Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

BY A. VAMBERY.

mess.

66

little dinner on the previous night, I pre

From The Asiatic Quarterly Review. pared to do justice to the breakfast which RUSSIA AND NORTHERN ASIA. my butler had brought me from the

I was just beginning, when in dashed In speaking of northern Asia, or SibeSkeffy, in boots and breeches, fresh from ria, as it is termed by the Russians, we his morning ride. · Holloa, old chap! must understand that we are treating of How are you this morning? You can't a vast continent and conglomeration of be very bad, if you're going to eat all that. countries of nearly five million square There's plenty for two, and, as I've lots to miles, of a portion of the globe most ditell you, I will stay and breakfast with versely constituted, and subjected to vari. you."

ous and

extreme climatic conditions. “You can't do better, Skeffy. Help Ice-bound regions and perilous Tundras yourself, and open your budget of news. alternate under changing skies with flow

“Well, the news is the best anyway, ering meadows and the verdant steppe; and will improve your appetite. I've just man, too, like nature, exhibits variety, and come from the race-course. There was a bears the stamp of races the most diverse; meeting of the stewards this morning about the transitions which his historic past has the race for the maharajah's cup. It seems undergone are scarcely suspected, but the that it was suspected something was firmly established circumstance that the shady about that horse Songster, and his Voguls and Ostyaks, who now live in the history was inquired into, and they have far north, are in close philological connecthe best evidence that he is five years old tion with the Magyars settled on the Daninstead of being four as he was entered, so ube and Theiss, south of the Carpathians, he carried four pound too little in the race. alone suffices to astonish us, and to create Of course he has been disqualified, so an interest in the wanderings, history, and your horse won after all. I congratulate past experiences of the present dwellers you on winning the cup and taking all the in northern Asia. Another bond of kinmoney out of the lotteries."

ship, - - a chain of loose and single links, What a reprieve! I felt as if I had been and often severed by the storms and ravrelieved from an oppressive and inordinate ages of time, connects these very north weight that had loaded me for the last two Asiatics with the Finns of north-eastern days. Skeffy's rather homely and matter- Europe; and if, at the same time, it is of-fact countenance seemed surrounded taken into consideration that records of with a halo of light, and I blessed the relationship exist between the present instewards for their prompt and energetic habitants of Siberia's remotest regions and action. If only the disasters of the regi- the western half of Asia, it will become mental ball could also be reversed, there the more evident that the ethnical kaleidowould be no happier captain of hussars in scope of the north of Asia contains riddles her Majesty's service.

the most obscure. In most countries of “One péon brought chit for master,” the Old World the historical era reaches and Ramasawmy handed me a note, on back to centuries before Christ; but here whose envelope was a cipher that I new the dim light of historical remembrance well. I opened it.

has only arisen in modern times, and in

the pitch-dark past we seek vainly for “ DEAR CAPTAIN WILMOT, - I was light-shedding stars to guide us. Conjecso sorry to hear of your accident last night, tures only and vague surmises are at our and hope you will soon get over it. It command. We may presume that the may help your recovery to tell you that I country of the Uigurs, which extended have just been riding with Kitty Clover, from the north-west of China far into the and we had a long talk about you. I was north to the banks of the Ob and Yenissei, able to explain a misunderstanding that may also have sent a few rays of culture seems to have occurred at your ball, and, to those distant climes, for ihe Russian if you call, I think she will be glad to see name Ugor or Ugr is really derived from you. You have my best wishes. Yours Uigur; but what may have been the prevery sincerely,

cise influence of the Uigurs' rule on the “ CLARA FORTESCUE." Finnish-Ugrian and Turko-Tartar race

elements can hardly be determined. No I believe there must have been some more light is thrown on the subject by the truth in Ramasawmy's ideas about that mention, in Chinese annals, of 'the deparring, after all.

ture of the Hiungnu (Huns) towards the VOL. LXXIV. 3841

LIVING AGE.

[graphic]

west.

There is no doubt that in the large people living so completely in a state of army of Attila most of the peoples of nature as those of northern Asia. Indeed, northern Asia were represented. The it was necessary that it should have a simphilological evidence of Magyar shows ilar disintegrating and destructive tenclearly and conclusively that the amalga- dency as is noticed in America, Australia, mation of people at the middle Danube and everywhere where men of a higher and the Theiss consists of descendants of state settle by the side of men of a lower

Turks, Voguls, Ostyaks, Syryanes, and state of culture. Even in its very first Mongols, though the how and the when of appearance, Christian-Western influence this remarkable fusion is shrouded in ob- was quite distinct from its Moslem and scurity. The data that have reached us, Buddhistic predecessors. The latter ve. in consequence of the intercourse of the hicles of civilization proceeded with ex. principality of great Novgorod in the treme slowness, without energy, but with eleventh, twelfth, and fourteenth centuries all the greater self-reliance and confidence with the nations in the north-east, are in the infallibility of their spiritual opera. equally deficient. The expeditions of tions; the Russians, on the contrary, in Ulyeb (1032), Danslav Lazuinitch (1169), the protection of their material strength, Yadreya (1193), and later Russian gener-advanced uninterruptedly, boldly, and with als, into the country of the Yugrians, were perseverance on their way towards the merely for the purpose of periodical plun. East. Yadriozow* is quite right when he der and rapine, and in accordance with the compares Russian immigration into northspirit of the age. They could not lead to ern Asia with an army pressing on east. any important political or social changes, ward, which initially advances in compact and were in no case of such significance masses; later on, in lesser numbers, and to northern Asia as the rise of Jengis eventually is completely lost, like a river Khan, who, like Attila, set in motion, in in the sandy steppe. The Russian national the distant north, a sea of nations by his element, though certainly, through indige. world-storming career, and carried some nous admixture, different from the Russian of its waves up to the eastern frontier of type of the mother country, extends at Europe.

the present day from the Ural to the Tun. Taking everything into consideration, guska ; it is in thick masses in the district we can therefore only fix the sixteenth between Verchoturje, Troitzk, Tobolsk, century as the period in which, through and Petropaulowsk, but gradually de. the successful enterprise of Yermak, north-creases furiher towards the East. ern Asia first came to have uninterrupted The Russians, in the expedition undercommunication with the west, through its taken in the sixteenth century, came into representative, Russia ; since that period conflict with primitive people who were, our information regarding the north of the with the exception of those who had a old mother-continent has constantly in varnish of Moslem civilization, of the lowcreased.

est state of culture, and absolutely deUp to that era northern Asia from time fenceless against the invaders. These to time furnished the battle-ground for two naturally had to share the fate of their rival systems of Asiatic civilization, cor- colleagues in America and Australia. The responding to the religions of Buddhism origin of these races was Finnish-Ugrian, and Islam. Both had undertaken the Turko-Tartar, Samoyed, Tunguzian, and battle against Shamanism with some suc- Mongolian.

The ieaching of Buddha, under the The inevitable results of this reciprocal protection of the Jengisides, had spread intercourse between primitive people, to the Buryats, who now live near the An. chiefly engaged in fishing, the chase, and gara; and Islam, starting partly from the the breeding of cattle, and the Russians, middle Volga, and partly from Bokhara, illuminated by a few stray rays of Western had found adherents as far as the banks civilization, could not but be most upfa. of the Tobol. With the appearance, and vorable to the former. Crowded out from the eventual establishment of the Russians, the districts more capable of cultivation, Christianity entered the arena as a third plagued and tormented by government exfactor of civilization ; and though, in the periments and oppressive taxation, and in rivalry of these three civilizing agents, addition over-reached in every respect by victory was on the side of the strictly Russian traders and artisans, the natives Asiatic religions, it was yet impossible to prevent the material superiority of the "Sibirien, geographische, ethnographishe, und bis,

torisch e." Western invaders from exercising a most vervollständigt von Dr. Ed. Petri. Jena, 1886 Seite

Studien von N. Jadrinzow, bearbeitet und remarkable influence on the destiny of 10.

[graphic]

cess.

[graphic]

were forced to leave the territory in pro-, and true love of mankind shown by indiportion as Russian inmigration increased. vidual Russian travellers and scholars,

The chase did not even yield sufficient whose noble and humane efforts are in the return for satisfying the taxes that had to direction oi improving the condition of the be paid in valuable furs; the breeding of patives, who are suffering under the cruel catile decreased; and though, perhaps, errors and shortcomings of Russian adthe Russian government only intended to ministration - defects which have been squeeze out the very utmost from the so well exposed by Shashkow, Ssokolow, people, yet physical degeneration and a Polyakow, and especially Yadrinzow. fearful diminution of the population grad. Much misery might be mitigated, much ually set in. Several tribes, as the Omoks, misfortune perhaps partly averted; but at Kotts, Khoidans, Shelags, Anjuits, Mators, present, remembering the similar cases in Assans, Arinzes, and others, have com- America and Australia, it seems certain pletely disappeared (Petri, 106); and how that a complete cure of the evil — that is, terrible was the effect of this war of ex- a state leading to independent national determination on the other tribes found velopment, evolving out of itself its own scattered here and there may best be gath- civilization — could never be effected, and ered from the following statistical figures. would ever remain merely a desideratum

In the year 1744 there were 20,000 of the philanthropist. A cultural transKamchadalians of both sexes; in 1823, formation on a national basis is only 2,760; and in 1850, only 1,951. In the possible with a people whose state of civildistrict of Berezow there were, in 1816, ization, evolved from or attached to its 21,000 natives; in 1828, only 19,652; that moral and physical peculiarities, can form is, a decrease of 1,349 in twelve years. a suitable stepping-stone towards the de. In the circuit of Tomsk and the district of sired change. The justice of this state. Narym, 10,135 natives of both sexes were ment is very apparent in the instances of counted in 1816; in 1832, only 9,724. In Turkey, India, and Japan ; but with a peotwenty-two volosts of the circuit Kusnetzk, ple of the lowest state of culture, under there were, in the year 1827, 5,160 natives; the influence of Shamanism, as is the case in the year 1832, 4,399, a diminution of with the natives of northern Asia, such a 761. The farther north we proceed the transformation is quite impossible. more dreadful is the decrease of popula- We generally find the opinion prevailing tion among the natives. Several tribes, that Russia, by means of regulating the like the Voguls and Koibals, are quite on ratio of taxation, by energetic sanitary the point of total extinction. The Hunga- measures, and by encouraging settled in rian traveller, Reguly, for instance, esti- contradistinction to nomadic life, might mates the number of Voguls in the year bave improved the economic condition 1845 at 20,000 ; whilst according to Pro. of the indigenous population, and could fessor Ahlquist their number in the year thereby have opened to them the portals 1858 hardly amounted to 6,500 souls; and of foreign civilization; but in holding this

; quite recently even this remnant is said view, it is forgotten that in Asia, more to have decreased, as Rittich gives their than anywhere else, religion is all-powernumber as 4,527 only. It is indeed to be ful, and is the sole agent through which feared that the sad event of the last of the social changes can be effected. Tasmanians will find a repetition in many With regard to this point, Russia was a part of northern Asia.

brought face to face with a most difficult The indisputable fact regarding the de. problem. It had to enter the lists against crease of the indigenous population of two powerful Asiatic religions, namely, Isnorthern Asia, cannot be explained by any lam and Buddhism — two civilizing agents absorption into the ruling race.

that are exactly suited to the Asiatic taste In the Russian population of Siberia, and cast of mind, and much more directly which at present amounts to two-thirds of reach the goal than Christianity, even than the whole population, only a very small Russian Christianity, which, in spite of percentage of indigenous element can be its many Asiatic features, still appears to found absorbed. The increase of the the true Asiatic a foreign and unpalatable Russian element was chiefly due to volun. production. Knowing this, and fully tary or compulsory immigration; and the aware of the bearing and difficulty of the natives simply perished, the victims of an question, the Russian government made overwhelming majority of invaders, of an attempt in the last century to aid the economic conditions, and insufficient fore- propagation of Islam, by paying mollas sight on the part of the government. and ordering mosques to be built. This

We fully approve of the warm patriotism arrangement failed in its object, because,

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

a

instead of producing the advantages of a five thousand Teleuts, Shors, Forest-Tarvehicle or a stepping-stone towards a fur- tars, etc., have entered the fold of the ther object, or, to be quite clear, instead Greek Church during the last fifty years. of forming a suitable Moslem foundation The Christianity of these people, howfor the future Christian Church, Islam ever, must not be too closely inquired into. only, as such, was strengthened, and in Their apostasy from the ancient creed of Islam a force inimical to Western civiliza- their forefathers separates these neotion. Thus we find, that whilst, before phytes from all intercourse with their own Russian immigration, Muhammadanism, kin; and the new mode of life naturally at the banks of the Tobol, had only just arising from the new doctrine only too effected an entrance, Russian supremacy often renders their condition one of mis. very materially aided the spread of this ery and poverty; they belong neither to religion. The Tatars of the Baraba one party nor to the other, and in the Steppe entered the fold of Islam in 1745; absence of a basis of belief they generally that is, one and a half century after this perish. region had came under Russian influence. A modern Russian traveller writes about of the 142,191 aborigines of the govern- the five thousand Ostyaks whom the Sibements of Tobolsk and Tomsk, 47,320 are rian archbishop Philoteus is said to have Muhammadans. Adding to these the baptized in the year 1712, that they are 788,000 Siberian Ki gises, also adherents only nominal Christians; the holy pictures of Islam, we see that the Moslem reli- in their possession are kept under a bench gion can here register one of its greatest in some distant corner of their huts; it is conguests (Petri, 139). With regard to only on the arrival of a priest that they are Buddhism the case is similar.

taken from their hiding.place. Rittich is In the year 1741 the majority of Bur- quite right in his assertion that Christianjates in eastern Siberia were Shamanists, ity there is merely like a light covering of and the Buddhists only had two Dzazanes moss, hiding the marsh of Shamanism. and 150 Lamas; in 1845 there were 85,- The converts of other tribes are not very 060 Buddhists and 3,546 Lamas; in 1848, different; those who without forethought 125,000 Buddhists and 4,546 Lamas ; and have embraced the new religion declare at present the Burjates are nearly all their repentance afterwards. The way a Buddhists, and Shanianism is quite in the Tshuktsh expressed himself on the point minority. Of the population of 2,792,365 to a missionary is very characteristic: inhabitants of the governments Tobolsk "When I was young the Russians were and Tomsk under Irkutsk, there are, at very friendly to me, and I allowed myself the present day, only 143,262 heathens, or to be baptized ; but now I look with differadherents of Shamanism.

ent eyes on the past. I look on it with the In the eighteenth century the task of eyes of an old man, and I ask what bapconverting the indigenous population tism has brought us? The people have straightway to Christianity was begun, and become poor, their flocks have decreased; in modern times it is continued with still the reindeer perish, and so do the men greater energy; but whether, under the themselves; old men are hardly to be existing circumstances, the results will found, and many have died not as men correspond to the expectations of the Rus- die. No, let me meet death my own way, sian government is very doubtful. All and die like a man (Petri, 149). possible ways and means were tried to Conversion to Christianity, therefore, induce people to accept Christianity; is not by any means a prevention against force, promises, and every kind of allure. the gradual extinction of north Asiatics. ment were used ; and when it became ap- The nature of the Slavic educational sys. parent that the teaching of Christ in the tem is equally unable to afford a remedy. Russian idiom did not find favor, the ex- The opinion advocated by Russian trave periment was made wbether it would be ellers and scholars now is, that success more acceptable in the language of the can only be achieved by a process of natives. The Altaic mission thereupon "russification," or absorptior of the indig. began to study the Altaic language, and enous into the Russian national element; produced a very good primer of that it is this process of absorption, they say, language in Russian ; but in spite of pro- which, continued through ages, has given digious patience, labor, and sacrifice, the Russia its numerical greatness. From results bitherto achieved are of the most the eighth to the twelfth century the Finnmodest kind. According to the report of Ugrians – descended from the race of the this mission, consisting of twelve mission. Rus of Arab geographers — formed the aries and twenty-two ecclesiastics, nearly important Slavic empire in the east of

[graphic]

9

Europe. Later on, its ranks were swelled represents a type special to itself. Shtshaby the addition of Turko-Tartar elements; pow observes with justice that “the Sibeand in the future the process of amalga- rian-Russian population endeavors, to all mation will continue uninterruptedly in appearance, to develop, by way of interthe north of Asia.

marriage, a distinctive provincial type in The difference between the capability which the characteristics of the original of Russian extension in the south-east and Slavic and Asiatic Russians are by no north-east consists in the circumstance, means equally represented” (Petri 61). that in the former direction the Tshuva- Those circumstances, however, in conseshians, Votyaks, and Tcheremises are, to quence of which the Russio-Uralaltaic is some extent, in a stable social condition, distinguished from the European-Amerihaving for centuries departed from their can amalgam must not be forgotten or nomadic habits and embraced the Chris- neglected. First and foremost, the geotian religion, so that the slight disintegra- graphical relations in the two cases are tion necessary for absorption could not very different, in so far as Russia is and readily be effected; in the north and north- has been in immediate and direct commu. east Russia is met by a few, and numeri- nication with Siberia, and is not separated cally small, ethnical fragments only, which from it by a long sea distance; this posiare absolutely incapable of resistance and tion allows assimilation to proceed much independent national vitality. The west, more readily and rapidly. that is European Russia, will scarcely be- Secondly, the Russians are by origin a come the scene of extraordinary ethnical mixed race, consisting of Slavic and transformation ; but in the eastern half, Uralaltaic elements. The latter is closely and especially in Siberia, the process of allied to the Siberian indigenous tribes, absorption has by no means reached com- so that the Russian national traits cannot pletion.

be in very great contrast with the native The present age will accelerate this Siberian elements. The distinguishing process and be productive of most re- characteristics between Russians proper markable results. The improved com- and Siberiacs will therefore chiefly appear munication in the near future by the pro- in those physical and moral peculiarities posed railway line from the Úral and that are caused by special climatic territo. Turkestan towards Vladivostok, will bring rial and ethical conditions, and which new life, new elements, and new activity manifest their jofluence to a greater or into regions bitherto only reached with less degree wherever men leave their nadifficulty; and the native population will tive country, depart from their ancient be hurried on, with increased swiftness, usages and customs, and enter on a new to their certain doom. For this there is manner of life. no help and no remedy ; and if the pres- Perhaps the most interesting question ent and future influence of our European in connection with the cultural and ethical culture on those regions is to be discussed, transformation of northern Asia arises the conclusion to which we must arrive with regard to the extent over which this will be the following: “The greater por. process of absorption will spread, and the tion of northern Asia will be Russian, not limits which are likely to confine Russian only politically, but also ethnically; our advance in the north, east, and south of civilization will make its entry in the Rus. Asia. sian garb, and Russia will long continue With regard to the north, its arctic nato occupy that post of intermediary be. ture will long defy all cultural experiments. tween western and eastern civilization | The icy breath of a nine months' winter which it has hitherto occupied.”.

chills the most fiery zeal and the fiercest The same process of amalgamation will glow of enthusiasm; and the extreme take place in northern Asia as has oc- unkindness of climate and soil alike will curred in the case of America by the in- long renderit impossible to enrol races like termarriage of the invading Europeans the Tshuktches, Yukagirs, Samoyeds, and with the aborigines, with only this differ. Tunguses among the people of western ence, that the characteristics of the mixed civilization. The rule of “russification," race will not be so strongly marked in or Russian cultural influence, will hardly northern Asia as in South America, ever extend to the climes inhabited by the where, through climatic and geographical Yakuts. The outposts of Russia have conditions, the native element preponder- remained stationary for nearly two centuated, and consequently produced distinctries at Yakutsk and other more southern local characteristics. The Siberiak or points, without being able to advance farSiberian Russian of today, of course, also liher north ; and no one has as yet thought

« ElőzőTovább »