- Senri Ethnological Studies (ISSN:03876004)
- vol.94, pp.59-79, 2016-12-08
This article is based on several periods of long-term field research conductedbetween 1995 and 2009 among various groups of Evenki, who inhabit the Baikalregion of East Siberia. During these expeditions the researchers recognized that itwas problematical to categorize the Evenki as exclusively hunter-gatherers,although compared to other people, especially their neighbors, they seemed tomaintain a lifestyle best described as hunter-gathering. Based on evidencecollected by other ethnographers, mainly Shirokogoroff and Shubin, this articleargues that the hunter-gathering lifestyle is always framed by contacts with cattlebreeders,traders, peasants, miners and people with other occupations. Very oftentransformations and transitions in a hunter-gathering lifestyle are caused by eithersocial or environmental changes. As a conclusion it could be said that the huntergatheringlifestyle can be defined as a strategy of adaptation to externalcircumstances, and in this respect temporary inclusion of cattle, horse and reindeerbreeding, as well as wage labor, do not mean complete assimilation. On thecontrary, these strategies help maintain hunter-gathering activities in the long term.