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Long Night at the Vepsian Museum: The Forest Folk of Northern Russia and the Struggle for Cultural Survival
This book takes readers to the village of Sheltozero in northern Russia. It highlights a tiny community of indigenous people called Veps, known colloquially as "the forest folk" for their intense closeness and affiliation with the forests in their ancestral territories. Davidov uses a tour of the local museum to introduce a cast of human and non-human characters from tradi ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published November 16th 2017 by University of Toronto Press
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It's one of the only resources out there on the Veps and as such is a valuable resource. That said, it's neither fish nor fowl. It wavers between an interesting story about the people which I would like to know more about OR it's about academic research which I would like to know more about. It's just not worth the extremely high price.
Eh. An interesting, if terribly thin, volume. The subject matter is well presented. The prose is fluid and easy to read. But it's just not terribly intellectually engaging. Those without an independent curiosity in the population under study here will find little to sink their teeth into and keep them reading. The ethnography is almost exclusively expository, with scant connection to any social theory or analysis. The bibliography for the entire book is barely 5 pages long--which for an ethnogra ...more