This article recounts the emergence of métis communities and the process of ethnocultural representation in the Sakha Republic. Contact between the Russian settlers and the local population led to the emergence of métis communities whose culture is distinct from that of both their Russian and native ancestors. Today, representatives of the métis (or Russian old settler) communities of Iakutiia living in different parts of this region of the Russian Federation do not see themselves as being a separate, distinctive, and cohesive community. Despite a history of contact and interaction, as well as markers of a shared historical past, each of these communities has its own localized identity, which prevents the formation of a "supra-community" of métis at the regional, let alone national, level. Another major feature of these groups is nonetheless a historical memory, which is largely based on the myth of their origins, which plays a more important role than perceived racial features, language, or even cultural practices.


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pp. 127-147
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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