Gathering as Ontological Practice among Evenki of Eastern Siberia Cover Image

Gathering as Ontological Practice among Evenki of Eastern Siberia
Gathering as Ontological Practice among Evenki of Eastern Siberia

Author(s): Tatiana Safonova, István Sántha
Subject(s): Anthropology, Social Sciences, Customs / Folklore, Agriculture, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Environmental interactions
Published by: Ústav etnológie a sociálnej antropológie Slovenskej akadémie vied
Keywords: gathering; berries; taiga forest; photographic analysis; social anthropology;

Summary/Abstract: Through visual analysis presented in 15 tables the authors looked at the complexity of gathering as practice that not only plays a role in subsistence, but also creates meaning and frames an engagement with the environment. Gathering is studied as consisting of several processes: the searching; cleaning and sorting things, to lay out and to dry things; and transportation, consumption and packing. Objects that are gathered are shown to play important roles of mediums for people and their environment. Cases of berries, firewood, jade stones and ice are presented as illustrations of this argument. In the final part of the article gathering is studied as a metaphysical phenomenon: a process of switching from disorder to order and back. Gathering poses many metaphysical questions in a practical form, and the authors propose to look at how people deal with these questions. How does the world change for those who gather things? How do they experience this transformation? Does the human attempt to collect things become an attempt to order the chaotic environment, classify it, and contain chaos into small volumes of their bags and buckets? This study is based on social anthropological fieldwork conducted among Evenki people of East Buryatia.

  • Issue Year: 64/2016
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 192-227
  • Page Count: 36
  • Language: English