a people constituting most of the indigenous population of Koriak National Okrug in the Kamchatka Oblast of the USSR. They also inhabit the Chukchi National Okrug and the Severo-Evenskii Raion in Magadan Oblast. The Koriaks, numbering 7,500 persons (1970, census), speak the Koriak language. The first references to the Koriaks are found in Russian documents of 1630-40, by which time they were already divided according to occupation and way of life into nomadic reindeer herders (self-designation, Chavchyv) and settled coastal dwellers (self-designation, Nymylyn) engaged in fishing and hunting marine animals. The Koriaks practiced shamanism. Profound social and economic changes took place in the lives of the Koriaks under Soviet rule. Commercial sea fishing became the chief occupation of the coastal Koriaks; some work on reindeer-breeding kolkhozes.
REFERENCESNarody Sibiri. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
Gurvich, I. S., and K. G. Kuzakov. Koriakskii natsional’nyi okrug. Moscow, 1960.
Antropova, V. V. Kul’tura i byt koriakov. Leningrad, 1971.