"Selkup will find his way everywhere": Attitudes towards risks associated with mobility under adverse weather conditions

Lead Author Rusana, Novikova
Institution Contact European University at St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Gagarinskaya St, 3
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.3 Current infrastructural Challenges, extreme weather and natural hazards and the effects on northern communities
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text The paper explores the effects of unfavorable weather conditions on mobility among a group of Selkup hunters and fishermen in Western Siberia. I take as a case study a period of freeze-up and break-up of rivers, which is thought to pose a number of constraints on local mobility practices. Despite this period being associated with certain travel risks, the movement never completely stops. A detailed analysis of field materials shows a complex interplay between the perceptions of risk, necessity, and child safety in a decision to undertake a trip. Further, recurrent seasonal risks can be mediated by an in-depth knowledge of climatic and environmental features of the territory and by use of techniques developed through travel experience. The aim of the paper is thus twofold: on the one hand, it seeks to uncover the driving force behind voluntary risk taking; on the other hand, to outline the strategies allowing members of the group to successfully overcome these weather-induced hazards.
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