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The Yakuts or the Sakha (: Sakhalar) are a ethnic group who mainly live in the Republic of Sakha in the Russian Federation, with some extending to the , , regions, and the Taymyr and Evenk Autonomous Districts. The belongs to the Siberian branch of the Turkic languages.

The Yakuts engage in animal husbandry focusing on and .

Origin and history
The ancestors of Yakuts were who migrated from river to and were subject to a certain Mongolian admixture prior to migrationV.A. Stepanov "Origin of Sakha: Analysis of Y-chromosome Haplotypes" Molecular Biology, 2008, Volume 42, No 2, p. 226-237,2008 Происхождение якутов ( Russian) in the 7th century. The Yakuts originally lived around and the region of . Beginning in the 13th century they migrated to the basins of the Middle , the and rivers under the pressure of the rising . The northern Yakuts were largely hunters, fishermen and herders, while the southern Yakuts raised and .

In the 1620s the Tsardom of Muscovy began to move into their territory and annexed or settled down on it, imposed a fur tax and managed to suppress several Yakut rebellions between 1634 and 1642. The tsarist brutality in collection of the pelt tax ( yasak) sparked a rebellion and aggression among the Yakuts and also Tungusic-speaking tribes along the River in 1642. The , leader of the tsarist forces, responded with a reign of terror: native settlements were torched and hundreds of people were killed. The Yakut population alone is estimated to have fallen by 70 percent between 1642 and 1682 because of the Muscovite expeditions.

In the 18th century the Russians reduced the pressure, gave Yakut chiefs some privileges, granted freedom for all habitats, gave them all their lands, sent Eastern Orthodox missions, and educated the Yakut people regarding agriculture. The discovery of and, later, the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway, brought ever-increasing numbers of Russians into the region. By the 1820s almost all the Yakuts claimed to have converted to the church, but they actually retained (and still retain) a number of shamanist practices. Yakut literature began to rise in the late 19th century, and a national revival occurred in the early 20th century.

In 1922, the new Soviet government named the area the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The last conflict of the Russian Civil War, known as the , occurred here when Cornet Mikhail Korobeinikov, a officer, led an uprising and a last stand against the . In the late 1920s through the late 1930s, Yakut people were systematically persecuted, when launched his collectivization campaign.Book of Peoples of the World: A Guide to Cultures, ed. by Davis, Harrison, Howe, National Geographic Books, ç2008, p.141 It's possible that hunger and malnutrition during this period resulted in a decline in the Yakut total population from 240,500 in 1926 to 236,700 in 1959. By 1972, the population began to recover. The majority of Yakut males belong to Haplogroup N3a (89%). Currently, Yakuts form a large plurality of the total population within the vast Sakha Republic. According to the 2010 Russian census, there were a total of 466,492 Yakuts residing in the Sakha Republic during that year, or 49.9% of the total population of the Republic.

According to the 2010 census, some 87% of the Yakuts in the Sakha Republic are fluent in the , while 90% are fluent in Russian. The Sakha/Yakut language belongs to the North Siberian of the Siberian Turkic languages. It is most closely related to the , and also to a lesser extent related to and .

The cuisine of Sakha prominently features the traditional drink , dairy products of cow, mare, and reindeer milk, sliced frozen salted fish ( строганина), loaf meat dishes ( oyogos), , frozen fish, thick pancakes, and salamat — a millet porridge with butter and horse fat. Kuerchekh Куэрчэх or kierchekh, a popular dessert, is made of cow milk or cream with various . Indigirka is a traditional fish salad. This cuisine is only used in .

See also


Further reading
  • Conolly, Violet. "The Yakuts," Problems of Communism, vol. 16, no. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1967), pp. 81–91.
  • Sakha Yakut Republic Regional Investment and Business Guide. (US Government Agencies Business Library) (3rd ed.) International Business Publications, 2001.

External links

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