Capitalism in the tundra or tundra in capitalism? Specific purpose money from herders, antlers, and traders in Yamal, West Siberia

Tutkimustuotokset: Kirjoitus kirjassa/raportissa/konferenssijulkaisussaLukuTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


Velvet antlers, or in Russian panty, 1 have a long tradition as a medicine in Asia. According to old Chinese sources, the extract of velvet antlers ‘reduces hot temperedness, dizziness, strengthens male kidneys and testacles, cures involuntary ejaculation of male semen during sexual intercourse with a ghost during the sleep’ (Iudin 1993: 3). This sounds like healing from the medieval idea sacubus, a female ghost lying on a sleeping man. Today many people in Asia believe in the mysterious qualities of velvet antler extract, for male sexual performance and strengthening a person’s overall condition. In this chapter, I draw connections between these ‘believers’ as potential customers and the reindeer herders as the producers of this mysterious medicine, panty in Siberia, who mostly are ‘nonbelievers’. Based on an ethnography conducted in 2001 and shorter pre-and poststudies in 1995 and 2010, I show that the growing importance of national and international trade in this commodity affects the way of life of arctic reindeer nomads, and how they react to integration into a network of worldwide exchange. I argue that it is because of the interest in this commodity, panty, that we can talk about the globalisation of reindeer herding. I investigate the history and impact of panty, arguing that herders’ increasing connection to world markets has not resulted in significant marginalisation of reindeer herding, nor did it turn upside down the other factors in reindeer herding, such as migration, meat production, and subsistence. Subsistence livelihoods based on reindeer and fish remain extremely important. Rapidly changing developments in the globalised economy are seen as a welcome addition that can usefully supplement the core economy and socioculturally significant practices of the tundra.

OtsikkoEconomic Spaces of Pastoral Production and Commodity Systems
AlaotsikkoMarkets and Livelihoods
KustantajaTaylor & Francis
ISBN (elektroninen)9781317146148
ISBN (painettu)9781409425311
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 1 tammikuuta 2016
OKM-julkaisutyyppiEi mikään luokiteltu


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