Human-dog-reindeer communities in the Siberian Arctic and Subarctic

Konstantin Klokov, Vladimir Davydov

Research outputpeer-review


For a long time, dogs, reindeer, and humans inhabited the northern areas together. Their triple alliance led to the creation of sustainable models of landscape appropriation in the Arctic and Subarctic. The main purpose of this chapter is to discuss the synergetic effect of mutual human-dog-reindeer (HDR) agency and to compare their adaptive strategies to shared habitat in different types of landscapes. Analyses of Polar Census (1926–1927) data on hunting, sledge, and herding dogs and domesticated reindeer in different northern areas revealed several types of coexistence of HDR communities with their sustained landscape. The symbiosis of human, reindeer, and dog in different types of landscapes was based on the use of different types of biological productivity of natural ecosystems. The resilience of such systems can be explained from the standpoint of environmental synergetics. The relationships between humans and animals in HDR communities can be conceptualized as variable forms of asymmetrical interdependence. On the one hand, humans to a certain extent act as masters and organizers of human-animal cooperative activities. On the other hand, they have to synchronize their daily and seasonal rhythms with the needs of the animals, upon which they are heavily reliant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHybrid Communities
Subtitle of host publicationBiosocial Approaches to Domestication and Other Trans-species Relationships
EditorsSharles Stepanoff
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351717984
ISBN (Print)9781138893993
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2018

Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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