Reindeer herding constitutes the basis of the traditional economy and culture of many indigenous peoples of Eurasia. This paper discusses the diverse trajectories reindeer herding in Russia has taken in different areas of Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is shown that three regional trajectories of reindeer-herding development can be distinguished: (1) the northeastern/taiga trajectory, characterized by a collapse of Soviet-era state farms (sovkhozes) and a dramatic decrease of reindeer herding; (2) the west Siberian trajectory, characterized by a collapse of sovkhozes and a boom in private reindeer herding; (3) the European (Barents Region) trajectory, characterized by a relative stability in the number of farms, reindeer, and reindeer herders. This diversity can be explained by three factors: the degree to which local reindeer herding has been "modernized" in the Soviet era, the legal status of the herders, and, most importantly, the worldview of "sovkhoism" as a complex of informal practices that manipulate collective property for personal advantage and communal security.


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pp. 25-52
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