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(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Obdorsk, and formerly had to go there every winter to
pay the tax which, as chief or stårost, it was his duty to
collect from the tax-payers among his people ; but now
he was allowed to pay it at Dudinka.
His nåme was Yabtung Alyo, and his tribe (orda)
was called after him ; it was thus the Orda Yabtung.
Every grown-up Yurak has to pay a tax of 10J roubles,
whether he is poor or rich, and, one might almost say,
whether he is alive or dead. At certain intervals a
census is held, and it is then decided who is to pay taxes.
After that these assessed people have to pay every year
till the next census, no matter whether they die in the
In this tribe there were 32 souls who had to pay
taxes. In 1902, 19 of them paid 250 roubles; the rest
refused to pay. In 1910, only 88 roubles came in.
It is not so easy to do anything with those who refuse
to pay, on these great expanses, where it would be diffi
cult enough to find them, even if one had the men and
the time to search for them.
The prince complained greatly of the high tax, for
which they get nothing in return. And what could
they get, these nomads, which would be of any value to
them ? They get no education, no schools, no priests,
no doctors, no roads, no communication of any kind ;
unless wc reckon the steamers that go up and down the
Yenisei, bringing them traders who make money out of
them, and do their best to impoverish them by buying
their furs and giving them new wants, which they formerly
got on very well without. To say nothing of the traders
håving brought them spirits.
The most they can see that the Government has done
for them, besides levying taxes, is to take some of the
fishing rights from them, which used to be theirs en
tirely. Russians have to some extent acquired the

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