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On the Run in Siberia$
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Rane Willerslev

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816676262

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816676262.001.0001

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The Way Back

The Way Back

(p.178) (p.179) 12 The Way Back
On the Run in Siberia

Rane Willerslev

University of Minnesota Press

In this chapter, the author talks about his return to Denmark after his one-year stay in the wilderness of the Siberian taiga to conduct a field study of the Yukaghirs and their lives as sable hunters as well as to revive the Danish-Yukaghir Fur Project. His girlfriend, Helene, had left him for another man, and his friend Uffe Refslund Christensen had been struggling with his own problems. At Cambridge University, he finished writing his PhD thesis on the Yukaghirs’ spiritual beliefs in 2003. In 2007, his book, Soul Hunters, was published. In it he describes the Siberia that he had come to love: life as a hunter, the relationship to the spirits, and the just distribution of meat among the Yukaghirs. The author also comments on the Russian bureaucracy that Uffe and Slava Shadrin, director of the Teki Odulok obshchina (commune), had to deal with as they pursued the fur project. Finally, he reflects on his visit to Sakhabult’s headquarters.

Keywords:   taiga, Denmark, Siberia, Yukaghir, Danish-Yukaghir Fur Project, Uffe Refslund Christensen, bureaucracy, Slava Shadrin, Russia, Sakhabult

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