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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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Soft Gold

Soft Gold

(p.72) (p.73) 5 Soft Gold
On the Run in Siberia

Rane Willerslev

University of Minnesota Press

In this chapter, the author describes his experience in the Siberian taiga hunting for sables. Known as Siberia’s soft gold, the sable is valued for its fur, which is dark, almost black, with an occasional silver hair. The animal’s chest is orange and shimmers in the light. Its migration routes are highly changeable and completely unpredictable, so a hunter can never know with certainty whether he will return with his pack full of sables or with only a few. Siberia’s northeastern taiga is dominated by the larch, without which this otherwise dead, cold world would be uninhabitable for humans. As for the Yukaghirs, Soviet anthropologists claim that women generally enjoy a great respect and esteem and are allowed to hunt on equal terms with the men.

Keywords:   taiga, hunting, sable, Siberia, soft gold, fur, larch, Yukaghir

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