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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2021 year, number 2


V.V. Filippova
Institute for Humanities Research and Indigenous Studies of the North SB RAS, 1, Petrovskogo Str., Yakutsk, 677027, Russian Federation
Keywords: Ugulyat, Evenks, indigenous people, demography, ethnocultural development, identity, Vilyui Region, Ugulyat municipality, Yakutia, Arctic


The territory of the Vilyui District, previously covering the Lena-Tunguska River interfluve, was one of the major areas of Tungus traditional settling. A compact residence area of the Evenks in this region was the Tyung River basin, a place of nomadism of the Ugulyat Evenk family, where the modern territory of the Yugyulat (transcription in Russian by V. F.) nasleg of the Vilyui Ulus (District) is located. The Evenks of this local group underwent a process of yakutization in the Soviet years, due to the state support of ethno-cultural assimilation and related to the total dominance of Yakut population in the Vilyui District. Belonging of the population of the studied nasleg to the Evenk ethnic group since the early XX century is reflected in its name - Yugyulyat. However, the yakutized Tungus population of Yugyulat Nasleg was recorded in the Soviet period censuses as Yakuts, becouse they pointed Yakutian as native language since the XIX century. Accordingly, due to the predominance of the Yakut population, this municipality was not included in the Lists of places and areas of collective residence adopted in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. For the first time, the article analyzes in detail the demographic, economic and ethno-cultural development of the Evenk Ugulyat family, whose representatives currently live in the territory of Yugyulat Nasleg of the Vilyui Ulus based on a wide range of sources. The research allows to conclude that the majority of the inhabitants of the studied nasleg are descendants of the Ugulyat Evenks, and the original inhabitants of this area, who have preserved their ethnic identity, main types of traditional economic activities and certain elements of traditional spiritual culture. Based on conclusions, the author proposes to include the Yugulat Nasleg in the Russian «List of places of traditional residence and traditional economic activity of the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation and the List of traditional economic activities of the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation».