Subpolar Census took place in 1920s

Subpolar Census took place in 1920s

November 16, 2022

The Subpolar Census registrars did a realy titanic work: it was not even a census, but a real complex expedition to the North in 1926-1927.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The scribes moved by swimming along the northern rivers, with argishes – reindeer caravans – and on foot through the virgin taiga and tundra, describing in detail each native houshold, its composition, economy and way of life.

Along with the difficulties of movement, the information volume was enormous.

On the way, the registrars also conducted their own research work. For example, the census taker Ostroumov, who was assigned the territory of the Pyasina and Norilsk lakes (by the way, considered the second world fresh water reservoir), examined the fishery and carried out hydrobiological work. He was helped by the Norilsk expedition.

The native population treated the census with distrust: with great reluctance, the inhabitants reported the number of deer or the national names of wives and children. “The religion doesn’t allow”, they said. But they had nothing against it if a neighbor provided this information instead of them.

The Subpolar census lasted a whole year. According to it, 23.5 thousand people lived in the Yenisey Arctic, a third of them were Russians. Almost a third were the Tungus, the current Evenks. The rest were Nenets, Yakuts, Kets and Selkups, Dolgans and Nganasans.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told that the first residential building in Norilsk, built using a new method of funding, is located on Zavenyagin street.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

November 16, 2022

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