(in Russian, stepnaia duma), an economic-administrative, estate-representative body of the Russian Empire among the nomadic peoples of Eastern Siberia—the Yakuts, Evenki, Buriats, and Khakass.
The steppe dumas were established by the 1822 Statute on Governing Native Peoples in some of the southern regions of Irkutsk and Enisei provinces and in Yakutsk Oblast. They were made up of officials chosen by the local feudal aristocracy, of the chief clan elder (confirmed by the governor-general), of the elder’s assistants and assessors, and of the golova, or head (confirmed by the governor). The steppe dumas had jurisdiction over registration of the local population, tax apportionment, management of public moneys and property, and later some government and judicial matters as well. They served as support for the local state administration and limited the independence of the local feudal aristocracy. Some of the steppe dumas tried to establish themselves as organs of local feudal self-government, leading to the abolition of the Yakut steppe dumas in 1838; the steppe dumas of the Buriats, Evenki, and Khakass continued to exist until 1884–90.
REFERENCESEroshkin, N. P. Istoriia gosudarstvennykh uchrezhdenii dorevoliutsionnoi Rossii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Istoriia Sibiris drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei, vol. 2. Moscow, 1968.