Home    Number 5, 2023

The “21st-Century Kayurs” and Indigenous Strategies of the Decolonization of Land

[“Kaiury XXI veka” i indigennye strategii dekolonizatsii prostranstva]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523050093


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 17.07.2023

Accepted: 05.09.2023

About author(s)

Maxim Mikhalev | http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5695-6915 | maxmikhalev@yahoo.com | Russian State University for the Humanities (6 Miusskaya sq., 125993, Moscow, GSP-3, Russia)


colonization, decolonization, reindeer breeding, Evens, Priokhotye, knowledge exchange


In this article, colonization is interpreted as knowledge exchange between the indigenous population and colonizers. As the result of their contacts, the latter get all necessary information about the land. That allows them to put it under control using their technical, military, and economic superiority. The recent history and current situation in the Priokhotye region of Russia show that if indigenous population in turn manages to comprehend the knowledge that colonizers bring with them, they can reverse this process. Decolonization in this case can be achieved either through more intense involvement of the local population into administration and governance, or through distancing themselves from it, coupled with distracting attention of the authorities away from their lives. Both strategies can prove effective only if indigenous population fully understands the mechanisms of the governmental control.

Funding Information

Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant number 21-18-00495]


Mikhalev, M.S. 2023. “Kaiury XXI veka” i indigennye strategii dekolonizatsii prostranstva [The “21st-Century Kayurs” and Indigenous Strategies of the Decolonization of Land]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 5: 125–142. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523050093 EDN: YDTNUR

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