Introduction / History
The Yukaghirs are made up of 13 nomadic subgroups, including the Chuvans. They are the remnants of a population who for centuries have inhabited the tundra and taiga zones of Arctic Siberia.
In their original Siberian home the Yukaghirs were nomadic hunter-gatherers. They would follow elk and reindeer migrations. The men would hunt for animals and fish while the women gathered edible plants during the warmer parts of the year. They used reindeer for transportation and sold skins of animals for cash.
With the decline of their traditional economic activities, the dismal environmental situation of their lands, and the decrease in the population of the Yukaghir people, they and their language are close to becoming extinct. Some have migrated to other parts of Russia or Ukraine.
Where are they located?
The traditional home of the Yukaghirs is eastern Siberia in the Kolyma region. A small number of Yukaghirs had migrated to Ukraine.
What are their lives like?
We don't know how the Yukaghirs support themselves in Ukraine since there are so few of them. Many Yukaghirs have been assimilated into other cultures including those of the Yakuts, the Russians, and the Ukrainians. Imagine going from a nomadic lifestyle in the tundra to a modern urban setting like that of Ukraine. It must be a huge adjustment for the Chuvan Yukaghirs in Ukraine.
What are their beliefs?
Many Yukaghirs have converted to the Russian Orthodox Church, yet they continue to practice their shamanistic beliefs in spirits. We do not know the current religious practices of the Yukaghirs in Ukraine, but they still lack a culturally-relevant fellowship of their own.
What are their needs?
The Yukaghir of Ukraine need to become part of a Bible believing church. The Yukaghir language is disappearing and may be extinct in a few years. Most speak Russian or Ukrainian.
* Pray that Christians in the Ukraine would reach out to the Yukaghirs and begin to build friendships with them.
* Pray that the Yukaghirs would be drawn by the Holy Spirit into a genuine love relationship with Christ.
* Pray that converted Yukaghirs would go to their homeland in Siberia and evangelize their people.
Text source: Keith Carey