Brandišauskas D. Good to Eat and Good to Dream About: What Do Nomadic Evenki Eat in Taiga?

D. Brandišauskas
Vilnius University
Vilnius, Lithuania
ORCID: 0000-0002-3288-1012


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АННОТАЦИЯ. This article is an ethnographic essay that aims to describe the leading dietary practices of contemporary nomadic Evenki living in the taiga of Zabaikal’e. I show how their lives as hunters and reindeer herders also sustain the traditional methods of food harvesting, processing, preservations, and consumption. Further, I show how the Evenki diet heavily relies on human interactions with animals viewed as sentient persons. Evenki ideas of luck, personhood, sharing, and exchange figure prominently in those animal-human interactions. As a consequence of Evenki perceptions and relations with animals, I argue that taiga food is vital as Evenki cultural form of representation and links Evenki communities with a living environment. This subsistence economy conditions their wellbeing, healing, and enjoyment. In sum, eating and sharing taiga food is shown to be an integral part of being Evenki. The article is based on the long-term field research I conducted among a few communities of Evenki reindeer herders and hunters based in the Zabaikal Region and Buriatia in 2004-2012.


КЛЮЧЕВЫЕ СЛОВА: Evenki, reindeer herders and hunters, diet, taiga food, Zabaikal region, Buriatia


DOI 10.31250/2618-86 0 0-2022-1(15)-28-55
UDK 641.55:397.4(512.212)



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