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The project made by students and professors of Higher School of Journalist at Tomsk State University

here are more than 160 nationalities who speak their own languages in Russia. Most of them are just territorially small communities. In Siberia, all Russians are not indigenous, but resettled peoples. The first indigenous inhabitants of Siberia are considered to be the Samoyed tribes. One such nation is the Selkups who live in the territories of Tomsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai.  They belong to the Uralic language family: and are neither Mongoloids nor not Europoids. There are about 3.5 thousand of them in the world. They are called river or forest people because of traditional crafts and places of residence. In Selkup communities, the shaman, sitting before a fire, performs shamanistic rituals. The head of the family, the hunter, takes off his skis and climbs into the caramo — a dugout, where he is waiting for a soup of Porsu — a fish dish.  This is how the Selkups have lived, but it has absolutely changed over the last 200 years.

What does it mean to be an indigenous community in Russia today? Why do those who have no Selkup roots wish to obtain documents of this nation? And why do the ancient Selkup clan's ancestors happily leave the villages founded by their forefathers? Who preserves Selkup culture and why is it and why?



the Project

The Selkups: save as...

A big story about a small nation