Home    Number 6, 2012

Native Interpreters in the Russian America

Type of publication: Research Article

About author(s)

Andrei V. Grinev| agrinev1960@mail.ru | St. Petersburg and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University


russian america, native population of alaska, creoles, russian colonization of new world, native interpreters


The article analyzes the formation of a special professional group from the representatives of native people (including the Creoles-Métisos) in the Russian colonies in America: the native interpreters. They shared with the Russians all difficulties of the colonization, worked as mediators between the newcomers and natives, settled conflicts, and warned the Russians about various dangers. Sometimes the native interpreters perished in shipwrecks, and sometimes in hostile attacks of their kinsmen. Some of the native interpreters had participated in the creating of the writing culture among the natives of Alaska.


Grinev, A.V. 2012. Native Interpreters in the Russian America. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 6: 154-167

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