Environmental Knowledgeof the North

SámiNenetsKomiMansiKhantyEnetsNganasanDolganKetsTyvansEvenksJakuts / SakhaNenetsEvenYukaghirChukchiKoryaksItelmenNegidalsNanaiUdegheNivkhUlchiOrochOrok / UiltaEvenEven


The Koryaks live in the central and northern parts of Kamchatka and are composed of two groups. The Nymylans / Alyutors live on the coasts, where they mainly hunt marine mammals and fish. The Chavchuvens, on the other hand, stay with their reindeer herds in the interior of the peninsula. For both groups, hunting land animals is also important, as well as gathering plants and berries for a balanced diet rich in vitamins.

Photo: E. Kasten

image for Koryaks


The Sámi live in their ancestral territory of Sápmi, which stretches across the northern peninsula of Scandinavia to northwestern Russia. To this day, for many Saami, hunting and gathering as well as fishing on the many lakes and coasts of the north contribute to their livelihood. During the last centuries, reindeer herding was another important source of subsistence.

Photo: J. Wilbur

image for Sámi


The Khanty live in the taiga north of the Ob in Western Siberia. They draw their livelihood from keeping small reindeer herds, as well as hunting and fishing. In recent times, the development of the oil and gas industry has impacted them. 

Photo: S. Dudeck

image for Khanty


The Even are a Manchu-Tungusian people, who once spread from the northern Amur region over large parts of northeastern Siberia from Yakutia and Chukotka to Kamchatka. As hunters, they first used reindeer as transport animals. The larger herds of reindeer that later developed from this serve as a livelihood for many today. Examples of Evens living in Yakutia and Central Kamchatka are shown here.

Photo: E. Kasten

image for Even


The Yukaghirs are a paleoasiatic people in the northeast of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Their main livelihood is fishing, hunting and reindeer herding. See also Yukaghir tales by A.I. Struchkova and I. Kurilov.

Photo: C.Odé

image for Yukaghir