chum(redirected from chums)
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the Russian name of a portable dwelling used by the Nentsi of the European part of the USSR and by the peoples of Siberia, including the Ket, Northern Yakuts, Oroki, Evenki, Nganasani, and Tuvinians-Todzhintsy.
The chum, built of 30 to 50 poles, was conical, with a round or slightly oval base and a floor diameter of 3 to 8 m. In the winter it was covered with sewn hides of reindeer, Manchurian deer, or elk, and in the summer, with boiled birch bark or, sometimes, canvas or burlap. The entrance was covered with hides in the winter and coarse fabric in the summer. In the center of the chum was a hearth. On both sides of the entrance were the sleeping areas; birch bark, willow mats, and dry grass were spread on the floor and reindeer hides were placed on top. With the transition of the nomadic peoples to a settled way of life, the chumy gradually fell into disuse and were replaced in some places by tents.