Platon Oiunskii

Oiunskii, Platon Alekseevich


Born Oct. 30 (Nov. 11), 1893, in Tatta Ulus, present-day Alekseevskii Raion; died Oct. 31, 1939. Soviet Yakut writer and public figure. Founder of Soviet Yakut literature. Member of the CPSU from 1918. Son of a peasant.

Early in 1917, Oiunskii joined the Social Democratic circle headed by E. Iaroslavskii. From the first days of the February Revolution of 1917 he took part in the revolutionary struggle. In 1921 he became chairman of the Yakut Provincial Revolutionary Committee. In 1922 he was appointed chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars and in 1923, chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Yakut ASSR. From 1928 to 1931 he was people’s commissar for education and public health in Yakutia, and from 1935, director of the Scientific Research Institute for Language and Culture of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Yakut ASSR. From 1934 to 1938, Oiunskii was a member of the board of the Writers’ Union of the USSR.

Oiunskii’s works are profoundly national; at the same time, they are dedicated to the precepts of the Communist Party. As a representative of the romantic trend in socialist realist literature, he has had considerable influence on the development of Soviet Yakut literature, especially poetry. His poems, including “Song of Freedom” (1922), “On the Death of the Leader” (1924), “The Iron Steed” (1926), and “Power to the Soviets” (1927), as well as his dramatic narrative poem The Red Shaman (1918; revised edition, 1925), played an important role in the awakening of political consciousness among the working people of Yakutia.

Oiunskii was also a well-known prose writer. He wrote the short stories “The Tanner’s Dream” (1926) and “Alexander the Great” (1935) and the novella A Way Out of the Mire (1936). His memoirs, Bygone Days and Years (1928), describe revolutionary events in Yakutia. He was the author of a number of dramatic works, including The Bolshevik (staged 1926) and TuiaarymaKuo (staged 1928).

Oiunskii wrote the scholarly works The Yakut Folktale (Olonkho), Its Plot and Content (1927), On a Theory of Yakut Versification (1928), and The Yakut Language and the Directions of Its Development (1935).

Oiunskii served as a deputy to the first convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1966, the P. A. Oiunskii Literary Prize was established in Yakutia.


Ayïmnyïlar, vols. 1–7. Yakutsk, 1958–62.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1963.


Platon Alekseevich Oiunskii (1893–1939): Stat’i i vospominaniia: K 70-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia. Yakutsk, 1963.
Ocherk istorii iakutskoi sovetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1970.