Recent times

In the 1930s, collectivization of reindeer-breeding and fishing economies was introduced, often bringing together Even with Chukchi, Yukagirs, Yakuts, and Russians. A transition to a settled way of life began as settlements were established with schools and other facilities, and agriculture and cattle breeding were introduced.

The Even alphabet was created in 1931 on the basis of the Latin alphabet and in 1936 on the basis of the Russian alphabet. The written language is based on the Olsk dialect. Even poets and writers (e.g., Nikolai S. Tarabukin and A.A. Cherkanov) began to write in their native language, and Even was taught in schools.

During Soviet rule, the indigenous peoples of the North were introduced to the culture of the peoples of the former Russia and Europe, scientific and technical progress, and higher education; they created their own alphabet, mastered new professions, and built villages. But the political experiment in transition of the indigenous peoples of the North from a patriarchal tribal system to socialism had negative results for these people. The centuries-old structure of life of reindeer breeders, hunters, and fishers collapsed.

Today a revival of the Even language, traditions, and customs is in progress: associations, assemblies, and communities have been created, and national schools have been opened. The traditional way of life in the form of nomadic tribal communities is being restored. Traditional festivals (reindeer-breeders festival, Urkachak) are once again taking place.

Maya Vasil'eva

See also Evenki; Northern Altaic Languages; Tungus

Further Reading

Borisov, M.N., Malochislennye etnosy Severa: vchera, segodny, zavtra (sosiologicheskie ocherki) [The small peoples of the north: yesterday, today, tomorrow (sociological sketches)], Rybinsk, 1995

Khatylaev, M.M. (editor), Malochislennye narody severa Yakutii: sostoynie, problemu. Sbornik nauchnyh trudov [The small peoples of northern Yakutia: condition, problems. A collection of the proceedings], Yakutsk: Iakutskii nauchnyi tsentr SO RAN, 1993 Levin, M.G. & L.P. Potapov (editors), Narody Sibiri, Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences, 1956; translated as The Peoples of Siberia, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1964 Tolstova, S.P., M.G. Levina & N.N. Cheboksarova (editors), "Narody Sibiri." In Ocherki obsh'ey etnografii. Aziatskaya chast' SSSR [The peoples of Siberia. In Sketches of General Ethnography. The Asian Part of USSR], Moscow: Izd-vo Akademii Nauk SSSR, 1960

-. (editor), Narody Rossii, entsiklopediia [The peoples of

Russia], Moscow: Bol'shaia Rossiiskaia Entsiklopediia, 1994

Tugolukov, V.A., Tungusy (evenki i eveny) sredney i zapadnoy Sibiri [Tungus (Evens and Evenki) of central and western Siberia], Moscow: Nauka, 1983

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