More on this culture.
The Chukchi today. Credits
Chukchi: Warriors & Traders.
This woman wears the V-necked, hoodless reindeer fur khonba that was her principal garment, winter and summer. Her tattoos protect her against harmful spirits and sterility, and her bracelet and beads reflect contact with Russian traders and American whaling ships. The child's suit is fitted with a moss or hair diaper.
Click in the left side of the picture for the previous culture, or on the right for a view of Alaskan peoples.
|The Chukchi are the largest Native nation
(about 15,000) on the Asian side of the North Pacific. At present, they populate a huge area that reaches from Bering Strait
to the Kolyma River valley deep in inland Siberia, and extends along both the Arctic and Pacific coasts of northeast Asia.
Their name was given to them by Russians, who also bestowed it on the Chukchi Peninsula, Chukchi Sea, Chukchi
Autonomous Area, and the Chukchi District, which faces Alaska across Bering Strait.
The Russian name "Chukchi" actually comes from the Chukchi word Chauchu ("rich in reindeer"). Reindeermen use this word to distinguish themselves from coastal folk, who are usually called Anqallyt ("the sea people"). Although an indigenous Siberian people, the Chukchi apparently came to Bering Strait later than the Eskimos. Anthropologists trace their origin to the ancient residents of interior and coastal Siberia, around the northern Okhotsk Sea, that is, about a thousand miles from Bering Strait. Their closest kin are the Koryak people of northern Kamchatka, with whom the Chukchi share similarities in language beliefs, and historical traditions.