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Social Sciences and Humanities in the Far East

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RUSSIAN PEASANTS IN PRIAMURYE: V.K. ARSENYEV'S STUDIES
Argudiaeva Yu. V.



        Argudiaeva Yulia Viktorovna – doctor of historical Sciences, Professor; chief researcher of the Institute of history, archeology and Ethnography of the peoples of the Far East of the far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


Annotation

It is important to point out the breadth and variety of scholarly interests of renowned Far East explorer V. K. Arsenyev whose 140th anniversary will be celebrated in the fall of 2012. With his eagerness for deep knowledge in multiple academic disciplines, and perfectionism in his multi-faceted academic studies, V.K. Arsenyev was never forgetting to collect ethnographic data. He was primarily interested in indigenous Far Eastern peoples although migrants were also included in his research, Russians among those.

We offer a brief historical account of the arrival of first Russian peasants coming to the Priamurye lands from different regions of Russian Empire under governmental sponsorship in the middle of 19th century. We have analyzed the process of their relocation, settling on the shores of Amur river, and appearance of first Russian villages. We have described peculiarities and obstacles Russian farmers encountered during the adaptation period as they aspired to employ traditional Russian farming techniques in an ecologically challenging environment. We have revealed Russian peasants' routes of choice in this Far Eastern region during that time. We found explanations to unexpected alterations in traditional economic structure in favor of another trades. Among the descendants of first settlers we have recognized the same aspiration as discovered by V.K.Arsenyev - to revive traditional Russian agricultural methods. We have published excerpts from V.K.Arsenyev's diaries describing the efforts the first Amur peasants' descendants were making to enhance soil and crops and to master new branches of agricultural science.

        Key words: V.K. Arsenyev, Priamurye, Russians, peasants, resettlement, adaptation, Russian traditions, interior migration, change of trades.


 
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