(2001) JLP 46: 173-183
TRADITIONAL PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL RESOURCE USE AMONG INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE LOWER AMUR RIVER
The Far Eastern region of the Lower Amur River is rich in fish and game. These resources have for millennia been exploited by the sparse aboriginal population in the harsh climatic conditions of the region. Each ethnic group has preserved its characteristic features, but there has long been population ‘mixing’ between the various nations. The severity of natural conditions has caused continuous population movements, has given rise to customs of mutual assistance and the welcoming of outsiders by those settled in districts, and has resulted in a universal phenomenon of different groups living in close proximity. The literature of the past has differed as to the importance of ‘clans’ in the social order. It is argued that, according to the best evidence, clans are significant in marital relations and religious matters, but do not have economic functions nor hold land. Clans may grow or decline in extent and sometimes a clan disappears through absorption into another. ‘Clan communes’ have never existed.