Seals (or Seal hunting) in the Economy and Culture of Pomors
Central research question:
What are the economic and socio-cultural aspects of the harp seal hunting among Pomors?
1. Who are Pomors? What is the situation with the status of Pomors as indigenous ethnos of the Russian North? What are the seal hunting methods among Pomors in the past and in the present?
This part will be mainly historical review by textual analysis. I would like to throw the light upon the history and the current status of Pomors in the Russian North. According to the 2002 Census, there are 6 571 Pomors in Russia, and 6 295 of them live in Arkhangelsk region; the others live in Murmansk region and the Republic of Karelia (www.perepis2002.ru). In Russian academic and public circles, there are two opposite views on the status of Pomors. Some claim that it is necessary to declare Pomors separate ethnic group and to give them the status of indigenous people of the Russian North. It should be mentioned that until recently, study of Pomors as ethic community has not been carried out. Virtually sole attempt of such study has been papers of the head of social anthropology department of Peter the Great’s Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkammer) and Doctor of Historical Sciences Tatyana Bernshtam (1978, 1983). According to her opinion letter, in 2002 (in the second time), the Ministry of regional development of the Russian Federation refused to include Pomors in the list of indigenous people of Russia. The representatives of Pomors in Arkhangelsk region insist upon an official recognition of Pomors as indigenous people that will enable indigent people to acquire supplementary rights and social and tax benefits. At present, Pomors must purchase fishing and hunting licences and pay tax charges for the utilization of animals and fishes.
I will use official documents, studies and websites covering the history and the current state of Pomors. In addition, I will...