Intro/Index (forgot to put this first)

The Chukchi culture is not a very known culture throughout the world. In fact, outside of Alaska and Russia nobody probably knows about the Chukchi tribe including myself. I now know that the tribe is located in Northeastern Siberia and that they
mainly eat reindeer. I would like to know much more about this tribe and would like to teach it to my fellow explorers!



3 websites

Digaev, Albert. Chukchi. [Online] Available , 1998.

Embassy of Russia, Washington, D.C. Russia. [Online] Available , 1998.

Interknowledge Corp. and Russian National Tourist Office. Russia. [Online] Available , 1998.

3 academic articles
Bartels, Dennis A., and Alice L. Bartels. When the North was Red: Aboriginal Education in Soviet Siberia . Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1995.

Slezkine, Yuri. Arctic Mirrors: Russia and the Small Peoples of the North . Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1994.

Sverdrup, Harald U. Among the Tundra People . Trans. Molly Sverdrup. San Diego: University of California Press, 1978.

3 books
Zharnitskaia, Maria. “The Chukchee.” In Encyclopedia of World Cultures. Vol. 6, Russia and Eurasia / China . Ed. Paul Friedrich and Norma Diamond. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1994.

Cultural Survival

One major obstacle to overcome for the Chukchi is the harsh weather conditions most months of the year. Because traditional housing that we have is not possible for the tribe they build little huts insulated with reindeer hide. They will also use this as blankets to keep them warm at night. Before getting into close contact with the Russians that tribe had a very limited amount of medicine. People would become sick and contagious and it would spread throughout the entire tribe because they had no cure. Small pox traveled throughout one Chukchi tribe killing many people. Suprisingly, alcoholism is another severe disease that people in the tribe have. Lastly, one extremely serious disease that is common in the tribe is “Artic Hysteria.” This is when someone suffers from extreme depression from the area and state of living. This eventually leads to murder and suicide.


After numerous attempts at trying to reach out to a member of the Chukchi tribe I finally made small contact with someone. For weeks I had tried contacting people on all sorts of social media and I finally got a miniscule reply. I got in touch with Chad Nordlum, from UAF Chukchi campus in Alaska. I didn’t get to ask him much questions because he never replied after the first time. I asked him what they do for fun in the tribe and he told me dog sled racing is extremely popular. I asked if they really do have reindeer on a regular basis and he said yes, especially at dinner time. He also told me how the tribe is slowly thinning and more people are moving to Alaska in hopes of a higher education. He said that it is tough to communicate with people because a lot of people live very far away from each other. Lastly, Chad said how many people of the tribe would like to travel to the United States for a greater opportunity.


The Chukchi tribe is native from the Chukchi Peninsula and shores of the Chukchi Sea in northeastern Siberia. Some Chukchi families went through the Arctic Ocean to Alaska so their children could have an education at an Alaskan college. Some families also went to Ukraine to go to a more civilized area and to take advantage of a better area. Other than that all of the Chukchi tribe still lives in the same location.


Because of the harsh living conditions in most months of the year hospitality is welcomed to anyone who asks among the Chukchi tribe. If anyone from another tribe happens to be passing and needs shelter the tribe must offer and welcome whomever. The Chukchi were involved with fighting with the Russians for many years over their territory. The coast of northeastern Siberia is a perfect location for trading and the Russians were persistent on getting that land. However, as time passed the Russians rules and laws became stricter allowing the Chukchi to live there. Other than there is not much information.


The main birds of the Chukchi tribe are predominantly from the coast of the Chukchi Sea. These birds are mostly seabirds and shorebirds. About five years ago a law passed to allow oil drilling to the west of Alaska in the Chukchi Sea. This will most definitely endanger many birds that are currently flying throughout the sea. There are approximately 43 seabirds that were endangered already when the decision was made to go ahead with the oil drilling. One bird that is currently an endangered species is the spectacle eider, which is a large sea duck that used to be eaten by the Chukchi. Another bird from the Chukchi sea, yellow-billed loon, was recently listed as an endangered species, is experiencing a rapid population decline. Most birds in Northeastern Siberia are endangered or threatened therefore the tribe cannot use them as a source of food.