1. THE CHUKCHIS - The extreme north-eastern part of Siberia
The self-designation of the coastal Chukchis is ankalyn,
“coastal man”, and of the tundra Chukchis, chavchu, “reindeer
man”. The name lygoravetlyan—“true, genuine man” covers both
tribes. In the 1920s, the name was adapted as the official
name Luorawetlan. In practical linguistic usage, the name
chukchi, a Russian adaption of the name chavchu, has been
widespread since the 17th century. It has been supported by
Russian geographical names (Chukotka, Chukotsky poluostrov,
Chukotskoye more) and since World War II the name Chukchi
has been predominant in official use. Nowadays, it is in overwhelming
use by the people themselves.
The earliest written records of the Chukchis date back to
1755 when they were mentioned in a travel report by the Russian
explorer S. Krasheninnikov.
Habitat. The Chukchis live in the extreme north-eastern part
of Siberia, in the area between the Chukchi and Bering Seas,
which extends from the vicinity of the mouth of the River
Indigirka to the Bering Straits in the east, and from the
Arctic Ocean to the Kamchatkan Peninsula in the south. Administratively,
they belong to the Chukchi Autonomous District of the Russian
Federation (Magadan Region) and to the Lower Kolyma District
of the Yakutian ASSR. The vast area (660,600 sq km) the Chukchis
inhabit is a region with a harsh arctic climate. The Chukchi
Peninsula belongs to the permafrost zone of the tundra, and
the Chukchi Upland is predominantly mountain tundra, partly
Population. The existing data is from the all-Union censuses:
1926 12,331 (incomplete data)
1959 11,727 93.9 %
1970 13,597 82.6 %
1979 13,597 78.2 %
1989 15,183 70.3 %
V. Bogoraz has claimed that the data in the census of 1926
is not complete and he asserts that in 1936 there were approximately
15,500 Chukchis (12,000 tundra-Chukchis and 3,500 coastal
Chukchis). The population of the Chukchis, especially the
tundra-Chukchis, has shown a slow but constant increase. At
the same time, however, the percentage of Chukchis inhabiting
their native area has diminished. In 1936 they were in the
majority in the Chukchi National District of the Far East
region, in 1970 they formed only 11 % of the Chukchi Autonomous
District of the Magadan Region.
Anthropologically the Chukchis belong to the North Asian
race. They are short people with a swarthy complexion and
a stocky build. Their faces are very broad and flat, the cheekbones
are prominent and the narrow eyes have a pronounced Mongolian
fold. The eyes and hair are dark, and the hair is straight
and stiff. They have no growth of beard.
The Chukchi language, together with the Koryak and Itelmen
languages, belongs to the Chukchi-Kamchatkan group of Paleo-Asiatic
languages. The closest related language is Koryak. Despite
the huge area of distribution, dialectical differences are
slight. The Chukchi language is divided into several dialects:
the coastal or eastern dialect, the tundra or western dialect,
the Enmylin dialect, (characterized by the influence of the
Kerek language), and the Nunligran and Khatyrka (with Koryak
influences). The categorization of dialects is still ongoing.
In structure, Chukchi is an incorporate language. The Paleo-Asiatic
languages are believed to be primordially related to the languages
of the American Indians. When a land connection existed, before
the rift that is the present-day Bering Straits, the ancestors
of the Indians migrated to what is now America. This hypothesis
has many supporters. The kinship of Chukchi with the Eskimo-Aleut
languages has not yet been confirmed.
A curious peculiarity of the Chukchi language is its different
pronunciation by men and women. The women’s language lacks
the r-sound, they pronounce ts instead. The men’s pronunciation
of the r is regarded as unsuitable for women.
Language. The Chukchis have had linguistic contacts with
all their neighbouring peoples. Areas traditionally central
to the Chukchi lifestyle are rich in native vocabulary (for
example, ’reindeer’ as a name exists in many forms depending
on the age, colour, gender or nature of the animal). The layers
of loan words form a clear pattern: the older loans come from
the Eskimo language (predominantly in the fields of fishing
There are fewer loans from the Koryak, Yakut and Yukaghir
languages. Russian loan-words appear from the 1930s on. A
newly introduced written language urgently needed its own
words for evolving socio-political, cultural and technical
notions. A part of them were borrowed from Russian, the rest
formed from native linguistic material. Later, Russian gained
unlimited supremacy. Russian spread, and its prestige increased
due to schooling, mass media, business and other everyday
exposure. In the 1960s, there was a boom in mixed marriages
which eliminated the Chukchi language from domestic use far
more efficiently than any official policy.
History. The Chukchis are one of the aboriginal peoples of
Siberia. Chukotka is believed to have been inhabited for about
the last 7,000 years, although the ancestors of the Chukchis
migrated there from the south somewhat later. They assimilated
the local tribes and subsequently expanded their habitation
(mainly at the expense of Eskimos, but also of Yukaghirs).
Life for the Chukchis means privation and cold and a constant
struggle for existence, but also freedom and proud self-sufficiency.
In 1642, a Cossack named Ivan Yerastov reached the River
Alazeya, and in 1649 the fortified settlement of Anadyr was
founded. However, conquering the land of the Chukchis was
a slow and laborious task for the Russians. The Chukchis defended
themselves bravely. Prisoners of war killed each other, preferring
death to slavery. By the 1730s the land was conquered, but
not the people. Construction expenses for the Anadyr fortress
were, for the period 1710 to 1764, 1,381,000 roubles. In 1778
the Russians thought it preferable to conclude a peace treaty
with the Chukchis. The treaty held and the forcible gathering
of tribute was abandoned. If the Russians had not yielded,
probably all the wayward Chukchis would have crossed over
to the American side of the Straits.
Abandoning the fortified settlement of Anadyr helped appease
the wrath of the Chukchis and gradually they began trading
with the Russians. To inform foreign ships that the Chukchi
Peninsula belonged to the Russian Empire, huge imperial coats-of-arms
were sent to Chukotka and the Chukchis were ordered to fasten
them onto trees along the coast. Alas, the lords in St. Petersburg
had no idea that Chukotka was a region with little vegetation
and no trees.
Later the Russians tried to expand their influence under
the cover of trade. In 1788, for example, they began organizing
fairs in Anyui, to carry on the old traditions of barter trade.
The Chukchis were lured, with the help of bribes, gifts and
vodka, to become reconciled to imperial rule and their paying
of tributes. Sources from 1822 indicate that the Chukchis
were left to pay tributes at their own discretion. However,
by the 19th century the Chukchis were known to be very fond
of vodka. Primitive races have no biological resistance to
alcohol, and fondness can rapidly lead to addiction.
After the sale of Alaska (1867) Russia hastened to develop
its trade relations in northeast Asia so that Russian businessmen
could keep foreign (mainly American) merchants at bay. In
1889 a special trading centre, Mariinski Post, was founded
in Anadyr. Nevertheless, as late as post-World War I, English,
Norwegian and U.S. merchant ships and fishing boats were still
seen off the Chukotka coast until the Soviet regime began
to drive them away.
Chukchis are traditionally nomadic reindeer herders. They
have always been more active than their neighbours. The coastal
Chukchis settled on primeval Eskimo land; the Eskimos, Itelmens,
Evens, Kereks etc, have long been accustomed to communicating
with Chukchis in the Chukchi language—many of them have even
become Chukchis themselves. At the same time, Chukotka has
served as some kind of a contact zone. The reindeer breeders
traded their reindeer skins, meat and furs for fish, train-oil
and walrus skins from the coastal people. There has always
been a lively trade between all the peoples.
The Soviet regime made itself felt initially by introducing
profound changes. In 1930 the Chukchi National Region was
established. For the Chukchis, who were organized in a clan
system, co-operatives were founded. A settled mode of life
was promoted and, by the 1950s, the idea of kolkhozes reached
Chukotka. The Chukchis put up armed resistance to collectivization,
but a terror of the KGB and the army soon overcame their contumacy.
Soviet ideology meant civilizing the Chukchis (amongst other
things, a written language, education, a medical service,
and new technology) but all this took place in rapid bounds
and the price for it was high.
The proud and wilful Chukchis were reduced to slaves of the
planned economy, and the management of their life and work
was taken over by a distant administration. The Chukchis are
one of the most conspicuous examples to illustrate the effects
of Soviet colonial policy. The rich mineral resources of Chukotka
(coal, gold, tungsten, lead and mercury) were seized upon
by all-Union enterprises. For instance, 40 % of the Soviet
Union’s production of gold, or 40 billion roubles a year,
was provided by Chukotka. The Russian Federation as a whole
gained 300 million roubles, Chukotka got nothing.
The industrial enterprises introduced to Chukotka came with
an imported workforce of aliens, provisional labour eager
for fast money. A badly polluted environment is the natives
legacy from industrialization. The rivers once rich in fish
were laid to waste and the sensitive crust of the tundra was
spoiled encroaching on the pastures of the reindeer. Even
the climate has changed. Relatively mild frost (–20 °C to
–25 °C) is combined with piercing winds.
The rapid alteration of living conditions has generated some
very serious problems. It is difficult for the nomads to adapt
to a settled life. While the traditional occupations have
diminished, new, suitable jobs are not easy to find. Chukchis
have mostly been restricted to cheaper, dirtier and unqualified
jobs, since ordered work in an urbanized environment is unsuitable.
Since the 1950s, they have become accustomed to store-bought
food (beef, preserves, refined farinaceous food etc), that
have spoilt the natural immunity system of the Chukchis. In
the old times, they used to receive their necessary vitamins
and minerals from reindeer, seal and walrus meat, fresh fish
and tundra plants. These vitamins and minerals are missing
from the mass-manufactured, store-bought food. As late as
the 1920s the Chukchis were reported to be a strong and healthy
people. Nowadays, almost the whole nation is ailing.
An absolute disaster for the Chukchis were the nuclear tests
of the 50s and 60s which were carried out in the airspace
of the far north. The radioactive residue and heavy metals
have passed through the food chain (moss—reindeer—man) and
are damaging the human organism. There is very much grippe,
tuberculosis, cirrhosis of the liver, and cancer of the stomach
and lungs among the Chukchis. Women are accepted into hospital
one month before childbirth. The percentage of normal childbirth
is just 40, and 80 to 100 newborn Chukchi children die out
of every thousand (the average in Russia is 15). The tragic
picture is compounded by excessive alcoholism and a considerably
higher suicide rate than the all-Union average.
The preservation of Chukchi folk culture and the nation’s
capability for reproduction is at peril. Children are brought
up at Russian boarding-schools, maintained by the state, and
allowed to visit their parents only during school holidays.
Parents have been deprived of a chance to take care of their
children, and to pass on to them their experience and customs.
The environment is favourable only to the propagation of the
Russian language—it reigns in stores, in hospitals and offices.
Since the 1960s, and its boom of mixed marriages, Russian
has even invaded domestic life. One of the reasons why Chukchi
women so frequently married Russian men may have been that
they thought their chances of bearing healthy children greater
with a Russian partner.
Recently, the Chukchis have begun to revive as a nation.
National issues and problems that have so far been prohibited
from discussion have become topical. The Chukchis once sunk
in total apathy in their polluted Russian language environment,
are beginning to hope again.
Writing. From time immemorial, the Chukchis have used pictographs,
and their most ancient documents are inscribed walrus tusks.
The first printed texts (however badly spelt) in the Chukchi
language appeared in Yakutsk in 1881 and 1894, on the occasion
of the coronation celebrations of the Tsar. In the 1920s a
shepherd, Tenevil, made an attempt to create a written language,
using symbolic letters derived from pictographs.
The Chukchi written language was created in 1932 at the Leningrad
Institute of Northern Peoples, using the Latin alphabet. A
primer Celgy-Kalekal (Red Book), compiled by V. Bogoraz, also
some school textbooks and rough translations from Russian
were published. In 1937 the Russian alphabet became obligatory.
In 1940, as the first literary work in Chukchi, Tynetegin
published a collection of fairy-tales. In 1950, the Chukchi
writer Yuri Rytheu began his creative output.
The Chukchi printed word has mainly been limited to primary
school textbooks and some sketches and fiction. In the 1960s
the trend toward a so-called unitary Soviet people began and
publications in the Chukchi language were stopped. In the
1980s a new primer and a reader Tirkykej (Little Sun) were
compiled. A newspaper Sovetken Chukotka (Soviet Chukotka)
began publishing in Anadyr.
Research of the Chukchi language. The first Chukchi words
can be found in a Kamchatkan travel report from 1755 by S.
Krasheninnikov. As an amateur, O. Nordquist, an expedition
companion of A. E. Nordenskiold (1878–79), wrote some notes
on Chukchi grammar, and the missionary M. Petelin made an
attempt to compose a Russian-Chukchi dictionary.
Academic research of the language was started by V. Bogoraz,
the activist of the Narodnaya Volya, later a professor at
Leningrad University. His name is connected with a profound
ethnographic investigation of the Chukchi people over a prolonged
period. He published materials about Chukchi linguistics and
folklore (1899, 1900), a Chukchi mythology (part one in 1910,
part two in 1922), and compiled Russian-Chukchi (1927) and
Chukchi-Russian (1937) dictionaries.
In the years 1931 to 1934, V. Bogoraz took an active part
in the creation of the Chukchi written language, compiling
a primer and other textbooks and adapting various texts into
the Chukchi language. In 1934 he published the first extensive
survey of Chukchi (Luorawetlan) grammar. Since World War II,
an academic grammar book has been written by P. Skorik (part
one in 1961 and part two in 1977) and a Chukchi history and
ethnology have been detailed by I. Vdovin 1965.
In this series on the people groups of north eastern Siberia
we have sent an item on the Koryaks.
Open Doors「門戶開放 」公佈 World Watch List以對基督徒迫害來排行的國家名單。
在今年8月12日，Open Doors「門戶開放 」公佈World Watch List對世界各國宗教自由的評估報告。針對基督徒的迫害與逼迫程度所做的排行，歷年來沙地阿拉伯居首位，但今年上半年，北韓取代了沙地阿拉伯成為全世界最逼迫基督徒的國家。
沙地阿拉伯一直守護伊斯蘭教，及其聖城Mecca and Medina，其國民都必是回教徒。在沙地阿拉伯，改信其他宗教的國民都被視為判教而面對死刑。
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Iran, China, Sudan (government controlled areas), Myanmar
(Burma), Egypt, Azerbaijan, Nigeria (North), Yemen, Comoros,
Colombia, Cuba, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Brunei and Morocco.
Kabardino, Balkarya and Dagestan，利比亞，塔吉克，印尼，印度，斯里蘭卡，吉布地，土耳其，墨西哥的加壩州，阿拉伯聯合大公國，尼泊爾，
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