Accepted paper:

Collapse of the Soviet landscape and adaptation strategies of the indigenous people: land use and livelihood strategies in two Nanai villages

Authors:

Hideyuki Onishi

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the landscape of indigenous villages in the Amur region during the Soviet era with GIS analysis and oral histories. The result of these researches shows that the land use and management in this area by Kolkhoz was not already sustainable before the collapse of the Soviet system.

Paper long abstract:

The policies of the Soviet Union caused one of the most drastic landscape shifts in the 20th century. During the Soviet era, however, it was difficult for anthropologists from the Western Bloc to visit and do research. Therefore, ethnographic information on those landscape shifts was very limited. This paper attempts to analyze the landscape of indigenous villages in the Amur region during the Soviet era with GIS analysis using satellite imagery. In particular, this research examines the Corona satellite images that gathered information on landscapes in the Soviet era and compares those images to the present. In addition, it clarifies information on past landscapes in the satellite images through oral histories based on interviews with local people conducted as part of the ethnographic research. The results of these different types of research lead to the conclusions that indigenous villages in the Soviet era founded and managed by Kolkhoz were not sustainable with the work force of local villagers only, and that such a situation was already difficult to sustain before the collapse of the Soviet system. On the other hand, ethnographic data shows that the subsistence activities of indigenous villages which were based on a delicate balance of relationships with outside economies have sustained their daily life even after the collapse of the Soviet Union and have constructed the present landscape in this area.

panel P048
Landscape as cultural production by social practices in space and time (CLOSED - 5)