The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a people living in Tigil’ Raion, Koriak National Okrug, Kamchatka Oblast. Numbering 1, 300 (1970 census) persons, they speak the Itel’men language and Russian. The time of their appearance on the Kamchatka Peninsula has not been established. At the end of the 17th century, when Kamchatka was annexed to Russia, the Itel’meny inhabited almost the entire peninsula. They lived in a primitive communal system and engaged in fishing and hunting using Neolithic-type stone and bone implements. In the middle of the 18th century, under the influence of Russian settlers, the Itel’meny began to master vegetable gardening and stock raising. At the same time, the process of the merging of the Itel’meny and the Russians was under way. (This mixed population as well as the Itel’meny proper was called the Kamchadaly.) Fundamental changes have occurred in the Itel’men economy and culture in the Soviet period. Most of the population is engaged in kolkhoz production (fishing, hunting, vegetable gardening, and stock raising). Illiteracy has been eradicated, and a national intelligentsia has emerged.


Narody Sibiri. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956. (Bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.