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Yukagir, Sakha Republic, Russia, 678564

First Contact:

gather% / fish % / hunt %
fat % / protein % / carb%

A rough estimate to help us understand how carnivorous and how ketogenic these people were before being exposed to western civilization

Click this Slide deck Gallery to see high quality images of the tribe, daily life, diet, hunting and gathering or recipes

About the Tribe

Yukagir are a small numbered people spread across three regions of Eastern Siberia: the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Magadan and Chukotka, along the Kolyma and Indigirka rivers. They have become known as Tundra and Taiga Yukagir. Together they number just over 1500 people. Yukagir have traditionally been nomadic and semi-nomadic hunters, with wild reindeer being one of the preferred game, along with moose, wild sheep, sable, and of course fishing. Yukagir in the tundra regions also practiced small-scale reindeer herding primarily for transportation purposes. Yukagir are today settled, but some lead a semi-nomadic life during reindeer migration and hunting seasons.


Importance of Animal Products

Authentic Yukagir recipes:


For Yukola you need a large fish (broad whitefish). Yukola is a dried fish dish that is used for nourishment during long migrations and in winter. For long-term storage, people prepare a «fish flour» from yukola by powdering the dried fillet and storing it in canvas bags. Drop this «flour» in a bowl with boiling water, and you are rewarded with an instant fish broth. Cooking method: Gut and scale the fish without washing. De-bone the fillet, cut out the backbone down to the tail, so that two fillet parts remain connected by the tail. Make herringbone cuts on the fillet without cutting the skin. Then dry the fish on special wood stands – hangers – in the sun until it dries up, but do not let it get too firm. Smoke the fish over the fireplace in the chum.


People preserved Chumuododje (smoked meat), as it could be used while traveling, its long digestion time provided an enduring sensation of satiety. It can also be used for meat soup, its broth being light, easy to digest and with a specific taste. Cut the meat along the broad backbone sinews in lateral parts, and separate the meat carefully. Cut the meat in flat pieces and dry it in the sun until it has completely hardened. Then keep it over the fire and smoke in the chum. After a time, the meat is ready. Cut the smoked meat in pieces and serve with fat.

Importance of Plants

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Transition to Industrialized Food Products

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