A new book about Yukaghir people

Our anthropological team would like to congratulate Dr Cecilia Odé on her new book Life with the Yukaghir: North-East Siberia’s oldest tundra people. The book was published this summer in the Netherlands. Cecilia wrote it as a diary about her linguistic fieldwork trips to the far Northeast of Siberia. arcticanthropology.org

In this book Cecilia Odé describes her field trips to Siberia for doing language documentation of the Tundra Yukaghir language from 2004 until 2013. She tells a very personal story about Yukaghir people and their unique culture. Also Cecilia writes about her difficulties and advantages of working in the tundra and settlements with and among Yukaghir people.

Dr Cecilia Odé in the tundra
 Odé .
Reindeer herder Pyotr Tataev. Photo Cecilia Odé

The Yukaghirs are one of the oldest peoples in North-Eastern Asia. Originally they lived over a huge territory from Lake Baikal to the Arctic Ocean. The Yukagir ethnonym is Odulor Vadul, which means “mighty”. Currently, Yukaghirs live in the Sakha Republic and the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug of the Russian Federation. According to the 2002 Census, their total number was 1,509 people.

In UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, the Yukaghir language is recognized to be critically endangered. Only 370 people can speak Yukaghir language. Most Yukaghirs today speak Yakut and Russian.  Yukaghirs originally are nomadic and semi-nomadic reindeer herders. They hunt for wild reindeer and moose, as well do fishing. It is interesting that even the Yukagir have horses, but they call them “Yakuts’ domestic reindeer”.

Photo from Cecilia Odé’s book

The book is rich with beautiful photo’s, which make every story more interesting. It is written in three languages: Dutch, English and Russian.

Read more information here:




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