- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
89

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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89
NOSONOVSKI PESOK AND THE SAMOYEDES
hunters. Two other kindred tribes are also mentioned.
They had wooden horses (i.e. ski) on their feet and
props (ski-sticks) under their arms, and at every stride
they went forward at least a hundred paces ; at night
they committed all kinds of thievery and pillage.
Dr. Wilhelm Radloff has maintained, rightly no
doubt, that these Dubo people are the same as the
Tubins, often mentioned in the history of Siberia during
the seventeenth century, a very warlike race who,
together with the kindred peoples, the Mators and
Kamassins, long resisted the Russian domination, until
at last, in the middle of the seventeenth century, they
submitted and paid tribute (yasak). These three tribes
must have been forest Samoyedes who lived chiefly by
hunting, which made them unusually skilful with the
bow. These tribes, with the exception of a few
Kamassins, have now entirely disappeared and have
become merged in the Turks and Tatars.
In the opinion of some, the Samoyedes migrated
northward from this, their original native land, during
the ceaseless unrest that resulted from the Hiong-nu
and other Turkish tribes making themselves masters of
the Altai country. Indeed, a writer like Middendorff
goes so far as to suppose that they must have been
driven in headlong flight from the Altai northward, and
were not able to stay either in the Barabå steppes or
in the primeval forests between the Yenisei and the
Obi ; but only when they had left this broad belt of
forest behind them did they find steppes where they
could make their home, and settled on the tundra
among Finnish tribes, chiefly Ostiaks, on the west, and
Tunguses, who lived in the mountain districts on the
south-east.
Such assumptions as these appear to me altogether
impossible. The peculiar culture that characterizes a

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