Evens

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Evens

 

(also Lamut), a people of northern Siberia living in several areas of Magadan and Kamchatka oblasts and east of the Lena River in the northern regions of the Yakut ASSR. According to the 1979 census, the Evens number 12,300; they speak the Even language.

The Evens, in origin and culture, resemble the Evenki. In the past they engaged chiefly in reindeer raising and hunting; the coastal Evens fished and hunted seals. Although the Evens formally became members of the Orthodox Church in the 19th century, they retained various forms of their pre-Christian worship, such as shamanism.

In the Soviet period, fundamental changes took place in the economy, culture, and everyday life of the Evens. A writing system was created in the 1930’s, and illiteracy was eliminated. Many nomadic Evens made the transition to a settled way of life. Kolkhozes were established for livestock raising, for farming, and land cultivation, in addition to the traditional occupations.

REFERENCE

Gurvich, I. S. Etnicheskaia istoriia severo-vostoka Sibiri. Moscow, 1966.

V. A. TUGOLUKOV