Tales and Traditions of the Nganasans

Boris O. Dolgikh, Alexander B. Dolitsky, J. David McMahan and Henry N. Michael


Boris Osipovich Dolgikh became established as an ethnographer while working as an enumerator for the 1926–27 Russian census (Savolskul 2004). He was especially interested in the peoples of the Samoyedic linguistic group, the Entsy and Nganasans, as well as the ethnogenesis of northern peoples, clan, and tribal composition at the time of first Russian contact and the evolution of clan-tribal structure. During the 1960s and 1970s, he systematically studied the Nganasans (Kistova et al. 2019). Although he is one of the best-known ethnographers of Siberian cultures, his works are poorly known to English-language anthropologists. The Nganasans, native to the Taymyr Peninsula, are recognized by the Russian Federation as one of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Far North. This article, based on Dolgikh’s introduction published posthumously in the Skazki i predaniya nganasan [Tales and Traditions of the Nganasans] (Dolgikh 1976), is edited and adapted by the editors as a separate scholarly English edition.

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