The Tungus wave of colonization into the Siberia taiga appeared in the area in the middle ages. According to archaeological excavations, a population of Samodian origin previously inhabited the territory, and were probably assimilated by the Tungus. The resultant Evenki people were nomadic reindeer breeders and hunters. Russian fur traders and merchants came to this territory in the early 17th century. By the middle of the 17th century, seven settlements were built on the Niznyaya Tunguska River. The amanat (Evenki hostages) were kept there in order to secure gathering of tribute (yasak) from the indigenous peoples. After Russian colonization of eastern Siberia, this territory became part of the huge Turukhansk administrative unit (uezd); later it became part of the Eniseysk administrative unit (gubernia). Russian peasants came to the southern part of the present Okrug territory to hunt. Here Russians tried to maintain cattle breeding, and grew vegetables and tobacco. In 1926, the population numbered 6000, 75% of whom were indigenous (1926 Arctic Census).

Today a local cultural revival movement, the Association of Indigenous peoples of the North "Arun" (which means "Revival"), represents the Evenki, the Ket, the Essey Yakuts, and Old Russian Settlers in okrug and regional negotiations.

Anna A. Sirina

See also Evenki; Krasnoyarsk Kray; Tungus Further Reading

"Evenkiiskii avtonomnuy okrug." In Narody Sovetskogo Severa [The Peoples of the Russian North], edited by I.S. Gurvich & Z.P. Sokolova, Moscow: Nauka, 1990 "Evenkiiskii avtonomnuy okrug." In Bol'shaya Sovetskaya Enziclopedia [Great Soviet Encyclopedia], Izd. 3, T. 29, 1978, pp. 551—552 Kovyasin, N.M. K.G. Kuzakov (editors), Sovetskay Evenkia: ekonomiko-geograficheskii ocherk [The Soviet Evenkia], Leningrad, 1963 "Ustav Evenkiiskogo avtonomnogo okruga." In Ustavy kraev, oblastey, gorodov Feferal'nogo znachenia, avtonomnoy oblasty, avtonomnuch okrugov Rossiskoy Federazii [Statutes of the Evenki Autonomous okrug. Statutes of regions, provinces, cities of the Federal significance, autonomous province, autonomous okrugs of the Russian Federation], Volume 5, Moscow: Izdanie Gosudarstvennoy Dumy, 1997, pp. 325—354 http://www.evenkya.ru/eng/

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