeer, the capture of them around the camp consumed so much time that usually we were not able to start on our journey until several hours after rising.
At the appearance of wolves, the Tungus reindeer run straight to camp, as if to seek the protection of man. In a Tungus camp in the Indighirka tundra, I once had occasion at night to observe the reindeer, pursued by wolves, come running into camp with their tongues out, and fall exhausted at the tents. The men ran out with fire-brands in their hands, and the women with frying-pans and copper kettles, beating them with anything they could get hold of, so as to frighten away the wolves with the glare of the fire and the noise of the metallic utensils.
The Yakut have a general reputation as cattle-breeders, and, in comparison with the Koryak reindeer, their reindeer are more tame. An insignificant part of this tribe 3 migrated quite recently, at the time of the invasion of the Yakut territory by the Russians, to the polar region of the Verkhoyansk and Kolyma districts. No doubt, the climatic conditions of the Far North have had a retrogressive effect on the civilization of the Yakut. Where cattle- breeding proved impossible or unprofitable, they turned into fish-eating dog- breeders or reindeer-breeders; but at the same time they tried to adapt their new, more primitive life to the habits of the higher culture which they had acquired under a settled mode of life. Thus the Yakut tried to make their reindeer as tame as possible. I had opportunity to observe Yakut reindeer- breeding all over the north between the Kolyma and Lena Rivers, and was surprised to find how much more gentle, in most cases, were their reindeer than were those of the Tungus. The Yakut have even tried to carry the domestication of their reindeer to the point of teaching them to eat hay; but these attempts have failed. They have not hit upon the idea of laying in a supply of lichen,4 probably because that would involve too much labor, and would be impracticable with a large number of reindeer.
In summer, when the reindeer live on fresh grass and leaves, many Yakut keep them near the house, instead of driving them off to the moun- tains, as a protection from the mosquitoes, as is done by the Koryak and
engaged the Tungus with the reindeer to accompany my caravan for a few days. In
order to relieve
my pack-horses, they carried part of the provisions, as long as any remained.
a rule, we stopped for the night in river-valleys, along the banks of which we
found grazing for the
horses; while the reindeer would be taken by the Tungus to the summits of the mountains.
Of the two hundred
thousand Yakut, only twelve
thousand live at present in Verkhoyansk and
Kolyma, the northern districts of the Yakut Province. Of these twelve thousand, not more than a fifth have reindeer.
once met on Saghalin a reindeer caravan of Orok who had two sledges loaded with
lichen, to be
used as fodder (see Schrenck, II, p. 180).
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
the Tungus, or to the arctic shores, as is the custom of the Chukchee. In the Indighirka tundra I had opportunity to observe how the Yakut reindeer crowded, in summer, about the blinding smoke of the smoke-pits near the houses. To prevent the reindeer from getting burned, or from stepping on the hot cinders, the smoke-pits1 are fenced in with poles, the tops of which are tied together in a manner that resembles the conical frame of a tent. The Kolyma-Chukchee, in imitation of the Yakut, have tried to introduce smoke-pits; but their wilder reindeer burned their feet, and injured their hoofs, in the fire.
The Yakut dogs do not guard the reindeer, as is the case among the Lapps; but the two kinds of animals get along very well with each other. The dogs become accustomed to the reindeer while young, and the latter are not afraid of them. When the pups begin to bark at a reindeer or to chase it, they are trained, by beating, to distinguish the domesticated animal from the wild one. When a dog is particularly obstinate, one of its legs is caught in the collar, so that the dog has to jump on three legs, and cannot run. In the Yakut settlements along the lower courses of the Indighirka, Yana, and Lena Rivers, even the draught-dogs are not so hostile to the domesti- cated reindeer as are the Kolyma and Gishiga dogs. When a nomad Koryak pays a visit to one of those settlements, he usually leaves his reindeer behind,at a certain distance from the village, to which he comes on foot. Only when all dogs in the settlement are tied, will the Koryak venture to enter with his reindeer.
In the above-mentioned Yakut settlements, it is a commonthing to see people ride up to the houses on reindeer, and only exceptionally ferocious dogs are kept on the chain. According to Yakut custom, the owners of the dogs are responsible for the reindeer injured by them. From my own experience, I know that draught-dogs can be taught by proper training to behave peacefully in the presence of domesticated reindeer.
Along the lower course of the Lena River I also saw reindeer spending their summer in Yakut settlements. To protect them from mosquitoes, long sheds were built in the form of corridors, with entrances on either side, by which the reindeer escaped from mosquitoes and from the heat. Before each of the entrances, smoke-pits, fenced in by poles, emitted smoke. The reindeer were generally put out to pasture at night, when the temperature fell consider- ably and the mosquitoes hid from the cold in the grass. The mosquitoes disappear at noonday also, when their thin wings are so dried up by the rays of the sun that they easily break. During that part of the day the reindeer also seek shelter from the heat in the shade of the shed. The mosquitoes are especially fierce in the morning and at dusk. Then the rein-
Yakut build a fire in
the pit, and cover it up with refuse, dung, turf, grass,
or leaves, so as to allow the fire to smoulder only, and thus produce a smudge.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
deer crowd about the smoke-pits, or stay in the shed. In one household I saw a shed built to accommodate two hundred reindeer. These reindeer were so tame that they would upset my photographic apparatus, and had to be kept at a distance to enable me to photograph them. The Koryak reindeer could not be approached near enough with the apparatus to be photographed, but would scatter in all directions, in spite of the fact that the herdsmen tried to keep them in place.
Not far from Shigansk, on the Lena River, where immense larch-forests cover large areas. I met among the Yakut another type of reindeer- management. These Yakut leave their reindeer in the woods, free from any supervision, during the summer, while they themselves engage in fishing along the islands and on the Lena. In the fall, on the appearance of snow, the reindeer are rounded up. They do not stray far away from the winter dwellings, and it never happens that they get lost during the summer. There are no wolves in the depths of the forests, as in winter they avoid the deep, soft snows of dense woods. The polar wolf lives and propagates mainly on the tundra, amidst the shrubbery, on the outskirts of forests. There he finds in abundance wild reindeer, hares, and, in case of extreme necessity, lemmings. The dense woods of northern Siberia surprise the traveller by the scarcity of animal life and by their deadly stillness.
Reindeer spending their summer in the woods try to protect themselves from mosquitoes by running back and forth on the outskirts of the forest, thus forming a wide beaten path, or by getting into the water of rivers or lakes. On cloudy days, when the mosquitoes are numerous, the reindeer will spend the entire day in the water up to their necks, and will venture into the pastures only at night to satisfy their hunger and to rest on the grass. In winter the Yakut settlers do not manage so easily with their reindeer. Owing to the lack of food-supplies, they cannot keep them in their winter settlements. During summer, whenever there are Tungus in the vicinity, the Yakut, as a rule, keep their reindeer in a Tungus herd; or a few households get together, and the owners take turns in pasturing them.
On the lower course of the Yana, Omoloi, and Lena Rivers, I saw still another form of reindeer-management. In summer the Yakut reindeer are taken to the mountains by the Tungus or Yukaghir, while the Yakut owners remain on the river, fishing. In winter the herdsmen return to the Yakut houses, and the Yakut divide their supplies of fish with them. The wealthy Yakut, who own large herds of thousands of head, always keep hired Tungus or Yukaghir herdsmen. Of late years, good reindeer herdsmen are developing among the Yakut themselves.
Since the care and the use of a Koryak herd are almost the same as those of a Chukchee herd, I shall not attempt to describe at length the manner of driving, the harness, the sledges, the life of the herdsmen, and the diseases
of the reindeer. All that has been described in
detail by Mr. Bogoras.1 I
shall confine myself,
therefore, to giving some additional information and to indicating
some points of difference.
Food of Reindeer. — In summer, as is well known, the reindeer like fresh grass, especially the young sprouts of reed-grass, the leaves of the birch, willow, and poplar, as well as mushrooms. In winter they feed exclusively on lichens;2 but wherever the horse-tail (Equisetum scivpoides Mich.3) is to be found, they readily eat it in the winter as well, and frequently prefer it to lichens. But this low-growing weed is found only in certain localities, - in the sandy valleys of mountain-streams, where, in some places, it thickly covers large areas. In spite of the fact that in winter it is covered up with snow, the reindeer discover it by their sense of smell, as they do the lichen. More than once in the winter, I had an opportunity to see, in the mountain- valleys between the Indighirka and Yana Rivers, how ravenously the reindeer devoured that plant. The Tungus told me that they fatten on it, the same as do horses. It retains its juice throughout the winter, and does not dry up like grasses. During the winter the reindeer in the woods also eat lichens growing on trunks of trees.
When the reindeer feed exclusively on lichens, they acquire a special longing
for the urine of human beings. This longing attracts them to human habitations.
which signifies "the
"reindeer's night-chamber") made of
every herdsman carries suspended from his
belt, and of which he makes use whenever he
desires to urinate, that he may keep the urine
as a means of attraction in capturing refractory
reindeer. Quite frequently the reindeer come running to camp from a far-
off pasture to taste of snow
saturated with urine, a
delicacy to them. The reindeer have a
keen sense of hearing and of smell, but their sight is rather poor. A
man stopping to urinate in the
open attracts reindeer from afar,
which, following the sense of smell, will run
to the urine, hardly
discerning the man, and paying no attention to him. The position of a
man standing up in the
Fig. 63. (70/3814). Vessel made of Seal- Skin. Length, 13 cm.
While subsisting exclusively on lichens, the reindeer develop also a liking for
This peculiarity has been
many travellers. It
Bogoras, The Chukchee,
Vol VII of this series, pp. 80—95.
2 See p.
See p. 399.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
is said that reindeer catch mice. I myself saw reindeer in our train eagerly seize the skin and other refuse of dried fish that had been thrown away by the drivers.
As I said before, the Reindeer Koryak do not like to roam about without their families;1 but at certain seasons the herds wander far from camp, and compel the herdsman to follow them. This happens in winter, especially when the weather is exceedingly cold, and in summer, when communication by sledge is interrupted. The dwelling of the Reindeer Koryak then remains fixed in one place for two or three months; while the herd, after eating all the lichens near by, gradually moves farther away. The herdsmen at that time undergo great privations. In winter, food can be brought from the camp to the pasture in sledges, and the sleeping-tent can be transported in the same way; but in summer the herdsmen have to carry their food, bedding, teapots, and kettles. The herd is especially restless in the summer when annoyed by mosquitoes, and the herdsmen must watch day and night lest the reindeer scatter in all directions. Usually the old men, old women, and little children spend the summer on the bank of some river, fishing; while the other mem- bers of the camp, including ten-year-old boys and girls, wander about with the herd, assisting the herdsmen.
Sledge and Harness. — Plate XXIV, Fig. I, represents the owner of a camp in a light sledge, about to leave his old camp; and Fig. 2 represents the front part of the train, ready for departure. The first sledge is occupied by one of the wives of the owner. Then follow other sections of the train. The rear is brought up by the herd with the herdsmen and grown-up boys. Some of them walk, while others drive in sledges drawn by a pair of rein- deer or by one reindeer, and in which they ride to round up stray reindeer, and keep them with the herd.
This picture was taken early in April, and, as it shows, most of the reindeer still had their antlers, with the exception of the one in front, whose antlers were sawed off so that the woman could manage it more easily. Some of the reindeer had already cast one of their antlers. The males com- mence to cast the antlers at the end of November; but the geldings,2 year- lings, and the barren does, cast their antlers in the month of April. Pregnant does cast their antlers from three to ten days after delivery.
Plate xxv, Fig. 1, represents the camp of a not very wealthy Reindeer Koryak in spring. The herd, consisting of four hundred reindeer, was rounded up to be moved with the camp to another place. The camp con- sisted of two tents, housing five families, including the owner of the herd,
1 See p. 480.
(Vol. III, p. 453, of the Russian translation) says that "the antlers of castrated reindeer always re-
main in the same position; that is, they preserve them if tney happen to be castrated at a time the antlers were
on, or they remain without antlers if they happen to be castrated just at the time they cast their antlers." No
information is vouchsafed as to where the observation was made; but the error is probably due to the fact that
geldings usually cast their antlers much later than normal bucks.
Fig. i. Reindeer-Sledge
Fig. 2. Train of
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. VI. Plate XXV.
Fig. i. Camp of. Reindeer Koryak.
Fig. 2. Reindeer with Fawn.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
his relatives, and herdsmen. Between the Koryak tents my own little tent was pitched. To move the entire camp required from forty to forty-five sledges. The moving of the camp of the Taigonos chief — who has a herd of five thousand reindeer, twelve herdsmen with their families, and three large tents - requires not less than a hundred and fifty sledges. The train is made up as follows : —
First comes the owner in a light sledge drawn by a pair of racing-rein-deer. He drives fast, and leaves the train far behind. On the way he looks p pastures, and selects a halting-place. The sledges, loaded with household goods and tent-furnishings, each drawn by one reindeer, are conducted by women. One woman leads a train of seven or eight sledges. The first sledge, in which the woman-driver is sitting, is pulled by a gentle reindeer, usually one that belongs to the woman. This sledge is followed by a covered sledge for children. Next come sledges with clothing, dishes, provisions, bedding, and the tent-covers. The last sledge drags behind it the poles of the tent, since no reindeer follow it. The transportation of the driving- sledges is effected by placing them on top of the baggage in the freight-sledges.
Plate xxv, Fig. 2, shows a doe just after delivery (May 7), with the antlers still on.
A description of sledges and the points of distinction between the different kinds — such as racing-sledges, driving-sledges (men's and women's), family sledges, freight-sledges, and sledges for carrying the poles of tents — has been given by Mr. Bogoras.1 Koryak sledges are in no way different from those of the Chukchee. The plan of construction is as follows: —
Instead of straight stanchions there is a series of arches or ribs, the ends of which fit into sockets in the runners, to which they are tied by means of leather strips passing through holes. On these arches, which stand upright and are parallel to one another, a long rectangular frame is placed, having longitudinal and transverse bars forming a grating. The frame is attached to the arches by means of thongs. In racing and riding sledges, these gratings are used as seats. In freight-sledges there is an upright grating all around, and a horizontal grating forms the bottom of the body of the sledge. As in the case of the Chukchee, the riding-sledge of the woman is somewhat larger than that of the man.
The dimensions of the riding-sledges which I collected on my expedition are as follows: —
|Man's Sleage.||Woman's Sledge.|
|Length||216 cm.||228 cm.|
|Width.||39 "||46 "|
|Height.||28 "||37 "|
|Weight||17.5 lbs.||25 lbs.|
1 Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII of this series, pp. 89-92.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
racing-sledge is so small and light that it can be lifted with one finger.
The sledge which was described by
Bogoras under the name of Tungus
sledge,2 I should
rather call Yakut. I believe that the northern Tungus
riders who have recently begun to use sledges adopted this type of sledge
from the Yakut. This sledge is a combination of the ox-sledge of the
southern Yakut and the northern dog-sledge. By its lesser length and
width as compared with a dog-sledge, it resembles a Yakut ox-sledge; but
in its stanchions, the thonged grating around the sledge, and the
arch attached to the front parts of the runners, it resembles the dog-sledges.
The northern Yakut also use these sledges in driving passengers with horses,
or in drawing loads. The driver usually sits astride the horse, and from each
side of the saddle a line runs to the front of the sledge.
Bogoras has pointed out the difference between the reindeer-harness
of the Chukchee and the Koryak on the one hand, and that of the Yakut
and the Tungus on the other. I wish to call attention here to the
of the harness of the latter. The Yakut always use two reindeer to a
and therefore we must take for comparison the Koryak racing and driving
sledges, which likewise are drawn by two reindeer. In the case of the
Koryak sledges, both the reindeer to the right and the one to the left
with the left shoulder, and the collar is slipped over each reindeer so
take in its right fore-leg. The line running from the collar of each
to the sledge, commencing at the right fore-leg, passes on the side of
reindeer by the right hind-leg, which remains on the left of the line. In the
ase of the Yakut, the reindeer to the right pulls with the right
that is, the collar takes in its left fore-leg, — while the
reindeer to the left
draws like the Koryak reindeer. The angles of both collars are thus
on the right side of the
left reindeer and
1 Vol. VII of this series, Fig. 17 p.90; and Plate XXIV, and
Plate XXXIX, Fig. 2,of this volume.
2 See Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII of this series, Fig. 4, p. 70.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
side of the right reindeer respectively. These angles are joined, by means of a wooden or bone clasp, to the ends of a leather line which passes loosely through the front arch of the sledge. The Koryak and the Chukchee use a separate line for each reindeer, both of which pass from their collars to the sledge, and are firmly attached to the sledge-front. The Yakut harness offers the following advantages: —
It compels both reindeer to pull alike. If one of them pulls with greater strength, it will pull forward its end of the traces, and shorten the line of the other reindeer, whose hind-legs will then be struck by the arch of the sledge. This forces the lazy reindeer to make an effort and pull at its end of the traces equally with its mate. This kind of harness requires the reindeer of each team to be of equal strength. If the driver should not pay attention to this, the weaker reindeer would succumb. The stronger reindeer pulls out its arm of the traces; but the weaker one, unable to cope with the former, becomes still weaker the farther they proceed, until finally it drops from exhaustion. This happens quite frequently with inexperienced drivers.
When a train of freight-sledges using Yakut harnesses comes down a mountain-slope, the reindeer can swerve to both sides, — the right reindeer to the right, and the left one to the left, — and the sledges will come down by their own weight without striking the reindeer's legs. This is very im- portant in using teams of two reindeer. In coming down a mountain-slope, the horizontal arch of the rear freight-sledge of the Yakut strikes the back of the front sledge with great force, and would crush the legs of the reindeer if they were unable to swerve to different sides. The Yakut reindeer of each succeeding sledge are tied separately, with a line about a metre long, to the rear end of the preceding sledge. The line passes from the halter. In the case of the Koryak, the freight-sledge is drawn by one reindeer, which can swerve to the left when going downhill.
The reindeer do not have to pull all the time with the same shoulder. As the Yakut always use two reindeer to a freight-sledge, the drivers fre- quently change the reindeer from right to left, and vice versa.
In the manner of guiding the movement of the reindeer, the Koryak- Chukchee and the Yakut do not differ greatly. The reindeer is not directed with the bridle. In the team-harness of the Yakut there is only one rein,which is attached to the halter of the reindeer on the right side. The Koryak employ two reins in their team-harness, — one for each reindeer. The reins end in knotted loops, which are slipped on the left hand of the driver. To make the reindeer go to the right, it is necessary to pull the reins. However, it is principally the reindeer to the right that learns to change the direction and to pull his mate along. The halters of both reindeer are connected by a line about half a metre long. To make the reindeer turn to the left, the driver thrusts forward, along the side of the right reindeer,
62—JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI. PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
a thin pliable rod of willow, which takes the place of a whip. The right reindeer then, as though trying to avoid the blow, pushes the left reindeer to the left. The rod thus used as a whip has a length of from 120 cm. to 130 cm (Fig. 64). It has a head of antler at the grip end, and a pointed ivory cap at the other, with which the reindeer is prodded on. The Yakut drivers use, instead of a whip, an ordinary pole from three to four metres long,
or a willow switch. When the driver thrusts the pole forward to the right of the reindeer, the latter turns to the left. As stated before, the Yakut use only a rein for the reindeer at the right. When the driver pulls the rein lightly, the right reindeer turns to the right, and pulls along the left reindeer. If the driver gives the rein a strong pull, the reindeer turns halfway round, and stops. At halting-points on the road, the driver thrusts the pole into the snow, and ties the rein to it. Then all the rear sledges of the train come to a stop.
In using the driving and racing sledges, the Koryak and the Chukchee drive sitting astride (see Plate XXIV, Fig. 1), while the Yakut sit sideways on the right side of the sledge. Plate XXIV, Fig. 2, shows a Koryak woman leading a train of sledges, and sitting sideways, like the Yakut driver, because she happens to be in a freight-sledge having a grated railing. As a rule, however, a young woman prefers to lead a train of sledges driving her own smart driving-sledge drawn by a pair of her own reindeer.
Management of Reindeer-Herds. — To pick from a large herd a num- ber of a certain kind of reindeer is a very troublesome task. This must be done, for instance, when reindeer have to be given away with a daughter who is marrying into a strange camp, or when relatives or neighbors who kept reindeer in one herd separate to leave for different places, or when, in spring-time, the owner of the herd takes the pregnant does to a separate pasture.
Whenever this has to be done, all the herdsmen, as well as boys, girls, and children, get together. The scattered herd is collected and driven to one place, where it is surrounded by a chain of watchers, who do not allow the reindeer to disperse. In order not to frighten them, the watchers sit on their heels; but, whenever the reindeer attempt to break through the chain, the watchers jump to their feet, and stop the flight. In the midst of the herd is the owner of the reindeer, who intends to remain on the place, with some assistants. They capture their reindeer one by one with lassos, and tie one front-leg of each one to the corresponding hind-leg by means of a
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
short leather thong. When all the required reindeer are secured in this manner, the watchers drive the herd to one side.
The tied-up reindeer remain behind until they are entirely separated from the free reindeer. Then they are driven back to the old pasture. I once witnessed the separation of a large herd, and saw what an amount of trouble this primitive method of surrounding the herd with people gives. Refractory reindeer break through the chain constantly, and lead away the rest of the herd. The fleeing reindeer then have to be rounded up, and returned to the enclosure. If the herd is not large, the enclosure is made of sledges arranged in a semicircle.
The Yakut reindeer-breeders have regular enclosures, made of poles, near
their houses. The enclosure is in the shape of a rectangle, the sides of which
form high fences, so that the reindeer cannot jump over them. The
rectangle is approached at one corner by a long passage, continuing one of
the short sides of the rectangle, through which the reindeer are driven. Inside
the enclosure, the herdsmen very seldom make use of the lasso, but
their reindeer with their hands. Such enclosures are to be found at all the
polar post-stations of the Yakut territory. Whenever reindeer are
required to carry mail or passengers, the entire herd is brought from the pastures inside the enclosure, and, after the necessary reindeer have been selected, the herd is set free.
The size of reindeer-herds among the Koryak is, in my opinion, greatly exaggerated by some writers. For example, Slunin says that the Koryak herds number from ten to eighteen thousand head.1 I had an opportunity of seeing some of the herds mentioned by Slunin, and our figures are greatly at variance. For instance, the Koryak Kulo, according to my information, had a herd of not more than three thousand reindeer; while, according to Slunin, it numbered fifteen thousand.
On my way from the Gishiga to the Kolyma River I spent two days in the camp of a wealthy Tungus by the name of Abraham, whose herd was estimated by Slunin at eighteen thousand head.2 I myself saw that herd. It was not very large, and I was told that there were eight hundred reindeer in it. It is quite possible that not all of Abraham's reindeer were there, but that part of the herd was elsewhere. Even if we were to multiply by five the number that was given to us, we should get only four thousand, and even that number is too large for the herd of a Tungus breeder in the Gishiga district. In the district of Verkhoyansk I knew a Tungus who had
Krasheninnikoff (II, p. 208) also gives improbable figures concerning
of Koryak reindeer. He says that rich Koryak have from ten to thirty thousand reindeer, and more. The elder
Etel Sopliskoff had nearly a hundred thousand head. Kennan (p. 195) gives similar incredible figures. He asserts
that the Reindeer Koryak of northern Kamchatka have herds of from eight thousand to twelve thousand head, and
one of them had thirty thousand reindeer.
I, p. 634.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
three thousand reindeer, and the largest herd that I ever saw near the Indicrhirka River was estimated at something over five thousand reindeer.
It is true that the Tungus, when speaking to Russians, always under- estimate the number of their reindeer, so as to appear poor, since they do not like to kill them for meat, for which the Russians come; but such is not the case with the Koryak. They are very vain and boastful in that respect, and are prone to exaggerate the size of their herds. In the Taigonos Penin- sula the chieftain would frequently say to me, "I am a rich man : I am very rich in reindeer." On the contrary, Abraham, the Tungus whom I mentioned above, tried to underrate in my opinion the size of his herd, calling my attention to the fact that it did not belong to him alone, but that all of his relatives had a share in it.
On the Taigonos Peninsula, where the Koryak have mastered the art of counting, I took a census of the reindeer by households (I use the word "household" and not "family," because usually brothers and other relatives keep their herds together). I do not consider the figures that follow absolutely accurate, but they will give an approximate idea of the value of the Koryak reindeer industry.
I enumerated sixty-three households, which gave a total of 17,000 reindeer. The four largest herds numbered 2,000, 2,500, 3,500, and 5,000 head respectively. The remaining households had from five reindeer to eight hundred reindeer each. Thirty-four households, or more than half, had from five to fifty reindeer each. The majority of owners of small herds had no households of their own, but worked as herdsmen for the wealthy reindeer- breeders. Dividing 17,000 (reindeer) by 318 (the total number of Taigonos Koryak), and multiplying the quotient by 3,748 (the total number of Reindeer Koryak), we get 200,000, the probable total of Koryak reindeer.
The Koryak reindeer are intended mainly for slaughter. With the exception of a small number used for racing, driving, and as draught-animals in their migrations, the entire herd of a wealthy Koryak serves for consump- tion in various ways. From his herd he gets meat for food, and skins for clothing and tents, and he exchanges the slaughtered reindeer and their skins for articles of consumption which he does not possess. From the Maritime Koryak he gets by barter walrus and seal thongs, fat, oil, and meat, iron-ware made by their smiths, embroidered funeral dress, and dried fly-agaric. From the Russians he receives in exchange tea, tobacco, bread, printed cloth, and other imported goods. With the hunters he exchanges his reindeer-meat and reindeer-skins for the furs of fur-animals, which he again exchanges with Russian merchants for imported goods.
The great mass of the Tungus find in the reindeer merely a means of transportation. The Tungus households which own large herds are not of a uniform type throughout. In the Gishiga district the Tungus household has
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
some of the characteristics of the Koryak. The herd, though, consists mostly of reindeer trained as riding and pack animals, but they are not let out by their owners. Like the Koryak, the Gishiga Tungus have not advanced beyond barter. The poor Tungus, in exchange for squirrel-skins and other products of the chase, receive from their rich fellow-tribesmen riding-reindeer meat, and skins for clothing. The reindeer-management of a wealthy Tungus in the territory of Yakutsk resembles that of the Yakut reindeer-breeder
The type of the Yakut reindeer-management is the very opposite of that of the Koryak. The profits from a Yakut herd are not derived from the sale or barter of meat and reindeer-skins, but from the use of the animals for transportation. The wealthy Yakut uses his reindeer for carrying mer- chandise all over the northern part of the province of Yakutsk, taking furs from the northern districts down to the Aldan River in the south, or to the Lena River in the west (where steamers ply in summer). He takes contracts for carrying the mail, and supplies the post-stations on the main and branch roads with reindeer and drivers. The Koryak reindeer are not adapted to such use. Besides, the Yakut population in the north is greater, trade is more considerable, and intercourse between different parts of the territory is livelier, than in the Koryak territory. In the latter the Russian merchants use dogs almost exclusively in carrying their goods, and hire their drivers mainly in Russian settlements.
The Kolyma merchants tried to avoid the transportation of goods from Yakutsk, or, by the recently opened trail, from Ola, by employing Chukchee breeders with their reindeer-sledges to bring merchandise from Gishiga to Kolymsk. Owing to their low standard of life, the Chukchee charge an , insignificant price; and this method has proved cheap, but unreliable and slow.1 The Chukchee made the trip in their usual fashion, travelling with their families and herds, and making about seven miles a day, so that the trip from Gishiga to Sredne Kolymsk took them about five months. The Yakut reindeer would cover the same distance with the same freight in from twenty- five to thirty days.
Comparing further the two types of use of the reindeer, — that of the Yakut and that of the Koryak, — we find that the respective uses made of the herds generally determine the great differences between the methods of training, composition, value, and profit from the herds.
As already stated, the Yakut originally obtained their reindeer from the Tungus, but they have greatly improved the Tungus breed. At present the Yakut reindeer is larger not only than that of the Koryak-Chukchee, but
first year the Chukchee received from the merchant who hired them two bricks of
tea (according to
Gishiga prices, fifty cents) for each sledge drawn by one reindeer for the entire distance from Gishiga to Sredne-
Kolymsk. Each sledge carried one package of brick-tea, weighing five and a half puds (about two hundred pounds).
For the same weight and distance, the Yakut would have charged five rubles per pud, or 27.50 rubles per sledge
(about $ 13.50).
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
also than that of the Tungus. I remember one Yakut herd not far from Bulun, on the lower course of the Lena River, which surprised me by the great size of the reindeer. The Yakut have achieved this, first of all, by careful selection. The Yakut reindeer-herd undergoes constant change in its make-up. A wealthy Yakut reindeer-breeder is continually trading or selling his poor or stunted breeders, and buys, wherever he can, large, strong bucks and does, being ready to pay good prices, and thus all the time improving the race. Besides, the Yakut reindeer-breeders make a specialty of selling their trained reindeer for post-stations. The marks of the owners of the reindeer, in the shapes of initials, are branded by the Yakut with red-hot iron seals on the hind-quarters of the reindeer. Quite frequently Yakut rein- deer are found marked with several brands, which shows that they have passed through several hands.
A Koryak herd undergoes but little change in its make-up, except what is occasioned by natural increase by birth, or by decrease from disease and from slaughter for food. The herd is closely connected with the family cult. The reindeer is the bearer of luck, and the protector of the family. Although the head of the family has control of the herd, it is still considered as the common property of the whole family.1
Moreover, each individual member of the family has under his or her own mark a certain number of reindeer which are considered as his or her personal property. Every new-born member of the family, independent of sex, receives, as a gift from the first fawns born after his or her birth, one or more female fawns. In time, under favorable circumstances, these become an entire herd, which are branded with a special mark, distinguishing them from other groups of reindeer in the herd. The Koryak mark of ownership is made on the ear of the reindeer. The operation is performed on the new-born fawn by biting off, or cutting off with a knife, a piece of the ear. The marks of ownership do not differ much. They are in the shape of a straight or curved line, an acute angle, or of two or three incisions in zigzag form. The Koryak readily distinguish their marks, even though they strongly resemble one another.
Although of late years wealthy Koryak herd-owners, for the sake of the improvement of their herd, are buying trained reindeer or good breeders from the Tungus, nevertheless they consider it a sin to sell any live reindeer. Reindeer that are sold carry with them the luck of the herd: therefore, when selling their reindeer for slaughter, the Koryak do not part with them alive, but kill them themselves. Under such circumstances, the slaughter of a reindeer that is sold is considered as a sacrifice to the Supreme Deity, and can bring no bad consequences.
1 See Chap. XII.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
The relative proportion of males and females in a herd differs in the Koryak and Yakut herds. A Koryak herd is intended principally for slaughter. To prevent the herd from greatly diminishing, the Koryak kill principally the males, young bucks, or old barren females. For this reason the females in a Koryak herd usually are from sixty to seventy per cent of the total number. The Koryak, when speaking of the wealth of a reindeer-breeder, quite often have in mind only the number of grown does, not counting the bucks and fawns.
On the other hand, the Yakut reindeer are principally considered as working-animals; and more value is therefore attached to the bucks, as being the stronger. Only under exceptional circumstances do the Yakut kill reindeer for food; nor do they sell them for food at all, since the meat would prove too expensive. The polar Yakut herdsmen subsist principally on fish with a modicum of imported flour. At times they have horse-meat or beef, cow's butter, and milk, all of which are brought in the winter, in a frozen state, from the more southern Yakut settlements, where cattle-breeding is carried on. The Yakut would rather kill a female than a working buck; and the bucks all work, — not only the geldings, but those kept for breeding also. For that reason, it is quite common to find in a Yakut herd the number of females less than that of the males, the proportion of the former being from forty to fifty per cent. The Yakut harness even the female reindeer, not excepting the pregnant ones. I had occasion to drive pregnant does on the post-road even in April, when they were about to be delivered. In the two types of uses of the reindeer just described we also find a different treatment of the reindeer from the day of their birth.
The period of rut of the domesticated reindeer continues from the end of September until the beginning of November, while delivery takes place between the beginning of April and the end of May. The greatest number of births occurs early in May. Both the period of rut and of the birth of the fawns takes place among the wild reindeer from ten to fourteen days later than among the domesticated race.
In the month of March, usually, the reindeer-breeder separates the pregnant does from the rest of the herd, and keeps them in another pasture. The herdsmen must look out for all the new-born fawns to prevent their freezing to death during the cold nights. I visited at the period of delivery, on May 7, 1901, a herd of does belonging to the Taigonos chieftain. More than half of them had already given birth to fawns. The place was an entirely open, treeless tundra, near the Chaibuga River. The snow, blown about by winter winds, was not deep. During the day it was beginning to thaw from the sun's rays, and here and there black hillocks, and earth covered with lichen, moss, and the previous year's grass, could be seen. The herd was scattered over an enormous area. Each doe seemed to keep apart with
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
her own fawn. Most of the fawns, but recently born (in fact, only one or two days old), were already running about with their mothers, who would run off at every attempt on my part to approach them. In a Yakut herd on the Lena River (1897), I could easily catch the little fawns, since their mothers were not afraid of people.
Almost all the fawns of the Koryak herd mentioned here were of a black or dark-brown color. Of the total number of almost five hundred fawns, I saw but ten or twelve pure white ones, and approximately the same number of dappled ones. I spent about two hours with the herd, during which time two does gave birth to their young, One of them, together with its new-born fawn, is shown on Plate xxv, Fig. 2. I took her picture during delivery, before the appearance of the placenta, when she was lying quiet.
The reindeer does produce young once a year. Not more than two or three barren females can be found in a large herd. When the weather is favorable in the spring, but few of the new-born fawns perish, usually from ten to fifteen per cent; but when the nights are cold, especially if there are snow-storms, many of them freeze to death. In a bleak spring the loss of fawns sometimes reaches as high as thirty per cent or more. On cold nights the Yakut reindeer-breeders place the does with their young in the long sheds described above, which diminishes the mortality of the fawns.
As a rule, the Koryak do not milk the does. Only on rare occasions, in the entire absence of food on the tundra, and when they do not like to kill the reindeer, do the herdsmen make use of reindeer-milk. The Koryak doe will not allow herself to be milked. The herdsmen throw her down on the ground, and suck the milk from the udder, like fawns. Some Koryak in close proximity to the Tungus have learned to milk the does. The Tungus are very fond of reindeer-milk, and drink it with tea. The milking is done by the Tungus as follows: —
A few men capture the doe and let the fawn come up to her, then suddenly pull it away from the udder, and draw the milk into a wooden basin. Not more than about three cups of milk can be obtained from a doe in a day. The milk is thick, very fat, and sickish to the taste. I thought its flavor resembled that of sheep's milk. The milking of the doe, of course, affects unfavorably the growth of the fawns. The Yakut do not milk their does, and that is one reason why the Yakut reindeer are taller and stronger than those of the Tungus
The value of a Tungus, and especially of a Yakut, herd, is considerably higher than that of a Koryak-Chukchee herd. The price of a Koryak reindeer sold for slaughter varies from two to five rubles. The Russians usually buy slaughtered reindeer from the Koryak for from two to four bricks of tea per head. When buying slaughtered reindeer from the Koryak for food, I gen- erally paid six bricks of tea, which was considered an unusually high price.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
A brick of tea1 is sold at Gishiginsk (the centre of Russian trade) for fifty kopeks (about twenty-five cents); but, as the distance into the interior from that point increases, the price rises, until it reaches a ruble or more.
I have already stated that the Koryak do not sell their reindeer alive especially the driving or breeding bucks; but they exchange them for other reindeer. A good Tungus driving-reindeer is usually worth two Koryak reindeer. The Tungus seldom sell their reindeer for slaughter. On my trip from the district of Gishiginsk to the Kolyma River, I bought on the Var- khalam River, in the camp of Abraham, the Tungus I mentioned before, a few reindeer for provisions on the way, and took them along with me. I paid six rubles per reindeer. A good Tungus riding-reindeer is valued at ten rubles. In the north of the Yakut territory, where the wealthy Tungus harness their reindeer to sledges and engage in transportation, a driving- reindeer is valued at from twelve to fifteen rubles. A Yakut draught-reindeer is valued still higher. On the Yana River and at the mouth of the Lena River, a good Yakut draught-reindeer is prized at twenty-five rubles. Not far from Verkhoyansk my dog frightened a team of harnessed post-reindeer. They started off, ran into a tree, and one of them broke its leg. It had to be killed; and by agreement with its owner, I paid him half of the cost of the reindeer, namely, twelve rubles. Since the Yakut will not kill their reindeer, they buy the skins of Chukchee reindeer or of wild reindeer for clothing. Not infrequently Yakut reindeer-herdsmen may be seen dressed in coats made of skins of musk-deer (ñíoschus moschiferus) or mountain-sheep, or of skins of calves of cows, lined with the fur of hares.
A reindeer-herd multiplies very quickly under favorable conditions. Start-ing with a herd of a hundred females in the second year of their life, when they just begin to breed,2 and assuming that they, as well as their female offspring, will continue to produce one fawn each per year for the following ten years,3 and, further, that the number of bucks and does born each yearwill be the same, we find that in the eleventh year the original herd of a hundred females would have grown to a herd of 11,420 head (5760 does, 5660 bucks). From this calculation it may be seen with what rapidity a reindeer-herd would multiply if its growth were not moderated by mortality among the fawns, by slaughter for meat and skins, and, above all, by epi- demics. Barren does are so few, and stillbirths so rare, that these two factors need not be taken into account.
Of the annual offspring, the wealthy Koryak kill about half for meat
brick of tea usually weighs two and a half Russian pounds (one kilo); but some
bricks weigh two
pounds, and others two pounds and three-quarters.
2 Quite often rut sets in among the does the first autumn after their birth, and they become pregnant.
average life of a reindeer is fifteen years, and the does bear until the end of
their lives. Cases ot the
birth of twins are not rare.
63—JESUP NORTH PACIFIC EXPED., VOL. VI, PART 2.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
and skins. The fawns are generally slaughtered in the fall, when they are from five to seven months old. The skins are used for clothing, and are in great demand for barter. Further slaughtering of grown reindeer in the winter by the owners for their own consumption, and for food for the Mari- time Koryak and the inhabitants of Russian settlements, affects very unfavor- ably the growth of the herd. That is why there are so few owners of large herds among reindeer-breeders. Some herd-owners have become impoverished because the Russian officials compelled them to sell large numbers of reindeer for the Russian settlements in times of famine. The smaller a herd is, the more its growth is affected by the slaughter of the reindeer.
After all has been said, the great drawback to the growth of reindeer- herds is the frequent occurrence of epidemics, which, in a few days, may pauperize a rich reindeer-breeder. Detailed information on epidemics and diseases of reindeer has been given by Mr. Bogoras.1
It goes without saying, that the Yakut herds are not immune to epide- mics; but in other respects the growth of the Yakut herd is much faster. Many Yakut in the Verkhoyansk district who but a comparatively short time ago urchased a few dozen reindeer from the Tungus, and engaged in their propagation, are now wealthy reindeer-breeders.
The Koryak reindeer-breeder has not passed as yet beyond a primitive economic stage; that is, all that he needs for living he derives from his herd. Although the herd of the Koryak may be said to constitute his capital, in so far as the labor of hired herdsmen furthers the accumulation of that capital, the only benefit which he derives from the exchange of reindeer for other things is the acquisition of articles to satisfy the current needs of the family. Under such conditions, the profit derived from a Koryak herd is insignificant. A large number of reindeer are slaughtered annually, — that is to say, part of the wealth is destroyed, — and in exchange for that, the reindeer-breeder seldom gets anything that will serve him for any length of time. We have here a case of most primitive barter.
As opposed to the Koryak, the Yakut reindeer household is founded on a money basis. The reindeer serve here, not only as an article of barter for goods necessary in the household, but as a source of earnings. The income derived from the maintenance of post-stations and the transport of goods is very considerable, and is received in money. Wealthy Yakut herd-owners have considerable capital, and even send deposits to banks. Communication over the entire length of the Government trail from the Aldan River, south of the Verkhoyansk mountain-ridge, to Sredne Kolymsk (a distance of 1350 miles) and over all branch-trails leading from that principal trail, is kept up by the Yakut in winter with reindeer, and in summer on horseback. This
1 Bogoras, The Chukchee, Vol. VII of this series, pp. 80, 81.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
explains why the herd of a Yakut constitutes capital in the real sense of the word, and why the income derived from it, as well as its value, is consider- ably greater than anything the Koryak can realize.
For carrying my collections from Sredne Kolymsk to Verkhoyansk (a distance of 928 miles) I paid my Yakut driver five rubles per pood (sixteen kilograms). For great distances a sledge drawn by a pair of reindeer is loaded with from five to seven poods.1 Thus, in twenty-five days, the time it takes reindeer to carry a load the distance between the two points just mentioned, each pair of reindeer earned for its owner from twenty-five to thirty-five rubles, with no expense attached, except the small pay of the driver.
One driver is supposed to take care of from eight to ten sledges. He drives the reindeer attached to the first sledge, while each of the other teams is tied to the preceding sledge. The first sledge, carrying nothing but the driver and his provisions, is drawn by the most docile reindeer, yet they must be very strong animals. Quite frequently the reindeer in the rear — either because they are not used to the harness, or through laziness or exhaus- tion — refuse to go, and pull back; while the reindeer in front, prodded by the pole of the driver, have to drag them on and force them to go. It often happens that when the reindeer are tired, all the rear reindeer lag, while the front pair are compelled to draw the entire train. Sometimes one or more reindeer in the train fall from exhaustion, and the front pair of reindeer drag them along on the snow until they are compelled to get up. If, at such times, the front pair become exhausted, the driver substitutes others, and hitches the former to the last sledge.
When the reindeer are exhausted or very tired, they begin to pant, and lie down on the ground, and no amount of beating will induce them to get up. It frequently happens that the exhausted reindeer fall dead. In my travels with post-reindeer, which are usually over-driven, my reindeer would fall by the wayside, exhausted or dead. If a reindeer lies down so that it cannot be raised, the driver unhitches it, and leaves it. If it should recover, he will pick it up on his return-trip.2 It frequently happens that wolves devour such abandoned reindeer.
I remember that, at one station in the district of Kolymsk, the keeper harnessed to my train teams composed of Yakut and Chukchee reindeer. The latter he had purchased from the Chukchee to make up for the loss of station-animals. In spite of the fact that they were fat and strong animals, the Chukchee reindeer, being unaccustomed to fast driving, could not long
short distances a pair of Yakut reindeer can carry from nine to twelve poods.
distances between post-stations on the lonely polar trails vary from sixty to
four hundred versts (40 to
265 miles). According to the rules governing post-stations, the reindeer must make fifty versts (thirty-three miles)
per day. The same set of reindeer cover the entire distance between the stations.
keep up with the Yakut reindeer, and soon began to pant and fall, in spite of severe beating. We abandoned them one after another, leaving on the trail a few sledges with provisions, and finally reached the station on foot. The Chukchee reindeer were the usual little-trained draught-animals, which made from seven to ten miles a day in nomad trains, walking at an easy gait the entire distance.
Comparative Remarks. — In conclusion I wish to sum up the chief peculiarities of the three types of use of the reindeer.
The domestication of the reindeer of the Koryak-Chukchee is very primitive. The economic conditions are still in the simple stage in which the herd serves merely to satify the wants of the family. Its principal object is to serve as a source of supply for food and clothing, the reindeer being kept mainly for slaughter. Transportation is but a secondary purpose of the reindeer.
The Tungus reindeer represent a more advanced type. Their chief use is as a means of transportation over the hunting territory, both as riding and pack animals. The household of the wealthy Tungus herd-owner approaches either the Koryak or the Yakut type, according to its location.
The Yakut reindeer are an improved Tungus race. Their principal use is commercial. They are the chief source of money earnings. The owners of one or two dozen reindeer seldom use them for their own household, but hire out themselves with their teams for the transportation of merchandise; or they rent their reindeer to Yakut contractors for a money consideration.
The Domestication of the Wild Reindeer. — To what has been said on p. 471 concerning the possibility of taming wild reindeer I wish to add the following remarks.
It has been said that the Amur Tungus domesticate wild reindeer. I consider these reports, which are confirmed by my friend Mr. Sternberg in his review of Bogoras's work on the material culture of the Chukchee,1 worthy of little credence. If the Amur Tungus could increase their herds by taming wild reindeer, they would surpass in skill the tamers of our zoological gardens, who succeed only to a certain degree in taming wild animals. In a personal talk with me on this subject, Dr. Sternberg told me that in the original draught of his manuscript he had written "enticing" instead of "taming," which might refer to the skill of the Tungus in enticing wild reindeer with the help of specially trained domesticated animals. This I know is done also by the Tungus of the Province of Yakutsk, and of the Gishiginsk and Okhotsk districts of the Maritime Province; but in those places it applies only to hunting wild reindeer, and not to capturing them for purposes of taming.
In the districts named, three ways of hunting wild reindeer with the
1 American Anthropologist, S., Vol. VII, 1905, p. 322.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
help of domesticated animals are known. The first is by means of specially trained reindeer, called "hunting reindeer," or man-sci'k (маньщик, from manit' [манить], "to entice"), by the Russians, and ondada' by the Tungus. In my travels over northeastern Siberia I had occasion to meet Tungus hunters riding reindeer, who led another reindeer (ondada') by a long line. Above everything else, the ondada' is a good guide: it leads its master through woods and other impenetrable places by the surest paths; directed by its scent and hearing, it brings him to the pasture of wild reindeer. Then the hunter pays out the line, and lets the man-sci'k go ahead, while he himself hides behind a bush or hill. The man-sci'k begins to dig in the snow to get some lichen. When the wild reindeer, noticing the man-sci'k, and impelled by love of gregariousness, approaches, the hunter begins gently to draw in the "enticer," until the wild reindeer, following step by step, gradually comes within easy range of the hunter. The second method is employed by the Tungus in the autumn during the rutting-season of wild reindeer. The hunter starts out on his expedition with his best two stags, the strongest in the herd. Having found the tracks of a herd of wild reindeer, the hunter lets one stag loose, after having tied a thong in several loops around its antlers. Feeling itself free, the rutting stag, taking the scent of the tracks of the wild dams, runs to overtake them. The wild stag does not allow his adversary to approach the females, but engages in single fight with him, and becomes entangled in the thong. The hunter, mounted on the other stag, finds the combatants with their antlers entangled, and slays the wild reindeer. Sometimes he succeeds also in killing a female, which, according to the hunters, watches from afar the struggles of the males, and takes flight only on the approach of man. The third method consists in enticing wild stags in the autumn by means of domesticated dams. This method is resorted to in wooded localities that are free from wolves. Having found a pasture of wild reindeer, the hunter leaves there, alone and unguarded, some dams from his herd, which are then in their rutting-period. The dams attract the wild stags. A day or two later the hunter stealthily approaches his dams, and endeavors to shoot the wild reindeer that have imprudently gone too near them. The Koryak, too, take advantage of the wild stags visiting the tame dams in their herds,and slay them, while the Chukchee consider it an ill omen if in such cases the wild stag escapes from the herd. It will thus be seen that the principle in all three methods is to kill the wild reindeer; and in the last method it is also desired to obtain a stronger and larger breed from the domesticated dams.
Mr.W. D. Nemirovich-Danchenko, in two articles on "The Mezen Tundra", and "The Country of the Lapps",1 informs us that the Samoyed are not able to tame the wild reindeer of the Mezen Tundra, but that the Lapps
1 Picturesque Russia (Russian), St. Petersburg 1881; Vol. I, pp. 95, 178.
JOCHELSON, THE KORYAK.
succeed easily with those of their country, by catching them with the lasso and keeping them tied up for three days before feeding them. After that treatment, he says, the reindeer are as tame as those of the domesticated herd. Presumably this report is based on a misunderstanding and refers to the first training of unbroken reindeer that are taken out of the herd.
I discuss the possibility or impossibility of taming wild reindeer thus fully, because the answer to this question is of the utmost importance not only from the point of view of the economic interests of the reindeer-breeders, but for the history of domestic animals in general. It is true that the domes- ticated reindeer differs little from the wild reindeer. So far, zoologists have found no anatomic differences which would justify us in considering the domesticated reindeer as a distinct variety. From this it may perhaps be inferred that reindeer-breeding is of comparatively recent origin; but the fact must also be taken into consideration that the reindeer-breeders know hardly anything of artificial selection, and that domestication was not accompanied by changes in the feeding of the animals. However this may be, the more pacific nature, the familiarity with man (so to speak) and the readiness to obey him, which we find even in the primitive race of the Chukchee-Koryak reindeer, do not develop at once. These qualities are gradually acquired, and are transmitted by inheritance through a whole series of generations. This applies all the more to the race of Tungus reindeer. The comparative weakness of the reindeer is an advantage to man in the taming of this animal, which could not be accomplished by superior physical strength alone. I have already cited an instance of how the draught-reindeer of a primitive Chukchee herd, when first put into harness with Yakut reindeer, might be beaten to death, but could not be made to draw the sledge as fast as the Yakut reindeer do.1 Should a wild stag, notwithstanding its innate fear of man, join the herd, attracted by the dams, there would be danger of the herd- owner, however vigilantly he might keep watch, losing a large part of his herd, which the wild stag would probably lead away into the wilderness. The invariable custom of the Chukchee of killing the wild reindeer attracted to the herd by sexual instinct appears to me to have been called into exis- tence in a great measure by this very apprehension, and hence this custom is invested with a religious significance. When I consider reindeer-breeding as of recent origin. I still do not mean to assign to it a beginning very near to our times. The Chukchee-Koryak cult related to the domesticated reindeer, with its numerous rites and festivals, required much time for its evolution and establishment. As it is a matter of great importance, from the point of view both of science and of domestic economy, for reindeer-breeders really to be able to increase their herds by the taming of wild reindeer, let us hope that
1 See p. 497.
investigators of the
reindeer-breeding tribes will pay
to this interesting and
In connection with the question of the occurrence of cases of taming wild
reindeer, I will mention the
account of a certain Yukaghir, quoted by Bogoras,
concerning the taming of wolves, and of their use in harness with
dogs. I, too, have heard this story among the Yukaghir of the Lower Kolyma,
consider it a myth.
I will give another example showing how a mythical episode may turn into an account of a real event. We know from the Koryak myths that the evil spirits (kalau) keep herds of mountain-sheep (Ovis nivikola Eschholtz) instead of reindeer.' Now, Dittmar tells as a real fact, which evidently he had heard from the Kamchadal, that a group of Kamchadal from the river Moroshech- naya, tled into the mountains in order to free themselves of the necessity of paying fur-tribute, and that they wandered about there with a small herd of mountainsheep tamed by them.3
See Part I, p. 241.
p. 413 (Russian