- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
125

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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WAITING TO GO ON
125
right of fishing in the same places ; in fact, the natives*
fishing rights over certain reaches have been sold by
auction to Russians, who have then come and fished
there in the belief that they had acquired the sole right,
but soon found that in any case they had to share it
with the natives ; and the latter have also been allowed
to keep some of their old fishing places for themselves.
I dåre say there are some who will consider it an
advantage received from the State that these natives
can sometimes have their children baptized ; but I
hardly think there can be much in that, and the minis
trations of the priest seldom extend so far as the marriage
ceremony, which they are more inclined to manage for
themselves, it appears.
Prince Yabtung Alyo thought it specially unjust
that he and his people should pay so high a tax as 10j
roubles for every man, while the Yenisei-Samoyedes on
the east of the Yenisei only have to pay 3j roubles for
every working man. It cannot be denied that this
seems rather unjust ; but the reason is, no doubt, that
the Yenisei-Samoyedes are considered to be poorer than
the Yuraks—though there were no signs of exaggerated
prosperity among these Yuraks either.
They have been made to feel the first accompani
ments of civilization, these natives, in the shape of taxes
and duties ; farther than that the State has not gone
at present. Perhaps the advantages will come some
day ; but by then these people at any rate will have
been a good while under the grass.
Our friend the prince also produced from a chest the
documents and letters he had received from the Govern
ment, setting forth his duties and rights—mostly duties.
He showed them to Vostrotin and Loris-Melikov, and
got them to look at them and explain what was in them,
as of course he did not understand a word. Then there

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