Article Information

“DENSIFICATIONS” OF SPACE IN THE PROCESS OF GATHERING, FISHING AND HUNTING: ON THE EXAMPLE OF ZHIGANSK VILLAGE, REPUBLIC OF SAKHA (YAKUTIA)

Nikolai Goncharov (Nikola.gon4arov@yandex.ru)

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Goncharov N. (2021) «Sgushcheniya» prostranstva v protsesse sobiratel'stva, rybolovstva i okhoty: na primere sela Zhigansk, Respublika Sakha (Yakutiya). [“Densifications” of space in the process of gathering, fishing and hunting: on the example of Zhigansk village, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 24(2): 181–211 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2021.24.2.7

Abstract. In this article, based on field materials collected by the author during an expedition to the Zhigansk village of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 2018, the aspects of space transformation related to the implementation of economic activities are analyzed. The village is located beyond the Arctic Circle on the left bank of the Lena River. Hunting, fishing and gathering at the present time still retain an important status in the structure of the local occupations, which is due to the location of the settlement and the socio-cultural characteristics of its inhabitants. Being important components in food and economic relations, these practices are at the same time special ways of interacting with space. The author, drawing on materials on anthropology, ethnography and philosophy, relying on the theoretical developments of A. Lefebvre and T. Ingold, makes an attempt to conceptualize ethnographic observations. The starting point of the study is the division into “natural” (primary) and “social” (secondary) spaces. In the process of human activity, there is a “thickening” and “condensation” of many actors of social space, which occurs in the natural environment and is accompanied by the formation of a single communicative-activity field, in which intentionality and thinking is possessed not only by a person, but by the entire formed bundle of activity components. In that case differentiation into “natural” and “social” disappear. The author suggests to supplement the static models of economic and cultural types that miss the temporal and some spatial aspects. As a conceptual solution he proposes morphological consideration of activity in the form of alternation of densification of elements including their connections around temporary centers — and the subsequent dispersal of the resulting densities.

Keywords: Yakutia, Zhigansk, hunting, fishing, gathering, space, densification, activity.

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