On the mythology of the Yakut knife

Over the past two decades Yakut knife took the first place in the part of the mythology of the short blade of the countries of the former USSR, confidently pressing the “finka”, the Caucasian dagger and the “separated” pchak. There is so much around “Yakuta” that it is impossible to understand without a systematic approach. It all started from the end of the 90s, when the company “Southern Cross” released a batch of Yakut knives by the order of the government of Yakutia. They left for the intended purpose, the rest wishing could only dreamily look at the certificates. Here it all began.

Partly the story of “Yakut” is akin to the genesis of the Japanese katana. The evolution of the long blade ended on a checker, but already in the years of the Second World War, the Japanese launched mad marketing, successfully building a katana to become an absolute legend. And the essence is simple: the cultivation and chanting of a subject that has long since lost its practical significance.

To trace the evolution of the “Yakut”, we turn to life support systems, because any worn Yakut knife is always an integral part of them. With which system did the ancestors of the Yakuts start moving north? The Kurykans, the progenitors of the Yakuts and Buryats, having become enemies of most of their neighbors at one time, moved from the Minusinsk Basin to Transbaikalia, but even there it did not become calmer. As a result, the scouts went to the north, and then the first settlers, who looked at the comfortable valley of modern Yakutsk. Gradually, caravans of rafts began to depart with people, livestock and property.

The complex genesis of the Yakut people began. Their life-support system was standard for nomadic pastoralists of the forest-steppe zone: a horse and a cart, a yurt, the usual steppe tools. Of course, there was a belt knife. You can get to know him by looking at the Buryat knives and paired knives of northern Mongolia. They feel a strong Chinese influence, which is inevitable in the conditions of living near the leading civilization center. And today chopsticks are placed in Mongolian sheaths, although the Mongols themselves hardly use them. Tradition. There was in that knife and combat component.

As a result of the resettlement, a huge territory of residence of the Tungus (Evenk) was dissected, and in the XVII century a small patch of Yakut settlement appeared on the map of Miller. It must be assumed that even before the start of the movement to the north, the leaders adopted a new strategy “stop quarreling,” and the Yakuts succeeded in it. Assimilation and interpenetration began. There were clashes with the aborigines, but more often the issues were resolved peacefully, the adaptive ability of the Yakuts was at the highest level. Not a single Siberian people in this plan could compare with them. They took over themselves and actively spread their civilization influence, sharing their practices. Yakuts came to new lands not only with horses and cattle, but also with the basics of pottery and blacksmithing. Difficult history taught them to negotiate and skillfully seduce them in time, and the developed Turkic language with a large vocabulary sometimes made the local tribes switch to it – this is how the Dolgan ethnos originated. Clever and cunning policy of peace-loving expansion gave excellent results. Not without reason, Middendorf called the Yakuts “the Jews of Siberia.”

However, having risen in breadth, the people found themselves in fundamentally new conditions, hitting the northern taiga of the permafrost zone, sometimes impassable … Long winter, fierce frosts and a short light day, abundance of midges in the summer, unusual flora and fauna. The old system did not meet the conditions, the Yakuts began to actively explore the Tungus. As it turned out, in the absence of steppe roads, the wagon became useless, the rider on a horse fell on a small garden, and the yurt was too cumbersome for wandering around the forest tundra. Thus, the Yakuts had a collapsible chum, a bobagolomo and a Tungus system of reindeer herding with riding reindeer. However, the Yakuts quickly adopted the Russian hut, and in the 19th century began building it themselves.

Steel arms

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