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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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In the Yukaghirs’ Camp

In the Yukaghirs’ Camp

(p.102) (p.103) 7 In the Yukaghirs’ Camp
On the Run in Siberia

Rane Willerslev

University of Minnesota Press

In this chapter, the author narrates his experience in the Siberian taiga hunting for moose in the company of a Yukaghir family. He describes Spiridon Spiridonov, which was considered the greatest moose hunter among the Yukaghirs, and his sons Yura and Peter. Everything the author had seen and heard in the few days previously had given him a new insight into the hunters’ world—an insight that decisively overturns his preconception of hunting as something fundamentally violent. It is a widespread perception among anthropologists that hunting has played a decisive role in human evolution. Spiridon and his hunting group regarded hunting as a fundamentally nonviolent activity, in which the moose, out of sexual desire or rather love for the hunter, virtually sacrifices itself to them. The fishing net is the hunter’s most important tool, more important than the rifle.

Keywords:   taiga, Siberia, hunting, moose, Yukaghir, Spiridon Spiridonov, hunters, human evolution, fishing net

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