restricted access 29 Up the Tyutikhe River
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293 Up the Tyutikhe River Setting Off. The Tazy. Keta Salmon. Crops Destroyed by Wild Boar. The Mine. A Flying Squirrel. Forest Vegetation. Ginseng. A Fishing Weir. Source of the Tyutikhe. The Rocky Pass. The Upper Reaches of the Iman. Dersu at a Chinese Shrine. A Strong Gust of Wind. A Quiet Night. We took August 26th off, dedicated the 27th to getting our belongings together, and began moving again on the 28th. I went with Dersu and four Cossacks up the Tyutikhe River, Granatman headed toward the Iodzykhe River, and Merzlyakov was charged with surveying the coast up to Dzhigit Bay.1 At80kilometersinlength,theTyutikheRiver(calledtheNoguleby theUdege)isprobablythelongestofallthecoastalriversinthesouthern Ussuri Kray.2 Its name is a distortion of the Chinese Chto-chzhi-khe, or “river of wild boar,” so named because a wild boar had once torn apart two hunters here. The Russians distorted the name even further, where 1. Some 65 kilometers as the crow flies north up the coast from the Rudnaya (nee Tyutikhe) Bay, where the small logging village of Plastun is now located. 2. Actually, the Tadusha (now Zerkalnaya), at 82 kilometers, is slightly longer than the Tyutikhe (now Rudnaya). The longest coastal river flowing east off the Sikhote-Alin mountains is the Samarga (218 kilometers), which Arsenyev explored in 1909 and described in his 1937 book In the Sikhote-Alin Mountains. 29 294 The 1906 Expedition the word “Tyutikhe” has become “Tetikha,” and subsequently lost all meaning.3 If you look at the valley from the sea, it appears that the Tyutikhe flows in from the west, but this visible valley is actually the Inzalazagou. The Tyutikhe River valley is denuded and made up of a series of basins surrounded by mountains. The passages from one basin to another are so narrow that it was sometimes difficult to discern exactly which waterway was the Tyutikhe’s main channel and which was a tributary. We often mistook some random channel to be the Tyutikhe itself, and only after following its valley for some time would we understand our mistake, and only because we noticed the water was flowing from the wrong direction. SomeChineseandnativehunterslivedattheconfluenceoftheTyutikhe and Inzalazagou Rivers. I counted forty-four huts, of which six were Tazy. The Tazy here were somewhat different from those we had encountered around Saint Olga Bay—even their physical appearance was different. These here were in terrible poverty due to Chinese oppressionandalcoholabuse .ByadoptingbitsofChineseculturetheyhad increasedmaterialdependencebuthadnotfundamentallychangedtheir way of life. This led to a rapid decline in their economic well-being. The older generations could still remember when they lived independently andwhentheywereanumerouspeople.TherewerenoChinesethen,but whentheycametheybroughtterriblediseaseswiththemthatdecimated the Tazy population. I did not encounter a single Tazy family without opium-smoking paraphernalia; this pernicious addiction was most evident among the women. Ifoundanoldwomantherewhostillrememberedhernativetongue, and I persuaded her to share some of it with me. She could only remember eleven words, and even those with difficulty. I wrote them down, and later learned they were Udege. When she had been twenty years old (which was fifty years prior), she did not know a single word of Chinese, and now she has lost her cultural identity, independence, and even her language. 3. At the time this river was renamed the Rudnaya, it had been called the Tetyukhe, the name shared by the small city now called Dalnegorsk. Up the Tyutikhe River 295 That day we made it as far as Lay Serl, a Tazy fanza located where the Tyutikhe River takes on two small rivers on the left side, the Sysenkurl and the Sibegou. We had arrived at the Tyutikhe at a time when the keta salmon were running.4 Imagine thousands and thousands of fish ranging from 3.3 to 5.0 kilograms flooding the river and pushing their way upriver. Some irrepressible force causes them to drive against the current and to surmount any obstacles in their way. Salmondonoteatatallduringthistime;rathertheyrelyonreserves built up while still at sea. Everything that happened in the river could be seen from above, from the heights of the river terrace. There were so many fish that the river bottom could not be seen in some places. It was interestingtoobservehowthesalmonrunrapids:theymovedinzigzags, twisting from side to side and tumbling as they went, but still somehow moving forward. When they encountered waterfalls, they would jump out of the water and try to get caught on the rocks. Beaten and wounded, they would make it to the upper reaches, spawn, and then die. We fell on the fish greedily at first, but soon tired of them. After such...


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Subject Headings

  • Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China) -- Description and travel.
  • Natural history -- Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China).
  • Dersu Uzala.
  • Arsenʹev, V. K. (Vladimir Klavdievich), 1872-1930 -- Travel -- Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China).
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