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SPIRIT OF SIBERIA: Traditional Native Life, Clothing, and Footwear Hardcover – October 17, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian; First Edition edition (October 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560988010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560988014
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,580,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Oakes and Riewe present a beautiful portrait of the indigenous peoples of northern Siberia and the Russian Far East, using their own magnificent photographs of clothing, footwear and landscapes, plus those of other researchers, and from Russian and European museums. The beauty and harmony of traditional Siberian ways of life emerge from the pages. The authors, specialists in clothing and land use among northern peoples of Canada, have avoided showing us the poverty and destruction of today's everyday life in Russia's north, emphasizing instead the lifeways that indigenous peoples are struggling to preserve. (A less romantic picture can be seen in Doeker Mach's Forgotten Peoples of Siberia. Zurich: Scalo 1993.) The text, based on the authors' fieldwork, with the help of specialists from Russian museums and educational institutions, gives a historical overview, showing varieties of environment and ways of life, linguistic and cultural groupings, details of sewing tools, materials and methods of skin preparation, and of spiritual traditions based in nature. Some of these traditions relate directly to clothing and footwear, vital to survival in harsh northern climates. For example the Even people say that footwear provides a connection between the sacred and the profane. Good boots keep them in harmony with the earth. Sewing tools frequently show up in traditional tales, protecting and empowering women in the same way hunting tools empower men. I feel that the spiritual importance of clothing could have been clarified even more, and that it would have been valuable to give a more complete overview of Siberian spiritual traditions in the book's introduction. This would have allowed the authors to show which aspects are shared by many peoples and which are unique to one.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
What an exceptionally inspiring book! For those interested in ancestral skills who are relearning symbiotic lifeways and craftwork with natural materials, this book illustrates the extent to which first nations peoples have perfected their skills, infused with meaning, functional and beautiful.
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