Neverending Unfolding Lifeworld of Peoples of the Bear

Neverending Unfolding Lifeworld of Peoples of the Bear – An Inquiry of Local Knowledge of Three Eurasian Subsistence Communities in the Context of Northern Climate Change

Keywords: Traditional knowledge, Climate Change, Shamanism

In this inquiry the research question focuses on local knowledge in the context of climate change. The Evenki of Southern Sakha-Yakutia practice nomadic reindeer herding. First case explores oral histories and shamanism from the area. The second case traces songs and spirituality of Juhana Kainulainen, one of the rune singers of the region as well as contemporary ice and weather knowledge of nuotta-seine fishermen of North Karelia, Finland. Continued seining renews ice place names and experience-based knowledge. Last case assesses oral histories and shamanic tundra life in Northeastern Sakha-Yakutia. While climate change causes the continuous permafrost to alter the landscape the Indigenous communities of Nutendli and Turvaurgin have taken advantages of changes in Post-Soviet Russia. They are neotraditional Indigenous societies practicing unbroken nomadic reindeerherding. In Nutendli the local knowledge is renewed by a nomadic school.

Time-space-terminologies developed by Massey used to assess discourses of northern subsistence economies. Framework developed by Massey points to right direction but falls short of conveying essentials of localities which are situated far away from power centres. Therefore it has been necessary to develop two new concepts; aikappa, merging of time and place as well as lumennos; a tool for interpretation resting on undemarcated amorphous spatial understandings of snow. Lumennos, as a part of the sense of the world has challenged the existing theoretical understandings of location, time and space. Aikappa and lumennos are a part of a world that has been termed ’ajast-aikojen avartuva avara maailma’ – an unfolding life-world without beginning or end.

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