Grænselandsidentiteter – om tilhørsforhold og lokale handlemåder i et postsovjetisk rum


  • Daria Schwalbe Københavns Universitet, Danmark
  • Bent Nielsen Arktisk Institut, Danmark


Abstract: Borderland identities – on belonging and local ways of doing things in a post-Soviet place
In this article we take a closer look at post-Soviet identity and ‘belonging’ within the Indigenous communities in Chukotka, the Russian Far East. During the Soviet era, the Soviet identity was glorified, whereas local ways of life, languages and the ethnic identities of Indigenous peoples were suppressed and stimatized. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the entire region sank into a severe economic and ideological crisis, forcing the Indigenous people to return to traditional ways of surviving, stimulating their interest in their ethnic roots, alternative spiritual values and new identities. Based on own empirical material, we analyse facets and practices of belonging among those who identify as Yupik and are related to Inuit in Greenland. Relying on Ortega’s notion of hometactics, we focus on activities – the use of certain words and amulets in homes, consumption of certain foods, and performance of sacred rituals and songs associated with the past – that forge a sense of familiarity and belonging in everyday spaces for the Yupik people, showing how Yupik identity is constructed, enacted, and attributed meaning in interaction and everyday life.

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Hvordan sitere

Schwalbe, D., & Nielsen, B. (2023). Grænselandsidentiteter – om tilhørsforhold og lokale handlemåder i et postsovjetisk rum. Nordisk Østforum, 37, 10–31.




Emneord (Nøkkelord):

Russia, Chukotka, indigenous peoples, Yupik, cultural identity, belonging, hometactics